Open call for book proposals

Open call for book proposals

Application deadline: April 30, 2022


VU considers the book a space for creation, a way of materializing images and ideas, an object for thought. When dedicated to photography, the book can take unlimited forms—from autobiography to fantasy, from travelogue to history book, from the artist’s manifesto to the political pamphlet. In the book, photographs can be read and have a voice in a space that belongs to them.

Turning their back on the conventional formats of the catalogue or monograph, with the book as object artists invent new possible forms for the realization of their photographic projects. They explore the book through concepts, sequences, or narrative modes as much as through the materiality of paper, ink, and binding. The book offers a tactile connection with the artwork, which also becomes nomadic, finding itself passing through numerous hands in different places. Through the book, the artwork lives through time, assured of longevity in the world of those who make a place for it, in private collections as much as libraries and other public collections.

VU’s publishing program encourages artists to develop their practices through the exploration of this medium so well suited to photography. With its publications, VU affirms its vision of the book as a space dedicated to images and to the stories, issues, and poetic worlds communicated by artists. Moreover, the book is reflected upon in different ways, through exhibitions, workshops, roundtables, and master classes dedicated to this medium. VU also supports research and creation of books with residencies, with our annual book dummy workshop Assemblages, and by supporting artists with grants.


It is in this context that we at VU are launching our annual call for book proposals, with the goal of supporting publishing projects within the fine arts photo community. We are seeking proposals both for the layout workshop Assemblages, and for two artistic support grants. While programming is not the main goal of this open call, the selection committee also occasionally draws from these proposals to select projects for VU’s regular publishing programme. 

This call is open to artists from across Québec who are interested in the book form as a creative form. Proposed projects should have photography as their primary focus, and be previously unpublished.


Your proposal must include:

–    a letter of intent or a project description (one page in length)
–    visual documentation of your project, format is open: a pdf, a drawing, a collage, a mock-up, etc. 
–    physical mock-ups / maquettes are encouraged but not mandatory
–    an artist’s statement and CV


The publishing committee is responsible for allocating the type of accompaniment suitable for your project:

      – Assemblages: an annual book layout-creating workshop, which includes:
o    a three-week residency for the creation or development of your book layout
o    a space to be shared with one other artist
o    professional development (training, master class, etc.)
o    $300 printing credit
o    $1100 residency honorarium 
o    accommodation in Quebec City during workshop
o    $90 for transportation costs


–    Project development grant, which includes:
o    a one-week residency for the creation of a new book layout, including creative and technical support for artist’s project
o    presentation of layout created during Assemblages workshop
o    $500 grant
o    $500 printing credit
o    five days of accommodation in Quebec City
o    $90 for transportation costs


–    Mentorship grant, which includes:     
o    a project accompaniment meeting focusing on artistic, technical and logistical elements of your book (concept, form, production, design, editing, distribution, etc.)
o    presentation of the layout created during the Assemblages workshop
o    $500 grant
o    $90 for transportation costs


–    VU publishing programme (the publishing committee can choose to draw from these proposals to select projects for VU’s regular publishing programme):
o    artistic support and editorial development
o    production and follow-up (graphic design and printing)
o    book production costs covered up to $10,000
o    support in finding complementary funding 
o    promotion and distribution


To send us your proposal:

–    electronically via WeTransfer to
–    via mail to 541, De Saint-Vallier Est, 4th floor, Québec QC, G1K 3P9
–    please include a SASE if you wish to have your mock-up returned to you


*Please note that despite the care with mock-ups taken by committee members, VU cannot be held responsible for possible damage caused during shipping and handling.