The first comics-related prize/competition of the year has been announced with news of the 2024 Caliburn Prize. Full details below.
2024 CALIBURN PRIZE FUND RETURNS FROM HOODED MAN MEDIA
Launching today, the 1st of January 2024, The Hooded Man Caliburn Prize for Comic Creation (The Caliburn Prize) is a UK comic-based literary grant, recognising fresh and unpublished voices in the world of comic and graphic novel creation.
Conceived and sponsored by New York Times #1 Bestseller comic writer Tony Lee, through his publisher Hooded Man Media in 2023, the Caliburn Prize is a £2,500 grant aimed at helping unpublished UK-based creators get a foot on the comics ladder.
‘When I started in comics, it was a different world,’ he explained. ‘I was able to walk into a publisher with experience in other media under my belt, but many of today’s creators don’t have the same advantages I did, as the industry has massively changed over the last twenty years, and the doors I entered through are now boarded up. The prize fund is a way to help the next generation of comic creators find their own route into the room where it happens.’
Named after the legendary sword in the stone from Arthurian mythos, the Caliburn Prize is a contest running from the 1st January until the 31st May 2024, with the winner being announced at the 2024 London Film & Comic Con in July. In addition to the prize money, the winning creator / team will also gain a free table and hotel at the 2025 London Film & Comic Con, thanks to organisers Showmasters Events, a year’s membership of both the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund (CBLDF) and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), thanks to assistance from both organisations, and an hour-long zoom call with Oriana Leckert, Director of Publishing for Kickstarter. It is open to all unpublished UK-based comic creators, with an end goal of assisting them in completing their first finished book.
The recipient of the 2023 Caliburn Prize, Michael Lomon said this about it:
“Winning the 2023 Caliburn Prize has had a huge impact on my creative life as a comic book artist. It has granted access to a host of industry professionals whose input has been invaluable as well as assisting me in successfully Kickstarting my first full length graphic novel.
To have a prize that offers such a range of opportunities, in addition to financial support and recognition within this often undervalued industry is fantastic and ensures that new creators have a better chance of finding an audience and levelling up their practice.”
To be considered, entrants must submit a project containing eight pages of finished comic, a finished cover with logo, a one-page synopsis of the story and a one-page biography list of all creators involved. After the close of submissions, the shortlisted candidates will move on to a judging panel of award-winning writers, artists, editors, publishers, and literary agents before a decision is made, and the winner will be announced at the London Film & Comic Con on July 8th, 2024.
The 2024 Judging panel consist of award winning comic creators Gail Simone, Mark Buckingham and Sonia Leong, Kickstarter Director of Publishing Oriana Leckert, Titan Comics Group Editor Jake Devine, Literary Agent James Wills, Bleeding Cool founder and creator Rich Johnston, and Legendary Comics Senior Vice President and Publisher Robert Napton.
‘As a fan of Arthurian legends, the sword in the stone was this item that could change the life of anyone – if they managed to pull it – and it resonated with what I wanted to do here,’ Tony continued. ‘This is a prize that can change the trajectory of the winner, as they not only get the funds to help finish the book, but thanks to Showmasters Events they have a place they can reveal it, and with the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund, the Alliance of Independent Authors and Oriana Leckert, with her Kickstarter knowledge, they can progress the project to the next level.’
The Caliburn Prize was also created to honour the memory of Doreen Lee, who died of cancer in 2004.
‘Mum was my biggest supporter when I started, and always looked for ways she could help me,’ Tony finished. ‘I got my first Marvel work shortly before she passed, and it was one of the greatest feelings in my life to show her the finished book, but the enthusiasm and advice she gave me back then is still felt and used now, all these years later.’
For more information on the Caliburn Prize, including submission guidelines and a Frequently Asked Questions section, visit www.caliburnprize.com.