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2021 SPE Annual Conference: Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

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Chico Hot Springs Portfolio Review & Publishing Prize

The premier, juried portfolio review in the contemporary photography industry.

Charcoal Book Club   /   Deadline: 12/09/19

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The Chico Review takes place over six nights at Chico Hot Springs Resort, near Livingston Montana. Fifty-eight applicants will be selected by our jury and invited to spend the week with twenty of the most influential and creative photographers, book makers, gallerists, museum curators, and photobook publishers in the industry. One full scholarship and five partial scholarships will be awarded. Student discounts and need-based scholarships will be available to those selected who qualify.

Attending artists receive ten formal reviews by speakers and reviewers and take part in artist lectures, panel discussions, peer reviews, and additional evening programming over the seven day event.

At the end of the event, one grand prize winner will be announced and their project will be published and distributed by Charcoal Book Club.

2020 Keynote Speakers:
- Alessandra Sanguinetti
- Jim Goldberg
- Vanessa Winship
- Todd Hido
- Awoiska van der Molen
- Raymond Meeks

2020 Featured Reviewers
- Christopher McCall | Pier 24 Photography
- Rachel Barker | Stanley / Barker
- Greg Barker | Stanley / Barker
- Brad Zellar | Writer
- Bryan Schutmaat | Photographer
- Kris Graves | KG Projects
- Igor Posner | Redhook Editions
- Matthew Genitempo | Trespasser Books
- Melissa Catanese | Spaces Corners
- Pradip Malde | Sewanee Univeristy
- Shane Lavalette | Light Work
- George Georgiou | Photographer
- Tim Carpenter | TIS books
- Ed Panar | Spaces Corner
- Clint Woodside | Deadbeat Club Press

2020 Selection Jury
- Cécile Poimboeuf-Koizumi | Chose Commune
- Gregory Harris | High Museum of Art
- Kevin Messina | Twin Palms Publishers


Chico Hot Springs Resort, near Livingston Montana


$25 Charcoal Book Club Members | $50 non-members | $65 Late Entry fee (after December 10)


Everyone welcome to Apply.
*Need based scholarships and student discounts available upon acceptance.

What to Expect if Selected to Attend

Each day will include breakfast, a morning lecture from one of our speakers, a panel discussion, lunch, daily portfolio reviews, and free time. Each attendee will have ten 20-minute portfolio reviews with a mix of our speakers and reviewers. Over the course of four days, you will spend time reviewing your work and gaining insight from our featured speakers, reviewers, and Charcoal Book Club staff. During unstructured time (including one entirely free day in the middle of the week), attendees can relax around the lodge and hot springs or explore the surrounding area - bookstores and saloons in Livingston, wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, and the ranch land of Paradise Valley. During unstructured time (including one entirely free day in the middle of the week), attendees can relax around the lodge and hot springs or explore the surrounding area - bookstores and saloons in Livingston, wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, and the ranchlands of Paradise Valley.

You'll eat well at Chico Hot Springs. The extensive gardens produce abundant vegetables thanks to rich soil that is heated by the geothermal runoff from the natural hot springs. There's a dining room, cocktail lounge, saloon, and diner on the premises, and we'll provide you with three square meals a day. "Chico is just quintessential Montana," says owner Colin Davis. "We get the rancher down the road who drops in for a steak and a glass of Jim Beam. Then a bit of Hollywood could show up for a bottle of Sassicaia".

We've reserved private and shared rooms on the 150-acre property. Room sizes and amenities differ, and we're offering them on a first-come, first-served basis. You'll have the opportunity to select your accommodation upon acceptance. Activities at Chico start at its steamy natural hot springs, with two open-air pools averaging 96 and 103 degrees year-round. The Yellowstone River and surrounding spring creeks that slice through the wide-open glacial valley are fly fishing meccas during warmer months.

Tuition and Lodging

$3750- Tuition includes:

10 Portfolio reviews by speakers and reviewers
Lectures, artists talks and panel discussions
Three meals a day & hot springs entry
Need based scholarships and student discounts available upon acceptance.


We've reserved the majority of Chico Hot Springs for this event. Upon acceptance, we will help you select your accommodations, which range from shared lodge rooms ($60/night) to private cabins ($255/night)—something for everyone's budget.

Room types will be available on a first-come, first served-basis.



- 1 project per submission
- 10 to 25 images per project
- At least 1500px on the long edge


1 Charcoal Publishing Prize - The Charcoal Publishing Prize will be awarded to one of the selected artists in attendance. This project will be published and distributed worldwide by Charcoal Book Club in 2021.

6 Merit Scholarships - One full tuition scholarship ($3750) and five partial tuition scholarships ($1500) to the Chico Portfolio Review will be awarded to photographers chosen by the jury based on the quality of their submitted project.

58 Selected Artists - Fifty-eight total photographers will be invited to travel to take part in this juried portfolio review and retreat. These attendees are chosen by our jury based on the merit of their submitted project.


By registering above, you understand that you are entering your photography portfolio into consideration for a portfolio showcase hosted by Charcoal Book Club at Chico Hot Springs Resort in Pray, Montana. The registration fee of $3,750 covers lectures, meals, and portfolio reviews at Chico Hot Springs Resort, but you are responsible for your travel to and from the seminar. Upon acceptance, we will collect an additional fee for the accommodations you choose and book lodging on your behalf. Our Jury will review all portfolios and offer invitations based on merit.

Monday (4/6) and Sunday (4/12) are considered arrival and departure days. Lectures, panel discussions, and reviews will take place starting Tuesday (4/7) and concluding Saturday (4/12). Charcoal Book Club will provide three meals per day starting with dinner Monday (4/6) through breakfast Sunday (4/12).

The $50 application fee is non-refundable. The tuition fee for the workshop is $3,750. If selected, a 50% deposit of $1,875 is due by Monday, January 20, with the remaining $1,875 due on Monday, February 17.

All fees and tuition are non-refundable. However, in the unlikely event that Charcoal Book Club cancels or reschedules the Event, Charcoal Book Club will make a reasonable effort to notify you and, if necessary, reimburse the full registration fee. Charcoal Book Club is not responsible for reimbursing travel expenses if the Event is canceled.

Evaluation Criteria

The jury is looking for cohesive, compelling bodies of work that may be relevant for the reviewers and that may benefit from wider recognition.

Contact Information

Jesse Lenz
Wooster, OH 44691-4838


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