2023 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) of ALA and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are pleased to accept applications for the 2023 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries.

The application deadline is Sunday February 12, 2023.

Through these grants the GNCRT and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation seek to continue to encourage public awareness about the rise and importance of graphic literature and to honor the legacy and creative excellence of Will Eisner. For a career that spanned nearly eight decades — from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics — Will Eisner is recognized as the “Champion of the Graphic Novel.”

The objective of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries is to facilitate library-generated programs and services that will promote graphic novels to library patrons and to the local community. Three Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries are given annually – two Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants will provide support to two libraries that would like to expand its existing graphic novel services and programs; one Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant will provide support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service, program or initiative.

The applying librarian or their institution must be an ALA Member to be eligible and the grants are open to libraries across North America, including Canada and Mexico.

The application and information about the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries can be found on the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table Eisner Grants page. Interested applicants will find resources and examples on the Eisner Grants FAQ page to help guide them through the process of writing their grant applications. For any inquiries, please contact ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Round Table staff liaison Tina Coleman at ccoleman@ala.org.

Will Eisner (1917-2005) was an acclaimed American comics writer, artist, teacher, and entrepreneur.  He is considered one of the most important contributors to the development of sequential art (a term he coined) and is known for the cartooning studio he founded; for his highly influential comic series, The Spirit; for his use of comics as an instructional medium; for his leading role in establishing the graphic novel as a form of literature with his 1978 groundbreaking graphic novel, A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories; for his 20 years of teaching at the School of Visual Arts, leading to his three textbooks. In a career that spanned nearly seven decades—from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics—Will Eisner was truly the “Father of the Graphic Novel.”

Each winning library will receive a grant award of $4,000 to support initiatives that align with the objective of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries.  The grant award will consist of the following: 

  • $2,000 grant to purchase graphic novels from the distributor-partner (current partner is Diamond Comics Distributors),
  • $1,000 grant to host a graphic novel-themed event at a library or another community location, and
  • $1,000 grant to attend the ALA Annual Conference to receive their grant money.  This grant can be used towards any of the following: conference registration, transportation, lodging and food.

In addition, from the book publishers and the Eisner Foundation, the winning libraries will also receive the following graphic novels, valued at approximately $3,000:

  • The Will Eisner Library: A graphic novel collection of Will Eisner’s work and biographies about Will Eisner* (comprising approximately 75 books)
  • A selection of the winning titles from the current year’s Will Eisner Awards* at Comic-Con International (comprising approximately 100 books).

* Please note that some of the titles in these collections are of a mature nature. 

Chosen Grant applicants must agree to take responsibility for organizing a recognition ceremony of their grant in their library.

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