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.

Nothing's In Vain

The 2017 winning work Nothing’s In Vain, by Emmanuelle Andrianjafy, was announced at the opening of PhotoLondon.

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


The 2018 winner will be announced by MACK at Photo London, Somerset House: 17 – 20 May.

Judges for the 2018 award are: Martin Barnes, Polly Fleury, Amira Gad, Michael Mack and Hannah Starkey.

The First Book Award 2017 is supported by MACK, the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation, Wilson Centre for Photography and optimal media.