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About the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize

Sponsored by Penn State University Libraries and administered by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize is presented annually to the best graphic novel, fiction or non-fiction, published in the previous calendar year by a living U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident.  The award is announced each spring. The prize ($2500 and the two volume set of Ward's six novels published by the Library of America) is presented each fall, at a ceremony held at Penn State, to the creator(s) of the award-winning book.

2018 Award Submission Information

We are accepting 2017 copyright submissions from publishers beginning immediately through December 31st for the 2018 award. For consideration we require six copies of any works that meets the criteria.  Publishers and authors: please send submissions directly to our five jurors, and also one copy to our offices.  Please contact us directly (Caroline Wermuth -- and we will provide the mailing addresses.  Thank You!

Selection Jury

The selection jury includes representatives from various Penn State University academic departments who use the graphic novel in their teaching or research, as well as representatives with graphic novel expertise from among Penn State’s alumni. Here is the selection jury for the 2018 Lynd Ward Prize:

  • Camila Gutierrez is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at Penn State. Her research involves traditions of Anglo comics, Japanese manga, and Latin American historieta as observed from east/west and north/south comparative perspectives.

  • Paul Karasik is an author and cartoonist.  He is the author of City of Glass, the graphic novel adaptation of Paul Auster’s novel, named by The Comics Journal as one of the Best Comics of the 20th Century.  With his sister, Judy, Mr. Karasik created  The Ride Together, a Memoir of Autism in the Family.  Mr. Karasik’s cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker. With Mark Newgarden, Mr. Karasik has written the soon to be released book, "How To Read Nancy," a lexicon of the language of comics through the deconstruction of a single comic strip from August 8, 1959.

  • Lars Stoltzfus-Brown is a PhD Candidate in Mass Communications at the Pennsylvania State University. They study comics and adaptations using intersectional feminist political economy, which explores how comics portray gender, race, and sexuality as well as tensions between comics creators and corporate entities through time.

  • Matt Tucker is an undergraduate student studying Information Sciences and Technology and enjoys learning about different cultures through graphic novels.

  • Dr. Joseph Michael Valente is an associate professor of education and co-director for the Center for Disability Studies at The Pennsylvania State University.  He is the author of d/Deaf and d/Dumb: A Portrait of a Deaf Kid as a Young Superhero (Peter Lang, 2011).  Dr. Valente developed and taught the special topics course "Mutant Methodology: Graphic Novels as a Research Medium” and led the “Real Superheroes are Not Superhuman” comic challenge for K-grade 12 Wisconsin students to share their feelings about growing up deaf or hard of hearing hosted by The Wisconsin Educational Services Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

The Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize honors Ward’s formative influence in the development of the graphic novel and celebrates the gift of an extensive collection of Ward’s wood engravings, original book illustrations and other graphic art donated to Penn State Libraries by his daughters Robin Ward Savage and Nanda Weedon Ward.


The Pennsylvania Center for the Book wishes to thank all of the co-sponsors of this award:

  • Barbara I. Dewey, Dean of Penn State University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

  • The Penn State University Libraries

  • The Eberly Family Special Collections Library

  • Library Learning Services

  • The English Department in the College of the Liberal Arts

  • The College of the Liberal Arts