Terms and Conditions



Entries will be accepted through this website between 00.01 (GMT) on Tuesday, 7 December 2021 and 14.00 (GMT) on Tuesday, 1 March 2022.


To be eligible for the 2022 competition, you must be a resident of the UK, Ireland or have permission to be living in the UK or Ireland during the Awards timeline (October 2021 – July 2022).

You do not need to be a student to enter.

Entrants must not have had significant experience in a paid creative role.

By significant experience, we mean that entrants must not:

  • have cumulatively worked in a paid creative role for one year or more*
  • be currently employed in a one-year or permanent contract, in a paid creative role**

*The one year’s experience counts as either continuous, or accumulated over a longer period of time. For example, four paid placements of three months each, over the course of two years would make you unable to enter, as that would be one year’s worth of paid experience in total.

If you have worked as a freelancer, this means you must not have made the majority of your income from a creative role for the equivalent of one year or more.

** A creative role is defined as a position where the entrant is employed in any type of creative role such as: graphic designer, illustrator, art director, etc. This includes paid placements. Entrants may still enter if they work (or have worked) for a creative company in a non-creative role.

Entrants must be aged 18 or over by 1 July 2022.

There can be only one named entrant per entry.


Entrants may submit one design into each of the following categories: (i) the Adult Fiction Category; (ii) the Adult Non-Fiction Category; (iii) the Children’s Category. You may not submit more than one design for each category.


All entries must be supplied digitally via the Submit Your Entry page. Entries submitted in any other way, including by email or hard copy, will not be accepted.

Entries must be supplied as a high resolution PDF, 300 dpi, CMYK.


1. There is no fee to enter the competition.

2. Closing date for receipt of all entries is 14.00 (GMT) on Tuesday, 1 March 2022. If unavoidable circumstances beyond the Promoter’s control make it necessary to extend the competition closing date, any such extension shall be notified on our website. Late entries received after the advertised closing date shall not be accepted under any circumstances.

3. This competition is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over by 1 July 2022 and who have not had significant experience in a paid creative role. This competition is not open to employees of Promoter, their families, agents and anyone else connected with this competition.

4. No responsibility can be accepted for incorrectly uploaded entries or those that are illegible or corrupted. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt. Entries via agents or third parties are invalid and shall not be considered.

5. All correctly completed entries for each category shall be forwarded to a judging panel, comprised as follows, who will select a shortlist of entries for each category:

a) Adult Fiction Category – the Penguin Random House Art Directors and guest judges.

b) Adult Non-Fiction Category – the Penguin Random House Art Directors and guest judges.

c) Children’s Category – the Penguin Random House UK Children’s Art Director, Penguin Random House UK Children’s Managing Director and guest judges.

6. The shortlists for each category will be announced on this website by Thursday, 28 April 2022.

7. The shortlisted entrants will be contacted by email by Thursday, 28 April 2022. The closing date for the shortlisted entrants’ support materials is 17.00 (GMT) on Thursday, 12 May 2022.

8. Shortlisted entrants will be required to provide digital copies of:

a) A short, typewritten text (max. 50–100 words only) explaining the concept for your design.

b) A one-page landscape PDF demonstrating the development of the thought process from the original research to the final concept.

c) A high resolution PDF and JPEG of the front cover only and full cover design (both to size 1:1) with and without bleed and trim marks.

d) Promoter will mock-up the shortlisted cover designs on three copies of the book for the final judging and exhibition. If shortlisted entrants prefer to do this themselves Promoter will supply the books at their request.

e) The sender must prepay any shipping costs, insurance, customs duties and handling fees for all entries.

9. A first-, second- and third-prize winner will be selected for each of the three categories. The winning designs will be the ones which, in the opinion of the judges, best fulfil the brief.

10. The winners will be announced on the Penguin Cover Design Award website in June 2022.

11. The first-prize winner of each of the three categories will receive a six-month-long mentorship programme with a member of the Penguin Art Department (dates to be confirmed). They will also receive design equipment and access to software to the value of £1,000. The second-prize winners of each category will receive design equipment and inspiration tools to the value of £500. The third-prize winners of each category will receive design equipment and inspiration tools to the value of £350.

12. The prizes are non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered. However, if, at the sole discretion of the judges, none of the entries in any of the categories is of a sufficiently high standard to merit the awards, no prizes, or only second and third prizes, may be awarded.

13. Prizes are subject to availability. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, or circumstances beyond the Promoter’s control including any change of circumstances relating to the Covid-19 pandemic assessed by the Promoter as adversely affecting fulfilment of the prize in any way, the Promoter reserves the right (a) to substitute alternative prizes as determined by the Promoter at its sole discretion provided that the total monetary value of any alternative prize(s) is equivalent to or greater than that of the original prize; and (b) in exceptional circumstances to amend or foreclose the promotion without notice. No correspondence will be entered into. 

14. The decision of the judges is final and correspondence will be entered into only at the absolute discretion of the Promoter.

15. We will make the winner’s name and county available on request to the following email address mail@penguindesignaward.co.uk (please state the name of the competition in the subject heading) 14 weeks after the closing date. If you do not want your name and county to be made available in the event that you win, please let us know by emailing mail@penguindesignaward.co.uk. Please note we are required to make the winner’s details available to the ASA if requested.

16. Entrants acknowledge and agree that the Penguin and Puffin design templates, Penguin and Puffin logos and the cover copy supplied in the entry packs are the property of Promoter. Entrants’ use of any material comprised in the entry packs, including the items listed in the previous sentence, is limited to use in respect of this competition only. No further use shall be permitted without the Promoter’s prior written consent.

17. All entrants hereby license to Promoter the use of their entry for display on any Promoter-owned or third-party website or other media for publicity purposes. Entrants further permit Promoter to display their entries in a physical exhibition. The choice of which entries are included in any such exhibition shall be solely made by the Promoter without consultation. Appropriate credits will be given to each item displayed, but Promoter shall not be under any obligation to hold such exhibitions, or to include every entry if it does.

18. By entering this competition each entrant confirms that his/her/their entry is their wholly-owned creation and to the extent that such entry makes use of any third-party materials, that these have been fully cleared unless they are no longer protected by copyright or other intellectual property rights. Entrants must ensure that their entry clearly identifies any third-party materials used. Entrants will keep the Promoter harmless from any claims in relation to their entry alleging that the entry infringes the personal or proprietary right of any other person.

19. By entering this competition, all entrants consent to the use of their personal data by the Promoter for the purposes of running the competition as detailed in these terms and conditions. Details on how we process the personal data of entrants can be found in our Privacy Policy (http://penguin.co.uk/company/about-us/notices/privacy-policy/full-privacy-policy.html).

20. Promoter may disqualify any entrant whose entry does not comply with these terms and conditions (in Promoter’s sole opinion) or who, in Promoter’s sole determination, has acted in a manner that is fraudulent, dishonest or unjust to other entrants including, without limitation, tampering with the operation of the competition, manipulating or rigging votes, hacking, deceiving, cheating or by harassing or threatening other entrants, the panel or a representative of Promoter.

21. These terms and conditions are governed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and the courts of the same shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any claims arising out of or in connection with this promotion.


Penguin Books Ltd, on behalf of itself and the Random House Group Limited, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 2SA.

Write to us at:

Penguin Cover Design Award

20 Vauxhall Bridge Road



Email us at: mail@penguindesignaward.co.uk.

Please note many of our staff are currently working away from our offices and as a result there may be a delay in responding to correspondence which is sent to us by post only.

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