Advent calendar kick-off!

Hooray, it’s that time of the year again: 1 December, start of the Advent season! Which also means that today we’re launching our very special Calvendo Advent calendar, opening one door every day until Christmas to reveal great images and, of course, calendars. Make sure not to miss our creative treats for you! You’ll meet a lot of our fab self-publishers along the way and maybe even find some inspiration for a unique Christmas gift ….

So, opening door number one and we’re saying hello to this lovely little lamb (look at its face!), featured in Andrew Kearton’s Animals in the Countryside calendar. A great one if you enjoy the countryside and animals. Obviously 🙂

Gregor International Calendar Award – now also for self-publishers

Good news for Calvendo self-publishers: The prestigious ‘Gregor International Calendar Award’ has recognised the growing importance of self-publishing and added a new category for self-published calendars this year. So, if you feel you could be among the first ever ‘Gregor Self-Publishing Award’ winners, read on for more information about the competition! 

The most important thing first: Calvendo authors who take part in the Gregor International Calendar Award competition,will get an exclusive discount of 40% on the entry fees: 

  • Fees for submitting one to five calendar titles – EUR 96 (approx. GBP 68) instead of EUR 160
  • Fees for submitting six to ten calendar titles – EUR 150 (approx. GBP 105) instead of EUR 250

A bit of background for you: The international Gregor award was launched in 1950 by ‘Graphischer Klub Stuttgart’ (Graphic Club Stuttgart), Baden-Wurttemberg’s Ministry of Finance and Economy and the employer’s association ‘Druck und Medien’ (Print and Media) in order to showcase calendar creations in Germany and abroad. Participants can submit calendars in ten different subject categories:

  1. Travel/Landscapes
  2. Cities and Architecture
  3. Animals
  4. Art and Culture
  5. Technology and Transport
  6. Sport and Hobbies
  7. People
  8. Eating, Drinking & Lifestyle
  9. Humour/Satire
  10. Nature and the Environment

The competition works with two submission deadlines for summer (24th July 2015) and winter (11th December 2015) and a jury made up of photography and design experts, trade buyers and consumers will decide on the winners. Two jury meetings in August 2015 and January 2016 will each time result in a short list of ten who will receive an award. The ten calendars of the August short list will also be exhibited at Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2015.


The jury will then select the final winners in the respective categories of the Self-Publishing Awards from the pool of altogether 20 short list winners (from the jury meetings in August 2015 and January 2016). The official awards ceremony will take place in Stuttgart on 21st January 2016 and from the start of September 2015 onwards award-winning calendars will be published on

If you’re thinking about taking part, please make sure to claim your exclusive 40% Calvendo discount. In order to do so, you will have to enter your Calvendo author ID in the field “Customer Number” on the registration form. You’ll find you ID number on your account statement in your Calvendo account (“Autoren-ID”, top right). Should you have trouble finding you ID number, please contact

You’ll need to submit your calendars by post (three copies per title) to ‘Graphischer Klub’ in Stuttgart plus print outs of your registration form and a short text explaining the calendar concept. For all details how to participate including addresses and contact details please click here (scroll to page 2 of the document for information in English and page 3 for the registration form). Please note that the entry fee needs to be transferred in Euros.

We appreciate that participation involves a considerable contribution and an investment of time and money on your side. However, since we managed to get a discount for our authors and the fact that this is the only award of this kind for calendar self-publishers, we felt that informing you about this option was in order. Good luck to everyone taking part!!

CALVENDO self-publishers in conversation: Rory Garforth

Yorkshire-based photographer Rory Garforth has a knack for black and white images. His evocative pictures make you look just that little bit longer. Here, he tells us about his photography, what influences his work and why Yorkshire is the perfect ‘shooting ground’.

Rory Image

1. Rory, we need to talk black and white with you: Tell us a bit about your specific preference for black and white photography and how it developed.

My first camera was a Russian Zenit 11 SLR, bought for me by my parents. Back then, aged 11 in the 80s, I instinctively wanted to shoot in black and white and asked my father to get me black and white film. I’ve always loved noir and the look of old movies. I’ve stuck with black and white because I love the timeless, classic feel it gives. I also love the drama in a black and white image with its strong contrast and texture; something I’ve never really achieved in a colour image. I’m also colour blind and have often wondered if this has influenced my photography. My black and white images tend to be strong, high contrast and sometimes powerful – I’m working on soft, gentle and subtle!

Isle of Skye Copyright: Rory Garforth

Isle of Skye
Copyright: Rory Garforth

My appreciation for landscape and wide open skies comes from early trips to the coast in Yorkshire, and my love of mountains from hiking trips to Scotland and the Lake District. Photography wise, my earliest influences were Ansel Adams, Fay Goodwin and particularly Michael Kenna. I felt that his photography showed me what I really wanted to learn and aspire to. Another is Bill Brandt, who really got me interested in street photography and whose dramatic landscapes of Skye first drew me to that location. I really admire the work of Susan Burnstine, she uses handmade cameras and lenses creating a really unique look. I love her book, ‘Within Shadows’.

2. You have a passion for landscape photography and the great outdoors. Looking at your portfolio, it becomes clear that your ‘home turf’ of South Yorkshire definitely plays an important role for your work. What specifically is it that you find so inspiring (apart from the fact that the scenery is indeed stunning!)? And can you tell us a bit about how you find the places and motives to shoot? Continue reading