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Tony Lee Launches £2500 Caliburn Prize To Aspiring Graphic Novelists

The Caliburn Prize is Tony Lee's new UK comic-based literary grant, recognising fresh and unpublished voices in the world of comic and graphic novel creation.

During lockdown, comic book writer Tony Lee of Hooded Man Media became bestselling novelist Tony Lee under a couple of pseudonyms. Now he is looking to share the love. The Hooded Man Caliburn Prize for Comic Creation, or The Caliburn Prize for short is a new UK comic-based literary grant, recognising fresh and unpublished voices in the world of comic and graphic novel creation. The Caliburn Prize is a £2,500 grant aimed at helping unpublished UK-based creators get a foot on the comics ladder.

"When I started in comics, it was a different world," Tony Lee explained. "I was able to walk into a publisher with experience in other media under my belt, but many of today's creators don't have the same advantages I did, as the industry has massively changed over the last twenty years, and the doors I entered through are now boarded up. The prize fund is a way to help the next generation of comic creators find their own route into the room where it happens."

Tony Lee Launches £2500 Caliburn Prize To Aspiring Graphic Novelists

Named after the sword in the stone from Arthurian mythos, the Caliburn Prize is a contest running from the 9th of February until the 31st of May 2023, with the winner being announced at the 2023 London Film & Comic Con on July 8th. In addition to the prize money, the winning creator/team will also gain a free table and hotel at 2024
London Film & Comic Con, thanks to organisers Showmasters Events, a year's membership of both the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund (CBLDF) and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), thanks to assistance from both organisations, and an hour-long zoom call with Oriana Leckert, Director of Publishing and Comics Outreach for Kickstarter. It is open to all unpublished UK-based comic creators, with the end goal of assisting them in completing their first finished book.

To be considered, entrants must submit a project containing eight pages of finished comic, a finished cover with logo, a one-page synopsis of the story and a one-page biography list of all creators involved. After the close of submissions, the shortlisted candidates will move on to a judging panel of award-winning writers, artists, editors, publishers, and literary agents before a decision is made, and the winner will be announced at the London Film & Comic Con on July 8th, 2023.

'As a fan of Arthurian legends, the sword in the stone was this item that could change the life of anyone – if they managed to pull it – and it resonated with what I wanted to do here,' Tony continued. 'This is a prize that can change the trajectory of the winner, as they not only get the funds to help finish the book, but thanks to Showmasters Events
they have a place they can reveal it, and with the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund, the Alliance of Independent Authors and Oriana Leckert, with her Kickstarter knowledge, they can progress the project to the next level.'

The Caliburn Prize was also created to honour the memory of Doreen Lee, who died of cancer in 2004. "Mum was my biggest supporter when I started, and always looked for ways she could help me," Tony finished. "I got my first Marvel work shortly before she passed, and it was one of the greatest feelings in my life to show her the finished book, but the enthusiasm and advice she gave me back then is still felt and used now, all these years later."

For more information on the Caliburn Prize, including submission guidelines, the list of judges and a Frequently Asked Questions section, click here.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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