First Graphic Novel Competition

The next Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition will be launched this October 2017, thanks to the generous support of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. The competition is open to authors who have not previously had a full-length graphic work published. Please check our social media and Facebook for the announcement.

The two 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.

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, we cannot do better than to ask you to read 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. For sponsorship details, please contact

The winner has the opportunity to develop their work with Myriad’s creative and editorial team, with a view to future publication. The work is chosen purely on the strength and promise of the art and writing. Authors are asked to submit 15-30 pages of a work in progress.

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‘s The Bad Doctor (2014) and Paula Knight‘s The Facts of Life (March, 2017).

The winner of the 2014 competition, Jade Sarson, received wonderful reviews for  For the Love of God, Marie! (July 2016). Publishers’ Weekly said of the author: ‘As this debut graphic novel shows, UK cartoonist Sarson is an up-and-coming talent to watch’ while Page45 wrote ‘This is a book so bursting with love that it will make your hearts SOAR!’ Myriad has also published fellow shortlisted entrant Henny Beaumont, whose Hole in the Heart (2016) is now also available in the USA from Penn State.

Jade Sarson’s win in 2014 was announced at a packed event at the British Library in London, as part of the UK’s biggest ever exhibition of comic art, Comics Unmasked.

As with the previous competition, Jade’s work was selected from a very strong shortlist including Francesca Cassavetti, Wallis Eates, Jessica Martin, and Robert Wells as well as Henny Beaumont.

For a full report of the evening, please read judge Andy Oliver’s report on the Broken Frontier website.