Design The Big Issue’s Christmas Cover!

Are you – or do you know – an amazingly talented young artist? The Big Issue’s annual competition to design one of their festive magazine covers is now open!

Since the first kids’ cover in 2013 they’ve had thousands of bright, bold and cheery entries from their young readers, schools and other youth organisations, and the winning pictures have boosted sales for vendors at the most important time of year for them.

They want as many people as possible to get involved. Designs can take any form, from drawings to paintings and even digital art, so get your pens, pencils, crayons, tablets – and glitter – at the ready!

Apart from the winning design being on the front of tens of thousands of magazines sold across the UK, they will also be offering a special prize for the best group entry – from a school or nursery class, or any other creative group of youngsters who send in a bundle of entries. So tell parents and teachers all about it.

“This is the best time of the year,” said Big Issue editor Paul McNamee. “The Kids Cover Competition has become a Big Issue tradition. Christmas is such a vital time for The Big Issue vendors, and a hard time on the street, that when the entries for this flood in and we see the wonderful ideas, everybody across the organisation feels spirits lift.

“All those who enter take so much time and put so much in, all to help The Big Issue vendors it’s humbling and it’s hugely encouraging. I salute all those sending in their ideas. Settling on a winner is a very tough task. Don’t delay. Get the entry in today!”

The deadline is November 21. Don’t delay.


Anyone aged 13 or under is eligible to enter. They will print as many entries as they can squeeze into the magazine’s pages, but all entries will feature in their spectacular online gallery. Unfortunately, they can’t return artwork.

Post your entries to:

Christmas Kids Cover Competition
The Big Issue
43 Bath Street
G2 1HW



Make sure you include a name, age, address and telephone or email contact on all entries.

Previous winners share their top tips to give you inspiration…

2016 winner, by Joe Evans.



Joe Evans, eight, is a big fan of – you guessed it – dinosaurs. His winning entry from last year was picked because of the wild creativity and imagination, which would definitely get noticed on the street. “These dinosaurs on the cover are scary ones,” Joe warned us, but they also like wearing Santa hats, opening presents and getting into the festive spirit. Rexcellent!

2015 winner, by Millie Bevan.

Millie Bevan’s troupe of acrobatic elves stood out from hundreds of entries in 2015 and came about more by accident than design. “I started with three elves in a row but didn’t think there were enough of them so I drew more on top of them,” the 11-year-old said. “I like drawing Christmassy stuff – I use glitter and cut stuff out and stick them on cards. I’m very pleased I’m able to help Big Issue vendors”. So like Millie, start with an idea and see where it leads – it could make a big difference to people’s lives!

2014 winner, by Maya Jerram.

Maya Jerram, eight, was “a bit shocked” to be chosen as the winner in 2014. She said: “I usually enter competitions and I don’t enter them for winning, just for fun. I only entered this for fun, I didn’t expect to win.” That’s a great piece of advice – have fun with your creation!

2013 winner, by Dylan Allman.

We all know Rudolph’s nose is bright but just take a look at that scarf! Our first kids Christmas cover winner was seven-year-old Dylan Allman, who adapted a technique he had learned in school. “We were doing potato printing to make Christmas cards so I already knew how to draw a reindeer but I didn’t use potatoes for this one,” he said. “Mum and I were talking about how a reindeer would hold a copy of The Big Issue because he wouldn’t have any hands so I thought it would be good if my hands were his antlers.” The hand-antlers wonderfully reflected the whole idea of ‘a hand up not a handout’.


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