About the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards

Pop Culture Classroom’s Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards honor the best in fiction and nonfiction graphic novels. Winners are selected by an advisory board and category-specific juries comprised of experts in graphic literature from publishing, library, and education industries.

The Importance of Graphic Literature

Modern readers are living during the greatest communication revolution of all-time.  Print-text and visual-text works now share the literary stage. In order to teach with literature that embraces both literacies simultaneously, 21st century educators, librarians, and publishers need support and amplification for these works.

Pop Culture Classroom defines Graphic Literature as an art form that synthesizes text and image to present a sequential story, or series of stories, with lasting artistic, intellectual, literary, and cultural value. This medium incorporates various written and graphic elements to create an evocative and complex reading experience.

Graphic novels rely on the deft integration of images and words to tell compelling contemporary stories.  The text tells one piece of the story. The art tells another. Taken in total, they communicate something more powerful than word or text alone.

Graphic literature can play a powerful role in engaging students in educational growth.

“Over the last decade, graphic novels have become a popular format in classrooms, partly due to their appeal to reluctant readers. More recently, a growing body of research, focused on how the brain processes the combination of images and text, indicates that graphic novels are also excellent resources for advanced learners.” [1]

[1] 2017, Leslie Morrison, CTD News, Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy, April 13, 2017.

EGL Impact

Each year, Pop Culture Classroom promotes Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards finalists and winners by encouraging libraries, education groups, media, and our community of tens of thousands of pop culture fans and educators to check out these quality titles.

Pop Culture Classroom’s Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards help:

  • Educators and librarians 
    Identify high-quality graphic literature to use in diverse educational settings;
  • Publishers 
    Highlight works that make a significant contribution to graphic literature and promote substantive pop culture education;
  • Parents, Pop Culture Fans, and Other Discerning Readers
    Find compelling, expertly crafted graphic literature to read and enjoy.

In addition to receiving the prestigious EGL Award, 2021 winners and finalists also earn the honor of including an EGL cover medallion on covers for their selected works.

Attaching the EGL medallion:

  • Supports a standard of excellence in graphic literature that prioritizes deft storytelling, educational potential, and representation of diverse perspectives.
  • Tells families, teachers, librarians, and readers to expect only the most compelling, diverse, and educationally valuable graphic literature within the covers of the title.
  • Promotes reader interest and sales and encourages the use of the finalists and winners for classroom and at-home learning.

Selection of EGL Finalists and Winners

The 2021 Excellence on Graphic Literature Awards Advisory Board and Juries select the best in graphic literature through a clearly defined and transparent process. The evaluation team is comprised of diverse, experienced and informed professionals whose experience spans publishing, libraries, education, and other related fields.

Categories and Judging Criteria

Publishers and creators can submit graphic literature titles for consideration in the categories below. Each category will feature two winners: one in fiction, and one in non-fiction.

All submitted books will also be eligible for the awards below, regardless of category or fiction/non-fiction distinction: