The International Masterclass for Children’s Book Illustrators is a professional programme designed for
illustrators from Switzerland and from the Pro Helvetia Liaison Offices in the Arab region, China and South
Asia. The project aims to support the development of high-quality and professional children’s books, to
facilitate access to international networks of publishers and facilitators (festivals, magazines, platforms)
and to connect illustrators and experts of the international book industry.
The programme will run over a period of one year. All sessions will be held in English.

  • Participation in a one-year programme consisting of online meetings: a) once a month with
    international experts and players in the area of children’s books and b) every eight weeks
    with the illustrators participating in the programme
  • Professional exchange with working sessions on the current projects in the group of
    illustrators (feedback from renowned illustrators and experts from different regions of the
  • Increasing knowledge about international markets (e.g. input lectures, networking sessions)
  • A trip to India in November 2024 (duration: 10 days). The main expenses for the trip
    (accommodation and travel costs) to India are covered by Pro Helvetia
  • Visibility in the international book industry
  • Establishing a network with children’s books illustrators from the Arab region, China, South
    Asia and Switzerland.
  • The programme is aimed at professional illustrators of children’s books from Switzerland, the
    Arab region, China and South Asia
  • To qualify for the programme, applicants must have published at least one illustrative literary
    work with a professional publisher or in a digital medium with editorial supervision.
    The International Masterclass for Illustrators has a demanding schedule. Please note that the programme
    requires an investment of approximately 50 hours for mentorship, lectures and presentations during its
    12-month duration (plus additional time for the trip to India).
    Cultural practitioners based in a region covered by the liaison office of Pro Helvetia New Delhi may apply via
    the corresponding liaison office. Cultural practitioners from Switzerland apply via Google Forms:
    Please apply by Thursday 1 February 2024, 23:59 CET, with the following documentation:
  • Contact information
  • Short CV (please include your education, nationality and/or residence status and all professional
    activities such as public presentations of your work, publications, residencies etc.)
  • Portfolio of projects (in one PDF document, max. 15 MB)
  • Concept description and excerpts of the picture book project you are currently working on with
    visual material (max. 5 pages)
  • Motivation for participating in the programme
  • All applications must be submitted in English.
    After the deadline has passed, the applications will be assessed, and you will be informed about the decision
    by mid March 2024. In April 2024, the program will be launched with the mandatory Kick-Off
    event (online) where curators and participants will get to know each other.
    The curators of the programme are:
  • Hemali Sodhi, literary agent based in New Delhi, India.
  • Johanna Schaible, children’s book illustrator based in Bern, Switzerland.
    Note: the number of participants in the programme is limited. The applicants who are more likely to benefit
    from the programme will be selected.
    In case of questions or feedback, please contact Jennifer Bigelow, jbigelow@prohelvetia.ch
    We are looking forward to receiving your application!