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Intimate Landscape

Landscapes conjure images of vast, sweeping scenes, but the details captured by a photograph can turn a seemingly impersonal setting into an intimate story. It's up to the artist to define what constitutes an intimate landscape, be it representational, non-representational, urban, suburban or rural.


The submissions for Open to Interpretation: Intimate Landscape is currently closed

View our online gallery for selected images chosen by Karen Irvine, Curator of Photographs at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.

Intimate Landscape Judge's Choice Award
Untitled #5, Harold Ross


Publication and Awards

$1000 Cover Award
$300 Judge's Choice Award Photography
$300 Judge's Choice Award Writing or Poetry

Being selected to be part of this publication puts you in great company with other photographers, writers, and poets. This publication is dedicated to providing a place for artists to gain recognition and exposure for their work. All participants chosen, if so desired, will have their name, web page and/or mailing address indexed in the book so as they can be contacted directly regarding their work.




Photography Judge

Karen Irvine is Curator and Manager of Publications of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago. She has organized over thirty five exhibitions at the MoCP and other institutions and written essays for numerous artist monographs and publications including Art on Paper and Contemporary. Irvine is a part time instructor of photography at Columbia College Chicago. She received an MFA in photography from FAMU, Prague, Czech Republic, and an MA in art history from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Writing Judge

Patrick Thomas is the editor and program manager at Milkweed Editions. As an editor, his work focuses on acquisitions that consider our relationship to the more-than-human world. As program manager, he works to find the best way to bring literary art to the widest possible audience. He lives in Minneapolis, MN.



Writing Guidelines
Each volume of Open to Interpretation represents a unique collaboration between photographers and writers. The content for each book is sought via two distinct calls for entry/submissions:

  1. Photography "Call for Entry." After judging takes place, the selected images will be posted online.
  2. Writing “Call for Submissions.” After viewing the selected photographs online, writers craft and submit an interpretation of an image in poetry or prose. Two written works will be selected for each photograph.


Eligibility and Submission Guidelines

All writers are welcome to submit work provided it is written in English, not more than 300 words, and submitted via email.  All work must be original and previously unpublished, either in print or electronically. Open to Interpretation will consider simultaneous submissions, but requests that you inform us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. Mailed submissions will not be accepted.


Preparing your Submission

  • Cite the number of the photograph to which your work corresponds in the file name (photograph#_yourlastname_yourfirstname.doc)
  • Do not put your name on the manuscript
  • There is no limit to the number of submissions
  • No cover letter needed
  • Manuscripts should use a standard font, such as Times New Roman, Helvetica, Arial, etc.
  • If there is indentation that is critical to the reading or layout of the poem please note this at the top of the word document
  • Maximum length is 300 words
  • Each piece should be titled
  • Save your manuscript as a .doc



Open to Interpretation judges are asked to select poems or prose pieces that are well written and compelling, and that offer thoughtful and dynamic interpretations of the photographs. All decisions are final.



The selected work will be announced via email. Further information will be provided for those that are accepted.


Use of Accepted Work

Writers whose work is selected to appear in Open to Interpretation agree that the winning pieces may also be used for marketing and promotional purposes directly relating to the book. This may include, but is not limited to, publication in print materials, advertisements, electronic media, displays, websites, and related ephemera. Writers grant the use of their work as stated without further contact or compensation. Any work used will credit the writer. Open to Interpretation acquires First North American Serial Rights. All rights revert to the author after publication and the work may be reprinted as long as appropriate acknowledgement to Open to Interpretation is made.




click here to download sample writing contract


Important Dates

   Submissions Open: November 14, 2011
  New Extended Deadline: May 1, 2012
   Results Posted Online: July 26, 2012


   Scheduled Book Launch: October 2012

Entry Details

   Submission Fees: $10 per entry
   New Extended Deadline: May 1, 2012

Directions for submitting your manuscripts:

1) Pay for number of manuscripts you will be sending.

2) Send manuscript via email to info@open2interpretation.com. Include paypal transaction number in email subject line.  Make sure document filename includes designated photograph number (for example for image IL_15 name the file "IL_15_LastName_FirstName.doc, note this is your last name and your first name NOT the photographers.)


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