Publishers Myriad Editions have just launched the latest First Graphic Novel Competition, a project now in its third outing. The competition’s prize is for the creator of the winning entry to work with Myriad’s editorial team towards publication of their first full-length work.
The competition, open to all cartoonists, writers and artists, calls for 15-30 pages of a graphic work in progress by creators working individually or as a team whose full-length work has not previously been published.
The judges this year include: Kate Evans, cartoonist, author of Threads, Red Rosa and The Food of Love and Bump; Wei Ming Kam, writer, sales and marketing at Oberon Books, co-founder of BAME In Publishing; Corinne Pearlman, Creative Director, Myriad Editions; Martin Rowson, cartoonist, author of a graphic novel adaptation of The Communist Manifesto (2018); and Sarah Shaffi, online editor at The Bookseller, co-founder of BAME In Publishing.
To date, Myriad has published books by the winners of the two previous competitions and four of the shortlisted authors. The previous competitions have provided a unique opportunity for creators to see their debut graphic novel in print, furthering Myriad’s mission to encourage and nurture new talent, and to provide opportunities for established artists who have not previously embarked upon a full-length work.
Myriad is committed to publishing work that reflects the breadth of human experience and attracting creators who reflect our diverse society, from BAME and LGBQT+ artists to those with physical or mental health challenges and from different social backgrounds.
“We want to uncover exceptional new voices in comics.” says Corinne Pearlman. “We welcome support to promote the competition so that we can reach out more widely and inclusively.”
The winner of the inaugural First Graphic Novel Competition, held in 2012, was The Black Project by Gareth Brookes, published in September 2013 to much acclaim. Gareth’s second graphic novel for Myriad, A Thousand Coloured Castles, has equally delighted his fans, and was published in April 2017 in the UK and also by Penn State University Press in the USA.
Myriad also signed up books by three other shortlisted authors from the 2013 competition: Hannah Eaton‘s Naming Monsters (2013), Ian Williams‘ The Bad Doctor (2014) and Paula Knight‘s The Facts of Life (March, 2017).
The winner of the 2014 competition, Jade Sarson, received deservedly wonderful reviews for For the Love of God, Marie! (July 2016). Myriad has also published fellow shortlisted entrant Henny Beaumont, whose Hole in the Heart (2016) is now also available in the United States from Penn State.
‘The First Graphic Novel Competition is a unique opportunity for debut cartoonists to get their work published,” says Corinne. “Along with its sister competition, First Drafts, it is at the heart of Myriad’s mission to discover and nurture bold and exciting debut authors.”
• The competition is open until 12 noon on Wednesday 28th February 2018. The winner will be announced at an event in May 2018.
• For a full report on what the competition has meant to winners and shortlisted entrants, as well as a view from a selection of judges, check out this wonderful round-up by Andy Oliver, Editor-in-Chief, Broken Frontier: Sponsoring the Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition 2017 – Winners, Finalists and Judges on the vital importance of this crucial UK comics institution
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.