VPFA Book Prize

deadline for submissions: 
December 31, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Victorian Popular Fiction Association
contact email: 

We are delighted to announce two new Book Prize Awards, under the auspices of the UK-based Victorian Popular Fiction Association (VPFA): the VPFA First Book Prize and the VPFA Second Book Prize awards. These book prizes will be awarded in alternate years, beginning in 2023 with the First Book Prize, followed in 2024 by the Second Book Prize. The VPFA First Book Prize is intended for the first book of an early-career scholar; the VPFA Second Book Prize is for a second book by scholars at any career stage.

Submissions for the 2023 VPFA First Book Prize are now open, with a deadline of 31 December 2023. The winner will be announced in the spring of 2024.

The Victorian Popular Fiction Association will award one prize each year, worth £200, for scholarly contributions to our understanding of nineteenth-century popular literature and culture.

Works eligible for these prizes will be scholarly monographs about nineteenth-century literary writers, groups or works which, specifically and explicitly, deal with the ‘popular’ paradigm. Works on neo-Victorian popular writing, which help us better understand Victorian popular literature or culture, will also be considered. We also accept volumes of critical essays and jointly authored monographs for submission. However, scholarly editions of popular Victorian texts and translations will not be eligible for submission. For scholarly monographs written in a language other than English – or other types of book/ other queries – please consult the VPFA about eligibility.

The works submitted for consideration for the inaugural 2023 First Book Prize should have been published in 2022 or 2023. Please also see below notes on ‘Rules’ and ‘Process of Submission’.

Please direct correspondence about the prize to vpfainfo@gmail.com

Thank you for your attention.

Janine Hatter and Julia Kuehn, Co-Presidents, VPFA


Eligibility Rules

In order to submit a book for consideration, an author has to be a paid-up member of the VPFA in the year of submission. Members of the VPFA are eligible regardless of geographical location or employment status. Authors are allowed to submit their own work.

Process of Submission

The works submitted for consideration for the 2023 VPFA First Book Prize should have been published in 2022 or 2023. (Works considered for the 2024 Second Book Prize will, consequently, have been published in 2023 or 2024. Works considered for the 2025 First Book Prize in 2024 and 2025, and so on. The VPFA will invite submissions in a timely manner.)

Submissions for the inaugural, 2023 VPFA First Book Prize should be sent by the applicant to vpfainfo@gmail.com by 31 December 2023. We encourage the sending of e-copies rather than physical copies; alternatively, if an e-copy is unavailable, publisher’s proofs are also accepted. The submission should be accompanied by an endorsement (of about 300 words) by a scholar in the field, which specifies the respective work’s significance and originality. If available and desired, submissions may also be accompanied by copies of published or in-press reviews of the book in scholarly journals or (inter)national media.

Process of Selection

The VPFA’s Executive Committee will, in any given year, select a jury of three assessors, comprised of senior scholars in the field. These assessors will review the submissions and select both a short list and a winner. Both the short list and the winner will be announced in the spring after the submission deadline.

The winners of the VPFA First Book Prize and the VPFA Second Book Prize are expected to present a short overview of their book, followed by an audience Q&A, either in person or online at the annual VPFA July conference. This will be followed by the official prize giving.


The cash prize is £200 for the VPFA First Book Prize and £200 for the VPFA Second Book Prize. VPFA will cover bank transfer fees, if any. Awards for joint-authored monographs and edited collections will be split equally between, respectively, the authors or editors.