I'm not sure when this was announced, but it seems worth covering, for anyone who may have missed it, like me. The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo [CAKE] have announced a new Cupcake Award: 'a juried prize that supports the self-publishing of a new mini-comic by any artist who has not yet had a solo work printed by a publisher.' The winner is given $250 in order to print a new mini-comic, along with a free half table at next year’s CAKE (2015, where their comic will debut), in addition to advice and mentor support from special guest judge Annie Koyama, who will select the winner from 20 finalists. CAKE will promote the winning artist and their comic the lead up to next year’s show. Applications are open now- you can find more details here, and the deadline is August 31st. The award is for newer cartoonists, who have not yet had an individual work published.
'CAKE celebrates the diversity and vitality of Chicago’s indie comics and self-publishing scene, which has a history that stretches back to the mimeographed science fiction fanzines of the 1930s. The Cupcake Award is a means of continuing this tradition by encouraging and nurturing new talent.'