Last year I won the Illustrators of the Future contest. They hold a writer's contest as well, and every year they commission each illustration winner to illustrate one of the winning writer's stories.
I was very lucky to illustrate Alisa Alering's All You Have Seen, which was a beautiful ghost story set in war-time Korea. You can read it (and see my illustration in print!) in Writers of the Future Volume 29, which should be purchasable soon at http://www.writersofthefuture.com.
I'm currently in a week-long series of workshops and awards ceremony for the contest winners, so when I get home I'll make an update with info on how to get the book. ;)
As with any illustration, this project went through several thumbnails before the client and I arrived on our final decision.
As you can see, some of these are easier to read than others. Finding an easy read was part of the process, definitely. But once a sketch was decided on, I blew it up to print size in photoshop and started working directly on the final.