Submission details

Submitting your entry

All entries must be submitted as a PDF via the submission form. Entries submitted in any other way, including by email or hard copy, will not be accepted.

Naming your PDF

In order to ensure that the shortlist selection process is completely impartial, the judges will only see the PDF and its file name.

Please name your PDF with your initials, underscore, date and month you were born, underscore and the award category.

For example, if your name was Allen Lane and you were born on 21 September, then it would be:




File format

  • PDF
  • 300dpi
  • CMYK
  • 3mm bleed
  • Maximum file size 5 MB
  • Crop and bleed marks applied

If you’re unsure what crop and bleed marks are, click here for our cover design jargon buster.

Please include the front cover only on the first page of your PDF and a full cover spread (front, spine and back cover) on the second page of your PDF (supplied as one document) – as illustrated in this example.

You can do this by creating your InDesign document with ‘facing pages’ selected, which will make it into a book and magazine format.

Cover design templates

Fiction Category: Girl, Woman, Other 

Design template (InDesign) / Design template (idml)

Links for InDesign

Design Template (PDF)

Cover copy

Non-Fiction Category: Diary of a Young Naturalist 

Design template (InDesign) / Design template (idml)

Links for InDesign

Design Template (PDF)

Cover copy

Children’s Category: Murder Most Unladylike

Design template (InDesign) / Design template (idml)

Links for InDesign

Design Template (PDF)

Cover copy

Please refer to the FAQ page for frequently asked questions about submissions.

Shortlisted entrants

Shortlisted entrants will be notified by email by Thursday, 28 April 2022.

To proceed to the next stage of the competition they will be asked to resubmit their entries following feedback and further art direction from the Penguin Random House Art Directors. The closing date for the shortlisted entrants’ resubmissions is 17.00 (GMT) on Thursday, 12 May 2022.

Shortlisted entrants will be required to provide the following support material for their final submission – submitted digitally:

  • A short, typewritten text (max. 50–100 words only) explaining the concept for their design.
  • A one-page landscape PDF demonstrating the development of the thought process from the original research to the final concept.
  • A high resolution PDF and JPEG of the front cover only and of the full cover design (both to size 1:1) with and without bleed and trim marks.
  • Penguin will digitally print copies of the shortlisted cover designs and wrap them around three copies of the book for the final judging and exhibition. If shortlisted entrants prefer to do this themselves (in order to keep control of the stock, colour and any finishes), we will supply the books at their request.

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