Home Comic Books 2021 Prism Awards & Queer Comics Expo Open for Applications

2021 Prism Awards & Queer Comics Expo Open for Applications

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Cartoon Art Museum, Prism Comics and Queer Comics Expo are proud to announce the opening of applications for the FIFTH ANNUAL PRISM AWARDS and Queer Comics Expo in 2021!

Awards will be presented to comic works by queer authors and works that promote the growing body of diverse, powerful, innovative, positive or challenging representations of LGBTQAI+ characters in fiction or nonfiction comics. The goal of the Awards is to recognize, promote and celebrate diversity and excellence in the field of queer comics.

The Queer Comics Expo launched as an annual event in 2014 as a celebration of queer culture and to promote diverse queer representation in comics, animation, and other great ways to tell our stories. QCE also serves as a fundraiser for San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum. This year the event will take place May 15-16, 2021. Applications to participate as a creator or presenter for 2021 are OPEN until Monday, March 15, 2021 and will be NOTIFIED by Thursday, April 15, 2021.

Submit your work for the Prism Awards or apply to be part of the Queer Comics Expo at cartoonart.org/qcexpo.

Prism Awards Timeline:
Online Submissions will remain open January 4 – February 28, 2021.

Finalists will be announce at the QUEER COMICS EXPO (May 15 – 16, 2021).
Winners will be announced Summer 2021.
Three Finalists in each category for the Prism Awards will be announced at the QUEER COMICS EXPO in San Francisco. Winners of the Awards will be announced at COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO. All submissions will be reviewed by an impartial panel of judges made up of professionals in the field of comics, including authors, scholars, reviewers and librarians. One award will be given in each of the following categories:
Best Short Form Comic 
A self-published or traditionally published comic of 32 pages or less, which was first printed or posted online between January 1 2020 and December 31 2020 . Entries to this category should be a complete story, NOT an excerpt from a longer work. Please submit the entire comic as a PDF.
Best Webcomic
A comic that is primarily/initially published online. Webcomics may submit a linked PDF or link to the first comic eligible that they would like the judges to start at, however judges will decided based on episode length how many comics to read up to a max of 32 episodes or less. Can be a complete or ongoing story.  If sending a PDF please submit no more than 32 pages or strips that were first posted between January 1 2020 and December 31 2020.
Best Comic from a Small to Midsize Press
A comic published by a self-owned, small or midsize press during 2020. We are leaving it up to the entrant to self-select into this category, but reserve the right to move the work into the Mainstream Publisher category if appropriate. Submit only one issue/chapter/excerpt from each title. Please submit an excerpt of no more than 32 pages in PDF form.
Best Comic from a Mainstream Publisher 
A comic published by a mainstream publisher during 2020. We are leaving it up to the entrant to self-select into this category, but reserve the right to move the work into the Small to Midsize press category if appropriate. Submit only one issue/chapter/excerpt from each title. Please submit an excerpt of no more than 32 pages in PDF form.Best Comic Anthology
A collection of shorter works created by at least four different authors, either self-published or traditionally published during 2020. Submit the entire anthology in PDF form.

*NEW* Best Comic for Young Readers
Our new category this year, the Young Readers Award is for comics whose target audience is for 13 and under, regardless of publishing size. Work must have been created between January 2020 and December 31 2020. Please submit an excerpt or short story of 32 pages or less in PDF form.

ELIGIBILITY:
• Work must have been first published digitally or physically between January 1 and December 31, 2020.
• Submissions must be in English (in the future we plan to expand to additional languages).
• A continuing series may resubmit in the same category as long as work submitted is new work published within the eligible dates.
• Formerly submitted works may be resubmitted if republished with significant changes that alter the LGBTQAI+ representation from the original submission.
• Works must have prominent LGBTQAI+ themes or be a strong allegory to the queer experience.
• Works must be sequential narratives, comics, graphic novels or graphic literature.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
* Authors/Publishers may submit up to three entries.
* Entries can be submitted in up to 2 appropriate categories for consideration.
* All entrants must fill out the Prism Awards submission form to be considered.
* A link to the PDF copy of the submission must be provided and remain available until December 2021.
* Webcomics may submit a linked PDF or link to the first comic eligible that they would like the judges to start at, however judges will decided based on episode length how many comics to read up to a max of 32 episodes or less.
* No submissions, except Anthologies, may be more than 32 pages.
* For works longer than 32 pages choose the 32 pages that best represent the LGBTQAI+ content.
* Pages submitted do not have to be consecutive.
* Each work submitted must be in a single PDF file.
* Title of work and main author’s name must be clearly visible on at least one page of the work.
There is no entry fee for the Awards. No cash prize, travel, housing, or other in-kind services or items will be offered with these Awards. Finalist will be celebrated during the weekend of the Queer Comics Expo and promoted online and in social media. Winners will receive a physical award, online and social media promotion during the time of Comic-Con International, and official award logos for reprinting or self-marketing.

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