The Graphic Medicine International Collective has announced that it has opened submissions for the Graphic Medicine Award 2023 – and this year it has introduced two separate categories to cater for long form and short form work.

The deadline for submitting work will be February 14, 2023. Shortlists will be declared “around May 1” with the $1000-and-“keepsake” prize to be announced and bestowed at the Graphic Medicine Conference in Toronto July 13-16.

 The PR:

“The Graphic Medicine International Collective (GMIC), a not-for-profit organization with a mission to guide and support the uses of comics in health, is thrilled to open the submission process for our second annual award. This award is meant to recognize and honor outstanding health-related comic projects published in 2022. These awards are made possible by a generous matching gift in Honor of Nancy and Herbert Wolf.”

Graphic Medicine is the utilisation of the comics form to depict, describe, explore and understand the physical and mental ailments that affect our health – whether it be autobio, fiction or documentary non-fiction.

So what is eligible for submission? Quoting from the website: 

“Comics of any length that emphasize one or more health-related topics and were completed or published in 2022 are eligible for this award. Graphic medicine comics take as their theme (or meaningfully include) topics that impact health. We define the term “health” here broadly, based on the World Health Organization definition: a state of physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Comics can be fiction or nonfiction, memoir or biography, educational and/or entertaining. Both print and web-based comics are eligible for this award.”

The judging panel for the Graphic Medicine Award 2023 will be a diverse mix of backgrounds and specialisms,

“Both shortlisting and final judges are a diverse group consisting of at least five persons, each representing one or more of these categories: cartoonist, academic, clinician, librarian, person with lived experience of illness, caregiving, and/or disability, and comics critic/reviewer.”

The Graphic Medicine Award – also referred to as the Graphic Medicine International Conference (GMIC) Award – debuted in 2022. From a ten book shortlist – which included Zara Slattery’s Coma (Myriad Editions), Niki Smith’s PTSD story The Golden Hour (Little Brown), and the Rebecca Ollerton-edited autistic comics anthology Sensory: Life on the Spectrum (Andrews McMeel Publishing) – emerged Élodie Durand’s Parenthesis (Top Shelf), a graphic memoir about tumor-related epilepsy.

Funds for the GMIC to run the award are donated via a $5000 annual gift guaranteed through to around 2031, in the memory of late activists Nancy and Herbert Wolf.

The Graphic Medicine Conference has taken place annually since 2010. The first conference took place London, UK, but it has since shifted to other parts of the world – predominantly various cities in the US and Canada.

 For a more thorough FAQ, check here.