Graphic Novel Making Contest 2022

The words Graphic Novel Making Contest with cartoon pencil

Submit your graphic novel to the annual Graphic Novel Making Contest!

June 1-July 31, 2022

Calling all comics and manga fans, artists, and storytellers: You are invited to enter San José Public Library’s Graphic Novel Making Contest for all ages as part of our 2022 Summer Learning Challenge.

Submission Guidelines

  • Create your own comic book/graphic novel with a maximum length of 8 pages, including the cover page.
  • Use letter-size paper (8.5 x 11) with black-and-white drawings on single-sided pages only.
  • Each submission must be the creative and original work of the submitting author/illustrator. Any submissions with more than one author/illustrator will be considered a single entry judged under the age category of the oldest author/illustrator listed and will share any prizes possibly awarded.
  • The contest is limited to amateur authors/illustrators only.
  • Computer generated images are acceptable as long as they are your original work (no clip art).
  • Consider submitting a photocopy or digital scan that is an accurate reflection of the original (San José Public Library cannot guarantee the return of paper submissions).
  • San José Public Library reserves the right to reproduce your work. You can reuse all your work after the contest.
  • Complete the Graphic Novel Making Contest Entry Form (available in Español and Tiếng Việt). Entries turned in without a complete Contest Entry Form will be ineligible. Entries with more than one author/illustrator must each provide a Graphic Novel Making Contest Entry Form with their submission.
  • Entries are encouraged to be submitted digitally through our BiblioBoard online portal (as a PDF) or via email to (as a PNG, JPEG, or PDF attachment). Digital entries can be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on Sunday, July 31, 2022. More information can be found in the "How To" guide below.
  • Entries can also be submitted to any operating San José Public Library location no later than the end of the business day on Sunday, July 31, 2022. Note that only King Library is open on Sunday. Check our locations and hours webpage for more information. 
  • There is a limit of one entry per contestant(s).
  • Check out our FAQ for more details and answers to frequently asked questions.

How to Submit your Graphic Novel

We highly recommend submitting your comic digitally as it is the safest, quickest, and most reliable option. Online submissions are completely contactless and are accepted 24/7 until July 31, 2022, 11:59pm. If you don't have a scanner, please refer to our Scanning Guide located in the How To: Submit a Graphic Novel Making Contest Entry for options to digitize your entry. If you are unable to submit digitally, we will accept paper submissions at operating San José Public Library locations until end of business operation on July 31st. Please plan accordingly.

Check out How To: Submit a Graphic Novel Making Contest Entry for a complete walkthrough of each submission process.

Photo of program participants drawing comics
Graphic Novel Making Workshop in 2019


Entries will be judged using a rubric scale covering the following: overall story, originality, creativity, and illustrations; by a panel of library staff and community professionals. To understand what the judges will be looking for, you can view the detailed judging criteria and rubric (available in Español and Tiếng Việt).

Age Groups and Prizes

  • Children (0-7): Gift and art supply baskets awarded for first, second, and third place winners. Art supply pouch for two honorable mention winners.
  • Children (8-9): Gift and art supply baskets awarded for first, second, and third place winners. Art supply pouch for two honorable mention winners.
  • Pre-Teens (10-12): Gift and art supply baskets awarded for first, second, and third place winners. Art supply pouch for two honorable mention winners.
  • Teens (13-17): First place $100; second place $75; third place $50. Art supply pouch for two honorable mention winners.
  • Adults (18+): First place $100; second place $75; third place $50. Art supply pouch for one honorable mention winner.

All cash prizes will be awarded as gift cards.

Hybrid Awards Ceremony

Save the date for our Awards Ceremony on Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 2:00 - 4:00 PM. Celebrate the creative efforts of everyone who has participated in the 2022 Graphic Novel Making Contest! During this hybrid awards ceremony, contest winners will be announced and guest speakers will offer inspirational messages to contest participants. Watch Party locations and guest speakers to be announced soon!

All participants and family are invited. This event is open to the public! 

For those who cannot attend the live Awards Ceremony, the recording and winners will be announced in a blog on our website the following week.

Photo of comic artist Nick Dragotta teaching storyboarding
Graphic Novel Making Workshop with Nick Dragotta in 2019

Graphic Novel Making Programs

Want to cultivate your comic-making craft, hone your illustration skills, and become a better storyteller? Or maybe you just want to have fun drawing and making comics? Check out our Graphic Novel Making Programs! We have both in-person and virtual programs available. We will be adding more engaging classes throughout the summer, remember to check back!

Grab and Go Sketch Kits

Pick up a Sketch Kit at your local SJPL Branch (subject to availability). Each kit comes with a notebook, adhesive sheet, comics pages, and instructions. Check out this instructional video and follow along. Contact your local branch for availability. 

SJPL Cosplay on Display

Calling all cosplayers! San José Public Library is excited to offer our newest program, SJPL Cosplay On Display to celebrate the creative ingenuity that is costume play, or cosplay, in our community. The 2022 Cosplay on Display is open to all California residents and participants of all ages. SJPL Staff are also welcome to participate in the staff category. Eligible entries will be featured on BiblioBoard as a creative showcase of talent. Check out the Cosplay on Display blog announcement for more information about the program!

Comic Creation Resources

If you're looking to build your comic and drawing skills, check our booklist recommendations from staff to help you learn from the experts!

Past Entries

Check out the 2021 submissions and highlights on our Biblioboard Page!

BiblioBoard also hosts our:

Winning submissions from 2011-2016 can be viewed as PDFs in our library catalog!


Please check our Graphic Novel Making Contest FAQ for answers to frequently asked questions about the Contest.

If you have any questions regarding the 2022 Graphic Novel Making Contest, please feel free to leave a comment in your preferred language at the bottom of this blog post or send an email to A member of the Graphic Novel Making Contest Committee will work with a staff translator to respond as quickly as we can. Thank you for your interest!

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre el Concurso de Creación de Novelas Gráficas 2022, no dude en dejar un comentario en su idioma preferido en la parte inferior de este blog o enviar un correo electrónico a Un miembro del Comité del Concurso de Novelas Gráficas trabajará con un traductor de personal de la biblioteca para responder lo más rápido posible. ¡Gracias por su interés!

Nếu quý vị có bất kỳ câu hỏi nào liên quan đến Cuộc Thi Vẽ Truyện Tranh năm 2022, xin vui lòng để lại câu hỏi của bạn bằng ngôn ngữ bạn thích ở cuối bài viết này hoặc gửi email tới địa chỉ Thành viên của Ủy ban Cuộc Thi Vẽ Truyện Tranh sẽ làm việc với một nhân viên biên dịch để phản hồi nhanh nhất có thể. Cám ơn sự quan tâm của quý vị!


San José Public Library staff members are not eligible to participate.

San José Public Library reserves the right to refuse submissions that are not appropriate for a general audience. This contest is open to all California residents.

Blog Category
Graphic Novels
System Programs


Submitted by Michelle on Wed, 05/18/2022 - 1:34 PM


Your Comment
Are we allowed to use different shades of gray to "color" our drawings? Or purely only black and white?

Your Comment
Hi Michelle, Thanks for your question. Yes, gray scale can be used as well as black and white. Please see our FAQ document (linked in the blog above) for more information on this question and others that have been asked in the past.

Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 06/15/2022 - 12:03 PM


Your Comment
When u say “single sided” do u mean that we cannot draw on both sides of the paper or…?

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Comments are expected to follow the basic rules of civility and be relevant to the topic being commented upon. Comments will be reviewed prior to posting. Blog comments represent the views of the person commenting, not necessarily those of San José Public Library. For more information see SJPL's Comment Guidelines.