Italian Photographer Chosen as Grand Prize Winner in Blurb's Photography Book Now Competition

    Valerio Spada's 'Gomorrah Girl' chosen from 2,300 international


SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 1, 2011 /CNW/ -- Valerio Spada, a professional photographer from Milan, Italy, won the $25,000 grand prize in Blurb's fourth annual Photography Book Now competition for his book, "Gomorrah Girl." Spada's work, the story of adolescence, choices and chance in the land of the Camorrah (the name of the Mafia in Naples), was chosen by an international panel of judges, from more than 2,300 submissions.


    (Photo: )


"We were blown away by 'Gomorrah Girl.' You can't be human and not be moved by this very powerful story that captures in pictures and words what it is like to become a woman in a dangerous, crime ridden area," said Blurb Founder and CEO Eileen Gittins. "Our entrants and winners came from all over the world, and by far, the quality and range of books submitted this year surpassed all previous years. We congratulate Mr. Spada. His powerful, innovative, and beautifully designed book embodies the very best that self-publishing inspires. "

Spada will be honored along with 12 other category winners on September 15 at the Aperture Gallery in New York City. The Photography Book Now competition and awards event is hosted by Blurb®, the creative publishing platform that allows anyone to design, publish, market, and sell professional-quality books. While many of the winning entries were published using the Blurb platform, some, including "Gomorrah Girl," were not.

"The book is simply the sum of a long time spent in the streets of Naples and a short time in the bookmaking phase, but what came after that is pure happiness," said Valerio Spada. "I am honored that 'Gomorrah Girl' was selected by the judges to receive this esteemed award."

"Valerio Spada's 'Gomorrah Girl' stood apart as this year's Grand Prize winner," said Darius Himes, lead judge for the 2011 Photography Book Now. "Mr. Spada's self-published book is a strong embodiment of the complex criteria the judges used: strong photography, important subject matter, vigorous edit and intelligent sequencing, combined with a thoughtful attention to those elements that are specifically book-centric."

A full list of the winners and honorable mention selections, including the four People's Choice awards voted on by the public, can be found at and in the table below. A number of the books submitted into the competition are also available for purchase in the Photography Book Now bookstore at

Those attending the September 15 awards ceremony in New York City will have the opportunity to meet many of the winners, see the winning books, and mingle with judges, sponsors, gallery owners and publishers. For more information about the event, or to RSVP, please visit


    Top Photography Book Now winners:


                                  Valerio Spada, "Gomorrah Girl"
    Grand Prize Winner:           (Italy)
                                  Rene Nuljens, "Yuri Gagarin, 50 Years
    Fine Art Category Winner:     of Human Space Flight" (Netherlands)
                                  Rafal Milach, "In The Car with R"
    Documentary Category Winner:  (Poland)
                                  Thomas Michael Alleman, "Sunshine &
    Travel Category Winner:       Noir" (United States)
    -----------------------       -----------------------------------
    Student Category Winner:     Goseong Choi, "Umma" (United States)
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    About Blurb®

Blurb® is a creative publishing and marketing platform that unleashes the creative genius inside everyone. Blurb's platform makes it easy to design, publish, market and sell professional-quality books, using the Blurb Bookify(TM) online bookmaking tool, Blurb's free, award-winning Blurb BookSmart® app or by using Blurb's PDF to Book workflow. Blurb's bookstore and online marketing tools enable customers to market and sell their books, and keep 100% of their profit. Blurb's social and community features allow customers to create and share Blurb books among friends and colleagues with ease.

Blurb was founded by Eileen Gittins in 2005, and includes a team of design, Internet and media veterans who share a passion for helping people bring their stories to life. In 2010, Blurb shipped just under 1.4 million books to more than 70 countries and territories. In 2010, Blurb was ranked the fastest growing media company on the Inc. 500. Blurb is based in San Francisco with offices in London. For more info, visit


    Grace MusatOgilvy Public Relations for Blurb(405)



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