Jane Austen Society UK Graduate and Early Career Researcher Essay Prize

This prize was inaugurated in 2020 by the Jane Austen Society to promote scholarship on Jane Austen among postgraduate and early career researchers at universities in the United Kingdom. It is supported by donations to the Society’s Jane Austen 250 Fund.

No prize was awarded in 2021. The competition will not run in 2022 or 2023.

The Prize

The winner’s prize will comprise

  • A £200 prize
  • Publication of the winning essay on the website of the Jane Austen Society and, subject to editorial judgement, in Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-Line (the journal of the Jane Austen Society of North America)
  • One year’s free membership of the Jane Austen Society

There will be a second prize of £100.

Competition Rules

  1. The competition is open to students in any discipline. The essay may be on any aspect of Jane Austen and her life, work, or times. This embraces literature, stylistics, philosophy, and history, including cultural, intellectual, social, political, economic, scientific, material, art and religious history as they relate to Jane Austen.
  2. The competition is open to anyone currently registered for a higher degree (Master’s or Doctor’s) at a university in the United Kingdom, OR who has been awarded one within the previous three years. The entry form (download link above) will require the signature of the Academic Supervisor or Head of Department, confirming the entrant’s status. Applicants who are completing doctoral degrees are advised to check with their institutions as to any regulations covering the publication of material extracted from their theses prior to the submission of the whole thesis.
  3. Entrants should follow MHRA style, with footnotes rather than endnotes. Essays must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere and should not be submitted to any other journal until the outcome of the competition is known. All published essays will be subject to the same copyright terms as everything else published in Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-Line (the journal of the Jane Austen Society of North America) (subject to editorial judgement) and on the website of the Jane Austen Society.
  4. The word limit for the essay is a maximum of 7000 words. Entrants are required to provide an abstract (250 words) and a word count.
  5. When the competition is open, the deadline for the submission of essays is 31 December of each year. The prizes will be awarded at the Annual General Meeting of the Jane Austen Society in July of the following year.
  6. Essays, together with the entry form, should be submitted to essay@jasoc.org.uk.


The panel for the prize will include at least one Trustee of the Jane Austen Society and other established experts on Jane Austen.

The decision of the judges will be final and no correspondence will be considered. The judges reserve the right to award no prize if submitted material is not of an appropriate standard. The judges also reserve the right to recommend revisions to the prize-winning essay prior to publication.