Projection Box Awards

Phenakistiscope, from Stephen Herbert’s not-MOMI site

A reminder to you all that entries are welcomed for the 2008-09 Projection Box Essay Awards. Established last year by the UK independent small publisher, The Projection Box, the awards are for essays on a theme relating to historical, artistic or technical aspects of popular optical media. The subject of this year’s competition is Popular Optical Media (to 1900), including nineteenth century photography, Dioramas, Zoetropes, the magic lantern, shadow theatre, panoramas, Victorian cinema, and optical toys.

First prize is £250 and publication in the journal Early Popular Visual Culture (Routledge). Plus book prizes. Last year’s first prize went to Dr John Plunkett for his essay ‘Selling Stereoscopy 1890-1914: penny arcades, automatic machines and American salesmen.’

Submissions are invited for unpublished essays of between 5,000 and 8,000 words. Entry is open to all, and the deadline for entries is 24 January 2009. Full details, including competition rules, are available on the Projection Box Awards site.

(You’ll find not-MOMI (a recreation of parts of the defunct Museum of the Moving Image) at

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