Laydeez do Comics has announced the longlist for the 2019 Award for a graphic novel in progress by a female identifying UK-based creator.
Authors were invited to submit a 12 page extract from the opening of a longer graphic work in progress. The longlisted authors are from a range of diverse backgrounds, ages and nationalities and their work is incredibly varied, in style, content and artwork and are: Natalie d’Arbeloff, Lilith Ai, Camille Aubry, Niki Banados, Alice Clarke, Maria Flower, Jennifer Gloster, Caroline Grebbell, Sophia Luu, Amelie Persson, Edith Pritchett, Irina Richards, Teresa Robertson, Jeeti Singh, Zara Slattery, Myfanwy Tristram and Anja Uhren.
The Laydeez Do Comics Award is the first women-only prize for graphic novels in progress in the UK and was launched in 2018. The winner of the inaugural LDC Award was Emma Burleigh for My Other Mother, My Other Self.
The Laydeez Do Comics Award prize money is raised through crowdfunding.
“It was really inspirational to see so many genuine stories told with verve and imagination,” commented Judge Olivia Ahmad, whilst fellow judge Philippa Perry added: “I loved judging the long list, the only problem was not having entire books but only samples because so many of the entries had me hungry for the rest of their narratives.”
Steven Appleby was equally impressed by the range of work submitted. “It was a privilege – and fun – to get a private glimpse into fifty worlds of such richness and quality.”
Dr Sarah Lightman, co-founder and co-director of Laydeez do Comics and Award co-ordinator, said: “We were so fortunate to have such engaged judges who gave individual feedback to almost all the entries.
“The judges’ feedback was in keeping with a central ethos of Laydeez do Comics which is to support artists at all stages of their careers. Even if someone submitting work was not selected for the longlist, our aim was to ensure they felt their work had been carefully considered, and that they would leave the process feeling encouraged to keep developing their comics.”
Every printed Zine submitted for the Award will be displayed on Laydeez Day 2019, to ensure that each author receives exposure and the opportunity to promote their work.
Irina Richards‘ manga style drawings of a Viking raid (Witchmarked), Edith Pritchett’s tale of the metaphysical (Reincarnation), Jennifer Gloster’s glorious magical realism (Walking with Hogarth’s Dog) and Natalie D’Arbeloff‘s genre-busting Double Entendre are all representative of the truly eclectic range of work longlisted.
Motherhood featured in the works of Camille Aubry (A Journey to Motherhood), Amelie Persson (Brexit Baby) and Teresa Robertson (Twins). There are stories of personal growth and travel by Niki Banados (Shivers in London) and Anja Uhren (Inky Veins) and the feeling of being trapped is explored by Maria Flower’s (A Cinema Near You).
Death and illness are represented in the works of Zara Slattery (Coma Comic), Alice Clarke (July 13th 2010), Caroline Grebbell (Good People) and Myfanwy Tristram (Satin and Tat) while Jeeti Singh explores suicide and mental health (I’ll Be Fine). The heart-breaking story of child abuse is explored by Sophia Luu (Keep it in the Family) and loss of innocence by Lilith Ai (Tough Tits).
The Shortlist will be announced later this month and the winner will be announced at the Laydeez Day Festival on 31st March 2019. First prize is £2,000, with five shortlisted entries receiving £200 each.
All shortlisted entries will also receive a free one-to-one Laydeez Review session including a critique of their work, as well as professional advice from an acclaimed graphic novelist.
One of the shortlisted entries will also win The Rosalind B.Penfold Prize for “finding your voice over the age of 50.” Rosalind B. Penfold was 59 when her first graphic novel Dragonslippers: this is what an abusive relationship looks like, which was published by Penfold Prize Penguin (Canada.) The award recognises that many women come late to the table with a lifetime of important domestic experiences worth documenting and that their voices should be rewarded and encouraged.
There are three judges for the Award. Olivia Ahmad is the curator at the House of Illustration, who co-curated the critically acclaimed exhibition Comix Creatrix: 100 Women Making Comics in 2016, the UK’s largest ever display of the work of pioneering female comics artists. Steven Appleby is an absurdist cartoonist, illustrator and artist who has published many books over the past twenty years and Philippa Perry is a psychotherapist, writer and author of the graphic novel, Couch Fiction (2010), a graphic tale of psychotherapy. Her latest work The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will be Glad That You Did).
Laydeez Do Comics is a women-led but not women-only unincorporated voluntary organisation championing the works of female-identifying graphic novelists. The aims are to disseminate ideas and discussion around comics and graphic novel works with an autobiographical or domestic focus and to use innovative models to provide platforms for testing new works and ideas within a social context.
Launched in July 2009 by artists Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman, LDC is the first women led graphic novel forum in the UK. Artists, academics, publishers and fans from around the world are invited to speak at the regular monthly meetings. These offer a platform for emerging artists to present their work alongside more established practitioners. The evenings offer an inspiring experience in a social atmosphere for both those new to comics and those already immersed.
The Laydeez Day Festival was also launched in 2018 and included a pilot programme for professional development activity within a supportive framework conducive to constructive networking.
• The Laydeez Weekend Festival will take place 30-31st March 2019, supported by Arts Council England for the Laydeez Day Festival
• For more about Laydeez do Comics visit laydeezdocomics.wordpress.com