Frequently Asked Questions
How are the nominees chosen?
The shortlist is selected annually by a nominating committee of five (5) experts in the comics field, who are tasked with reading all works submitted by publishers and independent artists to the awards for review, in addition to works collected by the Wrights at independent publishing festivals across the country and recommended to the awards organization by prominent figures in the comics, literary and arts communities.
To submit a work for review, please mail five (5) copies to:
Doug Wright Awards
c/o Sean Rogers
2 Sussex Ave
Toronto ON M5S 1J5
How are the winners chosen?
The Best Book and Best Emerging Talent Award winners are selected by an independent jury panel, consisting of five (5) prominent individuals who have made significant contributions to the arts and culture in Canada, including cartoonists and comic artists.
The winner of the Pigskin Peters’ Award is selected by the nominating committee.
What are the eligibility criteria for the Doug Wright Awards?
The prize is awarded annually to the author of the best Canadian work and the most promising talent published in English in the cartooning medium. To be eligible, a work must be a first edition full length or collection, written by a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. Eligible works must be published in the previous calendar year for which the awards are presented.
The Pigskin Peters’ Award is given to the author of an experimental, non-narrative or transgressive work that effectively utilizes the comics medium. Its eligibility criteria are the same as the two major awards.
How do you define an “Emerging Talent”?
The Best Emerging Talent category is open to Canadian creators who are in the early or developmental stages of their career.
This is not necessarily a signifier of age or experience, in that it can also include those who have shown significant creative growth in mid-career. Further, an individual can be nominated in this category successive times, but once they’ve been nominated in the Best Book category they can no longer be considered as an “emerging talent.
Subsequently, if the DWA nominating committee considers a debut book or early work strong enough, it can be nominated in the Best Book category.
Who was Doug Wright?
Doug Wright (1917-1983) was the critically acclaimed author of Doug Wright’s Family, arguably the most widely recognized Canadian comic strip of the mid-twentieth century. Hailed for his unparalleled draftsmanship and his touching, compact narratives, Wright, alongside Charles M. Schulz and George Herriman, is one of only a handful of truly seminal twentieth century cartoonists.
Born in England, Wright immigrated to Canada in his teens. He was a proud Canadian citizen, a fact often reflected in the modest, suburban Ontario life depicted in his most famous strips.
Is Doug Wright’s family involved in or aware of the awards?
Yes. The Wright Awards, established in Doug’s honour, work with the family to promote his work and legacy. We are especially grateful for the charity and kindness of Phyllis Wright Thomas, Doug’s widow, whose blessings and assistance have been invaluable to us.
Are there any mechanisms in place for or organizations who recognize works by Canadians that are published in French?
Yes. The Wright Awards do not purport to represent the entire scene in Canadian comics and graphic novels. We are one of several independent organizations who work collectively to recognize the best and brightest Canadians working in the comics medium.
The Bédéis Causa and Prix Bédélys are two outstanding organizations who work to recognize works published in French, the majority of which are written by authors for whom it is their first language. We applaud their efforts and the body of work that is produced annually by Francophones, Acadians, and all Canadian cartoonists published in French (including Québécois(e), Franco-Terreneuviens, Franco-Ontariens, Franco-Manitobains, Fransaskois, Franco-Albertains, Franco-Colombiens, Franco-Yukonnais, Franco-Ténois, Franco-Nunavois and First Nations, Inuit or Métis).
Are works in translation eligible?
Yes. We share similar eligibility criteria with the Scotiabank Giller Prize, which also considers works in translation. This is common practice for awards organizations around the world, including the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the Prix Médicis’ roman etranger and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ prize for Best Foreign Language Film (as well as its major acting categories).
The Doug Wright Awards are a book prize for works published in English and we make it our aim to help those books gain wider exposure.
Why were the Wright Awards founded?
The DWAs were established as a means of recognising and promoting Canadian comics and comic creators. Long a hotbed of talent, the country’s cartoonists have typically struggled to be recognized in the rest of North America and internationally, and no organization existed to help remedy the situation.
As the Juno Awards and The Scotiabank Giller Prize highlight the best in native music and literature, the Wrights strive to do the same for Canada’s comics and cartooning community.
When were the Wright Awards founded?
The DWAs were founded in fall 2004 by journalist Brad Mackay and Guelph-based cartoonist Seth. The inaugural awards (Best Book and Best Emerging Talent) were handed out in May, 2005 at the 2005 Toronto Comic Arts Festival, along with the initial inductions of the Giants of the North Hall of Fame. In 2008, the DWAs announced a new award; The Pigskin Peters Award which recognises avant-garde or non-narrative cartooning.
The awards have been handed out every year since in ceremonies in various venues in Toronto.
Where can I find information on past winners, nominees and jurors?
You can read about previous award information here.