The Literary Encyclopedia Book Prizes

for major scholarly contributions to the understanding of literature

In December 2021 The Literary Encyclopedia will award two prizes, each worth £2000, one for scholarly contributions to our understanding of literature originally in the English language, the other for scholarly contributions to our understanding of literature originally in another language.


Works eligible for these prizes will be biographies, editions, or critical studies of literary writers, groups, works or periods. Volumes of essays by various hands will not be eligible.

The authors of submitted works must be: 1. engaged in research at an institution which subscribes to The Literary Encyclopedia OR 2. contributors of articles to The Literary Encyclopedia OR 3. members of scholarly associations affiliated to our publication who currently have an active membership account on our site.


These prizes are funded by contributors to and editors of the Literary Encyclopedia who donate their royalties to our Scholarship Fund which also provides research travel grants to early career researchers. Please see

Process of Submission

The works submitted for consideration by the assessors for the 2021 prizes should have been published in 2018 or 2019.

Submissions for the prize should be sent to The Literary Encyclopedia by 30th June 2021 and should comprise up to three endorsements of the submitted work by reputed scholars in the relevant field. These endorsements should be confidential (and sent from reviewers directly to us), and should specify the work’s significance and originality in less than 1500 words. Submissions may also be accompanied by copies of published or in-press reviews of the book in well-reputed scholarly journals or national media.

Assessors will review the submissions and prepare a short list which will be announced in early August. In the meantime, we also invite submission of e-copies of the book that is being submitted for assessment. This is not a requirement at this point, but we encourage authors to make timely arrangements with their publishing house for an electronic copy of the book to be sent to us in the course of the summer. If a book is short-listed, we will need to have the full electronic copy at hand for review as soon as possible.

We do not advise physical submission of books at this stage, as we do not have the resources to forward copies to multiple assessors. These will only be accepted if it is impossible for the author to source an e-copy and the book has been short-listed.

The winners will be announced on December 1st 2021.

***Please direct correspondence about the prize to Dr Cristina Sandru, Managing Editor***