Creative Manga/Comic Writing Contest

Creative “Visual Arts” Writing Contest

DemiCon 32 is trying something different with the writing contest this year. In keeping with our theme of celebrating the visual arts- entries this year will include visual elements to convey your story as well.

This is not an art contest

Not to worry if you don’t have any drawing talent. Entries are not going to be judged based on artistic ability. Rather entries will be judged on how well the visual elements are integrated and used to convey your concept. You can tell your story with pictures only or you may also include text or any combination as long as there is a strong visual component. 

You can submit visual elements made digitally or traditionally. Submissions may be created using any drawing tools or software. If you create your submission using traditional tools, please submit a digital scan of the artwork. (Paper submissions will not be accepted). 

Here are sample templates we are making available. You are not required to use the templates and may create your own layouts as long as you meet the minimum panel requirements for your submission category. 

Entries will not be made public until the results of the judging are announced.

The winning entries may be used in promotional materials for DemiCon and The Des Moines Science Fiction & Fantasy Society, Inc. 

Submission Guidelines

  • Submission deadline is April 15, 2021. 
  • A single applicant may submit multiple entries.
  • Collaborative works may be submitted. Any prize awarded to collaborative entries will be shared among the winners. Prize will be sent to the representative that submitted the entry.
  • Works are not eligible for submission or judging in the following cases:
    • If the work is not suitable for all ages.
    • Content that infringes on copyright or intellectual property.
    • Offensive or objectionable content.
    • Other: entries may be deemed inadmissible by ConCom. In such cases, the reasons for exclusion will be given.
  • Submissions should be emailed to 
    • Subject line: Writing Contest Submission
    • Body of email should include completed entry form
    • Entry should be as attachment as .PDF, .DOCX, .JPEG

Submission Form

You can copy, paste and complete the below information into your submission email.

Name (include all collaborator names):

Entry Classification: (Short Form or Long Form)

Entry Genre Category: (See categories below)

Entry Title:

Entry Classification & Category

There are two entry classifications:  Short Form and Long Form.  Also select an overall category of genre theme for your submission. If you select “Other” you will need to specify the genre in your submission as conveyance of the category theme is part of the Judging criteria.

Short Form

1 – 3 pages (3 – 18 panels)

Categories – Your choice of category will be used as part of the judging criteria as described below.

  • Fable
  • Funny
  • Haiku
  • Irony 
  • Super Hero Bio
  • Other (specify): ___________________

Long Form

8 -10 pages (24 or more panels)

Categories – Your choice of category will be used as part of the judging criteria as described below.

  • Action/Adventure
  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • Mystery 
  • Romance
  • Other (specify): ___________________________________

Judging Criteria

Your entry will be judged on the following points

Visual Elements – Integration of visual component to convey story/concept

Layout – including 

  • Page and layout flow. 
  • Scene transitions
  • Shape, size, and placement of panels to enhance story

Creativity – Including

  • Design style
  • Character elements
  • Background setting

Expressiveness – Including

  • Story articulation though visual element
  • Visual conveyance of submission category

Story Concept – Integration story telling elements to convey story concept in balance with visual elements

Originality –  Including

  • Innovative interpretation of concept
  • Unique story elements
  • Overall impression

Clarity and Plot – Including 

  • Plot development
  • Pacing
  • Authenticity 

Grammar & Dialogue (optional)

  • Appropriate use of grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • Style use including font styles, bold/italic/underline, sound effects, etc.
  • Suitable use of dialogue
  • Balance between text and visual elements that serves the story