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Drawing inspiration... NI student Ellan Rankin wins top award and book deal

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Ellan Rankin

Ellan Rankin

The illustration by Ellan which earned her the Carmelite Picture Book Prize

The illustration by Ellan which earned her the Carmelite Picture Book Prize

Ellan Rankin

A student from Co Antrim has won a major international illustration award and the opportunity to publish a book with Hodder Children's Books.

Ellan Rankin from Newtownabbey is studying for her Masters degree in children's book illustrations at Anglia Ruskin University's Cambridge campus.

She was awarded the Carmelite Picture Book Prize and received a cheque for £1,000.

Ellan will now illustrate a new book by Jeanne Willis.

The competition, which is run by the Hachette publishing group and is open to students from across the UK, asked entrants to illustrate the text for 'One and Only' - a story about a lonely bird of paradise who longs to have a friend.

Ellan said the One and Only storyline, which was written by Jeanne Willis, had a "beautiful mixture of sadness and humour" and that she had a lot of fun in creating the imagery.

"Winning the Carmelite Prize is such an incredible opportunity and I'm so thankful to Hachette Children's and everyone involved," she continued. "Over the past few years I've seen artists and creators, who I admire, enter the competition and become successful.

"For me to now be a member of that group, I'm just shocked and amazed. It means so much to be associated with such a talented bunch, and to be able to make a connection with a publisher that I admire."

Ellan has also been shortlisted for the 2020 World Illustration Awards, which will be announced this autumn, for her work on The Curry Bird.

Belfast Telegraph