The First Book Award is a photography publishing prize open to photographers who have not previously had a book published by a third party publishing house (this does not include self-published print on demand projects).
The award was established in 2012 to support emerging photographers. The call for submissions emphasises a predilection for projects conceived in book form: works that find a voice through the book.
The award is not an open submission. Each year, a diverse array of international nominators are asked to recommend suitable projects. A panel of judges, including Michael Mack, Polly Fleury from the Wilson Centre for Photography, and Greg Hobson from the National Media Museum, as well as two guest judges will together assess all submitted dummies, shortlisting 10 works; from the shortlist, a single project will be chosen as the winner to be published by MACK.The guest judges for the 2015 award are Simon Baker (Tate) and Lucy Moore (Claire de Rouen Books).
The 2015 shortlist was announced in March 2015, and the winner, Ciarán Óg Arnold's I went to the worst of bars..., was announced on 20 April at Media Space, London, and the book was published by MACK on that day.
The winning artist's work will be exhibited at Media Space (20 April – 28 June 2015). All the 2015 shortlisted dummies will be exhibited, alongside work by winners from previous years: Anne Sophie Merryman (2012), Paul Salveson (2013) and Joanna Piotrowska (2014).
The award winner will work with Media Space on a donation of works to ensure a legacy for the project in the National Photography Collection, for which production and other expenses will be paid.