for the 2020 Chico Review

Alessandra Sanguinetti - Jim Goldberg - Vanessa Winship - Todd Hido - Awoiska van der Molen - Raymond Meeks


The Chico Review takes place over six nights at Chico Hot Springs Resort, near Livingston Montana. Fifty-eight applicants will be selected by our jury and invited to spend the week with twenty of the most influential and creative photographers, book makers, gallerists, museum curators, and photobook publishers in the industry. One full scholarship and five partial scholarships will be awarded. Student discounts and need-based scholarships will be available to those selected who qualify.

Attending artists receive ten formal reviews by speakers and reviewers and take part in artist lectures, panel discussions, peer reviews, and additional evening programming over the seven day event. 

At the end of the event, one grand prize winner will be announced and their project will be published and distributed by Charcoal Book Club.


There simply is not another gathering like this in the photography world.
It sounds a little crazy because it is a little crazy... and that’s the beauty of it.
— Shane Lavelette, Light Work
The quality of the work shown over the week was second to none.
This is by far the best review for photography in the country!
— Clint Woodside - Deadbeat Club


2020 Keynote Speakers


I enjoy looking at the attendees work. The small numbers of people make it a very intimate experience. The evenings are always fun as everybody ends up hanging out and socializing together, both the students and reviewers.
— Todd Hido


2020 Featured Reviewers


The days were interesting for the reviewers, useful for the participants, and fun for both. I saw quite a bit of exciting work over the review table and got to know the makers over breakfast tables. The atmosphere is casual but intensive, and beautiful—turns out the hot spring is a good place to talk about photography and the snow peaked mountains in the backdrop weren’t a bad sight to recharge the eyes.
— Irina Rozovsky


2020 Selection Jury

The Chico Review is one of the most refreshing art retreats I’ve ever attended. The whole experience created by Charcoal Book Club is warm, relaxed, and completely revitalizing. I would highly recommend this over many 2-3 days reviews that are more impersonal.”
— Paul Moakley - TIME


Awards and Scholarships

  • 1 Charcoal Publishing Prize - The Charcoal Publishing Prize will be awarded to one of the selected artists in attendance. This project will be published and distributed worldwide by Charcoal Book Club in 2021.

  • 6 Merit Scholarships - One full tuition scholarship ($3750) and five partial tuition scholarships ($1500) to the Chico Portfolio Review will be awarded to photographers chosen by the jury based on the quality of their submitted project.

  • 58 Selected Artists - Fifty-eight total photographers will be invited to travel to take part in this juried portfolio review and retreat. These attendees are chosen by our jury based on the merit of their submitted project.

    *Need-based scholarships and student discount available upon acceptance.



What to expect if selected to attend



Each day will include breakfast, a morning lecture from one of our speakers, a panel discussion, lunch, daily portfolio reviews, and free time. Each attendee will have ten 20-minute portfolio reviews with a mix of our speakers and reviewers. Over the course of four days, you will spend time reviewing your work and gaining insight from our featured speakers, reviewers, and Charcoal Book Club staff. During unstructured time (including one entirely free day in the middle of the week), attendees can relax around the lodge and hot springs or explore the surrounding area - bookstores and saloons in Livingston, wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, and the ranch land of Paradise Valley.



We've reserved private and shared rooms on the 150-acre property. Room sizes and amenities differ, and we're offering them on a first-come, first-served basis. You'll have the opportunity to select your accommodation upon acceptance. Activities at Chico start at its steamy natural hot springs, with two open-air pools averaging 96 and 103 degrees year-round. The Yellowstone River and surrounding spring creeks that slice through the wide-open glacial valley are fly fishing meccas during warmer months.



You'll eat well at Chico Hot Springs. The extensive gardens produce abundant vegetables thanks to rich soil that is heated by the geothermal runoff from the natural hot springs. There's a dining room, cocktail lounge, saloon, and diner on the premises, and we'll provide you with three square meals a day. "Chico is just quintessential Montana," says owner Colin Davis. "We get the rancher down the road who drops in for a steak and a glass of Jim Beam. Then a bit of Hollywood could show up for a bottle of Sassicaia”.


I found the intimate confines of Chico Hot Springs (set in arguably one of the most epically beautiful valleys in Montana) to be an ideal setting for a cross-pollination of ideas with professional colleagues and participants. I almost always feel I gain as much from participants, who are current with trends and fresh approaches, as I’m able to impart with them. This was especially true at the portfolio review, as I was introduced to a broad range of aesthetic pursuits and disciplines, much of it meaningful and fascinating.
— Raymond Meeks - 2018 Reviewer


Attendance details if selected to attend


TUITION - $3750

Tuition includes:

  • 10 Portfolio reviews by speakers and reviewers

  • Lectures, panel discussions, and Q&A sessions

  • Hot springs entry, daily happy hours, three meals a day

*Need based scholarships and student discount available upon acceptance.


We’ve reserved the majority of Chico Hot Springs for this event. Upon acceptance, we will help you select your accommodations, which range from shared lodge rooms ($60/night) to private cabins ($255/night)—something for everyone's budget.

Room types will available on a first-come, first served-basis.



Call for entries open
1 September 2019
Submission deadline
9 December 2019
Late Submission Deadline
16 December 2019
Selected Attendee and Scholarship Announcement
13 January 2020
Chico Hot Springs Portfolio Review Begins
6 April 2020
Charcoal Book Club publishing prize announcement
12 June 2020