Awards Rules and Specifications

Original, unpublished works that have not been previously awarded or exhibited and that meet the terms of the invitation will be accepted. These may be unique works or those that form part of an edition or series. All processes, forms, and approaches to book art will be accepted. The work may incorporate or make use of any printing or engraving method, such as intaglio, chalcography, relief, or screen printing. It may integrate drawings, illustrations, photographs, paintings, typography or handwritten lettering and graphic design. It may be a manually executed, or analog or digital work, or one that employs different materials. The finished work may extend from the format of a bound book to conceptually or physically integrate the concept of a book in a sculpture or installation.

The works will be evaluated according to the thoughtful interpretation of the presented theme, aesthetic considerations, and workmanship. The works presented, carried out individually or collectively, must demonstrate cohesion and express a concept that reflects the connection between word and image. The unity of content, form and materiality should denote integrity in the work and the vision of the artist(s).

Works such as commercial prints, scrapbooks, blank books, pamphlets, newspapers, or magazines will not be considered. Videos or films will also not be admitted, except if they are original and form an integral part of an installation that presents the elements described above.


1. Artists or writers over 18 years of age may participate, individually or collectively.

2. Participants must reside in Puerto Rico or belong to the Puerto Rican diaspora.

3. Each participant or group may submit only one entry within the established theme: create an artist’s book (or art book) inspired by a literary text, of any genre, written by a black or Afro-descendant author from Puerto Rico or its diasporas. The text may also be by a Puerto Rican writer who is not of African descent or black, but who has written music, poems, stories, essays or novels that exalt black culture.
The work must be original, of free size and format, and which has not been previously awarded or exhibited. Entries of multiple volumes are permitted when they constitute a single artistic unit, which will thus be considered as a single entry.

4. The work may not contain materials deemed hazardous in terms of handling, conservation, and enjoyment thereof. Works that are considered suitable for exhibition and conservation will be favored.

5. When submitting the work, it must be original or 1/1, finished and complete.

6. Participants in this contest acknowledge acceptance of these specifications in their entirety.


7. Those interested in participating must complete the letter of intent available through in order to be called to an orientation meeting where questions and concerns will be addressed. The letter of intent must be sent via the portal—to do so you must hit the “send” button.

The closing date for sending the letter of intent to participate is February 28, 2024, at 5:00 pm, Puerto Rico time.

You will receive confirmation and the official registration form via return email.

8. Starting March 1, 2024, interested parties may submit their registration through the WeTransfer system by sending it to: [email protected].

In the WeTransfer message space you must include: your first and last names and title of the work in the following format:

LLN_First and Last Names_Title of the work

The WeTransfer shipment will include:

  • A maximum of 5 images in JPEG format with a maximum resolution of 300 dpi in print size.
  • Each image must be identified with the title of the work, the image number and the initial of the author’s name with their two last names, as follows (by way of example): La magic_1_A. Perez Perez
  • A duly completed registration form.
  • A technical description of the work in the format provided.
  • An artist’s statement, including a description of the technical and creative process (maximum 250 words).
  • A short biography (maximum 250 words).
  • The statement and biography must fit on a single page, in Arial 12 pt.

Only complete presentations as stipulated herein will be deemed eligible.

The closing period for the submission of works will be July 31, 2024, at 5:00 pm, Puerto Rico time.


9. The awards jury will be made up of a panel of seven (7) book or art professionals representing a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. Once the deadline for submitting the works has concluded, the jury will meet to deliberate and choose the finalist works based on anonymous entries using the digital photographs received. From the finalist works, the jury will choose those that will receive the prize, taking into account the criteria of creativity, originality, composition, aesthetic expression, and the technical processes employed, as well as sensitivity in the presentation of the theme.

10. The jury may request the physical delivery of any work that cannot be adequately evaluated using the images received prior to selection. In such cases, the work may be delivered by hand or sent appropriately packaged and ready to be exhibited at La Casa del Libro. If necessary at this stage, more information about the work may be requested. Packaging and shipping costs will be borne by the participant and the return of the work will be borne by La Casa del Libro, as applicable.

11. The jury’s decision will be final and will be made public during the last quarter of 2024, through the La Casa del Libro website and the websites and portals that this institution, the Tiznando el País project, and its affiliated entities and contractors consider appropriate.

12. La Casa del Libro reserves the right to reject entries that do not meet the objectives of the project or that do not reflect the values of the institution.


13. Participating artists pledge to submit the original or 1/1 to this contest. The artists of the works chosen as finalists are responsible for the costs of shipping or delivery to La Casa del Libro as well as any shipping risks related thereto. They will be sent safely packed in suitable and resistant packaging. La Casa del Libro, Tiznando el País, its affiliated entities and contractors are not responsible for loss or damage during transportation or exhibition. La Casa del Libro pledges to insure and protect the works received, however finalists must take out adequate insurance to cover their entry against loss or damage during shipping and during the period at La Casa del Libro. The costs of returning non-awarded finalist works will be borne by La Casa del Libro.

Finalists must be willing to lend their works to La Casa del Libro for exhibition purposes for a maximum period of 9 months from the beginning of the exhibition.

The finalists agree and give their consent for their work to be photographed and for all the elements presented to be used for promotional and educational purposes, and for the publication of a printed or digital catalogue, radio broadcasting, press, television, internet, or any other electronic means of public dissemination, as well as on the websites of La Casa del Libro and the Tiznando el País project, its affiliated entities and its contractors.

The finalist works will be published in a printed catalogue, a complimentary copy of which will also be provided to the finalists.


14. Unawarded works will be returned at the end of the exhibition, unless La Casa del Libro decides to purchase a work separately.

15. Once the exhibition is over, the finalist works can be retrieved at La Casa del Libro: 255 Calle del Cristo, San Juan, PR 00901, between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on weekdays, or La Casa del Libro may return them by mail, bearing the cost of the postage, however using the most efficient, economical, and secure method it can find, if the artists specifically request this option via email. A maximum limit of $200 is determined as a postage budget for the return of the works, taking into account the size of the work and place of origin.

16. If after La Casa del Libro has notified the artists that their works are available to be picked up, and within a period of two months the artists do not personally appear to do so, or do not send a response, or make other arrangements to have said works returned to them, it will be understood that the artists have voluntarily waived ownership in favor of La Casa del Libro, which in turn will reserve the right to dispose of the work as it sees fit, or to include it in its collection.

17. La Casa del Libro reserves the right of preference to acquire works that are declared available in the registration form. If this possibility arises, the artists will be informed of La Casa del Libro’s purchase interest prior to July 31, 2025.


  • 3 prizes of $5,000
  • 2 prizes of $3,000
  • 2 prizes of $1,000
  • Emerging Artist Award – $500
    Awarded for outstanding submission by an artist who has started in the field within the last 3 years or who has never participated in a similar competition before.
  • Vote by the General Public – $500
    In addition to the jury awards, a vote will be held during the exhibition among the general public for favorite work. This award will be announced in the third month of the exhibition.

Rights of the Awarded Works
The artists transfer, exclusively and automatically, all rights that they may hold over such works, including, without limitation, with regard to how they are displayed within the Institution or publicly. However, the artists of the awarded works that become part of the collections of La Casa del Libro may reproduce them in future editions as long as (i) ownership by La Casa del Libro and (ii) the award received are specifically mentioned.

The 7 top prizes will become part of the holdings of La Casa del Libro and will thus enrich its collection of artists’ books.

The finalist and award winning works will be part of the exhibition Los Libros Negros and will be published in a printed catalogue, a complimentary copy of which will be provided to winning participants.

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255 Calle del Santo Cristo, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00901