What would some of modern fiction's greatest titles look like if they were designed by you? We want you to redesign the covers of some iconic novels: Zadie Smith's White Teeth, Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin, Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. A winning design will be chosen from each category and made into a real cover for the winning entrant to keep.
White Teeth, Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith is one of Britain's greatest living writers. Her debut novel White Teeth (Hamish Hamilton) became an instant bestseller and earned several prizes including the Guardian First Book Award and the Whitbread Award. Zadie herself will be choosing the winning cover design in this category, so if her story of culture, identity and family life in modern Britain inspires you, download the template now.
We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver
Lionel Shriver's bestselling novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin (Serpent's Tail), won the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction. The chilling tale of a high school massacre, told from the perspective of the killer's mother, was made into a film starring Tilda Swinton in 2011.
Like Zadie, Lionel will be choosing the winning design for her bestselling novel and will sign the cover when it's been produced. And if you need a little extra inspiration, take a look at some of the Kevin covers from around the world.
Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
Generations have been fascinated and infuriated in turn by the romantic delusions of Emma Bovary, the heroine of Flaubert's 1856 masterpiece. The story of a frustrated wife who avidly consumes sentimental novels and seeks to escape her dull marriage through shopping and adultery still resonates today, with readers torn over whether they should sympathise with the restrictions of her life, or be impatient with her dissatisfaction.
This beautiful hardback edition (Vintage Classics) should get your creative juices flowing. The embroidered font is taken from the first edition of the novel and was incorporated into the cover design by Karen Nicol, who has worked with the likes of Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang and Matthew Williamson.
Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
At first glance Never Let Me Go (Faber and Faber), Kazuo Ishiguro's novel about three schoolfriends Kathy, Tommy and Ruth, seems a simple coming-of-age story with a complicated love triangle added to boot. However, all is not as it seems and this captivating novel has a tragic twist that will make you reassess what it means to be human.
Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again" is one of the most iconic opening lines in literature. In Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca (Virago), the second Mrs De Winter returns to Manderley, her husband’s stately home, only to be intimidated by the lingering presence of his first wife. If you are fascinated by the eternally mysterious narrator of Rebecca, download the template below.
Tips, tricks and terms
- All images, designs, words and photographs must be your original artwork. We can’t accept any designs which have other people’s work on them.
- Please remember if you’re using a photograph you have taken which has a person in it then that person must sign a model release form to consent to their picture being used. We can’t accept any covers without this - sorry. Click here to download the model release form.
- Entries must be received by midnight on Tuesday 13 March 2012. Covers received after this date will not be considered.
- All entrants must submit their cover by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with an entry form and, where applicable, a model release form.
- All entrants must be over 18 and live in the UK.
- Usual Stylist terms and conditions apply.