Submission Guidelines

The submission period for The MCBA Prize 2015 is now closed; this page remains as an archive of the 2015 submission guidelines.

The MCBA Prize is the first honor to recognize book art from across the field and around the world. The MCBA Prize celebrates the diversity of book art and encourages discussion rather than limiting recognition to one aspect of this vital field.

A jury of three distinguished leaders in the field of book arts will review all submissions, and narrow the field to five finalists. These five works will appear on display at Minnesota Center for Book Arts during Book Art Biennial 2015. From these five works, the jury will select the recipient of this year’s MCBA Prize.

Please review the MCBA Prize 2015 entry guidelines below before submitting your work.
Then CLICK HERE for the online entry form.


The MCBA Prize recognizes and promotes excellence in new work from across the expressive spectrum of book art. Integrity will determine the winning work. Integrity refers to a unity of form, materials and content that reflects an artist’s vision.

Book art in a broadly defined field includes work that embodies narrative, instruction, reference, mapping, guides, documentation, and more. It is work that engages the viewer and propels the experience forward through narrative, sequencing, spatial elements, visual or verbal language, temporal, mechanical, aural, typographic, symbolic or material means.

Forms, processes, traditions and approaches are open. Work may include unique book objects, altered books, graphic novels, ‘zines, concrete poetry, conceptual, visual and literary works. Processes may include any printing or printmaking methods such as photo-mechanical, hand-worked, analog/digital, relief printmaking, letterpress, intaglio, and screen-printing, as well as hand-lettering. Works may be in edition or unique.

The finished work can depart from a bound book format to engage metaphors of the book in sculpture or installation. Work can be created collaboratively, but ultimately must result from an artist or artists’ vision and active participation.

The primary impetus for the creation of the work must come from the vision of the artist or artistic collaborators. Related works on paper (broadsides, prints, photographic portfolios), journals or diaries, scrapbooks and blank books will not be considered for the award, nor will video or film unless it is integral to an installation that embodies the qualities described above.


Five (5) finalists will each receive a $500 cash award, plus $750 travel/lodging stipend to attend the Book Art Biennial and MCBA Prize Gala.

One (1) winner will receive an additional $2000 cash award (in addition to the $500 finalist award and $750 travel/lodging stipend to attend the Biennial).


Work will be judged by a three-member jury comprised of:
Aaron Cohick, proprietor of NewLights Press and master printer at The Press at Colorado College;
Daniel Kelm, book artist and founder of the Garage Annex School for Book Arts;
and Jae Rossman, Assistant Director for Special Collections, Yale University Library.
For biographies and more information, visit our Jurors page.

Awards will be granted based on a combination of factors including, but not limited to, originality, creativity, content integration, unity of form, craftsmanship, reader/viewer engagement and conceptual strength.


All artists who use the book format as their primary means of expression are eligible to apply. Accepted works may range from hand-printed fine press books, to inexpensive pamphlets, to one-of-a-kind sculptural works that reference the role of the book in contemporary society. All techniques, approaches and methods of creative expression will be considered.

Work must have been completed since April 1, 2013.
Students are not eligible, nor is work completed as part of a degree-granting program.
MCBA staff and board members are not eligible.
Collaborative works are eligible with the consent of all involved parties.
Artists may submit multiple entries.


$40.00 USD per entry.


The original deadline of April 30 has been extended. Entries must now be received no later than May 4, 2015 at 5:00pm (Central U.S. time zone). All submissions must be made electronically.


The five finalists will be notified by May 29, 2015. The winner will be announced at the MCBA Prize Celebration on July 25, 2013.


The jury will select the winner from actual work. The five finalists will be asked to ship (at their expense) or hand-deliver their pieces to MCBA by July 10, 2015. The five finalists’ works will be on display during Book Art Biennial.


All entries must be submitted electronically. Complete the online entry form, providing all necessary information and supporting files (images, image list, artist statement, etc.). Multiple entries from one artist are permitted; each entry requires its own submission form and entry fee.

The following information is required for consideration:

1. General Information:
Artist’s name, mailing address, email, and telephone number
Title of work and year of completion
Edition size (if applicable)
Number of pages (if applicable)
Dimensions (open) H x W x D
Dimensions (closed, if applicable) H x W x D
Medium / Techniques

2. Images: Up to 5 photos of each entry, presenting multiple views, details and/or page spreads. Images should be JPG format, no larger than 1500 pixels in either dimension. Image filenames must include the artist’s last name and viewing sequence number (Doe-1.jpg, Doe-2.jpg, etc.).

3. Image List: A listing organized by filename briefly describing each of the presented images. These brief descriptions will serve as captions on the artist’s entry page.

4. Artist Statement: A brief (one page maximum) artist statement and description of the work.

5. Resume or Vita: A resume or artist vita (two page maximum). For collaborative works, combine resumes/vitae into one file.

6. English Translation: If text is presented in languages other than English, it is suggested that an English translation be submitted.

Additional materials will not be reviewed. Do not submit materials by mail.

After the competition’s finalists are announced, all submissions will be displayed in The MCBA Prize 2015 online gallery. The online gallery serves as a unique and visually rich sampling of contemporary book art from around the world, offering valuable exposure for artists and their work. Since its launch, the 2013 gallery has been viewed by over 12,000 visitors from over 100 nations, racking up nearly 100,000 page views.


CLICK HERE for our online entry form for The MCBA Prize 2015.