Yes. The Nine Dots Prize is an international competition, welcoming entrants from across the globe. Authors based in UK sanctioned countries are welcome to submit, however additional considerations will apply. For example, the Kadas Prize Foundation will need to assess whether it is possible, within its charitable remit, to pay the monetary award to a successful author from a sanctioned country.
You do not need any specific qualifications to enter the Nine Dots Prize. The only stipulations are that applicants must be 18 years of age or over and that responses and the resulting book must be in English. Trustees of the Foundation, Board members of the Prize, or their family members, are not eligible.
As the Prize’s focus is on ideas that tackle contemporary societal issues, its heartland is broadly in the social sciences – that is, the study of society, the ways in which people behave and the relationships between individuals in a society. It includes disciplines such as anthropology, demography, economics, human geography, psychology, political science, and sociology. However the Prize welcomes responses that draw on all disciplines and cross-discipline thinking. No qualifications or past experience of any particular kind is required. We are looking for innovative thinking, whether this comes from new voices or from experienced authors.
The Board will award the Prize to the entry that in their view best responds to the set question. Responses can critique, agree or disagree with, or reject the premise of the question set, but they must engage with it fully and insightfully. The Board will be looking for originality of the ideas and arguments put forward, the ways in which the ideas are communicated and the conclusions or recommendations that the author comes to.
The Prize will be judged anonymously. The Board members will make their decision on anonymised versions of the response and outline structure only. The Prize organising team may use the justification statement and other information provided to validate the submissions. However, the final decision will be made on the strength and originality of the response to the set question.
Fiction entries will be accepted as submissions. As with all entries, fiction entries would need to engage fully with the question and utilise research, evidence and experience in order to answer it. We encourage applicants to look at the judging criteria, set out in the Nine Dots Prize submission guidance for applicants 2020, and consider whether their fictional response meets these criteria.
Joint entries will be considered. Where more than one author is submitting, the justification statement must make clear how they will work together to provide a coherent response and book. Proposals that put forward a number of authors all contributing single sections (such as an edited collection) will not be accepted. Each author will be expected to agree to the Prize’s Rules. Only one entry per author will be accepted, whether as an individual or with others.
The Prize seeks to reward original ideas but understands that some applicants may have begun to explore ideas outlined in their response in previous publications. These may be referred to, or short excerpts included within the book, however your submission must be a new and original work in itself. If you do re-use previously-published material, the applicants(s) will be responsible for clearing any required permissions for the re-use of this work in an Open Access publication.
You should provide references as part of your response. References can be in any format you choose, and these do not count towards the 3,000 word limit. The outline structure and justification documents should each be no more than 1,000 words in length.
No extensions will be given to the deadline by which the winner is required to deliver the book. In entering the Prize, you are confirming your ability to deliver the finished book within the given time frame (approx. seven months).
The winner will receive support from the Nine Dots team throughout the period of writing the book. The opportunity to spend a term at CRASSH will provide a creative environment in which to develop their ideas and writing. The winner will also receive editorial support from an experienced team at Cambridge University Press.
The winner will be announced in May 2021. They will be contacted and notified by the Prize in advance of the announcement. Unfortunately the Prize will not be able to notify unsuccessful applicants individually.
The US$100,000 is payable in three stages: on announcement of the winner; on delivery of the manuscript to CUP; and on publication of the book.