First Graphic Novel Competition 2012-2020

Myriad has published works by the four winners as well as six shortlisted authors. Such is the quality and talent uncovered by the competition, works by shortlisted authors have also been commissioned by other publishers. We are always delighted to see the progress of the debut cartoonists who have entered the competition, many of whom are now well-known published authors.

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 (April, 2017), equally delighted his fans, and was also published in the USA by Penn State University Press (PSUP). Myriad has also published books by three other shortlisted authors from the 2012 competition: Hannah Eaton‘s Naming Monsters (2013), Ian Williams‘s The Bad Doctor (2014) and Paula Knight‘s The Facts of Life (March, 2017). Hannah Eaton’s second graphic novel, Blackwood, was published by Myriad in 2020 and selected by The Guardian as one of the best graphic novels of the same year. Ian Williams’s The Lady Doctor (January 2019), the second in his trilogy, will be followed up by The Sick Doctor in 2024. The 2012 shortlist also included works by Adam Blackman and Dylan Shipley, Con Chrisoulis and Tom Eglington.

The winner of the 2014 competition, Jade Sarson, received wonderful reviews for  For the Love of God, Marie! (July 2016). 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. Myriad has also since published fellow shortlisted entrant Henny Beaumont, whose Hole in the Heart (2016) is also available in the USA from PSUP.  The shortlist also included Francesca Cassavetti, Wallis Eates, Jessica Martin and Robert Wells.

Jenny Robins was the acclaimed winner of the 2018 competition, with an extract from her celebration of London’s women in all their glorious diversity. Biscuits (assorted) was published by Myriad in November, 2020.  As with previous competitions, Myriad has been proud to work with and publish two other shortlisted authors: Zara Slattery‘s Coma (May, 2021), winner of the British Book Design and Production Awards, and Sabba Khan‘s The Roles We Play (July, 2021), winner of the Jhalak Prize 2022, and in its US edition by StreetNoise, selected among the top ten graphic novels of 2022 by the American Library Association. The shortlist also included extracts from works by Cathy Brett, Clarrie Pope & Blanche Pope,  Anna Trench and Sarah Ushurhe.

In 2020, Veronika Muchitsch was the celebrated winner of the competition, with an extract from Cyberman, published by Myriad in May 2022, and shortlisted for both the British Book Design & Production Awards and Broken Frontier Breakout Talent (2023). The stellar shortlist included Anthony Smith and Tobias Taitt, Denise Dorrance, Ed Firth, Myfanwy Tristram, Pete Shearn and Pietro Soldi.

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 recommend 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