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 and Polly Fleury (Wilson Centre for Photography), 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.

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The 2018 winning work TTP by Hayahisa Tomiyasu was announced at PhotoLondon17 – 20 May 2018.

TTP is a series of photographs made from the window of Hayahisa Tomiyasu’s eighth-floor student apartment in the German city of Leipzig. His southfacing view encompasses a public park with a ping pong table, which is the focus of his deadpan pictures.

Hayahisa Tomiyasu was born in 1982 in Kanagawa, Japan. He currently lives between Leipzig and Zurich, where he now teaches.

Judges for the 2018 prize were: Martin Barnes (senior curator of Photographs at the V&A Museum), Polly Fleury (curator at the Wilson Centre for Photography), Amira Gad (Art and Architecture Curator, Serpentine Galleries), Michael Mack (publisher and founder of Mack Books) and Hannah Starkey (photographer).

Previous winners include: Emmanuelle Andrianjafy (2017), Sofia Borges (2016), Ciarán Óg Arnold (2015), Joanna Piotrowska (2014), Paul Salveson (2013) and Anne Sophie Merryman (2012).

The 2019 winner will be announced by MACK during Photo London, Somerset House: 16 – 19 May 2019.

The First Book Award is supported by MACK, the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation, Wilson Centre for Photography and Optimal Media.