DB UK Bookbinding Competition

The Set Book for the Competition in 2020 is 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck
Illustrations by James Albon
Published by The Folio Society

112 pages. Frontispiece, 3 colour illustrations, including 2 double-page spreads, and 6 black & white integrated illustrations. 228 x 146 mm.

Migrant labourers George and Lennie are dropped miles from their new workplace by a bus driver who deems them unworthy of an unscheduled stop. The symbolism is clear from the outset - itinerant farm workers have little social status in the land they sow and harvest for others' financial gain. George is slight and savvy, Lennie a hulking simpleton, and the pair have formed an unlikely friendship. They wander state to state, working on ranches and sleeping rough between jobs, until Lennie's childlike naivety inevitably lands him in trouble and they must once again move on.

Images courtesy of The Folio Society.

John Steinbeck's electrifying tale of injustice and shattered dreams, set during the Great Depression, remains a firm classic with a message still relevant today. The characters are drawn with confident self-restraint that borders on detachment; Steinbeck sets the scene then pulls back to allow them space to tell their story. The effect is overpowering and ensures this thought-provoking novella will endlessly gnaw at the reader's conscience.

In order to register for the competition and to obtain a set of unbound sheets for the set book, please click the button below. The set book will then be mailed out to the address provided.

We stipulate that all entrants must bind the set book in some way. However, there is absolute freedom of choice of 'text' within the Open Choice category - it can be an existing text rebound or a complete artist's book, a new binding of a set of sheets from a private press or an entirely experimental sculptural form - wherever your imagination takes you. The Open Choice category can be entered and paid for on the entry form which will be emailed to all entrants nearer the hand-in deadline.

Open for registration - July 2019.
Sheets will be sent out from mid August 2019.
Entry forms emailed - beginning October 2020.
Hand-in deadline - Saturday 17th October 2020.
Judging - Wednesday 21st October 2020.
Prize Giving - Thursday 19th November 2020.
Exhibition - 20th November - 6th December 2020.
National touring exhibition - early 2021.

Dates other than the hand-in deadline may be subject to slight change.

Prizes and Sponsors
The Folio Society 1st and 2nd Prize Set Book - £500 and £250 cheque
The Clothworkers 1st and 2nd Prize Open Choice - £500 and £250 cheque
Sally Lou Smith Forwarding Prize - £250 cheque
St. Bride’s Prize for Finishing - £250 cheque
Elizabeth Greenhill Prize for Gold Tooling - £100 cheque
J. Hewit & Sons Prize for Interesting Use of Leather - £250 voucher
Harmatan & Oakridge Prize for Sympathetic Handling of Leather - £250 voucher
Maggs Bros Judge’s Award - £150 cheque
John Purcell Paper Prize - £200 voucher
Ratchfords Non Leather Prize - £200 voucher
The Circles of Art Prize for Artistic Innovation - £250 cheque
Ash Rare Books Lettering Prize - £200 cheque
Shepherds Prize for Book Arts - £200 voucher
Lisa Von Clemm Prize for Best Newcomer - £250 cheque
ABA Highly Commended Certificates - 4 x £100 cheque

Register now and pay via PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to use this service.

The DB UK Bookbinding Competition is sponsored by Designer Bookbinders and The Folio Society and is open to anyone resident in the UK (at the time of binding) with the exception of Fellows of Designer Bookbinders.


Designer Bookbinders