News / 15 Nov 2023

Illustration graduate wins Observer/Faber graphic short story prize 2023

BA (Hons) Illustration

Recent BA (Hons) Illustration graduate, Anna Readman, has been named winner of the prestigious Observer/Faber Graphic Short Story Prize 2023 for her entry ‘Dancing Queen’.

Leeds based cartoonist, Anna Readman, discusses ‘Dancing Queen’, its backstory, and their ambitions moving forward in a conversation with Rachel Cooke, Observer, and one of the judges for the award. Click here to read the full article on The Guardian.

“Eight years ago, my friend Annie died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition. It was the month before she turned 18. ‘Dancing Queen’ had been in my head for a while because people around me are beginning to settle down now, and this has made me reflect on where she’d be, and what she’d be doing, and on how the fact she isn’t around contrasts with my own life, and what I’m doing. One great thing about comics is that they allow for unbridled visual experimentation: you can deploy surrealism as a device to get across nuanced feelings, even as it helps you maintain a kind of distance from them, too. […] It would be amazing if winning this led to something; I mean, if someone wanted to pay me to draw my own stuff.”

Anna Readman, BA (Hons) Illustration graduate.

“Readman’s story, ‘Dancing Queen’, has a dark, Charles Burns-style mood. […] We all agreed that Readman’s story deserved to be our winner.”

Rachel Cooke, Observer & The Guardian.

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