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BFS Online: The Book Journey – Artwork & Extras

Artwork & Extras: A conversation about artwork and extras add that something special to your book. Should we judge a book by its cover? What can designers create to bring readers deeper into your world?

Moderator Eleanor Pender chats to panellists Jenni Coutts, Diana Sousa, and Micaela Alcaino to answer these questions.

Jenni Coutts: Jenni Coutts is an illustrator, speculative fiction writer and GP based in Glasgow, Scotland. She is art editor for BFS Horizons and is art lead for the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton in 2025. She won the British Fantasy Award for best artist in 2022 and was nominated for the same in 2023, with artwork featured in both uk and international publications. In her free time, she enjoys boxing, weight lifting, and chilling with her cat Smudge. You can follow Jenni on Twitter and Instagram. Find more about Jenni on her website.

Diana Sousa: Diana Sousa lives in Portugal, where she works as a comic book colorist, and as a freelance graphic designer doing layout for TTRPG books, as well as swag, character cards, and maps for authors. In 2023 she was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Coloring for her work in several Critical Role projects. Check out Diana’s portfolio. Or follow her on Twitter, Bluesky and Instagram.

Micaela Alcaino: Micaela Alcaino is a book cover designer and illustrator who relocated from her home in Sydney, Australia to London, UK in 2013. Recognised as one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars in 2021, she attained the esteemed title of Designer of the Year at the British Book Awards in 2022. Her impact on the publishing industry was underscored by her inclusion in The Bookseller 150, a prestigious list recognising the most influential figures in publishing in 2022. Her dedication to positive change was further acknowledged in 2023 when she was shortlisted for Future Leader of the Year at the FutureBook Conference. This was a testament to her commitment to fostering positive change and advocating inclusivity and fair rights for freelancers within the publishing industry. With over a decade of professional experience, Micaela spent many years working for both Penguin Random House and HarperCollins. Venturing into freelancing in 2019, she has since collaborated on projects with major publishing houses globally. Her portfolio boasts a distinctive fusion of creativity and artistry, influenced by her passion for travel, her diverse cultural heritage, and a deep appreciation for the fine arts. Find out more about Micaela on her website. Or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Eleanor Pender: Eleanor (she/her) has worked in the creative industries for over 10 years. Her first event chairing on a stage was with Patrick Ness at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2015. Since then she has gone on to host in-person and online events at events across the country, at the Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC), Cymera Festival, Bath Children’s Literature Festival, Bristol Women’s Literature Festival, Forbidden Planet and Waterstones Bristol bookshop events and more. Highlights include chairing V.E. Schwab at Cymera Festival in 2019 and interviewing V.V. James over Instagram Live from her back garden. When not chairing, Eleanor lectures at The University of the West of England, Bristol. As a writer, Eleanor has had stories published by Jurassic London and other anthologies, and she is currently working on her second novel.

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