The Center for Book Arts promotes active explorations of both contemporary and traditional artistic practices related to the book as an art object. The Center seeks to facilitate communication between the book arts community and the larger spheres of contemporary and literary arts, while being a model organization locally, nationally, and internationally within the field.

We offer opportunities to artists and writers through a variety of programs throughout the year. Current opportunities are listed below.

The Nancy Norton Tomasko Scholarship for Advanced Study in Bookbinding provides financial support for individuals wishing to enroll in an advanced bookbinding course at the Center for Book Arts. Each year the Center will award scholarships for up to four individuals covering the full tuition for one course. Awardees are selected based on financial need and proof of having satisfied the prerequisites for the desired course. 

Eligible courses include:

  • Bookbinding 3: Inboard Binding
  • Bookbinding 4A: Advanced Book Production and Editioning 
  • Bookbinding 4B: Leather Binding
  • All other advanced bookbinding courses requiring the prior completion of Bookbinding 1 & 2

The following must be included in the application in order to be considered:

  • CV/Resume 
  • Statement of financial need
  • Proof of having completed bookbinding 1 & 2 or their equivalent 



About Nancy Norton Tomasko and this scholarship


Nancy Norton Tomasko 


Nancy Norton Tomasko (1947-2018) was a teacher, researcher, and editor whose specialties included Chinese bookbinding, handmade paper, and woodblock printing. After college, on a lark she went to teach English at the YMCA in Taipei, Taiwan. It was the start of a lifelong fascination with China and things Chinese. She was in one of the early groups of US graduate students to study in mainland China in the early 1980s. Later Nancy received a PhD in Ming literature from Princeton University and taught at Connecticut College and Bryn Mawr where she created an extraordinary studio course on the history of the book in China. She also taught numerous workshops on Chinese bookbinding, including at the Center for Book Arts, where she had learned Western binding some years earlier. Her greatest interest was documenting Chinese handmade paper, talking with many papermakers and dealers in China. She gave talks, wrote articles, and prepared sample books. Professionally she was for a decade the editor of the East Asian Library Journal at Princeton.

This scholarship was established in Nancy’s honor by her husband, Mark D. Tomasko. 

The Center for Book Arts invites submissions to its annual Poetry Chapbook Program by December 15, 2020. 

The winning manuscript will be determined in May, 2021. The winner will be awarded with the publication of a limited edition letterpress printed chapbook, to be printed and bound by artists at the Center for Book Arts. The edition is limited to 100 signed and numbered copies, 10 of which are reserved for the author and the remainder of which will be offered for sale through the Center's bookshop. The selected poet will also receive a cash award of $500 in addition to a $500 honorarium for the Chapbook Contest Reading event in the Fall. The winner will also be given an exclusive opportunity for a week long stay at the Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, New York as their Wintertide Rustic Retreat. 

Two runners-up will be selected as honorees, and will have one poem from their manuscript rendered as a limited edition letterpress printed broadside, which will each be designed and printed by commissioned artists at the Center. Honorees will receive a $250 honorarium for the reading in the Fall. 

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES 

Please submit a collection or sequence of original poems or a single long poem not to exceed 450 lines or 21 pages. The author’s name should not appear anywhere in the manuscript or anywhere in the file. All submissions are kept anonymous to the panel of judges. Manuscripts should be typed, with pages numbered and formatted with easy-to-read font. Translations are permitted.*

Please provide a title page, table of contents, and a separate acknowledgements page containing prior magazine or anthology publication of individual poems at the end of the manuscript. Poems that have been published elsewhere are eligible for submission. Please note that the 450 lines or 21-page limit does not include title page or acknowledgements pages. File name should be the title of submitted manuscript. Only .PDF, .DOCX. and .DOC files accepted. 

NOTE: Chapbook Fee Waiver is in effect until December 10 at 5pm ET.

SUBMISSION AGREEMENT

When you submit to our annual Chapbook Contest and/or publish with the Center for Book Arts, here is what you’re agreeing to:

1. First serial rights. We accept simultaneous submissions, but if your work is accepted elsewhere, we ask you to let us know as soon as possible so we can withdraw your application. 

2. If your body of work is accepted and published, rights revert back to you.

3. You grant us non-exclusive re-print rights. We may utilize parts of your work for promotional materials, for example, to market our next contest. If we intend on utilizing your work for something we intend to sell, you will be contacted about compensation before we move forward.

4. After your work is published with the Center for Book Arts, you are free to republish it, or to give others permission to republish it. We ask that if you do so, you credit it as follows: [publication name] by [author] was first published with the Center for Book Arts in [year]. If you have any questions, do let us know!

PLEASE NOTE

*Translations of the author's own work is permitted. Translations of other writers' work will not be accepted unless the piece is specifically and consensually co-authored by both writer and translator.

Writers will be notified the status of their manuscript via email. Due to the high volume of applications, we are not able to provide feedback at this time.

The Guest Judge for the 2021 Chapbook Contest will be Simone White

Simone White was born Middletown, Connecticut, and raised in Philadelphia. She earned her BA from Wesleyan University, JD from Harvard Law School, and MFA from the New School. White is the author of the full-length collection House Envy of All the World (2010) and the chapbooks Dolly (2008) and Unrest (2013). Her work has been praised for its innovative complexity, allusive song, and “lyric deconstruction of desire, entitlement, blackness, the domestic, language and diction,” in the words of Anna Moschovakis. White has received fellowships from Cave Canem and was selected as a New American Poet for the Poetry Society of America. She is completing a PhD in English at the CUNY Graduate Center and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Questions can be directed to jenna@centerforbookarts.org

The Center for Book Arts is proud to announce a new comprehensive certificate program in the book arts.

The Center for Book Arts’ Education Program strives to engage a wide audience, providing beginning students and professional artists alike with a comprehensive and technically challenging curriculum. In addition to foundation coursework in printing and bookbinding, we provide structured opportunities for working artists from other media to expand their creative practice in the art of the book.

For students who wish to fully immerse themselves in the study of book arts, we have created a structured program which encourages the study and creation of the art of the book. Our certificate program consists of 210 total hours of class time, divided among 3 areas:

  • Binding (90 hours of required courses)
  • Printing (90 hours of required courses)
  • Electives (30 hours minimum- including Works on Paper, the Art of the Book, Decorative Techniques.) 

Benefits of registering for the certificate: 

  • Preferred status when registering for new classes. 
  • The opportunity to immerse themselves in the study of the medium with leaders in the book arts field. 
  • Additional studio access outside of class time. 

To Register as a Certificate Student:
There is a one-time Registration Fee of $100* to register as a Certificate Student, which includes one year of associate level membership. Students should register as certificate candidates within their first 72 hours of class time. Students who wish to apply previous coursework done at the Center towards a Certificate should contact the Programs Manager to discuss. Any past coursework will be applied on a case-by-case basis.

*$10 service fee applies. 

It is strongly recommended that students complete the program within 3 years. A final project must be presented and reviewed by the Education Committee in order receive the Certificate. The project may either be a culmination of work produced in classes, or an entirely new project. The Center for Book Arts Certificate Program is not approved by the New York State Board of Education Certificate Program.

The Center for Book Arts Artist Membership program is dedicated to supporting the work of Book Artists across the globe. One of the ongoing benefits of the Artist Membership is the opportunity to exhibit work at the Center for Book Arts. 

This year, we are pleased to invite Artist Members to submit artwork proposals for the 2021 Artist Member Showcase. Artist Members will be selected to present a micro-exhibition featuring a single work. Each month the showcase, situated within the Center's Collection Spotlight Area, will present a different members' micro-exhibition, along with a short description of the work and an artist bio. 

Although there is no theme to the showcase this year, we encourage artists to submit artworks encompassing the broadest exploration and experimentation of the book as an art object.

Each proposal must be completed online through this submittable portal and must include:

  • The member's contact information
  • A 300 word max artist bio
  • One page Artist CV in pdf format
  • A 200 word max artwork explanation
  • 1-3 high resolution images a single completed work. 

Submissions are selected based on the quality and originality of the artwork as presented through the member's submitted photo documentation and description of the artwork proposed. In an effort to promote initiatives toward anti-racism, equity, and accessibility, all submissions are judged without access to any biographical information.

Deadline: December 9, 2020


Application questions should be addressed to exhibitions@centerforbookarts.org

We are inviting curators and artists to submit Main Gallery exhibition proposals at The Center for Book Arts. We are seeking proposals that elaborate, challenge and contribute to the artistic, theoretical, historical, and contemporary aspects of Book Arts.

The selected curatorial projects will be given access to the Center's resources such as the archive and collection artworks, as well as administrative support during the curation process. In addition, the curator will be awarded a $3,000 honorarium; an honoraria budget to divide amongst participating artists and program speakers; and a budget for production, including an exhibition catalog. A floorplan of the space can be seen here

This exhibition series is intended to provide contemporary interpretations of the book as an art object and/or related media, as well as to challenge traditional notions of the book arts. Exhibitions that feature a broad representation of media, site-specific installations, and performances are encouraged. The Exhibitions Committee is especially interested in proposals for:

  • Exhibitions that will further and/or challenge the discourse of book arts within a contemporary artistic criticism, particularly theme based explorations
  • Exhibitions that will advance the field of traditional bookmaking practices, particularly by showing a wide range of artists
  • Focused exhibitions of multiple artists demonstrating a cohesive artistic trend or subject matter

All submissions must include:

Submission form

Resume or CV as a .pdf

A 500 to 1000-word exhibition proposal indicating the visual and conceptual vision of the exhibition and public programs. Please also include a list of works with the title, year, medium and dimensions, with images of the works or illustrations. If images are not available, please submit recent work samples produced within the last 2 years. Images should be uploaded in jpg format and should be a minimum of 800px and maximum of 1200px in either direction.

Round 1 Application Deadline: March 15, 2021

We accept submissions on a rolling basis. The review process will take place each year in March. Applications are not to be edited once submitted. 

Application questions should be addressed to exhibitions@centerforbookarts.org

We are seeking solo project exhibition proposals from artists working within the book arts. Artists are to submit a project concept experimenting within the Book format. 

This Exhibition Series is a competitive process and intended to provide artists with the opportunity to display the following type of projects created within the past 5 years:

  • A recent body of work that demonstrates a cohesive artistic approach
  • A recent body of work that demonstrates a cohesive theme, issue, and/or subject matter
  • A site-specific installation
  • A collaborative project that is theme or medium specific

The selected Featured Artist Projects will be given access to the Center's resources to support the production and curation process of the exhibition. In addition, the artist will be awarded a $1,000 stipend, an honoraria budget for a public programming and a budget for production, including a brochure.

Application questions should be addressed to exhibitions@centerforbookarts.org

Submissions should include:

Contact form

Short artist bio

Artist CV (1-2 pages, pdf format)

A 500-word solo project proposal indicating the visual and conceptual vision of the exhibition and public program. 

Up to 10 images of work samples supporting your proposal. If images are not available, please submit recent work samples produced within the last 2 years. Images should be uploaded in jpg format and should be a minimum of 800px and maximum of 1200px in either direction.

A list of works with the title, year, medium and dimensions, with images of the works or illustrations. 

Deadline for 2022 review: February 15, 2021

We accept submissions on a rolling basis. The review process will take place each year in March. 

To review past Projects, see here.

Any other application questions should be addressed to exhibitions@centerforbookarts.org

The Center’s Internship Program is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of non-profit management with a focus in Book Arts. The Internship is an unpaid position, though it may be used for school credit, and can take classes in the duration of their internship. 

The length of the internship varies, depending on the students' schedule and requirements, as well as The Center’s schedule of activities, but is usually anywhere from three to six months long. The applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and will contact candidates directly if selected for an interviewed. 

Interns have the opportunity to concentrate in the following departments: 

Administration- Interns may develop their business and management abilities as they assist in the day-to-day operation of the organization.

Development- Interns may assist in researching grants, drafting proposals and reports, as well as developing membership drives and coordinating special fundraising events, including our annual Benefit.

Membership- Interns will assist in developing and evolving our membership program, as well as growing our constituent base, along with related administrative tasks.

Exhibition Programs- Interns may assist in all aspects of exhibition development and coordination of programs in the Center's four exhibition spaces. Interns will assist in coordinating loan and consignment forms, condition reporting, reviewing publications, curate our quarterly reading room, as well as assist in installation, gallery maintenance, and de-installation. 

Literary Programs- Interns may assist in all aspects of literary program planning and coordination of the Broadside Reading Series, Annual Chapbook Competition, and the Creative Publishing Seminar. Interns will assist in coordinating readings, communicating with writers, the documentation and archiving of past literary programs. 

Library/Collections- Interns may be involved in cataloging The Center’s art collections and resource library, which consists of out-of-print periodicals, books, limited edition artists’ books, and technical books on the subjects of bookmaking and printing. Interns will assist with selecting works and drafting copy for social media posts.

Marketing & Design- Interns may assist in the research of the potential markets for advancement of The Center and develop marketing plans for recommendation to the Marketing Manager. Interns will also update media lists, and assist in the drafting of press releases and public service announcements for The Center’s programs and projects. Interns disposed and trained in graphic design are welcome and highly encouraged to apply their design sense to the development of the Center's brand.

Digital Media & Video- Interns will primarily assist in helping to edit and build out our growing Online Class Archive utilizing The Center's digital media style guide. Additionally, interns may assist in technology support for our online programming and live streams as well as preparing the recorded event for YouTube upload. Must be well-versed in Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro.

Experience and/or study of studio art, organization and management, or public relations and an interest in the art of the book are all encouraged and not required. We encourage applicants from various disciplines and backgrounds to apply. Applicants should be able to commit at least one full day a week to the internship. Applicants will be selected on a rolling basis.

Center For Book Arts