Book & Essay Prizes

The Royal Studies Journal awards two biennial prizes for the best Book and best Journal Article in the field of Royal Studies.

Since 2016, the Royal Studies Journal has featured two prizes – one for the best new book in the field and another to recognise new research from students and early career scholars. The prizes were initially sponsored by Canterbury Christchurch University and are now sponsored by Winchester University Press. From 2020, the RSJ is moving to a biennial scheme, alternating between the book and article prizes in order to increase the number of entries eligible for nomination by extending the time period for works under consideration.

In 2020 the book prize will be awarded. Both monographs and edited collections are eligible for consideration. Works must have been published between 2018-2020 (prior to the nomination deadline of 1 March 2020). The prize is worth £100 and will be awarded at the Kings and Queens 9 conference in Differdange, Luxembourg in July 2020. The book prize winner will also be featured in the December 2020 issue of the Royal Studies Journal.

The deadline for entries is 1 March, 2020.


The American Society for Irish Medieval Studies (ASIMS) hosts two annual prizes for essays in Irish Medieval Studies, both of which are presented at the International Congress on Medieval Studies (ICMS) at Kalamazoo.

The winner need not be present, and will be contacted officially in writing. Entrants for both prizes must be members of ASIMS at the time of submission in order to be eligible.

The Four Courts Press/Michael Adams Prize in Irish Medieval Studies is awarded for the best essay/article in Irish Medieval Studies published in a book or journal during the previous calendar year (the 2019 prize will therefore be awarded to an essay published in 2018). The prize is a cheque to the value of US$500 from Four Courts Press. A summary of the article will be reprinted in Eolas, the journal of ASIMS. Entries must be submitted by 25 March in order to be considered.

The Terence Barry Prize for the Best Graduate Paper in Irish Medieval Studies, is awarded to the best conference paper on a subject of relevance to Irish Medieval Studies delivered by a graduate student. The prize is open to graduate students from any field who either have presented or have written and intend to present a paper on a subject of relevance to Irish Medieval Studies at any conference during the previous twelve-month period, beginning and ending with the ICMS in May. The prize will consist of a cheque for reimbursement of the current year’s ICMS registration fees costs, or a cheque of equivalent value. It is a requirement that the winning entry submits a summary statement of the presentation for publication in the society’s journal, Eolas. Especially worthy entries may also be considered for eventual publication in the journal. Entries must be submitted by 15 April in order to be considered.


The Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship has a number of regular prizes and scholarships.

The Graduate Student Essay Competition is open to all currently-enrolled graduate students. Papers may cover any aspect of medieval studies that focuses on issues of women, gender, and/or sexuality. The paper should be no longer than 8000 words, not including foot/endnotes and bibliography. The prize will be 5 years’ membership in SMFS and publication of the winning paper, subject to editing, in our journal Medieval Feminist Forum. The annual deadline for submission is 1 November. The winner will be announced around 1 February.

The following two prizes are awarded in alternate years: Best First Book of Feminist Scholarship on the Middle Ages (even years), and Best Article of Feminist Scholarship on the Middle Ages (odd years for the preceding two year period). These prizes were established in 2004 as a way for the SMFS to recognise outstanding scholarly contributions. Submissions are considered for their relative merit to the study of women and feminist values in Medieval Studies. The article prize carries an award of $300US and the book a prize of $500US, awarded at the annual business meeting each May at the ICMS, Kalamazoo.

The Foremothers Fellowship is funded through the generous gift of royalties from the editors and authors of the Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe (Judith Bennett and Ruth Mazo Karras). The grant provides $2,000US for a current doctoral candidate (at the time of the proposed project) to undertake a significant professional development initiative. The winner will be partnered with a senior medieval scholar whose guidance and association can assist the student in developing and executing the project.


CARMEN, The Worldwide Medieval Network, is pleased to announce the CARMEN Project Prize.

This unique award will recognise a project idea in any area of Medieval Studies, which has the potential to advance our understanding of the medieval period or its reception in important and/or innovative ways. Unlike conventional publication prizes, the CARMEN Project Prize seeks to identify the highest-quality academic research at the planning/development stage and to encourage its future progress.

Any individual medievalist, or team of researchers, at any career stage, from those completing research degrees to full professors, are eligible to enter. The research project can relate to any aspect of Medieval Studies or Medievalism (the later reception of the Middle Ages), and can be grounded in any academic discipline or can be multi-disciplinary. Projects should not yet have received substantial funding, and should be in the development stage.

Entries will be judged by a panel of CARMEN Executive Committee members, together with a representative of one of CARMEN’s Affiliated Member Organisations. The Prize primarily offers prestige and recognition amongst the widest possibly community of scholars in Medieval Studies, but also includes: a public prize presentation at the CARMEN Annual Meeting; publicity and opportunities to showcase your project idea; a bursary of up to €350 to attend the CARMEN Annual Meeting (held in mid September) to workshop ideas; expert mentoring from CARMEN members and senior medievalists at CARMEN Affiliated Member Organisations; and recognition of the project’s quality and potential (including a written citation) – valuable if the project goes on to seek funding or participants.


The Gender and Medieval Studies Group offers a postgraduate student essay prize.

The competition is open to students at all levels of graduate study including those who will be completing their degree in the coming year. Essays should be between 4,000 and 6,000 words in length. Entries should engage with questions of gender and/or sexuality in the Middle Ages and submissions from postgraduates working within any discipline in the field are encouraged.

The prize gives free conference fee registration to the GMS conference (held every January at a different UK institution) for two years (2019 and 2020), a £100 book token for Castle Hill Bookshop and a contribution towards UK travel costs to the conference. The winning essay will also be considered for publication in the academic journal Medieval Feminist Forum, run by the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship (SMFS).

Announcement for the 2019 prize will be made after mid-2019.