Part of the second annual ‘Laydeez Day Festival’ that was held on March 31st 2019 at the Free World Centre in London, the Laydeez Do Comics Award 2019 is a prize given to the best graphic novel in progress by a female identifying UK-based creator, and this year was presented to Niki Bañados’ for ‘Shivers in London’.
Now in it’s second year, the Laydeez Festival and Laydeez Do Comics Award is an offshoot from the fantastic Laydeez Do Comics initiative founded by Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman in 2009 that is women-led but not women only voluntary organisation sey to champion the works of female-identifying graphic novelists.
The Laydeez Festival is a spin off from the LDC monthly meetings and saw two days of mentoring and knowledge sharing with a host of fellow comic creators. Those offering advice in a variety of contexts included SelfMadeHero, Myraid Editions, Good Comics, Liminal 11, Unbound and more. There was also a ‘Laydeez Lounge’ exhibition which featured work from all the creators who entered the prize exhibited un printed booklet form to allow the audience to touch, look and read the work in a gallery context..
Along with this chance to be exhibited a truly unique way, the Laydeez Do Comics prize saw the winner take home £2,000 (raised via crowd-funding), and five other shortlisted entrants receive £200 each (along with a one-to-one Laydeez Review session with critique and advice from an acclaimed graphic novelist).
‘Shivers in London’ is an autobiographical story of personal growth, travel, love and loss and Niki had this to say about the win: ‘The opening chapter took almost a year to finish because I had doubts about whether it would be of interest to anyone – so even getting shortlisted was quite unbelievable enough. More than the prize itself, I’m extra excited about working with some of the people I met at the Laydeez Day Festival. The prize allows me to be a lot pickier about the jobs I take on for the next few months. Progress from now on will be significantly more than a chapter a year!’
Also part of the day was The Rosalind B.Penfold Prize for ‘finding your voice over the age of 50’ which was won by Natalie D’Arbeloff’ for ‘Double Entendre,’ a genre-busting autobiography told from two different points of view.
After the success of last year’s prize which was won by Emma Burleigh for ‘My Other Mother, My Other Self’ it was another fantastic year for the festival in 2019 and it looks set to return in 2020.