First Graphic Novel Competition

First Graphic Novel Competition 2020 will be launched in October 2019
with a deadline for entries of February 2020. This competition is supported by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

We are delighted to announce that Jenny Robins is the winner of the 2018 Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition. Many congratulations, Jenny!

BISCUITS (assorted) Hana is a relentlessly positive supermarket employee; Sarah and her daughter spend the summer making a data analysis of playgrounds; Maya is oversharing on public transport: incongruous, various and courageous, London women’s lives interweave.

‘What I love about your drawings is the certain knowledge is that the reader could step through the frames and keep walking for months’ Martin Rowson, judge

‘Like an excellent tin of biscuits – the expensive kind where some are wrapped in colourful foil – we couldn’t resist reading just one more page of Biscuits (Assorted). Funny and quirky, we loved the strong art style, which thrummed with personality. The women of Biscuits (assorted) are the women we know, the women we are ourselves. [It] captures the chaotic nature of living in London – a beautifully coherent, and often very funny, piece of work.’ ’ Sarah Shaffi, judge

‘Biscuits really impressed the judges with its wit, quirkiness, interesting compositions and changes of pace. You quickly get the idea that you have no idea what is going to be on the next page, but whatever it is, you’re going to like it. This was an incredibly strong shortlist, any one of which deserved to win and I hope every one of them makes it to print.’ Kate Evans, judge

And congratulations again to the rest of the fabulous, publishable and brilliant shortlisted authors – it has been such a pleasure to live with your work over the judging period:

  • Cathy Brett WHO KILLED JO-JO?
  • Sabba Khan PLURALISM
  • Clarrie Pope & Blanche Pope WELCOME HOME
  • Zara Slattery COMA COMIC
  • Sarah Ushurhe PERSEVERE

Cathy Brett WHO KILLED JO-JO? Tilda and Tom meet at a funeral and bond over shared obsessions. Their love of collecting old photographs takes on a ghostly twist when they realise their parents could be implicated in a 30-year old double murder. A local legend becomes a complex crime in which the whole town has been complicit.





Sabba Khan PLURALISM Thirty autobiographical short stories will coalesce and pivot on a central theme of identity for a second generation Muslim Pakistani migrant. A shy, quiet girl seeks to challenge hierarchies and stereotypes, while exploring what it means to live in the grey zone: ‘Can I be an atheist, a Muslim and a spiritualist all at the same time?’





Clarrie and Blanche Pope WELCOME HOME When a group of friends squat an empty flat in a condemned tower in London, they have high hopes they will bring all the residents together to resist its demolition. As Rain’s work in a local care home uncovers stories of past conflicts in the tower, resistance is forced to grow underground.







Zara Slattery COMA COMIC Multiple voices tell the story of a 15-day coma, after a persistent sore throat turns into a deadly bacterial infection. A mother is living a vivid nightmare, trying to protect her three young children from the evil that engulfs her, while her husband tries to prepare them for the worst.





Anna Trench EZRA STONELEIGH ‘Ezra Stoneleigh had assumed that when he left university, he’d put on a tie. He had only worn one once before, and that had been at a funeral. Two years into being a graduate, though, and Ezra had barely needed to get dressed.’ A young unemployed man takes a job with a taxidermist.





Sarah Ushurhe PERSEVERE The lives of Rose, Tourmaline and Burgundy are intertwined as they each cope with their own grief, stress and insecurities. ‘I really hope that Rose would appreciate the birthday card… and maybe this quartz, her namesake, would be the perfect gift. She’ll talk when she’s ready’.





The long list for the 2018 Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition was as follows:

  • Rima Sabina Aouf YUGO
  • Panos Baras ONE PAIR OF SHOES
  • Cathy Brett WHO KILLED JO-JO
  • Hari Conner FINDING HOME
  • Julienne Durber SMOKE
  • Shey Hargreaves & Charli Vince OPEN DAY
  • Sabba Khan PLURALISM
  • Clarrie Pope & Blanche Pope WELCOME HOME
  • Jane Porter THE GHOST CARP
  • Jenny Robins BISCUITS (ASSORTED)
  • Gemma Sheldrake THE CRAVING SEA
  • Jeeti Singh I’LL BE FINE
  • Zara Slattery COMA COMIC
  • The Surreal McCoy THE WOLF OF BAGHDAD
  • Alexandria Turner THE BOOK OF RODGER
  • Sarah Ushurhe PERSEVERE
  • Ethan Wiltshire I NEVER KNEW YOU

About the First Graphic Novel Competition 2018 Entries were welcomed from all cartoonists, and writers and artists working as a team, who are resident in the UK and who have not previously had a full-length graphic work published. Authors were asked to submit 15-30 pages from a narrative work in progress – nonfiction or fiction.

The winner will have the opportunity to develop their work with Myriad’s creative and editorial team, with a view to future publication. The work is chosen on the strength and promise of the art and writing.

The judges

  • Kate Evans, cartoonist, author of Threads, Red Rosa, and The Food of Love and Bump
  • Wei Ming Kam, writer, sales and marketing at Oberon Books, co-founder of BAME In Publishing
  • Corinne Pearlman, Creative Director, Myriad Editions
  • Martin Rowson, cartoonist, illustrator, author of the new graphic novel adaptation of The Communist Manifesto
  • Sarah Shaffi, freelance books journalist, reviewer for Stylist, co-founder of BAME In Publishing, and previously online editor and producer for The Bookseller

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. This is the third time Myriad has run the First Graphic Novel competition. Myriad has published the winners of the two previous competitions – Gareth Brookes (2012) and Jade Sarson (2014) – and four of the shortlisted authors: Henny Beaumont, Hannah Eaton, Paula Knight, and Ian Williams, as well as work by other creators introduced to Myriad through the competition.

Information about the two previous competitions can be found here.

The 2018 Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition is supported by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, and by Hodge Jones and Allen, solicitors.