University Libraries

Penn State announces new graphic novel award in honor of Lynd Ward

Penn State University Libraries and the Pennsylvania Center for the Book are pleased to announce the creation of the Lynd Ward Prize for Graphic Novel of the Year.

The Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize honors Ward's seminal 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 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 are being re-issued this month 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.

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 will be presented annually to the best graphic novel, fiction or nonfiction, published in the previous calendar year in the United States by a living American citizen or resident. The announcement of the award will take place each spring and the prize of $2,500, the two-volume set of Ward's six novels published by The Library of America, and a suitable commemorative will be presented each fall to the winner at a ceremony to be held at Penn State.

The selection jury for the award will have representatives from various Penn State 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. The inaugural selection jury for 2011 includes John Meier, an assistant librarian in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library; Jarod Rosello, a cartoonist, writer and doctoral student in curriculum and instruction in the College of Education; Jean Sanders, an associate professor of art in the School of Visual Arts; Scott T. Smith, an assistant professor of English and comparative literature in the College of the Liberal Arts; and Jerry Zolten, an associate professor of communication arts and sciences and American studies at Penn State Altoona.

For more information about the selection criteria and how to submit books for consideration for the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, contact Steven Herb at 814-863-2141 or visit the Pennsylvania Center for the Book website

Last Updated August 12, 2011