Let The Competition Begin!


Today we open the gates of the 2009 Prize for Political Cartooning and let the competition begin in earnest.

This year, newmatilda.com again offers cartoonists from all over Australia and New Zealand some impressive prizes for their clever creations. The winner gets $6000 of cold hard cash, plus there are more prizes and cash for other finalists.

The competition is open to professionals, amateurs, students or anyone with a sense of humour and some artistic flair. According to veteran caricaturist, the Lazarus of cartooning and one of the judges of this year’s competition, Bill Leak, if you are a cartoonist, you have no excuses.

Here’s an inspirational message from the man himself for those who are undecided:

"As cartoonists it’s our responsibility to uphold standards of decency and morality in contemporary society. We must be forever vigilant, keeping our keen eyes trained on our public figures, always ready to pounce whenever we spot them straying from the path of righteousness and virtue. No corruption will be tolerated, no act of treachery will go unpunished and the slightest hint of hypocrisy will have us leaping for our drawing boards, brimming over with indignation and disgust!

"With our pencils we will mock and ridicule those who fail to meet our standards of propriety. We will ignore their calls for mercy (‘please not another inch on that nose’, ‘please don’t make me any fatter’ etc) and terrible will be their punishment. Ah yes, cartoonists, from the depths of its debauched, rotten soul, society is calling out to you to help in its moment of need.

"Get out your texta pens, your inks, your brushes and dash off some drawings and submit them to the newmatilda.com cartooning competition where I will be one of those presumptuous enough to sit in judgement of your efforts. Please send cheques, cash, offers of sexual favours etc to Bill Leak c/- newmatilda.com. Good luck!"

But it’s not only the cartoonists who can get to have all the fun. Readers of newmatilda.com who register and vote on their favourite cartoons in each heat are also in the draw for weekly prizes of books, DVDs and film passes.

The response to our inaugural competition last year was overwhelming, with over 140 entries covering a whole range of political characters, events and topics. The quality of the cartoons was fantastic so we are looking forward to what you have to offer again this year.

Send your entries to cartoons(at)newmatilda.com. We are accepting entries right through to 1 June.

For more information visit the official site here.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.