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The Doug Wright Award for best book

The Doug Wright Award for the year’s best book recognizes a book of any size (graphic novel, single comic, mini-comic, etc.) for adults, young adults (ages 13–17), or young readers (ages 0–12) in which illustrations are integral to the story. (Books published exclusively on digital platforms are also eligible for this category.) Books will be judged on the combined quality of their illustration, writing, and production.

Entries for the best book category must be submitted online by the book’s creator(s) or publisher. There is an entry of $15 per book. (Self-published creators who cannot afford the entry fee may request to have it waived.)

The Nipper:
The Doug Wright Award for emerging talent

The Doug Wright Award for emerging talent recognizes an artist or team early in their career deserving of wider recognition, based on up to three books of any size (graphic novel, single comic, mini-comic, etc.) published in the past year in which illustrations are integral to the story. (Books published exclusively on digital platforms are also eligible for this category.) Judges will make the final decision on whether an entrant qualifies as “emerging,” though as a general rule the entrant may have published no more than one major-press book or collection. Books entered in this category may also be entered in the best book category.

Anyone may nominate a creator or team for the Nipper, with the permission and knowledge of the creator(s), by contacting the Doug Wright Awards. (Creators may also nominate themselves.) There is no entry fee for this category.

The Pigskin Peters:
The Doug Wright Award for best small or micro-press book

The Doug Wright Award for the year’s best small or micro-press book recognizes a book of any size (graphic novel, single comic, mini-comic, etc.) in which illustrations are integral to the story, not published by a major press. (Books published exclusively on digital platforms are also eligible for this category.) Experimental or avant-garde works are especially welcome in this category, and Web comics will be accepted on a case-by-case basis, provided the submission is a cohesive narrative or topic. Books will be judged on the combined quality of their illustration, writing, and production. Books (not including Web comics) entered in this category may also be entered in the best book category.

Anyone may nominate a work for the Pigskin Peters, with the permission and knowledge of the creator(s), by contacting the Doug Wright Awards. (Creators may also nominate themselves.) There is no entry fee for this category.

The Egghead:
The Doug Wright Award for best kids’ book

The Doug Wright Award for the year’s best kids’ book recognizes a book of any size (graphic novel, picture book, single comic, mini-comic, etc.) for young readers (ages 0 to 12) in which illustrations are integral to the story. (Books published exclusively on digital platforms are also eligible for this category.) Books will be judged based on the combined quality of their illustration, writing, and production. Books entered in this category may also be entered in the best book category.

Entries for the best kids’ book category must be submitted online by the book’s creator(s) or publisher. There is an entry of $15 per book. (Self-published creators who cannot afford the entry fee may request to have it waived.)



Entry Rules

Entries to the Doug Wright Awards must have been published during the previous calendar year (January 1 to December 31, 2019). The Doug Wright Awards is broad minded in what it considers a book (graphic novel, single comic, mini-comic, zine, etc.), but reserves the right to make the final call on a publication’s qualification.

Books must be published in English.

Creators must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident/landed immigrant (i.e., legally allowed to work in Canada).

For books with more than one creator (i.e., a writer and artist team), each creator must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Entries may be published by a non-Canadian publisher, provided creator(s) is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

There is no limit to how many individual titles a creator or group of creators submit in a single year.

Books may be submitted by creators or publishers.

Hard copies will not be returned unless a previous agreement has been made between the Doug Wright Awards and creator, such as in the case of a small-run publication with a limited print run.

The decision of the judges will be final.



Submission Requirements

Please address all required hard copies to:

The Doug Wright Awards
P.O. Box 611, Stn. P
Toronto, Ont.
M5S 2Y4

The Doug Wright Award for best book

Entries must be submitted via the Doug Wright Awards online portal (CLOSED).

If available, a PDF of the entire entry, including cover, must be submitted.

Three hard copies of each entry must be sent to the above address, along with a a note clearly stating the category of entry and the creator’s name. In the event of a small run or high-priced book, one copy will be accepted. Hard copies are not required for books published exclusively on digital platforms.

The Nipper: The Doug Wright Award for emerging talent

Entries must be submitted via the Doug Wright Awards online portal (CLOSED).

If available, a PDF of each book to be considered, including cover, must be submitted.

Three hard copies of each book to be considered must be sent to the above address, along with a a note clearly stating the category of entry and the creator’s name. In the event of small run or high-priced books, one copy of each will be accepted.

Please include a list of notable publications with entry. This may include self-published, micro-press, and major press publications.

The Pigskin Peters: The Doug Wright Award for best small or micro-press book

Entries must be submitted via the Doug Wright Awards online portal (CLOSED).

If available, a PDF of the entire entry, including cover, must be submitted.

Three hard copies of each entry must be sent to the above address, along with a a note clearly stating the category of entry and the creator’s name. In the event of a small run or high-priced book, one copy will be accepted.

The Egghead: The Doug Wright Award for best kids’ book

Entries must be submitted via the Doug Wright Awards online portal (CLOSED).

If available, a PDF of the entire entry, including cover, must be submitted.

Three hard copies of each entry must be sent to the above address, along with a a note clearly stating the category of entry and the creator’s name. In the event of a small run or high-priced book, one copy will be accepted.



Deadlines and Fees

Entries to the 2020 Doug Wright Awards open on December 9, 2019, and close, on January 17, 2020. Late entries will not be accepted.

Hard copies must be received by January 24, 2020.

The entry fee per submission for best book and best kids’ book is $15. There is no entry fee for the emerging talent and best small or micro-press book awards.



FAQ

1. Who is Doug Wright and why are the awards named after him?

Douglas Austin Wright was the critically acclaimed author of Doug Wright’s Family, arguably the most widely recognized Canadian comic strip of the mid–twentieth century. Hailed for his unparalleled draftsmanship and his touching, compact narratives, Wright, alongside Charles M. Schulz and George Herriman, is one of only a handful of truly seminal twentieth century cartoonists. Read more about Doug Wright in the About section.

2. Who founded the Doug Wright Awards?

The Doug Wright Awards were founded in 2004 by Brad Mackay, a writer and journalist; and Seth, one of Canada’s top cartoonists. Their goal was to draw attention to the medium and its creators from both inside and outside the traditional comics community. The first Doug Wright Awards ceremony was held in May 2005.

3. Do I have to be a Canadian to enter?

The Doug Wright Awards are open to Canadian citizens or those with permanent resident/landed immigrant status (i.e., you must legally be able to work in Canada). Those who live in Canada but do not have legal status are not eligible.

4. Does my book have to have been published in Canada to be entered?

Entries to the Doug Wright Awards may be published anywhere in the world, provided the creator(s) are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

5. Do I have to be a cartoonist or involved in the comics industry to attend the awards ceremony?

Anyone may attend the Doug Wright Awards, whether they are a cartoonist, a fan, or simply curious. Although we suggest a $5 pay-what-you-can entry fee, there is not officially any cost to attend.

6. Is there prize money?

In 2020, for the first time ever, Doug Wright Award winners will receive a modest cash prize along with their award. We hope to raise the amount in the coming years.

7. What is my submission fee used for?

The Doug Wright Awards Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the Canadian comics industry. All money raised, including submission fees, is used to cover costs related to the awards ceremony, including trophies, certificates, audio-visual staff, host, Web-hosting costs, and more.

8. Can I enter my own work?

Entries to the Doug Wright Awards may be made by a book’s creator or its publisher. In the case of the Nipper and Pigskin Peters awards, anyone may nominate a creator, provided the creator is aware of the nomination, by contacting the Doug Wright Awards. If you know of someone you think should enter the awards but do not have a personal connection to them, let us know and we’ll be happy to reach out to them.

9. What types of comics qualify?

The Doug Wright Awards is committed to supporting Canadian comics in all their forms. Submitted books may include, for example, graphic novels, single comics, mini-comics, or digital comics for any age, provided illustrations are integral to the book’s story and the book is written in English. With our current focus on books, we regret we currently do not accept entries of uncollected newspaper strips, or Web comics that do not have a cohesive narrative or topic.

10. How do I know what categories I’m eligible for?

Any book is eligible for the best book category. Books entered into the best kids’ book category must be aimed primarily at an audience aged 0–12.

11. What does it take to win a Doug Wright Award?

The Doug Wright Awards judges look at the combined quality of each book’s illustration, writing, and presentation. Each type of book is based on its own merit, i.e., a well-made mini-comic will not automatically be considered of lesser quality than a mass-produced book simply for being a mini-comic.

12. Can I enter a digital comic?

Books that originate in and are exclusive to digital platforms are eligible to enter the Doug Wright Awards. Web comics or comics published in sequence on a platform such as Instagram are eligible for the Pigskin Peters award provided the submission is a cohesive narrative or topic. We do recognize there will be grey areas as the medium continues to grow. If you’re unsure whether your comic qualifies, please contact us.



Judging Process

Entries in each category are evaluated by a three-member jury. Each jury consists of at least one cartoonist, one judge with industry expertise (editor, publisher, reviewer, journalist, librarian, bookseller, academic, etc.), and a third judge who either falls into one of the above categories or is not directly involved in the industry but has a deep knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the medium.

We attempt to make our juries as diverse as possible by selecting judges with a variety of professional backgrounds, from a variety of regions (not necessarily confined to Canada), and who reflect Canada’s various cultural communities.

Judges are given approximately four weeks to read entries and make their final decision. Juries meet via conference call to deliberate and come to a consensus on their category’s short list and winner. Juries are strongly encouraged to pick a single winner, but ties do happen.

Whenever possible, judges will evaluate books in their printed form. However, logistics may sometimes mean a judge can only view a publication in a digital format.

Judges choose winning entries based on the combined quality of their illustration, writing, and production. Other factors may include style, creativity, and originality.

If you would like to be a judge for the Doug Wright Awards, please contact us.

2020 Judges

The Doug Wright Award for best book

Deborah Dundas is the books editor at the Toronto Star.She’s reviewed books for more than twenty years, interviewed hundreds of local and international authors, appeared on TV and radio as a books commentator, on-stage as a commentator, interviewer and moderator, and participated in numerous juries. She’s been a producer at CTV and TVO, and her work has appeared in Canadian Notes and Queries, Quill and Quire,and other Canadian newspapers and magazines. She is also the one-time coordinator of Canada Book Day.

Meags Fitzgerald is a Montreal-based graphic novelist, illustrator, and performer. She is the author of the queer coming-of-age memoir Long Red Hairand the history and travelogue Photobooth: A Biography,for which she won The Nipper in 2015.

Jesse Jacobs is a cartoonist and video game developer known for his precise and detailed line work in combination with bold and simple colour palettes. His comics contain an affiliation with psychedelia, spirituality, and alternative realities. His books By This Shall You Know Him, Safari Honeymoon,and Crawl Spacehave been translated into several languages, with the latter winning The Doug Wright Award for best book in 2018. Jesse’s appeared in the 2012, 2013, and 2015 editions of the Best American Comics anthology.

The Nipper: The Doug Wright Award for emerging talent

Alison McCreesh is a cartoonist, illustrator, and fibre artist from Chicoutimi, Quebec, now living in Yellowknife. She is the author of the graphic novel Ramshackle.

Noah Van Sciver is a multiple-award-winning cartoonist who first came to readers’ attention with his critically acclaimed Eisner-nominated comic book series, Blammo.His work has appeared in Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Best American Comics, Kramers Ergot,and countless graphic anthologies. Van Sciver was a regular contributor to Madand has written and drawn numerous bestselling graphic novels, including One Dirty Tree, Saint Cole,and the Fante Bukowski: Struggling Writer series for Fantagraphics books. In 2015 he was the artist in residence/fellow at the Center For Cartoon Studies, in White River Junction, Vermont. His books and comics are translated into over seven different languages around the world.

Maurice Vellekoop has illustrated for major book publishers, magazines, and advertising in North America, Europe, and Asia for more than twenty years. His books include Vellevision, Maurice Vellekoop’s ABC Book, A Nut at the Opera,and Pin-ups.Currently, he is working on a memoir, titled I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together.

The Pigskin Peters: The Doug Wright Award for best small- or micro-press book

Calum Johnston has been a comics dealer since the 1980s and is a life-long fan of the sequential arts in all its forms and formats. His shop, Strange Adventures Comix & Curiosities, was founded in 1992, and today has branches in Halifax, Dartmouth, and Fredericton. Strange Adventures was the first comic shop to win both the Eisner and Shuster retailer awards and appeared in issues of Superman comics for being named “the world’s best comic store” by Previewsmagazine.

Philip Street is a cartoonist, animator, and graphic designer. His comic strip, Fisher,appeared in The Globe and Mailfor twenty years and now lingers online and on social media. He lives in Toronto.

Kat Verhoeven is a Canadian cartoonist from Kingston, Ontario, who has spent most of her adulthood in Toronto, where she received a degree in illustration from OCAD University. Kat is known for her award-nominated comic Towerkindand her webcomic-turned-book Meat and Bone,as well as her anthology and zine work. Her stories centre on the idea of found families and identity, combining the hard realities of ink lines with playful gradient digital colour.

The Egghead: The Doug Wright Award for best kids’ book

Shanda Dezielis a Toronto-based journalist, whose works has appeared in Maclean’s, Chatelaine, En Route,and many other national publications. She currently is the children’s books editor at Quill and Quire.

Serah-Marie McMahonfounded and, for 10 years, edited Worn Fashion Journal.She is a freelance creative director, and in 2010 was nominated for a National Magazine Award for Best Cover of the Year.

Todd Stewart is a Montreal-based silkscreen artist and children’s book author and illustrator. He co-ordinates Le Temple in Montreal, an artist-run silkscreen printmaking studio. His most recent book is Quand le vent souffle.