ldcomics prize 2020

We are pleased to announce we’ll be running the LDComics Award for the third year!

Scroll down this page to find the online submission form to enter this Graphic Novel Competition in 2020.

Should you encounter any problems or have any questions after reading the information on this page, please email nicolastreeten@yahoo.com


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.


First Prize: £2,000
Five shortlisted entries: £200 each

5 January 2020: Deadline for online entry
26 January 2020: Deadline for printed entry
27 January 2020: Longlist announced
10 February 2020: Shortlist announced
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 12 midnight on 5 January 2020 will not be considered
  • Entries must be submitted via the website, by completing the online form by midnight 5 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


  • 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.
  • All entries must be submitted as both a digital PDF version. DEADLINE 5 January 2020 AND a printed version (zine). Deadline 26 January 2020
  • We ask that you submit a completed online form application (below) as part of your entry
  • Please collate and upload your images as a single PDF onto dropbox or some other sharing platform and include the link in your online application
  • Label your PDF file with your surname,and include the link to this folder in your online application form.
  • You will also be asked to post a printed version as part of your entry. Please read the guidelines information sheet carefully here
  • For your entry to be eligible for final consideration, both digital and printed copies must be submitted by the stated deadlines. The digital version is for judges. The printed version will be exhibition purposes during the LDComics 2020 Festival in London.

laydeez day lounge 2018 awards ceremony


Should you have any questions about entry, please read the FAQs
below the submission form. If you still have unanswered questions,
please email nicolastreeten@yahoo.com


If your question is still unanswered, please email info@laydeezdocomics.com

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?
No, sorry.

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.


The winner of the 2019 Laydeez Award wa Niki Bañados
The Rosalind B. Penfold prize for women over 50 winner was Natalie D’Arbeloff

Read about their works and the shortlisted artists below


Natalie d’Arbeloff Double Entendre.

Autobiography from two different points of view. One shows incidents from my life story, condensed. The other is a running commentary from my alter ego, Augustine, a comic philosopher/investigator. It’s in progress and will change in format as it develops

Natalie has been working as artist, bookartist, writer and cartoonist all her long life. Her artists’ books are in major public collections internationally. She has lived in London since 1963. She has taught printmaking and book-art in adult education. She is still very busy creating and never intends to stop.


Niki BañadosShivers in London

This story explores the surreal experience of moving across the world knowing only one other person and with very little planning for the way forward. It documents some weird personalities, explores different manifestations of love, and navigates life around loss.
I think find myself in the end.

Niki is a graphic designer and printmaker who was born in the Philippines and grew up in Sydney. This is her first comic.


Maria Flower
 – A Cinema Near You

A Cinema Near You is a mosaic of anecdotes taken from my workplace- an art house cinema staffed by intellectuals and creatives who have found themselves marooned on post-university tides. I aim to celebrate the tradition of the humorous comic strip form, while melding it with the sober and contemplative qualities natural to autobiography.
Framed in the context of the cinema, the comic follows my journey to find identity, meaning and direction as a young adult.

Maria is  an artist currently living and working in Aberdeen. She received her degree in English Literature with Film and Visual Culture  from the University of Aberdeen in 2014. Since then she has self published several zines, ran a collaborative exhibition consisting of life sized dolls and is currently working on artwork for an Edinburgh DJ. She has recently accepted a position at Grampian Hospitals Art Trust.


Sophia Luu – Keep it in the Family

Two years of child sex abuse. A decade of silence. Thirty-two months after speaking out and one court case later, my extended family finally agree to discuss what happened – and what happens next. In this autobiographical zine, a very private conversation is bought to a very public domain.

Sophia is a ‘good’ designer – using her work to promote social change. She founded ‘on the mend’, a design collective aiming to better healthcare environments. She studied History of Science at the University of Cambridge and is now doing a Master’s in Art and Science at Central Saint Martins


Irina Richards Witchmarked

Iola’s peaceful existence shatters when she is captured in a Viking raid. After a miraculous escape, Iola finds herself on a remote Hebridean island, with a mysterious group of women and their fierce leader. But even here, trouble is brewing, and Iola learns to protect – and love – her new home.

Irina is a comics/manga artist and educator based in Cambridge. She is a member of Sweatdrop Studios, an independent comic collective. Irina is the author of a two-volume manga series, Chemical Blue, and a co-author of an instructional book, Creating Manga Characters. Witchmarked is Irina’s first historical graphic novel.


Jeeti Singh – I’ll be fine

An Indian woman pays her last toll and jumps off a bridge in California. Jeeti, her daughter, years later sits in a bathroom stuck in a cycle of despair; she has a glimpse into her dead mother’s broken mind. She journeys down the road of the past, remembering moments in their lives that led them both through fear, angst, self-deprecation, grief, and internal suffering, in hopes of choosing a different path. One towards happiness and an acceptance of self in the face of mental illness.

Jeeti was born in Hong Kong, and moved to California where she completed her BA in Fine Art and Psychology. She continued her studies later in London, receiving her MFA. Her work mixes Indian symbolism and contemporary comics. Jeeti continues her practice in London whilst working full time for the Royal Drawing School and is writing her first graphic novel.

Judges Mention:

Caroline Grebbell  Good People

A family is pulled apart as a result of incompetent ‘professionals’ and the vexatious actions of one daughter.Personal correspondence, recording transcripts, legal letters and social media postings (collected across 15 years) are used to narrate how the system failed Norah Grebbell. From institutionalising her in her own home to, ultimately, her death.

Caroline is a TV/Film Art Director and writer. She mostly writes speculative fiction and has been nominated for a British Science Fiction Association Award. Originally trained as an animator, Caroline recently started drawing again and is enjoying it much more the second time around.



Natalie d’Arbeloff
Lilith Ai
Camille Aubry
Niki Bañados
Alice Clarke
Maria Flower
Jennifer Gloster
Caroline Grebbell
Sophia Luu
Amelie Persson
Edith Pritchett
Irina Richards
Teresa Robertson
Jeeti Singh
Zara Slattery
Myfanwy Tristram
Anja Uhren
Congratulations Everyone!


The judging panel for the LDC award is made up of invited judges, with one vote per judge. The judges have been carefully selected to represent a range of interests and varying knowledge of the graphic novel form.


Olivia Ahmad is Curator at the House of Illustration. In 2016, Oliva co-curated the critically acclaimed exhibition, “Comix Creatrix: 100 Women Making Comics”, the UK’s largest ever display of the work of pioneering female comics artists.


Steven Appleby is an absurdist cartoonist, illustrator and artist. Publications include, Normal Sex, (1994), Men: The Truth, (1995), Jim: The Nine Lives of a Dysfunctional Cat (2003), ABC of Childhood (2005), The Captain Star Omnibus ( 2008), The Coffee Table Book Of Doom (2011) and Guide to Life (2013).


Philippa Perry is a  psychotherapist and the author of the graphic novel, Couch Fiction (2010), a graphic tale of psychotherapy,  How to Stay Sane (2012), and her forthcoming publication, The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did (2019).

2 thoughts on “Graphic Novel Competition 2020

  1. Hello. One entry only should be submitted. The award is for a long-form work in progress. If you are working on two at the same time, we would encourage you to submit the one that most suits the LDC remit, (autobiographical and the everyday) although this is not a requirement for entry. Good luck! x