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About the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize

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.

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 in the spring, and the $2500 prize is presented in the fall to the creator(s) of the award-winning book in a ceremony at Penn State. The winner and honor winners will receive the two-volume boxed set Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Woodcuts courtesy of the Library of America.

History

The Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize (also the Lynd Ward Prize for the Best Graphic Novel of the Year) honors Mr. Ward’s formative influence in the development of the graphic novel and celebrates an extensive collection of Ward’s wood engravings, original book illustrations, and other graphic art donated to Penn State University Libraries by his daughters, Robin Ward Savage and Nanda Weedon Ward. Between 1929 and 1937 Ward published his six ground-breaking wordless novels— Gods’ Man, Madman’s Drum, Wild Pilgrimage, Prelude to a Million Years, Song without Words, and Vertigo—which have been re-issued by The Library of America in a two-volume boxed set entitled Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Woodcuts, the first time the nonprofit publisher has included a graphic novelist in its award-winning series.

First issued in 2011, 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 announcement is made in the spring, and the $2500 prize is presented to the creator(s) of the award-winning book at a ceremony held at Penn State in the fall. The winner and honor winners will receive the two-volume boxed set Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Woodcuts courtesy of the Library of America.

Co-Sponsors of the Award

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

WPSU BookMark Reviews

2019 Winner: Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug, reviewed by Maria Burchill

2018 Winner: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris, reviewed by Lars Stoltzfus-Brown

2017 Winner: Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq by Sarah Glidden, reviewed by Ellysa Stern Cahoy