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Celsys Opens International Comic/Manga School Contest 2023 for Students Worldwide Students get chance at publication with sponsor publishers

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Celsys officially opens the International Comic/Manga School Contest 2023 for students worldwide, accepting comics and illustrations on the theme of Light and Darkness. This worldwide contest limits eligibility to students, giving enthusiastic young artists and future professional comic artists a chance to learn new techniques and to make contact early in their careers with media organizations around the world. School registration begins on November 1, with entries from students to be accepted from December 1. 

Many Japanese and international companies in the comic industry have endorsed the contest. Six companies, including SHUEISHA, KADOKAWA, BookLive, Ki-oon, pixiv, and Wacom, have signed on as Gold sponsors with seven other Silver sponsors and operational support from NGOs such as The Japan Cartoonists Association, Manga Japan, and the Digital Manga Association.

Prize winners will have chances to have their entries published in sponsors’ media outlets. In addition to the Comic and Manga categories, there are many chances to win in the six comic-related categories in total, including the Webtoon, Bande Dessinée, Illustration, and Storyboard categories, where students draw a comic according to an assigned manuscript.

International Comic/Manga School Contest 2023


Starting in 2018 as a contest for European artists, the International Comic/Manga School Contest is now in its sixth year. Last year, the contest garnered over 1,600 compelling entries from 1,317 participating schools in 90 countries and regions. Entries are accepted in any language, inviting a wide variety of entries from many countries and regions. The winning entries will also be translated into English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean for readers all over the world to enjoy. 

The judging panel for this year’s contest will be led by professional creators and representatives from sponsors. The contest provides the winning entries with detailed and specific critiques from the judging panel, which give not only the winners, but also other students, a springboard to improve their skills. Previous contestants said, “I appreciated a lot of the constructive criticism that the judges offered so that next time I try making a comic again, I can keep these thoughts in mind” and “The comments picked up on parts that I missed and will really help me in my future creative activities! It was nice how there was careful feedback for each page.”

Through these events, Celsys, together with leading figures in comic culture both in Japan and across the globe, continues to support young creators aspiring to become professional artists.

International Comic/Manga School Contest 2023
Submission Categories

Entries will be accepted for the following six categories.

Original Comic/Manga/Bande Dessinée Categories
An original comic (color), manga (black-and-white/color), or bande dessinée (color) for all ages (8-32 pages, including cover). Please choose the appropriate category for your work and submit.

Original Webtoon Category (Color recommended)
An original webtoon for all ages (sized 800 x 20,000-300,000 pixels or a height ratio of 25 to 375 for an image 800 pixels or less when the width is set to 1).

Storyboard Category
A 4–16 page manga, comic or webtoon drawn according to the supplied manuscript.

Illustration Category
An original color illustration for all ages - no size requirements.

Light and Darkness (All categories)

School Registration: November 1, 2022 — April 3, 2023, 09:00 UTC
Entry Period: December 1, 2022 — April 10, 2023, 09:00 UTC
Results announced: Early July 2023 (tentative)

How to Participate
A teacher or member of school staff must register on behalf of the school or program in order for students to be eligible. Students will need to enter this school ID when submitting their artwork.
Please see here for more information.
Awards and Prizes
Comic / Manga / Bande Dessinée / Webtoon Categories
Contest Grand Prize (1 Winner)

US$3,300 cash prize
・The new Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 (DTH167) for creators who want the natural and precise pen performance
・Cross-platform painting tool, Clip Studio Paint EX (single-device, 3 years)

Category Award (1 winner per category)
・US$1,700 cash prize
・Wacom One Creative Pen Display
・Clip Studio Paint EX (single-device, 3 years)

Runners-up (3–5 winners per category)
・Clip Studio Paint EX (single-device, 3 years)

Storyboard Category
Category Award (1 Winner)
・US$2,200 cash prize
・Wacom One Creative Pen Display
・Clip Studio Paint EX (single-device, 3 years)
Runners-up (3–5 winners per category)
・Clip Studio Paint EX (single-device, 3 years)
Illustration Category
Category Award (1 Winner)

・US$550 cash prize
・Wacom One Creative Pen Display
・Clip Studio Paint PRO (single-device, 3 years)
Runners-up (3–5 winners per category)
・Clip Studio Paint PRO (single-device, 3 years)
In addition to internationally renowned professional creators, one judge from several selected sponsors will participate on the judging panel.

Gold sponsors

SHUEISHA is a Japanese publisher that specializes in manga, fashion magazines, and literary books. They publish a variety of comic magazines from Weekly Shonen Jump and Weekly Young Jump to Ribbon in Japan. As well as being the publisher of the worldwide smash hit, One Piece, SHUEISHA also provides manga fans with the Shonen Jump+, Manga Mee, and YoungJump! apps.

An all-around entertainment company, KADOKAWA, runs a wide range of businesses in publishing, videos, games, web services, education, merchandising, intangible services, and inbound sales. The company’s free comic site, Comic Walker, features popular KADOKAWA manga. It boasts more than 4,000 titles ranging from mixed-media works to popular isekai comics.

Amassing a stock of over 1.4 million books since its establishment in 2011, BookLive has become one of the Japan's largest comprehensive e-book stores.
Striving for maximum usability for readers, BookLive offers over 10,000 titles available to read for free!
The company also produces original e-books, aiming to create titles that capture the hearts and minds of the smartphone manga generation.

Ki-oon is a French publishing house founded in 2003 by two manga fans. It is currently the third largest publisher in France, publishing "My Hero Academia," "Jujutsu Kaisen," "Frieren", "BEASTARS," and many more. In addition to purchasing licenses, they also produce and publish original works in a variety of genres, such as "Tsugumi Project", "Léviathan", "Beyond the Clouds", "Outlaw Players", "Lost Children", "Outsiders" and "L'Éden des sorcières". These works are initially published in France and then licensed for Japanese and worldwide distribution.

A social network for creators that makes getting creative even more fun! With over 71 million users worldwide, more than 100 million illustrations, comics, and novels have been posted. New, fun projects for illustrators, manga artists, and writers pop up every day.

Pioneer of pen and display tablets made for creatives, used to create the world’s most exciting digital art, films, special effects, fashion, and design.
Click here to learn more about educational use.

Silver sponsors

MangaPlaza is one of the largest providers of digital manga in the U.S. Boasting over 76,000 titles from 40+ publishers, users can discover exciting works, including platform exclusives. We also offer a monthly plan that grants users access to 21,000 chapters for a great deal. Begin your journey on MangaPlaza and find your next favorite series!

A comic book publisher with a mission to "bring FUN to life through the power of stories,” FUNGUILD plans and edits original comics and webtoons that resonate with their readership of girls, women, and young men, making them available via various Japanese and worldwide online comic sites.

Planeta Cómic
Planeta Cómic (Grupo Planeta) was founded in 1982. We offer a wide range of the world's best shonen manga: Dragon Ball, My Hero Academia, Naruto, One Piece and Kaiju No. 8, as well as kodomo, seinen, shojo, yuri, and BL manga. We also have our own successful magazine: Planeta Manga.

As for North American comics, our Star Wars books and independent works deserve special mention. Both our collection of national graphic novels (Los pacientes del doctor García, Voces que cuentan, Cuatro poetas en guerra) and international graphic novels (From Hell, The Hunting Accident, The Eternaut) are all highly acclaimed.

Dupuis is a Belgian publisher with over 100 years of history, and the main creator of many great Franco-Belgian comic heroes, such as Spirou, the Marsupilami and Gaston Lagaffe, to name a few. It is also known as the publishing house with the most diverse library in Europe, with titles in teen & young adult comics, manga, webtoons, graphic novels, news and many other genres.

RED SEVEN is a company founded with the combined powers of REDICE STUDIO, creators of "Solo Leveling," and L SEVEN, creators of "Omniscient Reader." With works such as “King of Excavation”, “The Great Mage Returns After 4000 Years” and “Lady Devil”, RED SEVEN aims to realize the potential of both and provide readers with an elevated reading experience.
They are looking for all sorts of manga works, beyond the webtoon genre they’re known for and look forward to your entries.

SORAJIMA Inc. is a manga studio with the largest share of Webtoons produced in Japan. What’s more, while developing its global and multimedia offerings, the studio is also taking on becoming a platform provider and putting effort into its new manga app, SORACOMI, all built in-house.

We are a Manga Artist Entertainment Production company with a vision to create the stage where the next generation of manga artists can be active and accelerate the evolution of Japanese manga. Working closely with manga artists' careers, we push the envelope on manga as an artform. For companies, we provide services such as the Original Story Advertising Manga "Orist" service, which produces manga for commercials. We also deliver manga to publishers through our Team-based Serialization and Comic Production "Manpro" business.


SHOGAKUKAN is a general publishing company that publishes magazines such as comic magazines, children's magazines, information magazines, women's magazines, books and picture books. The comic magazine genre covers a wide range of readers from boys and girls to adults, such as CoroCoro Comic, Weekly Shonen Sunday, Sho-Comi, and Big Comic. The company also runs the comic app, Manga One, which has been downloaded over 20 million times.

BOOK☆WALKER Global is one of the world's most popular eBook stores and apps for reading over 29,000 digital Manga & Light Novels. Experience and enjoy the latest manga and light novels, mainly from Japan on your iOS and Android devices and/or the web viewer.

Founded in June 1991, Ever Glory Publishing Co., Ltd. has mainly had educational- and entertainment-oriented children’s books published and distributed. It once gained authorizations from SHOGAKUKAN, Kodansha, SHUEISHA, and Akita Shoten to issue Chinese versions of comics in Taiwan. As part of its recent focus on training manga artists and holding original manga contests regularly, the company also welcomes aspiring authors to submit their comics and novels whenever possible.

Pocket Comics is a manga app with a large selection of full color webtoons, known as comico in Japanese, Korean and Thai. In English, French, German and Traditional Chinese it is known as Pocket Comics and has been downloaded over 41 million times worldwide.

One of the biggest international manga competitions, exclusively without dialogue. It is organized by COAMIX Inc., a manga publisher founded by iconic creators such as Tetsuo Hara and Tsukasa Hojo. The competition aims to discover, nurture, and publish the next generation of international manga creators.

Minto Studio
Minto Studio is a webtoon specialist, which built up a unique production system through its vast global creator network and 10 years of content production knowledge. It produces works in collaboration with a number of platforms including Kakao Pikkoma, with whom it has a business alliance with.

Tokyo Name Tank
Our goal is to support everyone in creating their own manga while having fun drawing it. We have produced many award-winning and debut artists. In addition to storyboard lessons that cover how to structure a complete 32-page storyboard, we also hold individual consultations and storyboard exchange sessions to answer concerns about the creation of comics.

Cork, Inc.
A creator agency whose mission is to change each and everyone’s world through the power of storytelling. The agency aims to create a world where comics can shine brightly, where excitement is generated from creators and fans connecting directly and building a model for entertainment in the Internet age that goes beyond traditional publishing and distribution.

LINE WEBTOON is a new global digital comics platform available on both computer and mobile devices.
The Traditional Chinese version was released in July 2014 and is dedicated to providing readers with manga content that you won’t want to put down once you start reading!
LINE WEBTOON also strives to nurture Taiwanese creators.


Japan Cartoonists Association
The Japan Cartoonists Association was established in December 1964 as the only nationwide organization of Japan's manga artists at that time and became an Incorporated Association in 1985 before becoming a Public Interest Incorporated Association in 2014. It is 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.

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.

Digital Manga Association
The Digital Manga Association is an organization of volunteers established to explore creative technologies for the creation of digital manga and comics and research copyright issues caused by digitization.

Contest Partners


Operational Support

Graphixly LLC.

Toutlemonde Production Co.,Ltd.



About CELSYS, Inc.
Celsys, with a mission of “Creating a more passionate world,” provides solutions for creative activities through the “Clip Studio Paint” app for illustration, manga, webtoon, and animation production, the “Clip Studio” web service, and the “Clip Studio Reader” e-book solution. Celsys supports people all over the world to better enjoy creating and all the experiences that come with it.


For media inquiries
Celsys Media Relations press@celsys.com