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UF Health Science Center Library Graphic Novel Contest

Contest Guidelines

Guidelines for Addressing Addiction Graphic Novel Contest

Substance abuse is a major health concern across the nation and also a widely misunderstood and stigmatized issue. Artistic expression can assist in recovery and in bringing awareness of the effect substance abuse and addiction have on individuals and on the community. Comics, through the combination of images and text, offer a unique format for exploring human experiences and discussing the complexities of addiction, treatment, and recovery. By sharing stories and health information, this graphic novel contest seeks to encourage public discussion and increase awareness, understanding, prevention, and treatment of addiction.


  • Contest Period
    • The contest opens on July 23rd and closes on September 28th.  
    • Submissions received after September 28th will not be considered for inclusion in the contest.
  • Eligibility:
    • Contestants must be over the age of 18.
    • Submissions can be the work of either one contestant or a small group of contestants.
    • While two workshop on creating graphic novels and finding authoritative health information online will be available to contest participants and community members on July 24th at Alachua Headquarters Library and July 26th at the UF Health Science Center Library, contestants do NOT need to attend the workshops in order to participate in the contest.
    • All entries must be original works. 
  • Content:
    • Submissions should address a topic related to substance abuse, addiction, and recovery.
    • Only submissions with accurate health information will be considered.
    • While the Libraries do not intend to censor any stories, overly explicit or disturbing imagery will not be considered. This collaboration will be distributed to the community and should be appropriate for a broad public audience.  
    • Questions about content should be addressed to
  • Use of Entries:
    • Contest participants maintain copyright in their work and will be able to share and reproduce it as they choose.
    • University of Florida Health Science Center Library (UF HSCL) will be granted a non-exclusive permission to reproduce the submitted work for the purpose of health information outreach on addiction to the community at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and Alachua County and related advertising, presentations, or publications.
    • The top submissions will be featured in a publication by the UF HSCL, to be distributed to Gainesville and the greater Alachua County community.
  • Submission:
    • Entries can be submitted online to as a high-quality JPEG or PDF file or delivered in person to the HSCL Information Desk.  Although submissions of all sizes and media will be considered, the comic finalists that have displayed best in our zine were portrait layouts with distinctive text and line work that remained legible when reduced to the 7.5”Lx 4.5”W space available in the zine. Full color and grayscale ink submissions are highly encouraged.  If you would like more information about comic page sizing, consider using Phillip Ginn’s Comic Page Sizing Guides:
    • Submissions should include a Contest Entry and Permissions Form.  Only submissions with a fully completed entry and release form will be considered.
    • Submissions should be between 3-8 pages long.
    • Limit of one entry per contestant.
  • Judging:
    • Submissions will be evaluated on the clarity, accuracy, and creativity of story and the health information message and the most effective narrative pairing of words and image.
    • Submissions with incorrect health information will immediately be disqualified.
  • Winner Notification:
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