Prism Comics, a non-profit group devoted to the promotion of LGBTQ-friendly comics and creators, is now accepting applications for the 2016 Prism Comics Queer Press Grant. Prism gives its annual grant to creators who are self-publishing comics with queer themes and characters, and submissions are judged primarily on their merit, though the financial circumstances of the creators are also considered. In addition to money, the grant recipient will receive promotional assistance from Prism.

Last year's winner was Dave Davenport, for his graphic novel Stray Bullet, which deals with HIV. Other past winners include Ed Luce, Tana Ford, and Blue Delliquanti.

The deadline for applications is March 1st, 2016. The winner will be announced during Wondercon, which is held in Los Angeles from March 25th to 27th. The application form is available on Prism's web site.

Here's the official word on what Prism is looking for:

 

The submissions are judged for a variety of elements. First and foremost is the quality of the work itself; the level of the illustration and writing, the use of cartooning techniques such as panels, lettering, and page layout, and the thematic depth and ability to develop character and plot, for example, all play significantly in the decision.
Also under consideration, however, are financial need, the thoroughness of the business plan, and the presentation of the grant proposal. A well-written proposal with no grammatical or spelling errors, for example, can provide the crucial few points to break an artistic stalemate.
The work can be in black and white or in color, and in comic strip, comic book, or webcomic format. It must simply be what we would define as “comics.” Or, to use Scott McCloud’s definition, “juxtaposed pictoral and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.” In other words, it should not be a prose story with illustrations, animation, or modern dance.
Sexually explicit and graphic material is absolutely permitted, but bear in mind that all material will be judged for thematic depth and narrative interest, so erotica whose main goal is titillation will have the odds stacked against it.