Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica Graphic short story prize 2019 launched

The Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica Graphic short story prize, which celebrates its 12th birthday this year, is now open for entries.

Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica Graphic short story prize 2019

As usual, all entrants must do (admittedly, vastly more difficult than it sounds) is to draw and write a four-page comic designed to run over a double-page spread in the Observer New Review.

The winner receives a cheque for £1,000 and his or her work will appear in the Observer in print and online. The runner-up will receive £250 and have their work published online.

The competition’s guest judges this year are the playwright, actor and director Patrick Marber and the cartoonist (and a former winner of the prize) Isabel Greenberg.

Several past winners, and even some runners-up, have gone on to land publishing deals, among them Stephen Collins (The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil) and Fumio Obata (Just So Happens).

In 2009, Joff Winterhart was runner-up. His funny and sad 2012 graphic novel, Days of the Bagnold Summer, a longer version of his original entry, has now been made into a movie starring Monica Dolan and Rob Brydon that is set for release next year.

“This competition really can make a big difference to the life of an aspiring cartoonist,” says judge Rachel Cooke, “so why not have a go? What have you got to lose?”

Entry forms and terms and conditions for Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica Graphic short story prize can be downloaded here on the Penguin Books web site. The deadline for entry is Friday 11th October 2019


The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

Categories: Comics Competitions, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events


%d bloggers like this: