Graphic Novel Making Contest 2023

The words Graphic Novel Making Contest and 15th Anniversary with cartoon pencil

Submit your graphic novel to the 15th annual Graphic Novel Making Contest!

June 1 - July 31, 2023

Calling all comics and manga fans, artists, and storytellers: You are invited to enter San José Public Library’s 15th Annual Graphic Novel Making Contest for all ages as part of our 2023 Summer Learning Challenge.

Create and submit your own short comic or graphic novel! Entries can be up to 8 pages long, black & white on single-sided 8.5"x11" pages. The contest is open to amateur creators of all ages! All participants will receive a participation prize and winners will receive a prize bundle. Cultivate your creativity and improve your skills by attending some of our virtual or in-person comic creation programs to learn about character creation, illustration, storytelling, and more!

Be sure to follow the contest rules:



Entries will be judged using a rubric scale covering the following: overall story, originality, creativity, and illustrations. Review the judging criteria and rubric (available in Español and Tiếng Việt) to understand how your comic will be scored.

Prizes & Age Categories

A participation prize is awarded to each individual who submits an entry to the Graphic Novel Making Contest. If an entry is co-authored, each contributor will receive a participation prize!

First, second and third place winners in every age category (0-7, 8-9, 10-12, 13-17, 18+) will be awarded a prize; up to two additional honorable mentions may be in awarded in each category. All cash prizes will be awarded as gift cards.

Winners will be announced at the Graphic Novel Making Contest Awards Ceremony at the Seven Trees Community Center on Saturday September 9, 2023. All participants are invited to the Awards Ceremony to celebrate you achievement and pick up prizes. Participants will be able to pick up their prize at the Awards Ceremony or the SJPL location of their choice.

gallery of previous graphic novel making contest entries

Previous Entries

Explore previous entries, winners, and highlights on Biblioboard!

Comic Creation Resources

If you're looking to build your comic and drawing skills, check out these staff-curated recommendations to help you learn from the experts!

Programs and More!

photo of young artists learning and drawing during a library program

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! Virtual and in-person programs are available, and we will be adding more engaging classes and programs throughout the summer, remember to check back!

Grab and Go Sketchbook and Bookmark Kits

Pick up a Sketchbook or Bookmark Kit at your local SJPL Branch (subject to availability). Each Sketchbook 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.

The words San Jose Public Library Cosplay on Display with photos of cosplayers posing with library card

SJPL Cosplay on Display

Calling all cosplayers! Cosplay on Display celebrates the creative ingenuity that is costume play, or cosplay, in our community. The 2023 Cosplay on Display is open to all California residents and participants of all ages. 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!


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

If you have any questions regarding the 2023 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 2023, 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 2023, 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 Sarah on Tue, 05/30/2023 - 9:12 AM


Your Comment
Hi! So I'm entering the comic contest, and I had a couple of questions. I checked the FAQ, but I wasn't exactly sure if it answered my question. I'm a digital and traditional amateur artist, and the FAQ said you can submit your comic digitally. Does this mean I can draw it digitally, and submit it like that? Or is it encouraged to use traditional artwork (pen, paper, etc.)?

My second question is the timeframe of when we submit. The form says from June 1st to July 31st. Does this mean that the comics are due on June 1st? Or is that when the submissions open, and we have until July 31st?

Thank you!

Your Comment
Hello Sarah, Thanks for your questions!
You are able to create your comic using digital means and/or traditional artwork. It is your choice. What we mean by "Submit your comic digitally" is that you can submit an entry via email or our online portal OR as a physical paper version. Either way you create your graphic novel, digitally or traditionally is fine and how you submit your graphic novel, either virtually or as a paper version is also fine.
For your second question, you have between June 1st and July 31st to submit your graphic novel. We cannot accept any entries prior to June 1st, nor any entries after July 31st.
We hope we've been able to answer your questions. If not, please feel free to reach out to us a
Take care!
~The Graphic Novel Making Contest Committee

Submitted by Tammy on Thu, 06/01/2023 - 4:39 PM


Your Comment
Hi! I have a question.

If a kid has his own original topic, but a parent discussed with him some story ideas during his creation process, and he chose some concepts from the parent (and he drew all the contents by himself), will the parent be strictly counted as the author?

Thank you!

Your Comment
Hello Tammy,
Thank you for your question! We would consider this part of the creative process as well as a form of proofing that any author or creator would undertake in creating their work. Lots of authors and creators get feedback from others that they ultimately would consider their own work once produced. As long as the final product is the unique and creative work of the child, the adult should not be listed as a co-author of the work. The child can choose to thank their parent for their assistance though.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us at
~The Graphic Novel Making Contest Committee

Your Comment
Hi, thanks for the prompt reply.

If the kid finally took a lot of story concepts from the parent (but he draw all the contents by himself), should the parent be listed as co-author?

Thank you!

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