International Comic / Manga School Contest 2020
This is a manga, comic and illustration contest open to students worldwide. Winners are eligible for cash prizes, digital creation software, pen tablets, and chances to be featured in media publications! The contest is also an opportunity to have your work judged and critiqued by professional creators and boost your skills. Four new categories such as the Storyboard Category and Webtoon Category have been added, with additional prize opportunities. We are looking forward to seeing your entries.

Contest theme


Participant School Registration

January 9–April 20, 2020 09:00 (GMT)

Work Submission Period

January 9–April 27, 2020 09:00 (GMT)

Results announced

Early July, 2020 (Tentative)

Application Guidelines

Entries will be accepted for the below six categories. The theme for all categories is “Promise.”

Comic Category (Color) An original color comic for all ages (8-16 pages, including cover). This is the most appropriate category for American style comics.
Manga Category (B&W) An original black-and-white comic/manga for all ages (8-16 pages, including cover). This is the most appropriate category for Japanese manga style comics.
Bande Dessinée Category (Color) An original bande dessinée for all ages (8-16 pages, including cover).
Webtoon Category (Color) An original webtoon for all ages (sized 690 x 16,000 pixels).
Storyboard Category An 8-page black-and-white comic or color webtoon (690 x 16,000 pixels) based on the supplied storyboard. You may rearrange the storyboard if you so choose.
The storyboard can be downloaded from "How to apply."
Illustration Category An original color illustration for all ages (There are no size requirements).
  • You can submit artwork made with any digital or traditional tool or software. If you create your submission using traditional tools, please submit a digital scan of the artwork. (Paper submissions will not be accepted)
  • There are no requirements for language depicted in works. However, English-language works tend to reach the widest audience.
  • Entries will not be made public until the screening results are announced.
  • For the Comic, Manga and Bande Dessinée categories, please submit your work to the category you believe is most appropriate. However, black-and-white or color is specified for each category.
  • Upload your Comic / Manga / Bande Dessinée / Webtoon Categories entries to Clip Studio Share to apply.
    When uploading to Clip Studio Share, please use the following settings:
    Visibility: Lock with a secret phrase. Please send us the secret phrase when submitting your entry.
    Comments: Turn off commenting

Please apply after reading and understanding the submission criteria.

Free 3-Month License for Clip Studio Paint EX

Contest participants can get a free three-month license for Clip Studio Paint EX! A teacher must first register the school or program so that students can apply for this special offer. After your school or program is registered, the teacher will be given instructions for how you can apply for this special offer with your school ID.

Clip Studio Paint EX application deadline: Monday, April 13, 2020, 09:00 (GMT)

Awards and Prizes

Comic / Manga / Bande Dessinée / Webtoon Categories

Overall Grand Prize (1 winner)

Cash prize 3,300 USD
· Wacom Cintiq 16
· Clip Studio Paint EX*

Category Awards (1 Winner each)
Comics / Manga / Bande Dessinée / Webtoon Categories

Cash prize 2,200 USD
· Wacom Cintiq 16
· Clip Studio Paint EX*

Runner-up: 3-5 Winners
Comics / Manga / Bande Dessinée / Webtoon Categories

Storyboard Category

Grand Prize

Cash prize 2,200 USD
· Wacom Cintiq 16
· Clip Studio Paint EX*

Runner-up: 3-5 Winners

Illustration Category

Grand Prize

Cash prize 550 USD
· Wacom Cintiq 16
· Clip Studio Paint PRO*

Runner-up: 3-5 Winners

Note: If you already own Clip Studio Paint, you will be awarded GOLD for use in Clip Studio ASSETS, instead of receiving software.
Materials publishing and download site: Clip Studio ASSETS

How to Apply

Submission Criteria

Theme: “Promise”
You can submit artwork made with any digital or traditional tool or software. If you create your submission using traditional tools, please submit a digital scan of the artwork. (Paper submissions will not be accepted)

Comic / Manga / Bande Dessinée Categories
  • 8-16 page original work
  • Comic / Bande Dessinée: Please submit in color
    Manga: Please submit in black-and-white
  • Submissions may be formatted for right-to-left or left-to-right reading.
  • There are no restrictions on language depicted in works.
  • File Formats: PNG, JPEG, CLIP (CLIP STUDIO format), less than 32MB per page
  • You can create your comic in any size, but we recommend using 300 dpi resolution for color comics and 600 dpi for black-and-white works.
Webtoon Category
  • An original Webtoon (sized 690 x 16,000 pixels).
  • Color
  • There are no restrictions on language depicted in works.
  • File Formats: PNG, JPEG, CLIP (CLIP STUDIO format), less than 32MB per page
Storyboard Category
  • An 8-page black-and-white manga/comic or color webtoon (690x16,000 px) drawn according to the assigned storyboard.
  • Other requirements are the same as the Comic, Manga, Bande Dessinée, and Webtoon categories.
  • You can rearrange the storyboard structure of the assignment: lines, characters, etc.
  • Storyboard (Published Dec. 26, 2019)
    Download the storyboard from here.
    - The age, sex, gender, and appearance of the characters, as well as the panel layout, dialogue, backgrounds, etc. may be changed however you like.
    - We look forward to seeing your creative interpretations and renditions of the theme storyboard.
    - As the storyboard has been translated from Japanese, please read from right to left.
    Storyboard 1
    > Download (Clip 41.2 MB)
    > Download (Jpeg 21.2 MB)

    A day before the tennis match of a lifetime, Terry receives a surprise visit. Who are they, and what promise do they want Terry to keep?

    Storyboard 2
    > Download (Clip 37.7 MB)
    > Download (Jpeg 23.5 MB)

    Two childhood friends reunite after a decade. The question is, does either remember their promise to get married after all these years?

Illustration Category
  • An original color illustration
  • PNG or JPG format, less than 5MB.
  • There are no size restrictions, but we recommend the below size:
  • A4 sheet, 300 dpi (2480 x 3508 pixels)

Entry Rules

  • Applicants must be students aiming to debut as professional creators such as manga artists and illustrators at the time of application.
  • Submissions must be unpublished original artworks that have not won other contests and must be suitable for all ages. (You may submit artwork that has been published in fanzines or on websites that do not offer compensation for artwork.)
  • It is not necessary to delete the items that have already been posted online or to social media before submitting to the contest, but please refrain from posting new artwork online until the contest results are announced.
  • Multiple creators can apply with group-created artworks in the Comics/Manga/Bande dessinée/Webtoon categories if all the creators are students, and they agree to apply with one co-created work.
    Please check the following terms before submitting your artwork.
    • - When applying, please select a representative to upload your work to Clip Studio SHARE with their Clip Studio account.
    • - When entering a name in the application form, use either your group's pen name or your representative's name.
    • - For contact information, enter the contact information of your representative. The contest organizer will only contact the representative's email address.
    • - Prize money and goods will be sent to the representative, who should distribute them to the other group members upon receipt.
  • Winners (including runners-up) have the opportunity to have their work critiqued by judges and sponsors. These comments will be uploaded to the organizer’s official website. Parts of the works may be publicly reproduced for the sake of these critiques.
  • A teacher must register on behalf of the school or program in order for students to be eligible. If your status as a teacher cannot be confirmed, you will not be able to register your school for participation. Students will need to enter the school ID (issued when a school is registered) when submitting their artwork.
  • Supporting companies may also contact contest participants for permission to display the artwork in their media. A participants’ name, age, e-mail address and school in which they are enrolled may be shared with these entities in such an event. Winners’ addresses will also be shared with sponsors for the purpose of shipping prizes. We appreciate your understanding of these rules when submitting your works.
  • The winning entries may be used in promotional materials for Celsys, Inc. and collaborating companies.
  • Text within entries may be translated into other languages to present the artwork to an international audience.
  • Works are not eligible for submission or judging in the following cases:
    • - If not for all ages.
    • - Content that infringes on copyright or intellectual property.
    • - Offensive or objectionable content.
    • - Other entries may be deemed inadmissible by the organizer. In such cases, the reasons for exclusion will not be given.
  • Contest entries will be posted online after results are announced. Entrants’ pen name, school name, country name, and work title will be displayed along with the work.
  • If you are a digital artist and a winner of the Comic, Manga, Bande Dessinée, or Webtoon categories, please send us the data with the separate layers so that we may translate your comic. Please save the file with separate unmerged layers where possible.
  • A single applicant may submit multiple entries.
  • Prize money will be transferred to your PayPal account.
  • Celsys may send information about sponsor companies to the school email address provided when registering.

How to Apply

A teacher must register on behalf of the school or program in order for students to be eligible. Students will need to enter the school ID (issued when a school is registered) when submitting their artwork.

Participant School Registration

Please enter the necessary information below in the application form. The contest organizer will send a school ID via e-mail at a later date for submitting contest entries. It may take up to five business days for your registration to be accepted. School IDs issued for previous contests cannot be used. If you have registered your school for previous contests, you still must register separately for this event.

Necessary Information:

School name, type of school, teacher’s name, e-mail address, phone number, school website URL, school’s logo file*

* Logo is optional. Provided school logos will be displayed on the official website at a later date.

To confirm that you are a school teacher, you need one of the following when you register:

- Teacher's email address with school domain
- Business card or ID photo
- Document proving that you are a teacher


Participant School Registration

School ID sent by e-mail

How to Apply (Comic / Manga / Bande Dessinée / Webtoon Categories)

Students should submit their work individually.

  • Create a Clip Studio account
    Please create a free Clip Studio account to upload comic submissions. All you need is an email address to register an account.
    If you already have a Clip Studio account, skip to Step 2.


    Clip Studio Account

  • Upload your comic
    Upload your comic to Clip Studio SHARE. Clip Studio SHARE is an electronic viewer for easily embedding and reading comics and manga.
    When uploading to Clip Studio Share, please use the following settings:
    Visibility: Lock with a secret phrase. Please send us the secret phrase when submitting your entry.
    Comments: Turn off commenting

    Upload Your Work

  • Submit via entry form
    Fill in the application form below and enter the URL of the entry published on Clip Studio SHARE.
    You will need your school ID when submitting your artwork.

    Enter your submission URL and school ID in the entry form

How to Apply (Illustration Category)

Students should submit their work individually.

  • Fill in the application form below and upload your illustration.


    Enter your submission URL and school ID in the entry form

Application FAQ

  • Q: Can student applicants register their school?
    A: No, a school teacher must register their school for participation.
  • Q: My school doesn’t have a website. Can I still apply?
    A: Yes, you can apply even if there is no school website. Please attach a copy of your business card, teacher identification card or other documentation proving your status as a teacher when applying.
  • Q: What’s the difference between the Comic, Manga and Bande Dessinée categories?
    A: Submissions are accepted for each category. Please submit to the category you personally believe your work fits in best with. American style comics are best suited for the Comic category, while Japanese-style manga are best suited for the Manga category. However, note that the Comic and Bande Dessinée categories are for color comics, and the Manga category is for black-and-white submissions.
  • Q: Can I enter works that have been in other contests?
    A: Yes, if they have not won any awards at other contests.
  • Q: Can I publish my work online after entering?
    A: If a piece has already been published on social media or a website, it’s not necessary to delete it. However, please refrain from uploading an entered piece before the results announcement.
  • Q: Can I submit a work that I made with my friend?
    A: Yes, multiple creators can apply with a single co-created work in the Comics/Manga/Bande dessinée/Webtoon categories if all the creators are students and they agree to apply with one co-created work. Please choose a representative to apply. Please check the application rules for details. The Illustration category is not eligible for co-created artworks.

Judges & Sponsors

Contest submissions will be judged by an artist panel and sponsor companies. The results are planned to be announced in early July 2020.


Cameron Stewart

Award-winning comic creator and artist Known for his work on DC Comics’ Batgirl, Fight Club 2 and more. Currently resides in Toronto, Canada

Shuichi Hiratsuka

Shuichi Hiratsuka has worked over 16 years at Shueisha Inc. in the comics department, contributing on best-selling magazines like Super Jump, Grand Jump and Bessatsu Margaret. Hiratsuka was also in charge of “Bartender,” by Araki Joh and Kenji Nagatomo. He currently works in Shueisha’s digital department, developing new digital services.

Javier Fernández

Javier Fernández is DC’s exclusive comic book artist. Nightwing, Detective Comics or Green Arrow are some of his most recent titles.

Yohei Sadoshima

Cork, Inc. CEO
After a successful career at publishing company Kodansha, Sadojima founded the creator management company Cork in 2012. Cork currently represents high-profile artists such as Norifusa Mita, Moyoco Anno, and Chuya Koyama while providing editorial services, copyright management, community managment, and more.

Special Sponsors


Shueisha is a publishing house that deals in everything from manga comics and fashion magazines to art photobooks and more. Among the more well-known items in their porftolio are weekly comics magazine Shonen Jump, Ribbon, and Bessatsu Margaret. Their weekly comics publications have birthed many worldwide hits, including One Piece.


KADOKAWA is a comprehensive entertainment company that is involved in a wide range of businesses, including book publishing, movies and animation. Comic Walker is a free comic site that offers many popular KADOKAWA manga in one place. From the latest media mixes to popular sci-fi comics, more than 2,400 works are posted here free of charge.


Pioneer of creative pen tablets and displays which are being used to create some of the most exciting digital art, films, special effects, fashion and designs around the world.


Amutus Corporation

Japan's largest e-book site. Amutus, together with production partners, is responsible for planning and producing Mecha Comic and the original comic brand “Amcomi.” Amcomi works are distributed on e-book sites in Japan and overseas, including on Mecha Comic.

BookLive Co., Ltd.

BookLive! is a general e-book store selling manga, novels, magazines and more, stocking over 900,000 titles. BookLive! also offers over 10,000 titles to read for free, without even registering. Check out BookLive!’s easy-to-use interface with a free title!

Solmare Publishing
(NTT Solmare Corp.)

Operator of Japan's largest e-book store, Comic Seymour. The "Solmare Editorial Department" is responsible editing the e-comics that appear in the store. Solmare Publishing is also now creating original comics that appeal to global readers.

Mag Garden Corporation

Publisher of Monthly Comic Garden and operator of e-comic distribution platform MAGCOM. Mag Garden counts animation company Production I.G., WIT STUDIO and more among its group companies, working together with these partners in planning and producing anime series based on popular properties from their catalog.

Glénat Editions SA

Established in 1969 by Jacques Glénat, Glénat is a French publisher specializing in bande dessinée, manga, American comics and books on leisure topics (sea, mountains, gastronomy, cultural heritage, children and youth). Pioneers of manga publishing in France, Glénat remains the leader of this market today.


Ko-fi allows artists to receive money from fans of your art. Create your page and share it anywhere on the web. Fans can support you with a 'Ko-fi' (a small payment that is roughly equal to the price of a coffee). It's free to use. All you need is a PayPal or a Stripe account to receive payments. You can also post exclusive content, take commissions and receive subscriptions from fans.


Kana is a Belgium publishing house dedicated to manga which figures among the leader on the French speaking market. Created in 1996, Kana has built its catalog with bestseller shonen titles such as "Saint Seiya", "Detective Conan", « Naruto" or "Death Note" (among others) before expanding its offer with other types such as shojo and seinen titles. Kana’s goal is to promote the diversity and richness of Japanese manga form of art to the French speaking readers.

J-POP Manga

J-POP Manga is one of Italy’s leading manga publishers. Launched in 2006 by Edizioni BD, it represents a varied catalogue of over 3000 titles ranging from blockbuster Shonen manga (The Promised Neverland, Tokyo Ghoul) to some of the largest collections in the world dedicated to classic manga masters such as Go Nagai, Osamu Tezuka, Moto Hagio, Kazuo Kamimura and many more.


Gekkan G Fantasy

A monthly comic magazine released on the 18th of every month by Square Enix Co., Ltd., which will be celebrating its 27th anniversary in 2020. Known for titles like Black Butler, Horimiya, Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun, The Royal Tutor, and others. Gekkan G Fantasy additionally offers a number of serialized works that are ongoing now!


One of the largest and most successful manga contests in the world. Operated by publisher Coamix, Inc. which was established by renowned manga artists, it aims to discover, nurture, and publish the next generation of manga artists active internationally.

No9 Inc.

With the mission of enriching people's lives through manga, No9 Inc. is a digital comic agency that strives to maximize the manga market and sales in the digital age through four business pillars: manga agency services, manga app development, crowdfunding, and tax return services.


Inspired by similar comics markets in Japan, CoAket is the first of its kind in Germany and is getting attention from local artists. Open twice a year in Hamburg, CoAket focuses on artist displays and publisher’s booths.


Super Crowd Entertainment GmbH is an event management company in Northern Germany. It holds the world's largest indie game developer booth, Indie Arena Booth, and a pop culture event, “MAG,” that covers games, comics, and all things Japan. MAG is held in central Germany. The company also supports many developers and artists.


Building the bridge between Asian pop culture and the rest of the world since 1997, TOKYOPOP stands at the intersection where tradition meets innovation. Producing, publishing and distributing manga from all over the world, we strive to create an exciting fusion of content for fans of all ages.

Cork Inc.

Cork is a Tokyo-based manga artist management and literary agency that strives to redefine the role of an editor by cultivating spaces in which creators and fans can connect and thrive together. They help creators expand their readership base worldwide through traditional editing and promotional outreach as well as providing various fanbase related management services such as reading events and lectures.

Tokyo Name Tank

Tokyo Name Tank is a manga academy and lab that aims to support all aspiring manga artists from their first draft all the way to their magnum opus. With numerous award-winning and professional manga artists to their name, Tokyo Name Tank's classes include a introductory course where students create a 32 page-manga storyboard, individual Q&A sessions, and more.


Japan Cartoonists Association

The Japan Cartoonists Association was established in December 1964 as the only nationwide organization of Japanese manga artists at that time. It’s engaged in a variety of projects, such as research on comics, efforts in popularizing comics and comics culture, and comics cultural exchange with other countries. The group became a Public Interest Incorporated Association in 2014.

Manga Japan

Manga Japan is an organization that aims to promote the development of manga culture and artists, contribute to society through the manga industry, promote international exchange and improve production environments for manga authors and others involved in the industry.

Contest Partners

World Comics Senbutsu

Operational Support

Graphixly LLC Toutlemonde Production Co., Ltd.


Clip Studio Paint
This comic and illustration contest is organized by Celsys, the developers of Clip Studio Paint, the artist’s tool for drawing and painting. Call for works on the theme of "Promise.” Submissions accepted from January 9, 2020.

International Comic / Manga School Contest 2019

The previous contest, held from January 2019 on the theme of “Gift,” received over 1,400 entries from 639 schools in 67 countries around the globe!