QUEER PRESS GRANT
Every year, Prism awards the Prism Comics Queer Press Grant to assist in the publication and promotion of LGBT comics. The grant is funded by donors who are either creators who want to help others just starting out, or fans who want to see more LGBT creators get published.
QUEER PRESS GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS:
Grant proposals are submitted using an online form, and consist of the following items:
- Cover letter that states the project title and why the project is of interest to the readers of LGBT comics
- Creator’s statement of purpose (separate from the cover letter)
- Business plan and budget detailing how funds (in US dollars) will be spent and obtained, including an intended time period
- Resume (for each contributor, if more than one)
- Financial statement. Fill out the online form to provide information about your financial situation. Include supporting documents (pay stubs or tax returns) to verify income. If submitting financial information for more than one person, provide a PDF document for the additional person(s) that provides a similar financial summary to the one on the online form.
- Presentation of the work to date in PDF files, with an appropriate resolution that suits your work.
Submissions will be reviewed by the judges online.
WHEN TO APPLY:
Proposals are reviewed on an annual basis by the Prism Comics Board of Directors, with the Prism Comics Advisory Board being called in should there be a tie. Requests must be received by the deadline date to be considered at that review. Early application is encouraged.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR:
The submissions are judged for a variety of elements. First and foremost is the quality of the work itself; the level of the illustration and writing, the use of cartooning techniques such as panels, lettering, and page layout, and the thematic depth and ability to develop character and plot, for example, all play significantly in the decision.
Also under consideration, however, are financial need, the thoroughness of the business plan, and the presentation of the grant proposal. A well-written proposal with no grammatical or spelling errors, for example, can provide the crucial few points to break an artistic stalemate.
The work can be in black and white or in color, and in comic strip, comic book, or webcomic format. It must simply be what we would define as “comics.” Or, to use Scott McCloud’s definition, “juxtaposed pictoral and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.” In other words, it should not be a prose story with illustrations, animation, or modern dance.
Sexually explicit and graphic material is absolutely permitted, but bear in mind that all material will be judged for thematic depth and narrative interest, so erotica whose main goal is titillation will have the odds stacked against it.
WHAT YOU GET:
In addition to the money itself, Prism Comics will do its best to help support the grant recipient through various methods, such as a news article and press release about the grant decision that profiles the winner, and help in arranging panel appearances and convention signings. We want to help you succeed in your project.
SUPPORT THE QPG!
The Prism Comics Queer Press Grant is funded entirely by donations, generally from comic book professionals and readers. Sales of our “Homo Superior” mugs ($15) and tote bags ($7) support the QPG fund directly. Get one (or both!) today! You can also support the cause of innovative LGBT comics and cartooning by donating to Prism Comics using PayPal.
2015: Dave Davenport
2014: Calvin Gimpelevich and Emiliano Quale
2013: Hazel Newlevant
2012: Christine Smith and Blue Delliquanti
2011: Robert Kirby
2010:Tana Ford and Jon Macy
2009: Ed Luce and Eric Orner
2008: Pam Harrison
2007: Tommy Roddy and Justin Hall
2006: Megan Gedris
2005: Steve MacIsaac
Submissions for the 2016 Prism Comics Queer Press Grant are now CLOSED!!
The winner will be announced at Wondercon in Los Angeles convention center, March 25-27th! Please stay tuned for further announcements. And if you missed this year’s deadline, don’t worry — we’ll be doing it again next year!
PREVIOUS GRANT RECIPIENTS SPEAK OUT ABOUT THE QPG:
“One of the best things about comics is how they allow readers to tap into another person’s experiences. It’s vitally important for people to be able to empathize with marginalized sexual orientations or gender identities, and I’m glad that Prism Comics is helping bring these stories into the world. Queer people deserve comics with attraction, love, and search for identity that resonate with them, and non-queer people can see the world through our eyes for a change.”
“I’ve been publishing cartoons since I was 13 years when I sold my first drawing to the Chicago Daily News. Since that day I’ve had some luck and plenty of rejections. I’ve discovered along the way that the support of my peers — other queer cartoonists — through the Prism grant, has meant more to me, and has been more affirming to me to continue cartooning, than just about anything else.”
“Winning the Queer Press Grant gave me a tremendous sense of accomplishment that self-publishing rarely seems to deliver. More important than helping to fund my book, the QPG led me to discover a vast and diverse community filled with amazing, creative queers who love making and reading comics as much as I do! In a world where we are being called upon to create the stories we want to see, the QPG bolsters our independent spirit and backs wonderful content that adds to the rich history of gay comics.”
“The comic for which I won my grant is the first longform work I’ve ever done, and the first where I’d dared to explore queer themes and develop queer characters. It can be tough for a young cartoonist to find the resources to help get their work printed and into readers’ hands. The Queer Press Grant not only helped make a larger printing of my comic possible, but opened the door to a community of LGBTQ readers and comics creators to which I now truly feel like I belong.”
“The QPG was tremendously important to me as a comics creator. Besides giving me money to help print my book, it gave me exposure, access to a supportive and dynamic community, and a sense of confidence in my work. Prism is the last organization dedicated to providing grants to independent, self-published comics, and so this is a very special award to strive for.”
“The Prism Queer Press Grant functions as an important career-building tool for up and coming LGBTQ talent, and as a vote of confidence and financial boost for creators who have already been around for a while and feel they still have something to say. Winning the grant in 2011 was an honor for which I am still very grateful. I look forward to seeing more cartoonists get their moment in the spotlight, for many years to come.”
“Prism’s QPG has allowed me to get a financial foothold in an otherwise very treacherous business. To this day, I use the award as a replenishable endowment, to fund various mini-comic projects and subsidize convention appearances. There are precious few grants for comic work out there; support Prism’s QPG and help bring more great queer indie comics into the world!”
“The Prism Comics Queer Press Grant has been instrumental in launching a number of LGBT artists into their careers. In this second decade of the 21st Century, more LGBT creators are finding their voices amid sweeping social change. It is so important that those voices–and their stories–be heard. I have been pleased to view and judge the works of many new LGBT artists and writers since 2009, and will doubtless see many more, as our storytelling continues to grow and evolve. Strive to be the best you can be–the Prism Comics Queer Press Grant helps take new artists and writers one step further!”
“Volunteering at Prism Comics has given me more than an extended family of queer comics loving geeks. The feeling of doing something important for our community, and paving the way for future generations of LGBT cartoonists, has become a large part of who I am.”