Magnusson Prize

The Scottish Society for Northern Studies offers an annual prize of £450 for the best essay submitted by an early career scholar (including masters and PhD candidates). We also welcome submissions from those who have come to study later in life of or have resumed study after a lengthy break. The prize is named in memory of Magnus Magnusson KBE, scholar and journalist of the northern world.

Submissions for the prize are read by at least two established scholars in their respective fields, who then make recommendations to the Society.  The winning essay will be published in our peer-reviewed journal, Northern Studies, and the journal editors may also consider other essays submitted for the Magnusson Prize for possible publication.

We are seeking essays in the classic sense: a concise discussion of an interesting topic rather than a corpus of data for others to analyse.  In accordance with the interdisciplinary ethos of the Society, the choice of possible essay topics is wide. This scope may best be gauged by looking through previous volumes of Northern Studies; our content includes archaeology, onomastics, history, ethnology, as well as linguistic and literary studies – ranging from the Viking Age up to the present day.

If in doubt about the appropriateness of a subject, please feel free to contact the prize coordinator. The criteria upheld by the judges will include the originality of the topic, the author’s use of source material, command of the evidence, and clarity of writing.

The body of the essay text should not exceed 3,500 words (not including notes and bibliography). If a submission exceeds this length, penalties will apply. Please provide a cover sheet detailing your name, affiliation, and a short abstract (no more than 150 words). Please do not include your name in the essay document.

The Society reserves the right to award no prize if the standard of submissions falls below that required for publications in a peer-reviewed journal.

Magnus Magnusson

Entries should be submitted digitally by 1 April to the prize coordinator.

Please also refer to our Submissions page for a detailed style guide.

A list of previous winners of the prize may be found here.