Graphic Novel Making Contest 2017

Graphic Novel graphic

June 1 – July 31, 2017

If you have a talent for creating comic/manga style illustrated short stories, you are invited to enter San José Public Library’s Graphic Novel Making Contest for all ages as part of our 2017 Summer Reading Challenge. This contest is sponsored by San José Public Library, San Jose Museum of Art, TRY Japan Culture Group, Sakura of America, Oni Press, and Action Lab Entertainment.

Submission Guidelines

  • Create your own comic book with a maximum length of 8 pages, including the cover page.
  • Use letter-size paper (8.5 x 11) with black-and-white drawings and text on one side only.
  • Each submission must be the creative and original work of a single individual—the author/illustrator.
  • 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 that is an accurate reflection of the original (as submissions are non-returnable).
  • San José Public Library reserves the right to reproduce your work. You can reuse all your work after the contest.
  • Print and complete the Graphic Novel Making Contest Entry Form and the Photo / Creative Works Release Form. Forms turned in without the Photo/Creative Works Release Form will be ineligible.
  • Entries can be submitted to any San José Public Library location no later than 7:00 PM on Monday, July 31, 2017.
  • Entries can also be submitted online to as a JPEG or PDF attachment. Digital entries may be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on Monday, July 31.
  • There is a limit of one entry per contestant.

Entries will be judged using a rubric scale covering the following: overall story, originality, creativity and illustrations; by a panel of library staff and comic industry professionals. All cash prizes will be awarded as gift cards.


  • Children (up to age 8): Gift and art supply baskets awarded for first, second and third place winners.
  • Children (9-12): Gift and art supply baskets awarded for first, second and third place winners.
  • Teens (13-17): First place $100; second place $70; third place $50
  • Adults (18 and above): First place $100; second place $70; third place $50

Awards Ceremony

The awards ceremony was held at the Seven Trees Branch Library on Saturday, August 26, 2017, at 2:00 PM in the Banquet Hall. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded. Check out photos from the event.

Past Entries

Check out the award winning entries from 2010-2016 at your local San Jose Public Library or in the Library’s catalog.


San José Public Library staff members are ineligible 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.



Hi good afternoon. Are you accepting entries through online?

Hi, Rocelyn, Yes, we will be open to online entries. All online entries must be submitted to as a JPEG or PDF attachment. Digital entries may be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on Monday, July 31. Thanks!

I have two questions concerning the rules and scenarios that can result in a disqualified entry. 1. Would using computer-generated text (ex. a font from a program like Word) fall into the category of non-original computer-generated images and be prohibited? 2. Would showing artwork from one's own entry on social media prior to the contest be grounds for disqualification? Thank you and best regards.

Hi, Pablo. I hope this helps answer your questions. 1. The computer-generated images specifically refer to images that are not created by the artist, i.e. clip art. It does not refer to text. 2. Since the work belongs to the artist, it is their choice if they choose to share it on their own social media accounts. However, the work should not have been previously published. Thanks!

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