The Hakluyt Society Essay Prize: This year’s results and next year’s CFP

In 2014 the Hakluyt Society launched the Hakluyt Society Essay Prize for postgraduate students and early career researchers. The first run of the  Essay Prize competition attracted 26 entrants from Canada, Germany, Norway, Turkey, the UK and the US. Encouraged by this international response and the high standard of submissions, the Society is pleased to announce a new round of the Essay Prize. In the 2015-2016 competition contestants can once again hope to win a prize of up to £750, one-year membership to the Society, and the publication of their winning entry in the Hakluyt Society Journal. Read on below for details and conditions.

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First, some words about the 2014-2015 prize run. This year the prize committee consisted of Daniel Carey, Surekha Davies (Chair), Felipe Fernández-Armesto, Peter Hulme, Claire Jowitt and Suzanne Schwartz. They announced the results during the 169th Annual General Meeting of the Hakluyt Society, which took place in London on Wednesday 26 June. Among a number of high-quality submissions, the committee held the opinion that the single outstanding contribution was the essay by Owain Lawson (Columbia University), entitled: ‘Constructing a Green Museum: French Environmental Imaginaries of Syria and Lebanon’. The Society is pleased that Mr Lawson could be present as the Society’s guest at the AGM, where he received a cheque for £750 along with a one-year Hakluyt Society membership.

In addition, the committee also selected two honourable mentions: Amy Bowles (Girton College, Cambridge), for her essay ‘Sea Changes: The manuscript circulation of Sir Henry Mainwaring’s A Brief Abstract, Exposition and Demonstration of all Parts and Things belonging to a Ship and Practique of Navigation’, and Katherine Parker (University of Pittsburgh), whose essay was entitled: ‘Circling a paper world: the global process of producing Pacific travel accounts in the long 18th century’. The Hakluyt Society wishes to thank all contributors and extend its warm congratulations to this year’s winner and runner-ups. We’re glad to confirm that each of the three selected authors has kindly agreed to write a blog post about their research for the Hakluyt Society blog, which will shortly be published in this space.

Essay Prize 2015-2016 CFP

The Hakluyt Society has now released its Call for Papers for the 2015-2016 Essay Prize (deadline 1 November 2015). The prize (or more than one, if the judges so decide) of up to a total of £750 will be presented at the Hakluyt Society’s Annual General Meeting in London in June 2016, where the winner or winners will be invited to attend as the Society’s guests; travel expenses within the UK will be reimbursed. Winners will also receive a one-year membership of the Hakluyt Society. The Society will publish winning entries in a special section of its peer-reviewed on-line Hakluyt Society Journal, should the author wish to do so.


The competition is open to anyone under the age of thirty (30). Proof of age (such as scanned copy of a passport or other official document) must accompany any submission.

Scope and Subject Matter

Essays should be based on original research in any discipline in the humanities or social sciences, and on an aspect of the history of travel, exploration and cultural encounter or their effects, in the tradition of the work of the Society. Essays should be in English (except for such citations in languages other than English as may appear in footnotes or endnotes) and between 6,000 and 8,000 words in length (including notes, excluding bibliography). Illustrations, diagrams and tables essential to the text fall outside the word count. Submissions should be unpublished, and not currently in press, in production or under review elsewhere.

Submission Procedure and Deadline

Essays should be submitted as email attachments in Word.doc format to Prof. Sebastian Sobecki, Chair of the Essay Prize Judging Panel, at and to Richard Bateman, Administrator of the Hakluyt Society, at by 1 November 2015. The entrant’s name, address (including preferred email address), institutional affiliation (if any, with date of admission), and degrees (if any, with dates of conferment) should appear within the body of the email, together with a note of the title of the submitted essay. The subject line of the email should include the words ‘HAKLUYT SOCIETY ESSAY PRIZE’ and the author’s name. By submitting an essay, an entrant certifies that it is the entrant’s own original work.

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