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Now Accepting Portfolios

About the Project

You can be a hero to the Make Way for Books community! We are always looking for great new books to include on the Make Way for Books App. Submit your portfolio and help us illustrate our picture books!


Make Way for Books is an early literacy non-profit organization that impacts more than 30,000 young children and families each year. As a digital counterpart of our family programming, the Make Way for Books App provides users with high-quality books, both in English and Spanish, as well as a variety of connected activities for children (ages 0-5) to support parents and caregivers in developing their children’s early literacy skills.  


Our Priority Areas

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The Make Way for Books App is a two-generation, early literacy, and early education resource. The app empowers and supports families in connecting and bonding with their children in their own language, in a way that is relevant and reflective of their culture by providing access to high quality books, early education, and the science and research about early literacy and language development.


Through the books we create for the app, we have the ability to represent children and families’ experiences authentically through the characters in our stories. Towards this goal, we work actively to amplify the voices of authors and artists that are not typically represented in children’s book publishing, such as Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color; LGBTQIAP2S+ people; people with disabilities; and all groups and people negatively impacted by systemic racism.

Submission Guidelines

Make Way for Books is accepting portfolios from artists. Follow these guidelines as you are preparing to submit. 


Please include the following: 

  • In the body of your email: your name and a brief biography (should be in 3rd person, about 40-50 words). You may also include a link your website if you have one.

  • Your subject line should specify that the submission is a “Make Way for Books App Portfolio Submission.”

  • Your portfolio. All portfolios must be in .pdf format.

    • Even if you have included a link to your website or portfolio, we still want all portfolio submissions to be included in .pdf format.​

Please send all submissions by emailing us directly at

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One submission only, please. We will not accept multiple submissions from the same person.


We happily accept submissions from anyone. Previously published illustrators, unpublished illustrators, and illustrators with or without agents.

Both traditional and digital art will be accepted.

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Illustration Stipend

We are pleased to announce that illustrators are eligible to receive financial compensation for their time and artistic contributions! We will discuss payment details and potential projects only with illustrators whose portfolios we've reviewed and decided to proceed with.


Thank you and good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I submit more than one version of my portfolio?

No, one submission per person only, please.

If I submit my portfolio to the Make Way for Books App, should I hold off on submitting it to other art competitions and publications?

No, not at all! Please continue to submit your work to other competitions and publications. 

Is this an art competition or contest?

No, the Make Way for Books App is an educational, early literacy resource for families. We are not a contest and there are no "winners" or "rules" for submitting your portfolio.

I accidentally sent the wrong file. May I re-submit the correct version?

Yes! Please note in your email that it is the correct version.

Are you only accepting submissions from the United States?

No, we accept submissions from all over the world!


Will I be compensated?

Yes, compensation is available for illustrators we feel are a good fit for our app!

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