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NAVSA’s annual Donald Gray Prize for best essay published in the field of Victorian Studies is named after Donald J. Gray, Culbertson Professor Emeritus in the English Department of Indiana University. Professor Gray received his PhD at Ohio State University, where he completed his dissertation under the direction of Richard Altick, and began teaching at Indiana University in 1956. At Indiana, Professor Gray received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award, its Distinguished Service Award, and the President’s Medal of Excellence; in 1997, he received the MLA award for professional service. He was a dissertation director of legendary responsiveness, acuity and stamina, having directed over 75 dissertations. Professor Gray is the editor of the Norton Pride and Prejudice and Alice in Wonderland; with George Tennyson he edited Victorian Poetry and Prose for Macmillan. He also served as editor of the journal College English and, beginning in 1957, as the Book Review Editor of Victorian Studies, helping the founding editors steer the journal through its early years. From 1990-2000 he served as principal editor of the journal. He retired in 1998. The Gray Prize honors his remarkable achievements as editor and graduate-student teacher.

NAVSA is now seeking nominations for the Donald Gray Prize for best essay published in the field of Victorian Studies.   The prize carries with it an award of $500 and will be awarded to essays that appeared in print or online in journals from the previous calendar year. Essays may be on any topic related to the study of Victorian Britain.   Note that the actual date of appearance trumps the date given on the issue itself since it’s common for journals to lag behind official issue dates. (The prize is limited to journal essays; those published in essay collections are not eligible.) The winner will also receive complementary registration at the NAVSA conference at which his or her award will be announced. Anyone, regardless of NAVSA membership status, is free to nominate an essay that appeared in print between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2013.   Nominations will also be solicited from the Advisory Board of NAVSA and the prize committee judges; self-nominated essays are equally welcome.   Authors may be from any country and of any institutional standing.

To nominate an essay, please submit by Tuesday, 20 May 2014: (1) a brief cover sheet with complete address and email information for both the essay’s nominator and its author, and (2) a digital copy of the essay (in .pdf, .doc or .docx) to the Executive Secretary of NAVSA, Deborah Denenholz Morse, at the following e-mail address:

The winning essay will be selected according to three criteria: 1) Potential significance for Victorian studies; 2) Quality and depth of scholarly research and interpretation; 3) Clarity and effectiveness of presentation. The judges will choose one essay for the award, with one honorary runner-up also selected, when appropriate, and will provide a short paragraph for use in announcing the award. If the judges are deadlocked, the decision is thrown to the NAVSA Executive Council.