Laydeez Day Festival

Hello, Laydeez, gentlemen and non-binary friends,

This weekend, we were lucky enough to be invited to attend the first ever Laydeez Day Festival at the Free Word Centre in London.

Made up of one-on-one mentoring sessions with experienced creators, an exhibition of incredible zines entered into the Laydeez Do Comics prize, a short introduction and question time with the runners up, the prize-giving itself, and literal feminist cake, it was a fantastic day that showcased the magnitude of talent entering the comics industry today.

The Laydeez Do Comics Women’s Prize for Unpublished Graphic Novels in Progress does exactly as its title suggests, taking submissions from female creators working on any type of story in graphic form. The shortlist for this year was announced in February and included fiction, memoirs, interview-based biography and amalgams of the lot by six women of varying ages and art and narrative styles across the country.

On Saturday night (24th March), we gathered to see the presentation of the award and comedy cheque. This year’s winner, Emma Burleigh, took away £2,000, but the runners up won’t be forgotten, having each received £200 and hopefully a whole bunch of new friends and fans, myself included.

(L-R: Emma Burleigh, Emily Haworth-Booth, Cathy Brett, Sarah Ushurhe, Rebecca Jones, Akhila Krishnan)
In this issue we’ll be introducing you to these six creators with exclusive interviews and short summaries of their work, as well as a review of The Inking Woman, which documents the work of female creators in British comics over the last 250 years.

But before we get there, I would like to say thanks again to the incredible creative women that organised the event and keep the Laydeez organisation running and meeting and discovering new talent. Our job would be impossible without them and people like them.

Thank you, Nicola Streeten, Sarah Lightman, Wallis Eates, Rachael Ball, Charlotte Bailey, Louise Crosby, Paula Knight, and all other committee members, past and future.

Check out the Laydeez Do Comics website and Twitter feed for upcoming events.

While you’re wandering the web in search of organisations to support, consider becoming a Patron of Ink for even more interviews, reviews and analysis of comics across the UK and, where we can, abroad. Find out more about patronage and its rewards at our Patreon page.

Thank you, and I hope your long weekend is filled with comics and chocolate!