Freelance illustrator Beth Suzanna has been awarded this year’s Hay Festival Illustrator in Residence position, after a public submissions process attracted more than 60 applicants from across the UK.

Offering an emerging artist the opportunity to take part in Hay Festival 2023, May 25 - June 4, the residency facilitates and inspires visual storytelling, supporting artists in reaching a larger audience while emphasising the important role artists play in bringing words to life.

As the successful applicant, Suzanna’s illustrations will be showcased on the Hay Festival programme cover, revealed today, as well as via the Festival’s digital platforms throughout the live event.

Based in Bristol, Suzanna’s work seeks to capture the vibrancy of the everyday through a playful combination of bold paper cut shapes and expressive pastel line work. After earning a first-class degree in illustration from University of the West of England in 2020, she collaborated with hip hop star, actor and writer Jordan Stephens on the children’s book The Missing Piece, released last year.

Hay Festival CEO Julie Finch said: “One hundred days to Hay Festival 2023, we are delighted to announce this year’s Illustrator in Residence and share our programme cover. Beth Suzanna is a rising star of illustration, celebrating inclusion and representation through her impactful creations. We are honoured to showcase her work on this year’s programme cover and look forward to working with her on making sure our late spring event reaches further than ever online.”

Suzanna said: “I am thrilled to join the Hay Festival family as this year’s Illustrator in Residence to help capture the warmth and energy by celebrating community, connection and creativity. With my programme cover design, I wanted to emphasise that the Festival is a space of discovery for everyone.”

Hay Festival 2023 takes place May 25 - June 4.

Featuring more than 600 writers, global policy makers, pioneers and innovators in conversations, performances and debates, events will take place at the free-to-enter Festival village on Dairy Meadows, presenting a range of pop-ups to explore, including the Festival Bookshop, Wild Garden, Make and Take Tent, a host of exhibitors and market stalls, cafés and restaurants.

A selection of early-bird events for Hay Festival 2023 are on sale now, including appearances from global pop superstar Dua Lipa, Booker Prize winners Margaret Atwood, Eleanor Catton and Douglas Stuart, journalists Jeremy Bowen, Marina Hyde and Gary Younge, and a host of family favourites from Julia Donaldson and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock to Children’s Laureate Wales 2021-23 Connor Allen.

The full Hay Festival programme will be out on Tuesday, March 14.