We have received over 60 entries this year of very high quality and inspirational variety. Please save the date of Sunday 29 March 2020 to come and look at all the entries at our Festival at the Free Word Centre.
Check our page for more details about the LDComics Festival Weekend
We are thrilled to announce our LDC Awards Longlist 2020…
Rima Sabina Aouf
“Yugo is a biography of my mother that contains the history of Yugoslavia as a nation. It examines the nature of historical memory, nostalgia and national identity, while telling the story of one ordinary life in an extraordinary place and time.”
“I am a writer, journalist and illustrator, with a background in history. I started making comics two years ago, because it seemed like the right medium to tell this specific story. Now I’ll make a comic for almost anything. I’m from many places and live in London.
Gretchen De Soriano
“This illustrated graphic novel is an academic study made accessible to a wide audience. Many who practice, and who receive alternative medical care cannot access original materials that form the basis of their therapy. Here the conjoined methodology of history and anthropology become tools of exploration and discovery. This graphic work is personal to me – a dysprexic academic who “thinks” in images.”
Gretchen trained in the practice of acupuncture and Japanese herbal medicine in Tokyo and has a clinical practice in London. She has translated Japanese medical texts into English, and holds an MSc in medical anthropology. Unexpected illness in her 20s diverted her plan to become an artist into a journey into alternative healing practices.
“An adult daughter escorts her dementia-ridden mother across the USA’s Midwest during a harsh snowstorm, while placating her estranged sister and unwanted visits from the Grim Reaper. POLAR VORTEX is a humorous and touching tale of confronting life and death, revisiting your past, and the universally complex nature of family.”
Denise Dorrance is a cartoonist and illustrator who lived in New York before moving to London. Her sharply ironic and elegant illustrations have been featured in magazine and newspapers around the world. A collection of her work is published in her first book, ‘It’s All About Mimi’.
Bad Blood Moon
“A Girl becomes an adult and a wolf. The werewolf as a vehicle to explore the trauma of trans puberty and alienation from womanhood. We follow the Girl as she investigates her absent father, tends to the family’s sheep, goes to sleepovers, and grows fangs and hair all over.”
“I am an interdisciplinary storyteller working in comics, performance, and participation. I navigate the peripheries of culture at the intersection of working class, neurodivergent, and queer experiences. Embracing the radically lowbrow, I reclaim archetypal narratives and retell, reframe, reimagine the story of the outsider.”
Mind The Gap (A London Tale)
“It took a break up to fall in love again. But this is not a conventional love story. This is a story about re-discovering and re-learning a hectic city and, ultimately oneself. Through the main character –Minieme, the story tells the struggle of growing as a young adult in the Londoner culture, dealing with daily aspects such us an endless commute, housing, finding friends or dating.”
Marta is a Spanish cartoonist and teacher based in London for more than 6 years. She attended the Children’s Picturebook course at the Cambridge Summer School and several courses on graphic novel by House of Illustration. When she is not teaching languages, she enjoys telling stories with her cartoons and discovering London with her disposable camera and her sketchbook.
Looking Through Varifocals
“A comic strip story about a couple at the varifocal stage of life. Retirement looming, the nest empty and things in flux. Looking back, looking forward and living in the moment. The juice of life looked at through her specs: sleep. Love, family, friends, health, holidays, habits and hopes. Life’s not over…”
“As a child I drew cartoons and then as an adult I stopped. The next 30 years or so disappeared like this: Art school, waiting on tables, painting, boyfriend, whoops pregnant, marriage, serious illnesses for myself and son, retrained for ‘proper’ job, worked and doodled in meetings. Time passed…until a few years ago a cartoon window opened again in my head, and here I am.”
“Hongertocht 1945 is a coming of age, adventure story based on the experiences of my aunt and her sister growing up in occupied Holland during WW2. As the story progresses we see the relationship between the two sisters change as they rely on each other to survive.”
“I grew up on Anglesey, a small island off the top left hand corner of Wales, within a family of storytellers. Since graduating from Central St Martins in 2002, I’ve worked consistently in animation, juggling both stopmotion puppetry and digital. Recently I’ve returned to my first love, drawing comic books.”
You Are My Daughter
Born in Canada, CA Humphreys studied in Montreal has worked as an architect since qualifying in the UK. She has two grown children and lives in North London. Whenever possible, she practices drawing and yoga and, as a reader at the British Library, researches graphic novels, architecture and urbanism.
Out on a Limb
Addy – A prosthetist running away from their responsibilities who dislikes most of their new colleagues. Aaron – a new amputee who dreads starting secondary school after Meningitis took his feet and fingers during the summer holidays. Lyssa – Aaron’s neurotic mother who blames herself for his illness and subsequent disability.
“I graduated with a 1st from Kingston School of Art in 2019 with a degree in Illustration Animation. My final year animation was shortlisted for the London International Animation Festival in the documentary category. I am an amputee sprinter and have been competing for Great Britain since 2012.”
A girl learns about the taboo of sugar whilst struggling to fulfil her mother’s expectations.
Kayla is an illustrator and storyteller currently based in London. Her first to-be graphic novel Grapefruit is inspired by a period of “healthy eating”, and she is interested to further exploring our modern relationship with food in her work. She is from Hong Kong.
A Time of War
What was it like to be a girl during WW2? This book explores the indoctrination young women were subjected to in Fascist Italy. By mixing drawings with real propaganda from school books, homework and posters, this long form book explores Fascism and its methodology, in order to recognise its resurgence today, and fight it.
“I am an animator and illustrator with 10 years’ experience doing work that matters. My work has a feminist focus and gives a voice to under-represented groups. For example, I made animated documentaries about the challenges of disabled women in Africa and Asia, and I self-published a graphic novel about the increase of dementia amongst women.”
Graphic novel for Luton is a collaborative project, based on real-life true experiences of people who live in Luton. Artist Nicole Mollett is working together with 20 Luton writers to make a collection of hand drawn stories about Luton. The project engages communities, celebrate diversity, and encourage intercultural connections.
Nicole Mollett’s multifaceted practice includes drawing, sculpture, magic lantern performances and socially engaged projects. She makes work collaboratively with many other writers and performers. Her drawings are rich in detail, influenced by 18th century art, Germanic culture and the baroque. Her work often celebrates alternative histories and forgotten places.
A comic about depersonalisation disorder
An artist new to the medium of comics. Struggles with mental health and thought to try expressing these issues in comic form.
The Night Butterfly
“This is the story of my journey through growing up, fighting, and eventually, overcoming anorexia. Starting as a child, the narrative follows my diagnosis, hospitalisation and recovery from this eating disorder, whilst becoming tangled up in the adventures that life brings: school, university, love, loss and adulthood.”
“I am a recent graduate from the Royal College of Art, and before that studied at the Ruskin in Oxford. Drawing is so important to me and I am passionate about comics and bande dessinée. I hope to create something that both helps me, and might help others too.”
Abnormal Feeling of Wellbeing
“An embroidered tale of how my mind shattered and was stitched back together with needle and thread. A social history of others who found salvation in stitch when their minds were in disarray. Embroidered into the narrative are myths and folklore of needlecraft and those in adversity finding their way.”
Kate is a London-based artist working predominantly in hand embroidery (amongst other mediums) and, increasingly, comics. She began embroidering as a means of mending what was broken, and hasn’t stopped since. Kate works with young people with learning disabilities, using craft as a tool to empower and build skills.
Do It Again
From the enclosure of the commons to the current climate emergency, history is woven with poetry and personal testimony to tell the story of our relationship to the land and environment. We begin half-way through, at the 1932 trial of Benny Rothman, leader of a mass trespass across private countryside.
Growing up I was the last one out of the door for family hikes, until I discovered I could slip a sketchbook in my pocket. I studied Philosophy and Politics before more recently completing a scholarship at the Royal Drawing School. I make a living in housing advocacy and campaigning.
A process of recovery from trauma. The physical form of the novel changes colour over the length of the story from blue to yellow to signify a process of recovery – from night to sunrise.
Indigo Wilde creates work about darkness within daylight, focussing on recovery as a transitional and changing state grounded in togetherness and communality, necessarily defined by the love which pervades it. Hope is Indigo’s middle name, and true to form, hope sits in crucially at the center of all her work.
Jennifer Gloster Ariadne Rails the Rails
Visit her website here
THE LDC AWARDS and DATES
First Prize: £2,000
Five shortlisted entries: £200 each
10 February 2020: Shortlist announced
29 March 2020: Overall winner 2020 announced at LDC Festival, Freeword Centre, London.
This is our third year running the women-only LDC Awards for graphic novels in progress. Scroll down this page to find details about our prize and of this year’s judges: Hannah Berry, Ritika Biswas, Helen Lederer and Dr Golnar Nabizadeh
In addition, we have another prize to mention…
We are thrilled to be partnering with CWIP who are running a competition for
Published Humorous Graphic Novels by Women UK
LDComics’ interest has always been in the drama of the everyday and the autobiographical. Within that remit we are looking for original and innovative works in progress, that stretch definitions of the comics form as well as the subject matter.
The LDComics Awards are the first women’s prizes for a long form graphic novel work in progress in the UK. This represents a recognition and celebration of the wealth of comics work currently being produced by women in the UK. The LDComics Awards will be awarded to the women whose graphic novel work in progress, in the opinion of the judges, shows the most promise.
THE LDC AWARDS
First Prize: £2,000
Five shortlisted entries: £200 each
29 March 2020: Overall winner 2020 announced at LDC Festival, Freeword Centre, London.
The Rosalind B. Penfold Prize for “finding your voice over the age of fifty” will be presented as one of the shortlisted prizes.
Rosalind B. Penfold was aged 59 when her first graphic novel, Dragonslippers: this is what an abusive relationship looks like, was published by Penguin (Canada) in 2004. It was subsequently translated into nine languages, becoming an important resource worldwide. Discussing the genre of graphic memoir in The Guardian in 2012, Mary and Bryan Talbot wrote: “Dragonslippers is a visceral account of domestic violence … It’s hard to think of a more effective medium for communicating this kind of painful experience. Anyone who’s concerned about the prevention of violence against women should read it.” The Penfold Prize recognizes that many women come late to the table with a lifetime of important domestic experiences worth documenting. This is to encourage and reward their voices.
All shortlisted entries will receive:
- A one-to-one free review session with an experienced graphic novelist on day 1 of the LDComics Festival on Saturday 28 March 2020. This review session will offer a critique of their work, as well as professional advice.
- Invitations to the LDC 2020 Festival at the Free Word Centre, London where a short film of their work will be shown to a public audience.
ALL ENTRIES to the competition will:
- Have their printed entry included in the LDC Lounge display of all the entries received this year. This will be exhibited for a public audience on Sunday 29 March as part of the LDC 2020 Festival. This exhibition will tour during 2020 (locations and timing tbc) and will be finally deposited at the University of Dundee’s Comics archive.
- Receive invitations to the VIP event at the LDC 2020 Festival at the Free Word Centre on Sunday 29 March 2020.
- Be offered first refusal on booking for the LDC review sessions at the LDC 2020 Festival, the online mentoring sessions and places on the LDC residencies 2020.
Everyone is a winner!
The judging panel is made up of five invited women. The judges have been carefully selected to represent a range of interests and varying knowledge of the graphic novel form.
- Open to anyone based in the UK who self-identifies as female
- Entries must not have been previously published
- Online entries received after the deadline of midnight on 12 January 2020 will not be considered
- Entries must be submitted via the website, by completing the online form by midnight 12 January 2020 AND a printed copy must be received by 26 January 2020 (to a PO Box address that you will be given)
- Images must be submitted via a link which must be included in the form
THE 2020 JUDGES
HANNAH BERRY is an award-winning graphic novelist, comics creator, writer, illustrator and UK Comics Laureate 2019-21. In 2018 she was inducted as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her published graphic novels include BRITTEN & BRÜLIGHTLY (2008, Jonathan Cape), ADAMTINE (2012, Jonathan Cape) and LIVESTOCK (2017, Jonathan Cape). Hannah currently does a monthly cartoon strip for Prospect and formerly did a weekly cartoon for the New Statesman. She has contributed to a number of national and international comics publications and projects.
RITIKA BISWAS is curator and special projects producer at New Art Exchange, Nottingham. She works at the nexus of artistic, curatorial, and academic practice, inflected by ecological and socio-political crises. Born in India, Ritika studied Liberal Arts in Yale-NUS College, Singapore, and completed her MPhil in Film and Screen Studies from the University of Cambridge in 2019. She was previously co-director of non-profit organisation Storybook Me publishing personalised storybooks for underprivileged children in Bangalore, India. Ritika also directs theatre productions and creates inter-medial installations and experimental documentaries.
HELEN LEDERER is acomedian, writer and actress who emerged as part of the alternative comedy circuit during the 1980s. Her television credits include the BBC Two sketch series Naked Video and BBC One’s Absolutely Fabulous, in which she played the role of Catriona. Her comedy novel Losing It (2015, Pan Macmillan) was nominated for the P. G. Wodehouse Comedy Literary Award and the Edinburgh Book Festival First Book Award. In 2019 she launched the women-only prize for comedy prose novels Comedy Women in Print. In 2020 CWIPis partnering with LDC to add a new category for published Humorous Graphic Novels by women.
Dr GOLNAR NABIZADEH is Lecturer in Comics Studies at the University of Dundee. Her research focuses on comics and visual studies and particularly on representations of trauma, migration, and memory in these fields. Golnar received her PhD in English and Cultural Studies from The University of Western Australia, and her monograph with Routledge is entitled Representation and Memory in Graphic Novels (2019).
- We ask you to donate a minimum £10 to enter the awards which will go towards the prize money and we thank you for your generosity.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR THE LDC AWARDS
If your question is still unanswered, please email Nicola Streeten
What do you mean by “woman”?
We welcome entries from people who self-identify as female, including trans and non-binary people.
I have a publishing contract for my work, but it hasn’t been published yet, can I enter?
Can I enter if I am a student?
Yes, the competition is open to everyone who identifies as female and is based in the UK.
I do not consider myself British, but I live in the UK, can I enter?
Yes, if your main place of residence is the UK, you are eligible to enter.
I have a short story comic, can I enter?
No, sorry. The competition is looking for opening extracts from long form works that are in progress and show promise for development. By “long form” we mean the final work is expected to be in book form in excess of 200 pages.
I have not finished my graphic novel, can I enter?
We are inviting submission of the first 12 pages of a longer work. We ask that you include a short written synopsis of the overall narrative. We do not expect you to have completed the whole work, the prize money is intended to go towards supporting this activity. However, we do expect you to have the idea fully formed. We are looking for work that shows potential and will have an audience.
My work is a collaboration, can I enter?
Yes, this year we will be considering collaborative works on the understanding that should the work receive an award, this must be shared between the collaborators
I applied last year to the 2018 award can I re-apply this year?
Yes, you can.
I applied last year to the 2018 award, can I re-submit the same work?No, you can only re-apply to the award with the same work if it has been developed in some new ways. An identical entry will not be acceptable.