Bologna Book Fair Day 3 – Duelling Illustrators

What is the highlight of the SCBWI Bologna Showcase? It most certainly has to be the Duelling Illustrators. This is a favourite of the showcase and the four duels today continued that long and loved tradition. In the Duelling Illustrators, two or three illustrators rapidly illustrate their response to an unpublished picture manuscript that is being read aloud in short, page like, snippets. So here are some visual highlights. I was thrilled to be part of this and read while Serena Geddes and Lesley Vamos duelled. Their work was stunning!

The surrounding booths have very little traffic as the red carpet is just covered with people watching the duels. Some folk I know bypassed and walked along to another aisle.

So here now are the four session:

gathering throng

Duelling Illustrators 1.
Story Kathleen Ahrens
Illustrators, Bob Barner and Paul O. Zelinsky

discussing rules


duelling is set to begin
Bob Barner

Paul O. Zelinsky

happy onlookers

a joint illustration

Kathleen, Bob and Paul

Duelling Illustrators 2:
Story ME
Illustrators, Serena Geddes and Lesley Vamos.


Lesley’s Dragon



three proud Aussies

Duelling Illustrators 3:
story Angela Cerrito
Illustrators, Bridget Strevens-Marzo, John Shelley, Barbara McClintock

Bridge was slower in water colours


amazed throng

John and Bridget

John and Barbara

dirty illustrator hands

 Dueling Illustrators 4:
Illustrators, Kirsten Carlson, Miri Lesham-Pelly & Inbal Sarid


Kirsten, Miri and Inbal



The two hours flew by and the duellings were hugely popular. Many many folk were attracted by the gathered throng and it was another stunning SCBWI success.

Of course the day started and continued with showcases including the lovely Deborah Abela.

Just a totally fun time.
Day three done!

5 Responses to Bologna Book Fair Day 3 – Duelling Illustrators

  1. awesome! sounds like the most fun EVER!

    and…I noticed, in the end, you got the girls!

    Teresa Fannin March 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm Reply
  2. Love these photos! Susan Eaddy, the IC for the Midsouth, will do a presentation there, but I don’t know when. I’d love to see a photo of her, if you happen to catch her presentation!

    Genetta March 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm Reply
  3. Thanks for putting photos up–I wrote story 4 and hadn’t seen any pictures yet! What fun.

    Laurie Cutter March 23, 2012 at 2:47 am Reply
  4. P.S. Chris, is there any way you could add my name to the story in #4 so I get credit? I’d appreciate it!

    Laurie Cutter March 23, 2012 at 3:12 am Reply
  5. Great write up and pics Chris – thanks! First time we did it at SCBWI Bologna was in 2008 – Erzsi launched the idea with a story of hers illustrated by bold ‘stand-up’ artists Paul O Zelinsky and Doug Cushman – and me as ever over a table, on the ol’ paints.

    Bridget Strevens-Marzo March 24, 2012 at 8:26 am Reply

Leave a comment