Observer/Comica/Cape Graphic Short Story contest – round-up 2014

Giddy_Heights by MyfanwyTristram_FIHere are links to every entry I can find online. I’ll keep adding more as I find them, and please do feel free to let me know in the comments if you have one I can link to (or if I’ve linked to your WIP below and you have a more finished version).

Fellow contest-obsessives-watchers might be interested to see this comment from Paul Gravett, one of the judges, which was part of an interview with Andy Oliver:

“I helped out again with the judging last Friday and the standard this year, the 8th year, was markedly better, some brilliant entries, many names new to me, and more entries than in the last few years. The challenge with a four-page story is to create enough mood, story and characterisation and to devise a surprising, or at least not familiar conclusion or twist or even open ending.”

Hope we’re all feeling like we did that… :/

Here are some other related bits and bobs to explore:

Published by Myfanwy Tristram

I am an illustrator, situated in Brighton on the south coast of England, and with a special interest in comics and graphic memoir. I also work for a non-profit which encourages people to be active in democracy and to exercise rights such as the right to information through FOIA.

33 thoughts on “Observer/Comica/Cape Graphic Short Story contest – round-up 2014

    1. Heh! That was me last year. This year I specifically checked the T&Cs. I don’t know if they changed them or if I just didn’t read them as thoroughly last year, but this time it makes it really clear that your work mustn’t previously have been *professionally* published. As this blog only has about 20 readers, I’m feeling pretty safe…😀

      Definitely some good work here. Im liking the look of Naomi Sloman’s elephant and I want to see more of that one.

      1. Can see you put a lot of work into yours really liked some of your panel details. I learnt a lot from the process ( predominantly what not to do!) next stuff i will avoid the pitfalls…probably…
        Feel free to post my link for the laughs!

        1. Thank you – I’ve added it! Yes, loving seeing all these entries, although I think it must just be the tip of the iceberg.

    1. Oh great! I’ll link to that in the main blog post when I get a mo. Don’t they, though.There’s such a wide spread of styles, it’s so great to see them all.

  1. I entered the competition for the first time this year, all the entries are of such a high standard, I loved reading ‘Giddy Heights’ especially. I will upload my story to my website ‘Hide and Seek’ once they announce the winners :)

  2. I feel like that they only choose a particular style for this contest, which gives a sense of bias to the contest(let’s hope i’m wrong when we find out this years winner). Also has anyone noticed that both Emily Haworth-Booth who won last year and Isabel Greenberg who won in 2011 both took the joint runner prize as well in 2008 when the contest ran? I don’t see how it is even fair to re enter a contest that you came runner up for in the first place. I just wish that they would email people once they get peoples entries or at least put on their site the shortlisted artworks like folio and thought bubble do because it seems to undervalue the hard work people put into these entries and to not get any acknowledgment i feel is wrong.
    I found a link about one of the judges discussing this years contest i thought people might like.

    1. Thanks for that link – that’s really interesting. Especially the bit where he says the winner is a ‘beautiful work of art’, original in form and satisfying in content. That is a lot to strive for!

      You’re not the first one to think there’s a similar style at play in the winners over the years – I remember reading this piece from Zainab Akhtar, which points out that there’s even a preferred colour palette.

      I’m not sure myself: Isabel Greenberg I personally think has a really unique style. For me, Emily Haworth-Booth was a more surprising winner, given that there’s such an emphasis on story and characterisation rather than just depicting a moment or an anecdote – her winning strip did just seem to be an anecdote really.

      I don’t agree with you about runners-up, though. If you’ve been shortlisted before, I think it’s only fair that you should be able to go away and work hard and still have a shot of winning next time. Why not? It’s not like you get anything for being shortlisted. Even the attention from publishers and press seems to be directed purely at the winners (probably because the shortlist does not seem to be very widely disseminated).

      Finally though, yes, I think they could do more for the general field of entrants. An acknowledgement email, an email to say sorry you didn’t get shortlisted but watch this space to see who did – those are the things that will encourage people to enter again, and feel valued. It IS a lot of work to have no acknowledgement at all.

  3. Yes I do like greenberg’s work, I just wanted to highlight how both her and booth won second place(which there is a prize for,they never got shortlisted) and still got first place,which seems like the judges would go for maybe someone familiar to them who maybe placed in the past too or has a similar aesthetic to those that have won. That being said the days of bangold summer by joff winterhart placed second and the comic was made into a graphic novel and has done well,so I guess you are still able to do well and get acknowledgement even by not getting 1st place.
    I do like everyone’s entries posted on your site so far,so it really will be hard for them i guess to decide this years winner and i’m looking forward to seeing the shortlisted pieces at comiket this year too!

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