Each year, the Society welcomes entries for its Essay Competition, submitted according to the following rules:
1. The competition is open to all medievalists who are graduate students or have completed a higher degree within the last three years. The time period of three years begins from the date of successful viva, but excludes any career break. Any candidate in doubt of their eligibility should contact the Executive Officer.
2. Each candidate is allowed to make one submission to the competition annually.
3. The submission must be the candidate’s own work and must not have been previously published or accepted for publication.
4. Submissions are welcomed on any topic that falls within the range of the Society’s remit in the medieval period (up to c. 1500).
5. The submission should be in the English language.
6. Modern English translations must be provided of all quotations from primary sources; candidates should exercise their own judgement over how far they need to explain the sense of quotations or other references in secondary literature in languages other than English.
7. A submission must fall within the word range of 6,500 to 8,000 words. This word limit excludes any blbliography and English translations of cited texts, but includes all other notes and appendices.
8. The text should be double-spaced, and footnotes, with full referencing, should be used.
9. The deadline for submissions is the first day in December each year.
10. The essay must be submitted electronically, using the online entry form, in PDF and Microsoft Word (docx) formats, to arrive by the deadline.
11. The candidate’s name must not appear anywhere on the submitted essay itself.
12. Decisions concerning the Competition lie with the Executive Committee of the Society, who can, if they consider there to have been appropriate submissions, award an Essay Prize and in addition declare a proxime accessit.
13. The value of the Prize is £500, with a further £250 provided to support attendance at a relevant conference of the winner’s choice, and £250 for books of the winner's choice, from Bennett & Kerr booksellers (including any from the Society's own catalogue of publications).
14. A candidate whose entry is declared proxime accessit may be awarded £100.
15. The decision of the Executive Committee will be formally announced at the Society’s AGM which is usually held in the spring. Its decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into concerning the judging process.
16. In addition to the Prize, the winning submission may be considered for publication in Medium Ævum, subject to the usual editorial procedures of the journal. Any queries concerning these rules can be directed to the Executive Officer.