2018 Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel Competition Short List Revealed

2018 Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel Competition Short List

Myriad Editions has announced the shortlist for its First Graphic Novel Competition 2018: Cathy Brett, Sabba Khan, Clarrie Pope and Blanche Pope, Jenny Robins, Zara Slattery, Anna Trench and Sarah Ushurhe. Find out more about some of the creators…

The winner, to be revealed at an event in London on 5th July, will get the chance to develop their work with Myriad, with a view to contract and publication.

The First Graphic Novel Competition judges are cartoonists Kate Evans and Martin Rowson, writer Wei Ming Kam and journalist Sarah Shaffi – co-founders of BAME in Publishing – and Myriad Creative Director, Corinne Pearlman.

Myriad has published the two previous competition winners, Gareth Brookes and Jade Sarson, and four books by shortlisted authors, as well as other authors’ works introduced to Myriad by the competition.

The competition was open to all cartoonists, writers and artists who have not previously published a full-length graphic work, and is a companion to the Myriad First Drafts competition for debut writers.

“We had 109 entries to the competition, over 60 per cent from women,” says Corinne Pearlman. “The standard was particularly high and we had a tough time choosing the longlist, let alone the shortlist.

“There’s such a wealth of talent out there!”

The winner and their work-in-progress will feature at an event in October at the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival.

• The prizewinning event, hosted by Alex Fitch, will be held at the basement bar, Hodge Jones and Allen, 180 North Gower Street, London NW1 2NB on 5th July 2018 6.30 – 8.30pm. More details about the First Graphic Novel Competition here on the Myriad Editions web site

The Short List


Tilda and Tom meet at a funeral and bond over shared obsessions. Their love of collecting old photographs takes on a ghostly twist when they realise their parents could be implicated in a 30-year old double murder. A local legend becomes a complex crime in which the whole town has been complicit…

Cathy Brett has been a theatre scenic artist, a packaging designer, a fashion illustrator, a school art technician, and a couple of dozen other jobs in between. Ember Fury, her first illustrated teen novel, was published in 2009 and was Borders’ Children’s Book of the Month in September that year and was shortlisted for The Young Minds Book Award. Scarlett Dedd, a darkly comic horror story about a teen ghost, was published in September 2010 and was selected for the first Richard and Judy Children’s Book Club. Verity Fibbs, a fast-paced thriller, hit the bookshelves in October 2011.

The following year she published two books – Everything Is Fine (And Other Lies I Tell Myself), a story of sadness, summertime and surfing (a real tear-jerker) and GRAPHIC (Barrington Stoke), about teen artist Joe whose sketchbook drawings come to life.

She has subsequently illustrated a long list of titles by other authors, including Karen McCombie and Melvin Burgess, and in 2016 began an exciting collaboration with writer Jo Cotterill, creating the award-winning Electrigirl Series for Oxford University Press.

Who Killed Jo-Jo has also been was shortlisted for the Laydeez Do Comics Prize.

• You can find Cathy online at cathybrett.blogspot.co.uk

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Thirty autobiographical short stories will coalesce and pivot on a central theme of identity for a second generation Muslim Pakistani migrant. A shy, quiet girl seeks to challenge hierarchies and stereotypes, while exploring what it means to live in the grey zone: “Can I be an atheist, a Muslim and a spiritualist all at the same time?”

Sabba Khan, a spatial designer by day and artist by night, was selected as one of Broken Frontier’s ‘Six Small Press Creators to Watch‘ in 2017.

Her work is an exploration of first world city life as a second generation Pakistani Muslim migrant. She explores themes of belonging, memory and identity in hopes to bring unity and inclusion to sometimes tormented narratives.

A creator who has been involved in the London small press scene for a number of years, her practice has seen an emphasis on focused autobiographical comics in recent years. She has also contributed to zines and anthologies including OOMK and One Beat Zines.

Herart was exhibited at the hugely popular Burnt Roti ‘The Beauty of Being British Asian’ exhibition in London in 2016 – the only comics work on show there.

• You can find Sabba online at http://sabbakhan.com

Read an 2017 interview with Sabba here on Broken Frontier

Clarrie and Blanche Pope WELCOME HOMEClarrie and Blanche Pope WELCOME HOME

When a group of friends squat an empty flat in a condemned tower in London, they have high hopes they will bring all the residents together to resist its demolition. As Rain’s work in a local care home uncovers stories of past conflicts in the tower, resistance is forced to grow underground.

Jenny Robins BISCUITS (assorted) Jenny Robins BISCUITS (assorted) 

Hana is a relentlessly positive supermarket employee; Sarah and her daughter spend the summer making a data analysis of playgrounds; Maya is oversharing on public transport: incongruous, various and courageous London women’s lives interweave.

Illustrator in Extra-Ordinary, Jenny Robins specialises in immediate, intelligent visual communication using really yummy lines and colours. and splashes of serendipitous collage elements.

Jenny’s style is rooted in the organic fluidity of line and watercolour, often matched with the serendipity of found materials collage. She loves exploring ideas visually and through the juxtaposition of word and image, so her illustration work delivers meaning and immediacy in a clear colourful package, extensively edited on the computer but still retaining the signature touches of hand drawn and painted elements (what she likes to call the yummy bits).

• You can find Jenny online at https://jennyrobins.com

Zara Slattery COMA COMICZara Slattery COMA COMIC

Multiple voices tell the story of a 15-day coma, after a persistent sore throat turns into a deadly bacterial infection. A mother is living a vivid nightmare, trying to protect her three young children from the evil that engulfs her, while her husband tries to prepare them for the worst.

Zara Slattery describes herself as “a shed dwelling Illustrator, Comic Artist and Teacher.” Her latest comic, Two Birds, is available now via her web site.


“Ezra Stoneleigh had assumed that when he left university, he’d put on a tie. He had only worn one once before, and that had been at a funeral. Two years into being a graduate, though, and Ezra had barely needed to get dressed.” A young unemployed man takes a job with a taxidermist.

Anna Trench is an illustrator and cartoonist based in London who likes drawing animals, people, books, bikes and mountains. She has drawn for Slightly Foxed, the Royal Society of Literature, The GuardianQuartz, Thomas Cook, Cambridge University, Strike! and Short Books.

• More illustrations, comics and cartoons on annatrench.tumblr.com and anna_trench

Sarah Ushurhe PERSEVERE Sarah Ushurhe PERSEVERE 

The lives of Rose, Tourmaline and Burgundy are intertwined as they each cope with their own grief, stress and insecurities. “I really hope that Rose would appreciate the birthday card… and maybe this quartz, her namesake, would be the perfect gift. She’ll talk when she’s ready”.

Sarah Ushurhe describes her art as a form of release that “I have always done, but have more time to focus on since I graduated from university. I would say that I have been drawing as long as I can remember, and writing too.

“Inspiration comes from my surroundings, books I have read, my dreams and emotions, and intricate detailing of objects that I sometimes stumble upon. This all gets filtered into sketches and pieces of artwork.”

• Sarah Ushurhe is on Twitter @QueenieBlu

• The prizewinning event, hosted by Alex Fitch, will be held at the basement bar, Hodge Jones and Allen, 180 North Gower Street, London NW1 2NB on 5th July 2018 6.30 – 8.30pm

• More details about the First Graphic Novel Competition here on the Myriad Editions web site

The long list for the 2018 Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition was as follows:

• Rima Sabina Aouf YUGO


• Cathy Brett WHO KILLED JO-JO

• Hari Conner FINDING HOME

• Julienne Durber SMOKE


• Shey Hargreaves & Charli Vince OPEN DAY


• Sabba Khan PLURALISM


• Clarrie Pope & Blanche Pope WELCOME HOME

• Jane Porter THE GHOST CARP


• Gemma Sheldrake THE CRAVING SEA

• Jeeti Singh I’LL BE FINE

• Zara Slattery COMA COMIC



• Alexandria Turner THE BOOK OF RODGER

• Sarah Ushurhe PERSEVERE

• Ethan Wiltshire I NEVER KNEW YOU

• More details about the First Graphic Novel Competition here on the Myriad Editions web site


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