Help make comic book history

by Graphic Scotland

The first ever 9th Art Award will be given to the best English language graphic novel at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival. Be part of the story

Publishing Fife, United Kingdom
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The 9th Art Award, a prize for this year's best graphic novel, was conceived in Glasgow and nurtured in Fife, and will be making it all the way to the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Now we're inviting you to be part of our origin story. 

Help us publish an anthology like no other: a collection of the shortlisted work for the first ever 9th Art Award. Brought to you by Graphic Scotland.

Who are Graphic Scotland?

Born out of a desire to take comics beyond geeks and capes, Graphic Scotland is a not-for-profit initiative that champions the graphic form (that means comics) in Scotland.

As a volunteer bunch of artists, writers, publishers and fans of the medium, we found that there was little support at a grassroots level, for those working and experimenting with the graphic novel. We campaign to raise the profile of these creators, organise events to facilitate the community, and provide resources at a local level.

Why we exist

More and more, we're seeing graphic literature appear on bestseller lists, be a topic of serious discussion at cultural events – such as Edinburgh International Book Festival – and begin to be recognised as literature in its own right.

Just last year (our judge) Mary Talbot's Dotter of her Father's Eyes became the first graphic novel to win the Costa Biography Award.

As another of our judges, Paul Gravett, recently wrote, in 1001 Comics You Must Read before You Die: "Comics can cross language and culture barriers, enriching communication and understanding."

Graphic novels? Why not just ‘comics’?

We're not hung up on the term ‘graphic novel’. ‘Comics’ will do just as well.  It's simply that ‘graphic literature’ sometimes helps dispel the myth that comics are a lower literary form. Whatever you call it, the medium is coming into its own. The term 9th art itself originated in France where graphic literature is considered as an art form alongside sculpture and painting.

9th Art Award

We saw the need for an award that celebrates the international excellence of the graphic novel, and decided to create one – the first that accepts submissions from anywhere in the world, no matter the size of the print run or publisher (we positively encourage self-published works). This year we will be looking to award works only published originally in the English language, but are hoping to extend to a best translated graphic novel (where the prize goes to the translator) and a new talent prize. 

The immediate interest and support was overwhelming, and has continued to grow; we have an amazing team of judges and the award will be presented at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Who are the judges?

  • Paul Gravett
  • Hannah McGill
  • Adrian Searle
  • Mary Talbot
  • John McShane

(John McShane is the Chair of Graphic Scotland, and will have the deciding vote in the event of a tie).

What we need

To commemorate the first ever 9th Art Award, we're creating an accompanying anthology, containing excerpts from the 6 shortlisted works, as a showcase that can continue long after the bunting has been packed up. (Your work could also appear, alongside the best in the world - see the £100 and £250 rewards.)

 Funds will be spent on:

  • Production costs for Graphic Scotland and 9th Art to create the publication
  • Marketing the 9th Art Award and the publication, during the run up to the event and beyond - online adverts, print flyers and the like.
  • Related admin costs, like train tickets and bureaucracy fees

Graphic Scotland is strictly not-for-profit, and is incorporated as a Community Interest Company.

No profit will be made from the 9th Art Project, and Graphic Scotland is entirely run by volunteers.

What will happen to the publication?

We’ll offer the publication for sale on the 9th Art Award website. All profits from this will go towards making the 2014 9th Art Award even bigger and better – we plan to be self-sustaining in the future.

What you get

We’re offering a bunch of impressive rewards, made possible by the generous and enthusiastic support we've received from publishers, retailers, artists and illustrators in Scotland and beyond, and we're confident that every level is a bargain.


If there’s anything you want to know about Graphic Scotland, the 9th Art Award, or this campaign, please get in touch.

Below are a few questions that have come up so far.

Can my business support the 9th Art Award?

For our £100 or £250 rewards, we’ll give you space in the anthology to do with as you will. If you’re looking for something a bit more bespoke, get in touch

Why '9th Art'?

The term 'ninth art' is a common designation given to comics in mainland Europe, particularly French-speaking countries, where the art form is particularly well respected.

What do you mean by 'books' in the rewards?

We've been lucky enough to have received a lot of support-in-kind from publishers, retailers and often the authors and illustrators themselves, as well as local comic and writing groups in Scotland and beyond.

They have all donated books to the cause and it's these that we'll be using to entice you to support us.

We can't designate what books you'll receive, as we need to run a 'first pledged, first pick' system, but all of them are publications we own and recommend ourselves.

Who are Graphic Scotland?

Stretch goals – what if we raise more than our target?

We’ve kept our target at the bare minimum we need to make this happen. If we raise more money we can make the anthology of a higher quality – paying for snazzy software, a full print run, and possibly a commissioned cover.

If we happen to end up with a surplus on top of that, it’ll be put towards next year’s event. No-one will be making a profit from this.


To Morag Hannah (9th Art logo), Emily Jane Fraser (Graphic Scotland logo)

To Chris Scott for photographs

To Aly Mathers, Ever Dundas and Stref' for use of images.
All other images used are public domain.

To Brian Hill for use of his camera and tripod. 

And finally, to Arika, for letting Graphic Scotland turn their office into an impromptu film set. 

Visit project website




Promised of our £1,000 target


Days left

This project will close on Friday Aug 9th, 11:00
Promise £1.00 + You are all made of stars.

You will be showered with our eternal gratitude, and a warm fuzzy feeling of being part of a shiny comic book loving community.

1000 rewards, 1000 remaining
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