✨ Last news ✨

UPDATE 2023 05 26 – And we’re off! The 2nd edition of the Manga Scholarship is now underway, and this year, among several other prizes, the winner will be flown to Japan. Candidates will have until Wednesday, August 16th, at 11:59PM (EST) to submit their application. You can find all the details on this page!

What is the O-TAKU Manga Contest?

The popularity of manga has been steadily growing for several years, and an increasing number of people are becoming interested in the complex and creative aspects of their favorite hobby, such as manga drawing and scriptwriting.

Launched in 2022 by Les Librairies O-Taku, one of the leading experts on Japanese comic books, better known as manga, in collaboration with the Montreal Comic Book Festival (MCBF), the contest aims to identify and encourage emerging talents in manga writing in Quebec, and eventually, across the country.

As the first of its kind in Canada, the O-TAKU Manga Contest is now in its 2nd year and is made possible thanks to the support of O-TAKU and its various partners.

Who can participate? 👋

Eligibility criteria

  • Only people who have never been published (I.e. self-publishing or publishing house) can submit their application.
  • The recipient must be at least 18 years old and be a Canadian resident.
  • For this edition, candidates must also reside in Quebec, Canada.

What do I need to do to participate? 👀

To be considered, candidates must submit a short but complete manga, commonly known as a “one shot.”

The story submitted should be a minimum of 20 pages and a maximum of 25 pages, accompanied by a brief description and a cover page.  The cover page is not included in the page count limit.

The application process consists of two main steps. The first step is to register. Once this is done, candidates will receive instructions by email and will have until Wednesday, August 16, 2023, at 11:59 PM (EST) to submit their work.

Important Dates 🗓📌

  • From May 26th to August 16th, 11:59 PM (EST) – Registration and submission of applications
  • September – Evaluation of all submitted applications by our pre-selection committee
  • October – Selection of the top 10 applications
  • November 
    • Selection of the 3 finalists, including the winning candidate, by the jury
    • Voting Contest by the public
    • Announcement of the winner and the two other finalists during the activities of the Montreal Book Fair (SLM)

The Rewards 🏆

1st place

  • Un montant de 500$ CAD
  • A trip to Tokyo (Japan) – September 2024
    • Round-trip flight
    • 7-day/8-night accommodation
    • Participation in activities organized by the Quebec Delegation in Tokyo
  • 6 hours of mentorship with experts in the field on various topics related to manga writing
  • Other: a free day at the O-TAKU MANGA LOUNGE, a one-year Sensei membership at O-TAKU, an official poster for the BM 2024, author visibility and promotion on social media and the O-TAKU website, art supplies from DeSerres, etc.

2nd place

  • An amount of $300 CAD
  • 6 hours of mentoring with experts in the field on different topics related to manga writing
  • Other: a complimentary day at the O-TAKU MANGA LOUNGE, a one-year Sensei membership at O-TAKU, author and work visibility on O-TAKU’s social media platforms and website, art supplies from DeSerres, etc.

3rd place

  • An amount of $200 CAD
  • 6 hours of mentoring with experts in the field on different topics related to the writing of manga
  • Other: a complimentary day at the O-TAKU MANGA LOUNGE, a one-year Sensei membership at O-TAKU, author and work visibility on O-TAKU’s social media platforms and website, art supplies from DeSerres, etc.

Our Jury 👩‍⚖️

Valérie Harvey

Author + Sociologist
Originally from Quebec, Valérie Harvey currently lives in Kyoto. She dared to imagine a northern Japan in her manga-inspired novels: Les Fleurs du NordL’Ombre du Shinobi et L’Héritage du Kami (Québec-America editions).
She translated the poetess Misuzu Kanéko into French. She is also a sociologist on Radio-Canada.
On her Nomadesse, YouTube channel, she hosts Parlons Japon with the Otaku Manga Lounge.  Great passion for Japan, it is present in all aspects of her life!


Comics writer
Etienne Desilets-Trempe, better known as Dez, is the creator of Frivolesque, a weekly online comic strip (webcomic) launched in 2013. Originally from Mauricie but living in Quebec City for twenty years, Dez is passionate about comics of all kinds, cinema, and retro video games and likes to get involved in various events. Frivolesque, the comic book on which he has been working for almost ten years now, tells the more or less incredible daily life of five unconventional girls. It is inspired on the one hand by manga of the “4-koma” type (Azumanga Daioh, Lucky Star, K-On) and their clichés, and on the other hand by the daily life of the author and the people who surround him.

Timothée Guedon

Publisher, Kana editions

Timothée Guédon was born in 1976. and grew up watching the first Japanese cartoons broadcasted in France (Goldorak, Captain Harlock), Holder of a Master’s degree in text and publishing, he joined the editorial team, in 2006. of the two publishing houses Dargaud Benelux and Kana. Since 2018 he has held the position of editor for Kana Editions under the direction of Christel Hoolans.

Grégoire Hellot

Managing Director, Kurokawa Publishing

He began his career in pop culture and entertainment at the age of 16 when he joined the editorial staff of the legendary video game magazines Joystick and Joypad. He then joined Univers Poche to set up the Kurokawa manga publishing house, where his knowledge helped him to build a relevant catalog that has been critically acclaimed for more than 15 years.


Comics writer + Live animation expert

Nunumi (aka Christine Dallaire-Dupont) has been part of the Quebec animation scene for over 15 years. She has contributed to many titles including Ballerina, La Guerre des Tuques 3D, Le Magasin des Suicides, Félix and Le Trésor de Morgaa, and held several roles including those of animator, character designer, and storyboard artist. More recently, she made her directorial debut on the animated feature Katak le Brave Béluga. At the same time, she evolves in the world of comics as an author. In 2017, her first work entitled Sky Rover was recognized in Canada (Joe Shuster Award) and Japan (Japan Media Arts Festival). Her latest book, Un Billet Pour Nulle Part was released in Quebec in 2019 and she is currently working on her third album. http://www.nunumi.com/

Satoko Inaba

Manga editorial director, Glénat editions

Born in Japan, Satoko INABA arrived in France at the age of 7 and studied in both languages. With a graphic background, she joined the manga publishing world as a designer and translator, before joining the editorial team of Glénat Manga in 2008, of which she took over the management in 2015. Gradually intervened in editorial choices and orientation of the catalog since her arrival, she has contributed to the introduction of great successes (One Piece, Dragon Ball), selected new bestsellers (Tokyo Revengers, Dr Stone, Sakamoto Days), reissued legendary titles (Ranma ½, Parasite, Sanctuary ) and also takes care of the development of original creation within Glénat editions, by publishing authors of all origins: Japan, France, Italy, etc

Julien Clément

Manga enthusiasts representative

“I was passionate about the 9th art even before knowing how to read. Manga has accompanied me since I can remember, since childhood. I now share my passion for Dragon Ball, City Hunter, and Slam Dunk with my children. I have a collection of several thousand albums and have been devoting part of my free time for more than 10 years to selection juries, such as Bédélys monde and Bédélys Québec.”

Séléna Bernard

Export manager, Editions Mangetsu
Séléna Bernard is the founder of the Montreal office of Editions Bragelonne and its labels, including the brand new manga publisher that is already causing quite a stir: Mangetsu. She represents the publisher in the Belle Province and oversees the launch of the collection, its establishment, and its notoriety in Quebec and other French-speaking markets outside France. Contributor of editorial projects and in particular new authors, Séléna is very involved with the literary community and is a fervent defender of all types of publishing including imaginary literature and manga. Present with several French-speaking authors and up-and-coming authors/illustrators, she offers workshops, coaching, courses, and ‘literary speed editing’ in the salons. Under the Instagram pseudonym “et si on parlaitvraiment” she demystifies the publishing world to make it accessible to as many people as possible and shares her passion for publishing, including manga. Also a consultant, Séléna specializes in business development, marketing, and strategies in this field.

IG @etsionenparlaitvraiment

Amélie Jean-Louis

CEO, Librairies O-TAKU

Since she was a child, Amélie has always been immersed in manga and dreamt about having her own business. In 2015, she took over the O-TAKU MANGA LOUNGE. Drawing on her studies and her experience in luxury hotels in several European countries, as well as her experience in Quebec as a Director of recruitment for an SME in event management, Amélie was able to quickly transform this little coffee shop on rue St-Denis into a real place of worship for manga enthusiasts in the Quebec’s main major city. After 7 years at the helm of the company, she founded Les Librairies O-TAKU with three other partners in 2020 to take the brand further. Bet won! Today O-TAKU has 7 points of sales across Quebec, the largest independent manga collection on the web in North America, and a community of more than 20,000 enthusiasts. A real and breathing living manga encyclopedia, she is considered one of the greatest manga experts in Quebec. Each year, she reads all the new releases (i.e. more than 500 titles per year)!

BONUS: 6 hours of mentoring with industry experts 💎

Our finalists will also be able to benefit from an hour of mentoring with Nunumi, a Quebec comic strip artist and an expert in the field of animated film. During this session, they will be able to discover the importance of rhythm in story telling, whether through the tempo of the story, the choice of framing and the angles of view to be inserted at the right time in order to best serve the story that the we want to tell.

Valérie Harvey, Quebec author and sociologist, will talk to our finalists about the difficulties of finding your voice in a world where social networks are both essential and ruthless. We will talk about the efforts to make your work known, the respect and the time it takes to create content, the choices you have to make, with some pitfalls to avoid. It is a constant job, especially in the digital age.

What makes a character endearing, truthful, and unforgettable? How do you do it? This is what our aspiring mangakas will have the pleasure of discovering during an interview with the author of Frivolesque, the comic strip artist DEZ who will talk to them about the essentials to give characters their depth.

How to choose the manga that we will publish? What are the criteria that a manga publisher must set when several projects come to hand each year? This is what our aspiring mangakas will be able to discover during an interview with Sullivan Rouaud, the director of the manga collection at Mangetsu.

How to improve? How do we know if we are on the right track? This is what each of our 3 finalists will have the chance to discover in a private interview that will be granted to them by Timothée Gudeon, publisher at Éditions Kana.

What are the criteria for gauging the quality of a manga from a publisher’s perspective? What are the ingredients that will make it a success? Our finalists will have the chance to learn more about the subject during this interview with Grégoire Hellot, the general manager of Kurokawa.


✨ Meeting with a Mangaka and participation in Comitia
During their visit to Tokyo, the winner will have the opportunity to participate in the September 2024 Cometia event and meet a Japanese Mangaka. The identity of the Mangaka? To be announced!

Our hashtags #

#manga #boursemangaotaku2023 #boursemanga #candidatboursemanga2023 #librairiesotaku #otakumangalounge #mangaka #prochainmangaka #nextmangaka

Our Partners 🙌


What is the process to apply to the contest?

The application process has two steps:

  • At first, applicants are invited to register as candidates for the contest via the registration form appearing on the manga contest webpage.
  • The candidate then receives an email to confirm their registration and provide them with all the information necessary to submit their work. They will then have until August 16, 11:59 p.m. (EDT) to do so.
Can I participate again if I was a candidate last year?

Absolutely! However, you must still meet ALL the eligibility and participation criteria for the current year.

Can two of us submit together?

The answer is yes. Indeed, it may happen that one of your friends is more comfortable with drawing and you more at ease with the writing or vice versa. However, if you do win, you will have to split the prizes. This is left to your discretion, but we will ask you to confirm this in writing if you are one of the 3 finalists. For example, if you win the grand prize, you will have to decide who wins the money and who wins the trip.

Can I participate if I have already been published? (Comics, Manga)

Unfortunately no. The idea is to encourage people who have not been able to do this kind of exercise in the past.

I have already been published in another genre (ex: novels), can I participate?

Only authors of the written genre will be accepted. Those who have already published works such as comics or any work where illustrations are predominant cannot participate in this contest.

Is self-publishing accepted?

Yes, but only on two conditions. The first is that no publisher or broadcaster was involved in the process. The second is that this work cannot presented to submit your application to participate in this contest.

Is there anything that can disqualify me?
  • Submitting an idea or work that is not your own (plagiarism of a part or the entire work belonging to someone else)
  • Failure to meet deadlines or failing to provide information on time.
  • Failure to meet the eligibility criteria at the time of application.
  • Communication and solicitation of members of the screening committee or the jury in order to influence their verdict
  • Have obtained information about the contest before its official announcement on May 26, 2023
  • Reveal that you are one of the winners before the official announcement scheduled for the end of November 2023
  • Using racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory remarks or comments in your story
How can I know if what I submit will be considered as a manga?

Strictly speaking, a manga is a Japanese comic produced and published in Japan.

However, for the purposes of this competition, we will consider any submitted work as a manga if it adheres to specific graphic codes inspired by Japanese manga.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • The Japanese reading direction, which is right to left and top to bottom, starting from what Westerners would consider the last page of a book.
  • Black and white artwork (the cover can be in color if desired).
  • The use of certain graphic elements specific to manga, including but not limited to large eyes, screentones, expressive codes such as anger veins, onomatopoeias, speed lines, etc.
  • The characteristic pocket-sized format of manga is preferred in case of publication, but not mandatory.
Do you have any restrictions regarding the subjects of the works to be submitted?

While we encourage the creativity of our authors, it is important to understand that the Manga Contest aims to be an important vehicle for introducing the manga genre to the general public and promoting literary creation among fans, including readers aged 8 and above.

Therefore, the submitted works must respect this intention and be considered excellent ambassadors for the general public.

Consequently, the works must not contain: (A) extremely violent passages, including scenes of cruelty, torture, or hyper-realistic horror that could disturb children; (B) content rated 18 and above, such as explicit sexual activity or any other content that could be considered a sexual crime in Canada (e.g., pedophilia). We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

We also want to remind you that narratives that praise or promote racism, homophobia, non-inclusivity, incitement to hatred or violence, or contain discriminatory messages will not be tolerated.

Is it possible to publish our manga on social media before the announcement of the winners?

Unfortunately no. You can however say that you are a candidate if you decide register. You can also share photos of you and your ‘journey’ on social media. But publishing part or the complete work on Internet would de facto disqualify you. The main reason is that the jury must deliberate on the works anonymously and we are trying to minimize any possible bias as much as possible. However, you can publish once the contest is over and the winners are announced. This announcement is expected to take place at the end of November this year.

In case I decide to participate, who owns the copyright of the work? What about broadcast or promotional rights?

The copyright on your work belongs to you. You are simply submitting your work for evaluation purposes.
If you are one of the 10 finalists, you will be asked – for promotion purposes or for a public vote – to allow us to publish a few pages of your work. Never the complete work. And this will always be done with your consent. Otherwise, we do not have the right to publish, promote or broadcast on your behalf.

I have other questions, who should I contact?

For any questions, applicants can contact us by email at : bourse-manga@librairiesotaku.com.

What will we be judged on?

THE STORY (what is being told?)

  • PLOT (originality, depth, structure (beginning, development, conclusion), pacing, successful and captivating storytelling, impact, scope, reread potential, emotional impact)
  • CHARACTERS (credibility, psychology, depth, authenticity of emotions, consistency, growth)
  • SUBJECT (interesting theme (content, discourse, meaning), credibility, coherence, approach, treatment, scope)

NARRATION (how is it told?)

  • LAYOUT (mastery, efficiency, fluidity, composition and paneling, staging, framing)
  • VISUAL LANGUAGE (visual approach (realism, suggestion, abstraction, etc.), visual references, graphic codes)
  • WRITING (language quality, translation, dialogue consistency, personality, style)

AESTHETICS (how is it illustrated?)

  • GRAPHIC STYLE (mastery and consistency of drawings, expressiveness, atmosphere, character design, background and environment design, depiction of movement)
  • GRAPHIC CODES (adherence to manga graphic codes)

OVERALL IMPRESSION (is it original? Is it well-told? Does the artwork complement the story? What is the reread potential? Is there a surprise factor or significant emotional impact? Is it a good ambassador for the competition among manga enthusiasts, the general public, and young readers?)

Are there any dimensions or format requirements for submitting the manga?

The good news is that there are no specific dimensions to adhere to for the contest. However, the pocket-size format (11×18 cm or 4.25×6.87 inches) is the most commonly used for mangas. The success of the pocket-size format is well-established, as it boosts the sales of books released months earlier. Pocket-size books are also convenient to carry around, easy to read, and have less expensive finishes and lower pricing compared to other formats, making them easier to publish. This is something to consider.

Regarding the file format to be submitted, you will be asked to provide 2 versions of your manga in PDF format. One version should not have your name on the cover for evaluation purposes, and the other version should include your name on it.

Manga Contest 2023
Take off to Japan!

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