Tokyopop Dreaming Writing Competition

Tokyopop’s new Rising Stars contest is a lot more specialized. They’re having a prose Dreaming competition (link no longer available). They haven’t yet announced official rules, prizes (aside from “the opportunity to be published by Tokyopop”), or entry forms, but the gist is this: Write a 20- to 40-page story using the characters, concept, and the world of Queenie Chan’s The Dreaming. Due date is April 15.

The Dreaming cover

I do like this paragraph:

Your story should stay true to canon as set out in The Dreaming manga, without revising or contradicting the existing manga story and/or characterizations. What does “canon” mean? It’s all the information that can be gleaned from the original three volumes of The Dreaming manga; in other words, anything that the great Queenie Chan has established about her characters and world in print.

It’s interesting to see both the emphasis on staying true to the existing story and the use of the adjective “great” to praise the creator.

I’m surprised to see the emphasis on writing. Can Tokyopop be seeking to match up their own creative teams? American publishers have traditionally used separate creators for different parts of the process in order to turn out work faster and avoid copyright claims. Or is Tokyopop responding to criticism about its young creators perhaps needing more help with story structure and other editorial concerns? Or do they just want to sell more books from this series as aspiring creators seek out the source material?

Regardless, aspiring comic writers get few enough chances to get “discovered”. Here’s wishing the entrants good luck.


  1. THE FOUNTAINHEAD the movie is tons o’ fun as a semi-hysterical over-the-top melodrama. They threw out 99% of Rand’s politics and philosophy and went for cheap, tawdry soap opera instead: Good call!

    Though you do owe it to yourself to read at least one of Rand’s books to get some idea of what her appeal is (even if you yourself don’t care for it). I’d recommend ATLAS SHRUGGED for teenagers (they seem to identify with it better than older readers) but THE FOUNTAINHEAD the novel is conventional enough for the most part to make it accessible to most readers. WE THE LIVING is more autobiographical and ANTHEM (the shortest of her best known works) is a fairly fast sci-fi read.

  2. Its an odd contest. Perhaps its just a way to get some attention for the company and property?

    After all Image’s Shadowline comics, is also having a writer’s contest. They are seeking a new good(positive a better word?) female superhero title to play counterbalance to their Bomb Queen series. When asked the people running it admit that at least in part, its hoped to bring some attention to their line of books.

  3. It’s interesting that this writing contest is organized around prose rather than, for instance, a comics script. Maybe Tokyopop is trying to do with “light novels” what they did when they pioneered OEL/global manga: bringing non-Japanese creators to a Japanese format.

    After all, if a popular Japanese series can inspire both prose novels and manga tankubon, perhaps they’re wondering why a popular OEL might not be able to do the same, and this experiment with generating prose interest in one of their most popular series is a step in that direction.

    Or maybe not. But it’s interesting!

  4. Could be. It’s hard to tell what Tokyopop is thinking sometimes. Or, as James suggests, it’s a marketing alternative. It’ll also be interesting to see how good the winning entries are.

    James: I’ve ignored the Shadowline contest because it smacks of so much desperation. And it’s a better idea not to wallow in stereotypes in the first place, instead of trying to somehow balance them out.

  5. when can we get an entry form

  6. All Tokyopop has said is that they’ll be available in February, next month.

  7. […] up their teaser announcement, Tokyopop has announced details of their Dreaming prose […]

  8. this book is a good read and it is freakin’ scary!!!

  9. […] January, Tokyopop announced a prose competition inviting contestants to write a story set in the world of Queenie Chan’s The Dreaming. […]

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