The SILENT MANGA AUDITION® isn’t just a manga competition, it’s a gateway to your potential Japanese manga debut. By winning high awards in the contest, you will be invited to join the SMA MasterClass where our dedicated team of editors will help improve your abilities for a potential debut through a series of exclusive opportunities.
1. INTRODUCTION TO SILENT MANGA
1.1 The “LANGUAGE” of Silent Manga
A Silent Manga is a visual narrative told without dialogue, that relies entirely on illustration alone. You may however make use of onomatopoeia by incorporating SFX into your art.
We welcome all emotions – happiness, sadness and everything in-between.
However, we recommend always ending your story with a positive, heart-warming message. Like a good chef, the mixing of opposing flavors can sometimes produce the best results!
The works will be judged mainly on “the creator’s ability to direct an effective narrative through an entertaining story.”. As a creator, your story should be able to ignite your reader’s imagination!
The Audition Judges assess each entry for… “its message and how it makes the reader feel within a short, limited number of pages.” There are no limitations to what you can draw, as long as it’s an original creation that perfectly captures the theme. Study the theme and create an entertaining and easy to understand manga.
2. DRAWING YOUR SILENT MANGA
2.1 Page count
The page count for a single Manga Audition entry is 31 pages or less. (This page count may change depending on the round so always check the round announcement page).
The aim of the Audition is to demonstrate your ability to direct an effective narrative through an entertaining story. Consequently, the shorter the page count, the easier it is to achieve this goal. It’s the quality of this ability, rather than the quantity that counts.
2.2 Canvas size
• When using “B4” size paper: Draw directly onto paper. The drawing area (the “box” within the Trim lines) of a B4 page should be Width: 220mm x Height: 310mm – inclusive of Main Content area plus a Trim Margin of 20mm. “20mm” Trim Margin MAY be trimmed off when printing in a reduced size (e.g. tankobon), so do not draw anything of importance in that area. Use this area if you would like detail to run off the page.
• If B4 paper is unavailable, you can use any paper size (e.g. A4). But remember to keep the aspect ratio unchanged, eg. Drawing area (trim line size) of 279 x 198mm with 18mm Trim Margin included) to fit A4 paper. For A3 just double these proportions. Entries done in paper should be digitalized, selecting 300dpi resolution.
2.3 Working in digital
- Please follow the same dimensions stated in 2.2 Canvas size.
- All digital drawing tools are welcome in SMA (Clip studio, Manga studio, GIMP, Adobe Photoshop, Medibang, Paint, etc).
- Please remember to NOT use any copyrighted materials as part of your creation. Pre-set tools like brushes and screen tones are welcome.
- Preset photos or drawings of people and backgrounds are FORBIDDEN by the submission agreement as their use may be subject to copyright infringement. The ONLY exception is photos you’ve taken yourself.
2.4 Final output
Output both analog and digital works TRIMMED at the Trim lines before uploading to the Entry System.
3. TIPS AND ADVICE FOR YOUR SILENT MANGA
3.1 What is not allowed
- Dialogue: the use of dialogue to tell the story is strictly forbidden in Silent Manga.
- Copyright infringement: Using copyrighted characters or imagery.
3.2 What is allowed
- Speech balloons containing “!?”: Exclamations and other punctuation marks are fine, but always keep in mind that those devices are there to ENHANCE your expressive emotions, not to SUBSTITUTE them. E.g. : many artists draw expressive marks near characters faces, often without speech balloons.
- SIGNS: e.g., Parking / Flower Shop / Restaurants, etc.: Signage is also OKAY, provided they are very common and universally understood.
- Onomatopoeia: drawn letters that represent sound is welcome and actually encouraged in ANY LANGUAGE. In most Japanese manga, sound effects are usually incorporated into the art by the original artist, in a unique style that somehow sets the tone of the sound.
3.3 To take into consideration
- Don’t kill characters for the sake of “moving” people’s emotion. Think of heart warming tales of triumph over adversity, maybe a sporting event or through helping friends.
- Utilize the 1st page, as part of the storytelling and not just a cover page.
- We encourage you to make good use of a “Double page spread (a pair of 2 adjacent pages in a book)”. Treat the page spread as ONE WIDE CANVAS.
- Complex stories are often inappropriate for Silent Manga. Plan ahead, and think of a simple, yet effective story before you begin your final manga. “A simple message that captures the theme” will be awarded higher than a “complex story with a confusing message”.
- THE STORY ITSELF is NOT a part of the assessment. Instead, we want to see what “message(s)” the story clearly presents to the reader – evoking emotions and feelings to entertain the reader.
- FLOW: Though manga displays the action on a single page, it is designed to be read as a “double page spread”, with the action starting from the right and flowing from page to page. Even in the age of digital media, reading manga on a smart phone or tablet, these same rules apply. The key ingredient is to ensure the reader turns the page! Use effective “Mekuri” and “Hiki” (the last panel before turning over the page to the following panel), and other techniques for effective storytelling.
4. TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
4.1 Starting your manga
Your manga must start from A SINGLE PAGE, on the left side of the spread.
4.3 Image data
Preparing the image data of your work (data format)
Please prepare image data of your work according to the format below. (One image file for each page / two-page spread divided into two image files)
- Image format: JPG or PNG format
- File size: 1 file 2 MB or less
- Image file name: Add serial number at the end
- Resolution / Dimension Size: Up to 300 dpi / 4000 px x 4000 px
Pages MUST BE uploaded as “1 page / 1 Image”. For “Page Spreads”, please upload each page as “2 separate image files”.
If the file name is not correct, it may be displayed in the wrong order after uploading.
[Correct example] : page_001.jpg, page_002.jpg, etc. …
[Incorrect example] : page1.jpg / 1_page.jpg, etc. …
*ATTENTION If you name the first file “01”, make sure to omit the first zero when you reach double figures (e.g. _10.jpg, _11.jpg, _12.jpg etc.)
[Correct example] : page_09.jpg, page_10.jpg, etc. …
[Incorrect example] : page_09.jpg, page_010.jpg, etc. …
Images will be displayed on the web exactly as you upload them, so please TRIM AND CROP your images. All gutter, trim marks and other parts of the image you wouldn’t present to a reader, should be trimmed off.
5. PREPARATION OF YOUR WORK INFORMATION
The following information is required when you upload your entry on our web system. Please prepare the following in advance.
5.1 Manga information
When your manga is published on our website at the time of the event results announcement.
- Title of manga
- Work credits (in case of a team creation, team pen name)
- Work comment (To the editorial department / To the reader)
5.2 Personal information
This information is necessary at the registration stage in the event of winning an award. All information will be treated with strictest privacy.
- Full legal name
- Address and country
- E-mail address
- Phone Number
The deadline for each audition is listed on the audition page. All entries are valid up until 12:00 noon Japan time on the deadline date*. In case of mailed entries, the postmark must be within the deadline limit.
*However, we will consider delays due to internet connectivity issues, etc. In this case, the SMAC! Editorial Dept. will approve your entries, so please do not panic even after the deadline.
6. UPLOADING YOUR SILENT MANGA
6.1 Step 1: Creating an account
Create an account to upload your manga. For those who have already set up an account, please skip to “Step 2: How to enter the Audition”. Entry portal (Create account / Log in) >>
- On the Log in screen, click “Create account to enter your Manga!”
Complete the “Username”, “E-mail”, “Password” and “Confirm Password” fields, and click “REGISTER”.
*Your username will be used for all future log ins and cannot be changed later.
*For security reasons, username and password you entered will NOT be sent by e-mail. Please keep it in a safe place.
- Once registered, you will then need to complete your CREATOR PROFILE. Fill in all the information required in both the public and private sections.
- (Information in the private section will NOT be displayed online.)
- Once you have filled in all the fields, click “UPDATE PROFILE” to complete your account setup.
6.2 Step 2: Uploading your manga
- Log into your account.
- In the entry system menu, click “MAKE NEW ENTRY”.
- Click the banner of the Audition you are entering.
Enter information about your manga (you can edit this information before deadline):
[ Manga Format ]
Single page or Double page spread / Page order
[ Title + Credit ]
The manga title and the creator’s name (May differ from your profile name. Use this feature to credit “one-time partnership” etc.)
[ Favorite Part / Message for the Readers ]
Introduce your work. This will be displayed online, together with your manga.
[ Detailed Credit ]
If you work as a team, enter the names of all contributors here. The person who holds access to the registered email address acts as the representative for the team. (We recommend the person who illustrates the work to represent)
[ Message to Editorial Team ]
To the SILENT MAGNA AUDITION® Community and the SMAC! Editorial Dept. Have your say!
- Once you have completed all the required fields, click “MAKE NEW ENTRY”.
- [ Manga Format ]
- In the “UPLOAD FILES” section, Please set your manga in the field by “Drag and Drop” files, or click “ADD FILES” and select your page image files.
- Once you have successfully added all your page files, click “CONFIRM THE ENTRY” and you will see a pop-up so you can “make a new entry”.
If you fail to upload images, please use the Quick Uploader. *No need for registration. Refer to the page informations details to know how to upload your work correctly.
6.3 STEP 3: Checking your entry has loaded successfully
In the side menu, click “DASHBOARD”.
Initially, your entry will have “1. Awaiting verification” status. The SMAC! Editorial Department will confirm each new entry, so please allow 5-10 days for this to happen. (You will receive an email when this has occurred).
Please ensure that your entry is displayed correctly in the viewer. If you experience any problems, please use the “CONTACT SMAC! EDITORIAL” box to send a message.
6.4 Editing an entry
- Until your work is published, you may make alterations to an existing entry. To edit, click on “EDIT THIS ENTRY”.
- The following screen allows you to preview and edit the entry. Once you have finished editing, click “SAVE CHANGES”. You can re-upload your files by clicking on the “YES RE-UPLOAD FILES” box. *please ensure you re-upload all files.
You will then see “Update Success” displayed. Once finished, return to your dashboard and re-confirm your changes.
- You will receive an email within 5-10 days when your entry has been successfuly uploaded.
- By submitting work to the SMA, you agree to be bound by the following Submission Agreement.
7. THE RESULTS
7.1 Results announcement
The results will be published between 2~3 months after the deadline, with the announcement date will be published via our SNS.
7.2 Winning an award
All the winners will be contacted via email between 1~2 weeks after the results announcement. The SMAC! Editorial Department will then guide all the winners through the procedure to claim their prizes.