Friday, December 04, 2020

Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship for college cartoonists



Every year the National Cartoonists Society bestows the Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship to one talented college student pursuing a career in cartooning. 

This includes comic strips, political cartoons, comic books, animation, graphic novels, editorial illustration…any cartooning discipline. 

The scholarship award is $5,000 and a trip to the NCS Reuben Awards.

Jay Kennedy was my editor at King Features for several years. He encouraged me with written letters and phone calls when I first began submitting comics for newspaper syndication, and then gave me my first syndication contract. After that, I worked with Jay daily in editing my work for King Features. 

I later left King after being offered a contract by Tribune Media, but none of it would have been possible without that initial time spent working with him. It was essentially hands-on training, particularly in succinct humor writing and editing, that was unavailable in any school or university. For a cartoonist or any visual story teller, those skills are as important as drawing ability.

Sadly, Jay Kennedy passed away in 2007 while vacationing in Costa Rica. (A little-known fact is that he died a hero, successfully saving his fiance who was caught in a riptide.) 

The annual Jay Kennedy Scholarship was established in his memory, and is funded by an initial $100,000 grant from the Hearst Foundation/King Features Syndicate and additional donations from professional cartoonists. 

Submissions are judged by a panel and an award is given to the best college cartoonist. This memorial scholarship is the sort of thing that can launch a young cartoonist's career. 

If you think that might be you, enter now! Below is the info on submitting.

The winner will receive:

  • $5,000 scholarship
  • Trip to the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Awards Convention.

To enter:

  • 8 samples of your own cartooning artwork (copies only); noting if and where the work has been published — either in print or on the Web.
  • Print out the samples AND copy them to a CD.
  • Files should be no larger than 8.5×11″ and no more than 300 dpi.
  • DO NOT send original artwork.
  • Completed entry form.
  • Download the PDF of the entry form for more details.