You have several valid points indeed, Martin!
And hopefully more and more Illustrators will come to the forum
and share their juice
(anyone who spends only five minutes on the glorious deviantART
website will see the immense pool of talented artists -- and future IotF contestants -- out there who could rock and shock future IOTF!)http://browse.deviantart.com/
But while Brad didn't design the forums (and I cannot even begin to guess the amount of time and effort involved in re-designing them, though every one of your suggestions sounds really cool) I know from being here a while that since taking on his labours (and in doing so, doing the forum a great favour) he's made the forum very welcoming to Writers and Illustrators alike!
So the forum certainly provides the tools and opportunity and venue for IOTF Illustrators to come here and build the "Illustrators' paradise" we'd ALL benefit from (IotF and WotF both) !!! Please do inform and invite your Illustrator friends to come and join in!
Slowly and surely there is already a growing momentum of contestants here who are entering BOTH contests ...
Or Writers and Illustrators finding each other here to collaborate on graphic novels or illustrations for their own stories, e-magazines or e-books ...
And like it or not, as Writing
moves onto the internet in quantities and qualities we may not even be able to imagine yet ... writers will fave an increasing need for visual art to successfully market their words (imo) ...
I am surprised that these forums are not already flooded by Writers and Illustrators both!
All I can suggest from personal experience is: everyone can happily Realize and Remember that Illustrators
feel most at home in a website that maintains a broader "Visual" environs and style than a few Writers are used to.
(Not "comfortable" with, just "used to" ... because there is nothing any Writer should feel "uncomfortable" about interacting with visual arts and images ... not in a forum of a book made from a contest that purposely
word and image ... and is all the more distinctive and entertaining because of it!)
We luv the Anthology's amazing (and sales-increasing) COVER ART ...
We luv the Anthology's amazing (and contest & sales-increasing) interiour story ILLUSTRATIONS ...
Its FORUM too benefits from celebrating VISUAL ART also!