Department of Modern Languages to Host Annual Graphic Novel Contest

Olivia Turner | The PhoenixAce Chisholm won Loyola’s first graphic novel contest held April 11, 2019. Chisholm is a Latin major and first-year student, and her novel tells the story of a mythical creature who bonds with Roman legionaries.

Loyola’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures will celebrate society’s long-time love of visual storytelling with its annual Foreign Language Graphic Novel Contest, open to students of all majors. 

Those who participate will create a novel based on their interpretation of the theme, which this year is “There is no place like…”. According to the contest rules, the novel should be no longer than eight pages and must include all original writing and artwork. 

The graphic novels should be written in any of the foreign languages taught at Loyola, which include Spanish, French, Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German, Italian and Polish. 

The contest took place for the first time last year and was created by Paulina Dzieza, manager of the Language Learning Resource Center. Dzieza said she decided to make the contest an annual event following its success the first year since it provides students with a creative outlet for their language and artistic skills. 

“I feel it was such a great opportunity for students to express their artistic skills and of course language skills … so I feel like there is a need to continue that,” Dzieza said. “It’s so great for our students and it’s a different way of learning language.”

Last year’s winner was then-first-year student Ace Chisholm, who wrote her novel in Latin based on the theme, “Best day in my life.” Chisholm’s novel, “Dies Maximus,” told the story of a young harpy — a mythical half-human, half-bird creature — who runs into and bonds with Roman legionaries. In an interview with The Phoenix last year, Chisholm said participating in the contest gives students an opportunity to practice creating dialogue in a foreign language in a new, creative way. 

This year Dzieza said there will be more prizes for the top graphic novels because of the amount of outstanding submissions they received last year. The top seven novels will receive a prize starting with a $400 Visa gift card for the first place winner, $300 for second place, $200 for third and $100 for fourth, fifth and sixth place.

The graphic novels will be judged by a panel of faculty from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures including Dzieza, Department Chair Susana Cavallo and a faculty member who’s an expert in the language in which each novel is written. 

All entries for the contest must be submitted to the Language Learning Resource Center by 4 p.m. on March 27. For further questions, students can contact Paulina Dzieza at

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