VLA Graphic Novel Diversity Award
The Diversity & Inclusion Forum of the Virginia Library Association is now reviewing nominations for the first annual VLA Graphic Novel Diversity Award. Any English language comic book or graphic novel, stand-alone or series story arc, published in the United States during the award period is eligible for nomination by the publisher. Diversity must be featured in the character(s) and storyline. Cash awards are given to the winner of the youth category (ages 6-17) & the winner of the adult category (ages 18-up). For more details about the awards, see below. Winners will be honored at the VLA Annual Conference.
VLA Graphic Novel Diversity Awards Criteria
The Diversity & Inclusion Forum of the Virginia Library Association presents a new award to honor graphic novels and comic books that feature diversity in character or storyline. This award is open to any graphic novel in print, published during the award period.
Purpose: To promote graphic novels dealing with subjects or characters of diversity as quality literature that fits with the purpose of libraries to educate and promote reading to all reading levels.
Definition of diversity: Differences both visible and invisible that may separate an individual from the mainstream. The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. Diversity groups eligible for consideration for award may be based on color/race, nationality, disability whether mental or physical, feminism, ageism, religion, forced minority and LGBT/sexual orientation.
Definition of groups:
Submissions for the Award should include 3 sets of the following:
Visit our 2016 Graphic Novel Diversity Award Page to find forms for submission.
Any questions or comments, please send an email to Kevin Clement (email@example.com), VLA's Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair.
Is there a cash reward for the winning title? The winning title of each category will receive $500.00.
Who receives the cash award, the writer or the artist? Both or all of the creators to split among themselves.
Are nonfiction graphic novels eligible? Yes, entries can be fiction or nonfiction. There is no separate award for either.
Can anyone nominate a title for the award? Only publishers can submit a title, since they are responsible for submitting a package to the judging committee. If you feel strongly about a particular title, contact the publisher and let them know to submit the title for the award.
Does the author or artist have to be a United States citizen? No. The entry is being viewed on its merits. The nomination has to be written in English, has to be published in the U.S. If a Japanese Manga has been translated and published by an U.S. Publisher like DC Comics, it is eligible.
Are digital/web comics or graphic novels eligible for submission? Not currently. We may look at adding them later if we can resolve issues pertaining to publication dates and permanence.
Can a title be submitted for both age categories if the story is for all ages? No, the submitter must choose the age category that best suits the age of the prominent readership.
Our title focuses on diversity but does not fit any of the categories listed. Can we still nominate this title? Yes, the judges can determine if the title fits our broader definition of Diversity.
What will the cover images of the books be used for? The images will be used for our web page and other publicity to announce the winners and honor books.
I published my graphic novel as a downloadable only. Is it eligible? Since more and more self-publishers are making the decision to publish electronically, a downloadable graphic novel is eligible because it fits the criteria of being in print just not in the traditional sense. A downloadable differs from a web-based comic which is not eligible. To nominate a downloadable graphic novel, the publisher must add two more pieces of information: 1. proof that the downloadable was available for purchase in the year being honored; 2. libraries should be able to purchase the graphic novel for the electronic collection to circulate for their users. Most libraries have platforms which allow them to add self-published materials for checkout.