Mid-way through this month, Prism Comics announced the latest round of 2012 Queer Press Grant (QPG) winners at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, CA: Christine Smith, author of The Princess and Blue Delliquanti for a graphic novel called O Human Star.
Grantees choose the amount of money for which they would like to apply, along with a cover letter explaining their project and how and why it pertains to the LGBT demographic of comic readers. Also required is a financial statement, resume, etc.
The Prism Comics Board of Directors awards The Queer Press Grant for "the level of the illustration and writing, the use of cartooning techniques such as panels, lettering, and page layout, and the thematic depth and ability to develop character and plot." Of course content counts the most, but the particulars of an applicant's financial situation and a well-conceived and written proposal go a long way, too.
In addition to finances, Prism helps out with publicity as well. Each winner gets a short write-up on Prism's site and a tip-of-the-hat in a press release discussing the grant. Prism also helps authors who receive the grant set up signings and host panels, as well. The video featured below is one such panel Prism held with the 2010 grant winners.
The Xeric Foundation funded the prize up until this year. Xeric is Peter Laird, one of the original minds behind The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The grant money is now fronted entirely by donors. Xeric gave away over $2.5 million to independent comic publishers since 1992, but now that web-publishing offers aspiring comic book and graphic novel creators a platform for delivering their work to the public essentially free of charge, altering the industry irrevocably, Laird announced that the "Xeric Foundation need[ed] to change accordingly."
No change chunks hefty enough to garner headlines have been given by the foundation, recently. According to their site, the Massachusetts-based foundation generally does not give sums larger than $5,000. The site does, however, furnish a listing of donations they have issued since March of this year. In lieu of the Queer Press Grant, Laird has given to several organizations promoting literacy and food distributers like Food Bank.