- Hide menu


The deadline has been extended to September 22, 2016, by midnight, EST. There is then a seven-day grace period to complete entries for applicants who start their submissions before the deadline. Please write Caitlin Johnson, caitlin.johnson@duke.edu, with any questions.

What are the Panel Judge and other members of the screening panel of the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography looking for in a successful submission, one that is strong enough to be presented to the Prize Judge as a finalist?

The panel considers still images made from all photographic processes, both analog and digital.

Before sending in your materials, please review your photographs and their sequence to be sure that you’ve submitted the best representation of your larger work and that it will hold up as a book. The judging is based only on submitted images, which should be carefully selected to demonstrate the photographer’s ability to build a strong, coherent body of work with the potential for publication as a book.

The competition’s review and selection process is geared toward fairness, with an ethical eye to giving serious photographers the chance to have their work seen as many times as possible. An entry is reviewed again (and again) if just a single panelist would like to keep it under consideration. The result is a selection of the best potential book projects.

Are there any restrictions on who can apply?

The CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography is open to North American citizens of any age who have yet to publish a book-length work, defined as a publication that focuses on the photographer’s work, contains more than 30 of the photographer’s images, and is sold through conventional book distribution channels.

The prize’s focus is on creating an opportunity for photographers who are seriously engaged in the creation of a continued, active, and vital body of work to publish a first book. To this end, photographers who have a self-published, print-on-demand, or limited-edition book with a print run of 100 copies or more that is currently being promoted and sold on the internet are not eligible for the award.

If you have self-published or been published in a limited edition, we ask that you disclose this information in your artist’s statement and biography and send a copy of the publication. We additionally request that you submit an entirely new body of work for consideration or that no more than 5 images from the originally published body of work are included in the 40 images you submit.

Can I submit my photos as prints or CDs in the mail?

No email or regular submissions will be accepted. Images can originate in any format but must be sent as digital (jpeg/jpg) submissions via SlideRoom. For good image quality and fast upload, each image file should be sized at around 1024 x 768 pixels at 72 ppi. The online system offers very specific instructions for successfully submitting work. The panel will only review photos and written materials submitted online.

How many times can I enter?

You can submit as many entries as you wish, however, please note: If you are submitting multiple bodies of work you will need to register on SlideRoom with a different email address for each entry. (All of your other contact information, except the email address, can stay the same.) Multiple entries must be for different bodies of work.

If I have trouble submitting my entry, whom do I contact?

For technical support related to uploading the photos, entry forms, and/or payments, please contact SlideRoom support.

What can I expect to happen during this process?
“Every single entrant’s work is seen and carefully evaluated by a screening panel who represent the ‘best’ of the photographic universe: And because it is ‘seen,’ whether win, lose, or draw, that work is often moved forward. This journey has a great rippling effect.”
—Lynne Honickman

Guest Panel Judge Melissa Harris, editor-in-chief of the Aperture Foundation, along with a selection committee of accomplished photographers, editors, and publishers will review the submissions and select 10 to 15 finalists. The finalists will be notified by email and phone by December, 1, 2016, and asked to submit 10 sample prints from their submitted photographs. Those prints, to be mailed to the Center for Documentary Studies, must arrive no later than December 7, 2016.

Prize Judge Peter Barberie, the Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will review the finalists’ submission materials and prints to select the winner (to be announced to the public in January 2017) and write an introduction to the book.

By entering the CDS/Honickman First Book in Photography, you agree and acknowledge that the CDS/Honickman First Book in Photography retains the right to display and reproduce submitted works for educational, promotional, and exhibition purposes in both electronic and print formats.

By entering the CDS/Honickman First Book in Photography, you agree and acknowledge that you possess the necessary releases and permissions for your photographs to be reproduced in this book, and that your subjects have placed no restrictions of any kind on the use of the images for promotion, book reproduction, and exhibition purposes.

You agree and acknowledge that if you are chosen as the winner of the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography, you will work fully and collegially work with the editor, designer, production manager, and marketing and sales staff, as well as exhibition curator and archivist to supply all necessary materials and meet all target dates in the book production and exhibition schedules. As the book will be published in November 2017, concurrent with a solo exhibition at Duke University, it is important to emphasize how quickly this process goes, and how imperative it is that you commit to meet all deadlines to produce the best book and exhibition possible.

As the winner, you will sign an agreement with the Center for Documentary Studies that stipulates the terms for your solo exhibition and the archiving of a set of prints from the book in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. As the author, you will sign a contract with the publisher, Duke University Press, that will require you to meet mandatory benchmark editorial and production dates, to include providing a full selection of images from which to sequence the book (by January 9, 2017) and supplying hi-res digital images for reproduction (by February 20, 2017). Please note that the editor, collaborating closely with the photographer, starts with at least two, often three to four times, the number of images that will appear in the printed book.

As the book will be published in November 2017, it is important to emphasize how quickly this process goes; it is critical that you meet deadlines to ensure the publication of the best possible book.

The CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography will not consider entries that fail to meet the submission requirements as outlined in How to Enter.

Staff and faculty of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University are not eligible to enter the competition.

The $3,000 award will be reported to the winner on a 1099-Miscellaneous tax form. It is the responsibility of the winners to file their tax liability.


Be Sociable, Share!