Illustration of the Year

The Speculative Literature Foundation announces an open call for a piece of original artwork combining fantasy and science fiction themes to be featured as its Illustration of the Year.

OPEN NOVEMBER 20, 2022 – DECEMBER 30, 2022

Award: $750 USD.

Winner announced January 20, 2023.


Artwork will be displayed on the Speculative Literature Foundation’s (SLF) website and social media accounts. Artwork will also be used as a visual element of SLF’s marketing material and swag, including but not limited to, bookmarks, pins, posters, etc., and may be cropped or otherwise minimally altered to fit these different formats. The winning artist will receive $750.00 (USD) and will be announced, along with the selected Artwork, on SLF’s website and in a press release.

This is the SLF’s sixth open call for an Illustration of the Year.

Submissions Open: November 20th
Submissions Close: December 30th
Winner Announced: January 20th


  • Each artist (Artist) may submit one (1) Artwork for consideration.
  • The Artwork may be created digitally or by hand.
  • The Artwork may not be created by any AI programs like NightCafe or DALL-E.
  • The Artwork must combine fantasy and science fiction elements and incorporate SLF’s literary focus.
  • The Artwork may not have been featured in any other fantasy and/or science fiction genre prior to submission or pending the announcement of Illustration of the Year.
  • Artwork must be submitted in both jpeg and pdf formats.
  • Aspect ratio must work for the website banner, being at least 1,500 points wide and 400-500 points high.
  • Final resolution for print must be at least 11 inches wide and 300 dpi.
  • Files are limited to 10MB.
  • Include your name, email address, phone number, name of your artwork (if any), and short bio.
  • Your submission to the SLF’s Illustration of the Year can be emailed to


  • Artist must represent that the submission is wholly original art and warrant full ownership of artwork. In submitting art, Artist agrees to indemnify and hold SLF harmless with respect to any challenges or claims regarding ownership of the artwork.
  • If chosen, Artist grants SLF exclusive rights to print, publish, display, copy, distribute, and otherwise use the Illustration of the Year for the full calendar year.
  • On January 1st of the following year, the SLF relinquishes exclusive rights to the Illustration of the Year but reserves the right to continue to print, publish, display, copy, distribute, and otherwise use the Illustration of the Year in connection with any materials created during the year in which the Artwork was chosen, for historical purposes, and for an anthology of Illustrations of the Year.

For more information about this Call for Artists or SLF, contact Darius Vinesar at


2022 Illustration of the Year

Michelle Feng

About the Artist

Hoping to translate theory into policy and practice, Michelle Feng‘s experience revolves around working directly with traditionally underserved individuals and communities of color to bridge the gap between lived experiences and policy that fails to reflect the complexities of society on a universal scale. Through her dedication to public service, where she traveled around the country working in dedicated pursuit of localized projects with focuses on urban development, environmental conservation, disaster relief, and food insecurity in rural areas. Michelle has also spent time in Human Resources at the Department of Defense and has experience in social work at a small non-profit, which subsequently trained her in crisis de-escalation, conflict mediation, and trauma-informed care.

Feng On Her Illustration:

“I found inspiration for the piece through wanting to combine visual elements from traditional village living structures with futuristic elements of a modern city. I wanted to use a mix of mediums and textures to build a piece with collage-like elements that illustrated a layered approach to world-building. Imbuing realities that are grounded in something familiar, but still continue to live outside of our surface-level understanding of the world, define speculative fiction to me.

As a first generation Chinese-American daughter of immigrants, I grew up hearing stories of my mother’s experience traveling to the rural village her mother grew up in, who always emphasized the importance of balancing education, literacy, and imagination as the key to upward mobility. The person climbing the wall of books on the left hand side of the image was inspired by my grandfather, a professor of contemplative literature who taught my mother that art is the highest form of expression. My hope is that those who see the piece can connect to both of its real & imagined worlds while exploring intersections between the built and natural environment.”