Applications for the 2024 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries are now open
For Immediate Release
Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table
American Library Association
CHICAGO — Applications for the 2024 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries are now being accepted by ALA’s Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. These grants recognize libraries for their role in the growth of graphic literature and award funds and resources for graphic novel collection development and programming.
The 2024 grant cycle marks the eleventh year of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries, and over that time, grants have been awarded to libraries of all types across the United States and Canada. 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.”
Two Will Eisner Graphic Novel grants will be awarded in 2024: one Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants, which provides support to libraries that would like to expand their existing graphic novel collection, services, and programs; and one Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant, which provides support to a library for the initiation of a new graphic novel service or program. Recipients each receive a $3,000 programming and collection development grant, a collection of Will Eisner’s works and biographies, and a selection of the winners of the 2024 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards announced at Comic-Con International in July 2024. The grant also includes $1,000 for professional development as a travel stipend for a library representative to travel to the 2024 ALA Annual Conference in San Diego, CA, where they will receive recognition from the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. 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.
Nancy and Carl Gropper of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation connect the grants with Will Eisner’s comic arts and advocacy legacy: “At an early age, Will Eisner believed in the artistic and literary merit of his chosen medium, comic art. When he wasn’t creating and innovating legendary work, much of his effort was directed to advocating for the availability of comics and graphic novels free for the public to enjoy in libraries everywhere. While his strong promotion meant a great deal, it has been librarians who, through the years, have championed the wonders of graphic novels and comics. The important role librarians have played in the art form's growth and popularity cannot be overstated. On behalf of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation, we express our support with these two grants and our deep gratitude for the daily work librarians accomplish during these very difficult times.”
The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries are administered by the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table. GNCRT President Robin Brenner said of the grants, “We at the GNCRT are always honored to be a part of the process of supporting the stellar ideas of library workers across the country for building comics collections and in hosting outstanding programs. Every year, colleagues across the country demonstrate their commitment to their communities and the comics format in proposing engaging, inventive ideas. The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries, as comics continue to be challenged, will be a vital lifeline for library staff working to celebrate the power of the medium. The generous, ongoing support of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation to libraries and library workers honors a legendary creator, and we are so grateful to continue this partnership to support comics in libraries across North America.”
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. The application deadline is January 28, 2024. For any inquiries, please contact ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Round Table staff liaison Tina Coleman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation
The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation fosters innovation and creativity in graphic literature, sequential art, and comics. It encourages others to continue and build upon the legacy of Will Eisner (1917 – 2005), who broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and countless others. Will Eisner is well known for his 17 graphic novels and three textbooks. For more information about Will Eisner visit www.willeisner.com.
About the Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table
The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association is dedicated to supporting library staff in all aspects of engaging with graphic novels and comics, including collection development, programming, and advocacy. For more information connect with GNCRT on Facebook; Twitter: @libcomix; Instagram: @libcomix; or check out the GNCRT website.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world, provides leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.