The Joan Leach Memorial Graduate Essay Prize

The Gaskell Journal runs a biennial Graduate Student Essay Prize in honour of Joan Leach MBE, founder of the Gaskell Society and for a long time its Honorary Secretary.

The essay competition is open to all graduate students currently registered for an MA or PhD in Victorian Studies or a related subject area. The winning essay is published in the Gaskell Journal and its author receives £200 from the Gaskell Society, and a complimentary copy of the year’s journal. The Joan Leach Memorial Graduate Student Essay Prize is judged by members of the Editorial Board, with the final decision being made by Professor Kate Flint of the University of Southern California.

Essays are welcome which consider Gaskell within contemporary Victorian cultural, aesthetic and scientific debates. Consideration will also be given to essays which offer innovative readings of Gaskell’s works in the light of critical theory, or comparing Gaskell’s work to another author’s.

The next essay competition deadline is 1st February, 2022.

Essays should be no longer than 7,000 words and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Please use the journal style guide to be found in the Instructions for Authors section.

For further details, and to submit an entry, please download the entry form.

We’re delighted to announce that the winner of the 2020 prize is Christopher Harrington of La Trobe University, Melbourne.

Previous winners:

(2012) Kerri E. Hunt, University of Chicago
(2014) Christie Allen, University of Michigan
(2016) Molly C. O’Donnell, University of Nevada
(2018) Roxanne L. Gentry, University of Connecticut