Details for “America’s Next Great Cartoonist” contest

More details have been posted regarding The Washington Post’s “America’s Next Great Cartoonist” contest. The Post is asking for comic strip aspirants to sumbit six original unpublished strips by June 4th. Ten finalists will be selectedd by a panel of professional cartoonists that include Garry Trudeau, Stephan Pastis, Jerry Scott, Hilary Price, Richard Thompson, Tom Toles and Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten. The finalists will then be judged by the public and wittled down to five. Based on the comments of readers and the professional panel, the five semi-finalists will submit “submit feedback on the comments they’ve received, a character sheet providing more details on their strips, and one color Sunday-style cartoon – all on deadline.” Readers will then elect the final winner.

Here’s the prize:

The winner, to be announced on or around July 15, will get an opportunity to create a comic strip to be published daily for one month in the print Style section and in the Comic Riffs blog of The Washington Post. The winner will also receive one-on-one consultation with a judge, and potentially be asked to participate in an online discussion and interviews. We’ll set you, our promising artist, on a path to become the next rising cartoonist, exposing your work to a national audience and giving your cartoon a chance to be the strip that everyone wants to read.

34 thoughts on “Details for “America’s Next Great Cartoonist” contest

  1. “Sponsor shall have no obligation to publish any comic strip/cartoon in any form or use it for any specific purpose. However, such comic strip/cartoon could appear online, in print, on a mobile application and/or elsewhere as determined in Sponsor’s sole discretion.”

    “All costs and expenses are not included and are winner’s sole responsibility unless indicated herein as being awarded.”

    Gee, that’s some prize.

  2. But still no mention of whether the winner will get paid?

    Just because I put my own comic on the web for free, doesn’t mean I feel like doing volunteer work for The Washington Post.

  3. Has there been any follow-up on Amazon’s version of this? Did the winner ever make it to syndication or anything?

  4. UPDATE: I’m continuing to meet with Post contest producers and Post Legal. Revisions to the contest rules — especially in regards to creator rights — definitely will be forthcoming in the days ahead.


  5. The NCS Code of Fair Business Practices and Ethical Guidelines, article 27 reads:

    “Artists who accept speculative assignments, enter art or design competitions whose purpose is to obtain samples of work at no cost and or to compare this work to other artist’s entries, risk losing anticipated fees, expenses, ownership of copyright and their original artwork with no compensation. The decision to enter such contests and competitions is solely up to the discretion of the individual artists. The NCS deems these practices unethical and exploitative of artists.”

    This contest exploits artists and I’m surprised that the panel of judges would participate in this. Perhaps they don’t know the particulars.

  6. The NCS Ethics committee has been in contact with WPWG regarding the rules and guidelines and have been assured that WPWG will be reworking the rights and awards part of the contract for this contest to make it more artist friendly.

  7. You’re awesome, Rick.

    I was interested in this contest until we found out the rules. I’ll be paying close attention to see what transpires.

    Thanks again for looking out for us.

  8. I’m wondering the same thing that Jim asked. Can someone provide an update/followup with the contest? There was a lot of discussion about pros and cons to that particular contest and I’d love to know the result. I think it would be beneficial to all of us.

  9. UPDATE: For the third straight day, I met with contest producers and the Post legal dept. regarding revisions to the contest rules. I also encouraged having WPWG brought in even more directly, which we did today.

    More to report as this is hammered out.


  10. @Jason and Jim

    RE: Comic Strip Superstar

    The winner, Dana Simpson, writes here:
    “I was the winner in the Comic Strip Superstar contest. My new strip, “Girl,” should be appearing on in a few weeks; I’ll certainly post updates here.”

    Dana also has a blog for her comic strip, where she describes in one posting about working with her editor, John Glynn.

    So, so far, it sounds like things are working out as the competition rules originally promised. The winner’s comic strip is in development.

    Looking forward to the official launch!

  11. Nice work Rick. Mark and Stephan you have taken animation to a new low … it could be the next hit for the Cartoon Network. Funny stuff.

  12. It’s kind of like Clutch Cargo only without the all the high quality animation things … like movement and rotoscoped real lips. Where’s Spinner and Paddlefoot when you need them.

  13. >>Stephan Pastis Meets Rick!

    This wasn’t nearly as classy as your gin soaked buy my new Lio book while sitting on the toilet videoblogs….

  14. >>>Nice work Rick

    >>>thanks, Rick. I was interested until I saw the rules, and appreciate your input from the NCS.

    >>>>>Thank you, Rick! And thank you, NCS Ethics Committee!!

    I had nothing to do with the effort in getting WPWG to review the contest rules. I’m just the messenger. The changes regarding the contest rules are due to the efforts of Daryl Cagle and Ethics committee chairman Steve McGarry. They just asked me to post this here and so I can take crap from Tatulli and Pastis.

  15. >>This wasn?t nearly as classy as your gin soaked buy my new Lio book while sitting on the toilet videoblogs?.<<

    Yeah! LOL! Good thing I'm not in the classy-business….I would suck at it!

  16. An update on the contest rules and the Ethics committee’s efforts to make the agreement more fair for the participants:

    WPWG has agreed to drop the work for hire all rights clause in the agreement and limits the use of submitted material for promotional use and for only a limited amount of days..essentially a license with a time limit. All rights revert to the creators after the licensing expires.

    They’ve also agreed to pay the winner of the contest an award of $1,000

    Kudos to Steve, Daryl and Amy Lago, WPWG and the NCS Ethics committee for addressing this.

  17. >> Rick:

    An alert: All those conditions have NOT been finalized. Amy and I were among those who urged these types of changes at meetings yesterday — we *will* announce it as soon as it is final.


  18. Contest FAQ has been updated — including the $1000 prize.

    Still hoping this contest’s eligibility criteria will be opened to Canadian cartoonists, like Comic Strip Superstar was.

    Another good example here would be the NCS … The first word is “National” but, as many here know, its membership is more inclusive. I might not be American on paper, but having lived in Southern Ontario my entire life, my biggest influences and inspirations have always been American cartoonists.

    Considering how small the cartooning community is, it kinda hurts to be rejected before having a chance to be rejected 🙂

  19. Yet another good example for opening up the eligibility is the WPWG syndication guidelines. As far as I know, no syndicate discriminates or rejects submissions simply because their created by Canadian cartoonists.

    … Or do they???!! … 🙂

  20. Hi,
    My name is Michelle Thoburn. I am interested in participating in your cartoonist contest. Do you accept single panel colored comics?
    Michelle 🙂

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