The Gaskell Society

The Gaskell Society

Celebrating the life and work of Elizabeth Gaskell

Joan Leach Memorial Graduate Student Essay Prize 2024

Deadline for submissions: 1 February 2024

The Gaskell Journal runs a biennial Graduate Student Essay Prize in honour of Joan Leach MBE, founder of the Gaskell Society. The winning essay will be published in the Gaskell Journal (with revisions as appropriate), and its author will receive £200 from the Gaskell Society, and a complimentary copy of the Journal.

The essay competition is open to all graduate students currently registered for a PhD or MA. Entries must offer an original contribution to the field of Gaskell studies, whether to read her work in relation to Victorian social or intellectual contexts, or in the light of critical theory, or to offer a comparative study connecting Gaskell with another author. 

Essays will be shortlisted by the Gaskell Journal Editorial Board, with the final winner being chosen by our guest judge, Professor Kate Flint of the University of Southern California (author of works including The Woman Reader 1837-1914, The Victorians and the Visual Imagination, The Transatlantic Indian, Flash! Photography, Writing and Surprising Illumination, as well as monographs on both Gaskell and Dickens).

Essays should be 6,000-7,000 words, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. All shortlisted submissions will be considered for potential publication in the Gaskell Journal.

Please see the Gaskell Journal website for submission details and style guide:

Please direct any queries to the Editors, Dr Ben Moore and Dr Rebecca Styler