Lolita book cover contest

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After perusing Dieter Zimmer’s exhaustive online exhibit, Covering Lolita (see sidebar),  I am disappointed, as interesting as the various depictions of Lolita are, by how very few correspond thematically to the novel. Nabokov’s work is masterful in its clarity and overflows with powerful and finely-wrought imagery and yet so few of the covers attempt to capture any of this richness, and many of them are merely absurd, or banal or a laughable combination of both. There are, as is to be expected, the Balthus and Balthus-like images, not to mention other examples of fine art maidens drafted to portray poor Lolita, and there is of course a panoply of expected lolipops, Sue Lyon -and to a lesser extent Dominique Swain – photos,  body parts (lips, legs, breasts), short white socks, saddle shoes, Mary Janes, short skirts, an endless parade of hairstyles, and the too-old Lolitas and the too-young Lolitas. Then there are the butterflies, and the images of the author, and an entire universe of typefaces.  

So Venus febriculosa is holding a Lolita book cover competition. The winning entry will receive $350. Deadline is October 2. Rules (pdf):

Lolita Book Cover Contest Rules

26 Responses to “Lolita book cover contest”

  1. Chandan Crasta Says:

    This is a rather challenging competition! So i am compelled to have a go at it. Will read and send my entries.

    Please let me know the closing date.

    ~ C

  2. admin Says:

    Click on the link for a pdf of rules here:

  3. The Second Pass Says:

    […] absurd, or banal or a laughable combination of both.” So this same blogger is running a contest, offering $350 for the best cover design for the novel. . . . Carlene Bauer “offer[s] up a multimedia sampling of what an average […]

  4. Adrijan Says:

    How to enter this competicion? i would love to post my design. where to post. this site is confuzing.

  5. admin Says:

    See pdf of rules here:

  6. Online Book Store and News - In the News: Tokyopop Complete, Surrender of Le Bibliothèque, Says:

    […] the blog Venus Febriculosa’s “hypothetical book cover” competition, for “Lolita,” and win three hundred […]

  7. kat Says:

    where’s the entry form? how do i join?

  8. chenlin Says:

    Hi, can i know what is the content inside the book?

  9. Covering Lolita—and win $350 « Wiley Creative Blog Says:

    […] Covering Lolita—and win $350 The website Venus Febriculosa is holding a competition for creating a new cover for Lolita, with a $350 prize: […]

  10. Patty Fab Says:

    Funny, the cover of the edition I have isn’t up there.

  11. admin Says:

    patty, please e-mail me a copy, if you can…

  12. admin Says:

    chenlin, you may just have to read it…

  13. Sully Says:

    I am charmed by this contest. Thank you for throwing it! It’s so challenging because all the obvious ideas have been done. As designers we have to work through all our first, second and third ideas and look for something wholly unexpected.

  14. jay Says:

    Question ???

    the size, Minimum: 4.25” x 7” Maximum: 5” x 8” Vertical Orientation Only, is that in CM, MM, Pixels….what

  15. ≥ · Nabokov’s look at Lolitas Says:

    […] to this gallery of covers to different editions of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita (as well as to this competition for people to give it their […]

  16. Star Silver Says:

    What if I am from overseas?

  17. admin Says:

    Star Silver, this is a worldwide contest.

  18. dahuletam Says:

    Good article. Very well written

  19. liveforspeed Says:

    Good and in depth article but full of useful information

  20. Adriana Says:

    Good morning, I tried a few minutes ago to sumbit my designs for the Lolita book cover contest to the e-mail address indicated and unfortunately I receive a message “mail quota exceded” for the address. Is there another way to upload the files? Another back-up e-mail address?
    Thank you so much.

  21. admin Says:

    Please try again.

  22. Adriana Says:

    Thank you for the fast reply. Just did so. Hope everything is fine now and good luck to all contest participants.

  23. Book Cover Love: Lolita | Painted Hearts Says:

    […] ENTRIES The following were submitted for the Lolita Book Cover Contest held last […]

  24. KVN CSY | Vintage Lolita Covers Says:

    […] to this gallery of covers to different editions of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita (as well as to this competition for people to give it their […]

  25. Reinventing ‘Lolita’ | Judge the Cover Says:

    […] to design their own cover for Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Bretram announced the contest on his blog, offering a the winner $350 of his own money. He then spent months sifting through submissions to […]

  26. Judging A Book By Its Cover: Lolita « CUarts Blog Says:

    […] Lolita covers that dilute the depth of the work for superficially sensational covers. From his blog Venus Febriculosa: “Nabokov’s work is masterful in its clarity and overflows with powerful and finely-wrought […]

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