IMPORTANT! This information was written for the 2023 Conference, and will change as we update the website for 2024!

How the Portfolio Contest Works

Three faculty members—including an Art Director—will be judging the portfolios in RMC’s limited space, juried Portfolio Contest. The prize? A one-on-one  virtual portfolio consultation with an art director at a large publishing house (director TBD). The runner-up receives a $30 gift certificate to The Wandering Jellyfish, our amazing conference bookstore.

On Saturday, September 9, Illustrators who have pre-registered for the Portfolio Contest will bring their portfolios, postcards, and signed waivers to the check-in table at the end hallway. (In the corner, past the ballroom.) Portfolios must be checked in between 3:00pm and 3:20pm. Do not be late.

A panel of three judges will review and rank the portfolios using a rubric. The promotional postcards are part of this process.

Illustrators will pick up their portfolios at 4:30pm. If staying for Dessert First, Illustrators may display their portfolio and postcards on the designated table in the ballroom.

Portfolios will be left unattended and/or moved to the Dessert First after 4:40pm.

No portfolio feedback is provided with this contest. Sign up for the Picture Book Rountable Intensive or a one-on-one portfolio critique if you want feedback.

Contest pre-registration and conference attendance required.

To expedite check-in, please print and sign: 2023 ILLUSTRATOR JURIED CONTEST RELEASE

For those without access to a printer, additional copies will be available at check-in table.

Portfolio + Postcard Guidelines

Be sure to follow these guidelines:


  • Size: Up to 15″ width & height, depth proportional to a flat portfolio within the above proportions
  • Length: 12-15 pages suggested
  • Include your name in your portfolio
  • Standard formats only (book-type portfolios)
  • Only one (1) portfolio permitted

Promotional Postcards

Amount: up to 20 suggested – only one set (image) permitted.
Size: up to 5 x 7 inches.

Submit your cards either in a rubber band or in a disposable bag and the cards will be displayed on the table by your piece. No cardholders please. We cannot ensure their safety or return. Please include your name and contact information.

Book Dummy, Optional

Only one (1) Dummy permitted. It MUST be securely attached to your portfolio (string or ribbon suggested). This means of attachment is not an option, but a requirement if you bring a dummy. Please arrive to the check in table with your dummy already attached to your portfolio. Thank you.

What is Not Permitted

The following will disqualify your portfolio from contest:

  • Oversized portfolios (whether in length, depth or width)
  • Non-secured portfolio (images not securely attached to portfolio)
  • Original, framed, or 3-dimensional art
  • Published books (You may include spreads from your published books within your portfolio.)
  • Easels, stands or props of any kind
  • Portfolios in unusual novelty formats, such as boxes