Excelsior Award

From Excelsior Award

Resource type: Book awards

Price band: £

Key stage: KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5

Region(s): All of UK

The Excelsior Award is an independent, nationwide book award that celebrates the best graphic novels and manga, as voted for by young people aged 9-18. The aims of the award are to encourage reading for pleasure and to raise the profile of graphic novels as a genre.

The Excelsior Award is divided into four age categories:

  • Excelsior Award White covers titles suitable for readers in UKS2 (9+).
  • Excelsior Award Blue covers titles suitable for readers in KS3 (11+).
  • Excelsior Award Red covers titles suitable for readers in KS4 (14+).
  • Excelsior Award Black covers titles suitable for readers in Sixth From ((16+).

A shortlist for each age category is chosen by a panel of librarians, comic creators and booksellers but the winners are chosen by students from participating schools.

The award is open to all schools in the the UK and Ireland and schools can register to judge as many of the categories as they like. Students read and discuss the shortlisted titles and then rate them across four key areas – Story, Artwork, Characters and Dialogue.


  • Registration to take part in the Excelsior Award opens in November every year.
  • The shortlists are announced in December and student judging begins.
  • Voting closes in April.
  • The winners are announced in July.

Read the shortlist announcement for the Excelsior Award 2024.

Cost: £30 registration fee per school (schools can enter as many categories as they wish). Fee does not include copies of the shortlisted books, which can be bought separately.

About the Excelsior Award: The Excelsior Award was originally launched in 2011 as a complement to the Sheffield Children’s Book Award.  It is now the UK’s biggest book award for graphic novels and manga for young people.

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Logo for Excelsior Award