Behind every successful manga, there are one thousand and one others that fail to make the cut. Getting rejected is part of the life and times of any author, and even successful one have experienced it at one point or another – Attack on Titan author Hajime Isayama, for example, was actually rejected by Weekly Shonen Jump before bringing his idea to Kodansha. It’s a tough life.
Nevertheless, Jump Plus is offering aspiring mangaka a second chance. Announced on October 5, the ‘Next Step’ campaign is a rather ambitious venture by the service to capture whatever might have fallen under its radar, as well as capitalise upon its recent success.
Running from now until November 30, it is important to note that the Jump Plus ‘Next Step’ campaign is meant for professional mangaka. This doesn’t mean that you have to come to them with 100% commitment, however – the official website makes it very clear the fact that you can just inquire about the service or even the pay – but it is meant for those who are thinking seriously about a future in the industry.
With this in mind, the Next Step campaign casts a very wide net. Not only is Jump Plus accepting manuscripts that have been previously rejected, they are also accepting manuscripts that have been previously published – whether it be as a oneshot in another magazine or as an original doujinshi.
This is surprising as publishers are usually quite wary of copyright complications. Furthermore, the fact that they are accepting ideas that have been previously rejected is quite significant – anyone who has experienced the brutal disappointment of not being offered tea (see above) is now getting a second chance.
Considering the massive success that Jump Plus has seen as of late, perhaps it’s no surprise that the service is launching something like the Next Step campaign. Reaching 5.5 million sales with SPY x FAMILY and trending online with Kaiju No. 8 was probably enough for the team to be allocated a little more funding, and Shueisha undoubtedly wants to capitalize on the service’s success.
The Jump Plus ‘Next Step’ campaign is running from now until November 30. Three serializations and six oneshots are up for grabs. You can submit manuscripts here.