Each year, the Miniature Book Society announces a juried competition for writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, and printers of miniature books. The mission of the competition is to acknowledge the skills of individuals creating miniature books, to help new miniature book creators to gain recognition, and to ease their way into the marketplace, and to maintain continued interest in miniature books on the part of libraries and collections. You need not be a member of the MBS to enter. To see images of and read about the 2018 Distinguished Book Award Winners, as well as the other entries, download the 2018 Distinguished Miniature Book Competition and Exhibition Catalog.

Does my book qualify for the competition?
Your book must meet the MBS definition of a miniature book: no dimension may be greater than three inches (76.2 mm). If the book includes any kind of container, that container may exceed three inches.

You must have published an edition of at least three copies of the book in the last two years (between January 1, 2017 and April 30, 2019). If you have not published an edition, but only a single copy – an “artist’s book” or a "one of a kind" book – you can still submit it for exhibition. These entries will not be eligible for a Distinguished Book Award, but will be included in the MBS Competition Catalog. This provides an opportunity for those who do not make multiple copies to exhibit their work.

How many entries may I submit?
You may submit up to three books for this year’s competition.

How much does it cost?
The entry fee is $30 per entry for MBS members, $50 per entry for non-members.  If paying via PayPal, please add $3.00 to cover PayPal processing fee.

What rights do I give if I enter the competition?
You give the MBS a one-time right to photograph your book for the Competition Catalog. A printed copy of this catalog is provided to every MBS member, to everyone who enters the competition, and to each member of the jury. The catalog will also be posted on the MBS website as a PDF file, along with catalogs from past years (see below). Photographs may also appear in the MBS Newsletter.

Will I get my book back?
If your book wins a Distinguished Book Award, it automatically becomes the property of the MBS, and it becomes part of the permanent collection in the Archives at the Lilly Library of University of Indiana.  Non-winners may choose to donate their entry/entries to the Lilly Archives or to have their entry/entries returned to them following the Conclave. All entries will be displayed at the annual MBS Conclave. Award winners and other selected entries given to the MBS may be placed for a while in the MBS Traveling Exhibit.

How does the competition work?
Send one copy of each book you wish to enter to the competition committee after January 1, 2019 and before April 30, 2019. Each entry must be accompanied by an entry form and the appropriate payment. Do not send photographs.

The committee will circulate all entries to a jury of three experts selected for their expertise in the publishing field: publishers, dealers, collectors, writers or artists. The jury will evaluate the entries, and select three best-of-show books for Distinguished Book Awards.

The competition committee will photograph the exterior and interior of each entry in color and prepare a catalog showing all the entries and identifying the Distinguished Book Award winners. All entries will be displayed at the MBS Conclave in August 2019 at the Lilly Library, University of Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana. The books will be protected in a glass case, and may not be removed for inspection by visitors. If you are a non-winner and ask for your entry to be returned to you, it will be sent immediately after the Conclave.

A note on security
The MBS will exercise due diligence in handling your entry, but the process necessarily involves shipping entries to and from the jury, taking photographs, and mounting the books in a display case at the Conclave. The MBS cannot be responsible for damage to, or loss of, an entry.

Where can I get an MBS Distinguished Miniature Book Competition Entry Form?
The MBS Distinguished Miniature Book Competition Entry Form is available as a PDF; download here.

For more information about the MBS competition, contact:
Tony Firman
MBS Competition Chair
82 Farm Valley Court
Weaverville, NC 28787
(817) 800-9993

MBS Exhibition Catalogs

The latest issues of the catalogs are available in a PDF file for your viewing here.