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Modern Language Association Prize for Independent Scholars

Competition in 2016 for Books Published in 2014 or 2015

Open to Members and Nonmembers of the Association

To recognize and further encourage the achievements and contributions of independent scholars, the Modern Language Association invites authors to compete for the thirty-first MLA Prize for Independent Scholars, to be awarded for a distinguished scholarly book published in 2014 or 2015 in the field of English or another modern language or literature. Authors who are not enrolled in a program leading to an academic degree and did not hold a tenured, tenure-accruing, or tenure-track position in a postsecondary educational institution at the time of publication of the book are eligible. (Tenure is understood to include any comparable provision for job security in a postsecondary educational institution.) Normally, part-time instructors and adjunct faculty members are eligible to compete for the prize. Authors of submitted books need not be members of the association. The prize, which consists of a cash award and a certificate, will be presented to the winning author at the association's annual convention in January 2017.

To enter a book into the competition, authors or publishers should send six copies and a completed entry form  to the MLA Prize for Independent Scholars, Modern Language Association, 85 Broad Street, suite 500, New York, NY 10004-2434. In the case of a born-digital publication, send the relevant media or URL and a letter identifying the work to Publishers may enter more than one title. Books entered in this competition may also compete for the James Russell Lowell Prize or the MLA Prize for a First Book, provided they meet eligibility requirements. Entries must be received by 1 May 2016. The winning author will be contacted in September, and a public announcement will be made in early December. Because of the volume of submissions, we regret that we are unable to contact each entrant individually.

For further information, or to obtain copies of the entry form, call or write the MLA office of programs (646 576-5141;

Note: From 1983 to 2010, the MLA Prize for Independent Scholars was offered annually. It is now a biennial prize, with competitions in even-numbered years.

Past winners of this prize


© 2015 Modern Language Association. Last updated 08/31/2015.