Monumental Brass Society

The Jonathan Ali Essay Prize

The Monumental Brass Society is pleased to announce the launch of the Jonathan Ali Essay Prize. The prize honours the memory of Jonathan Ali (1969-2019), a long-standing member and benefactor of the Society, and has been endowed with a bequest from his will. It will be awarded annually to the best essay on brasses or incised slabs. Applications should be submitted to

  1. An annual prize of £350 will be awarded to the author or authors of the best piece of work published in a book, journal (including online journals) or magazine or otherwise made publicly available on brasses or incised slabs. In addition, the winner will be invited to submit an article for publication, subject to peer review, in the MBS Transactions.

  2. Entries will be judged by a panel of three chosen by the Society’s Executive Council.

  3. The best essay will be judged using the following criteria: originality (strength of argument), significance (contribution to knowledge and understanding), rigour (clarity of analysis) and readability.

  4. Applications are welcomed from individuals, on their own behalf or on behalf of others, and from representatives of organisations. Judges may nominate individuals.

  5. Applicants must submit for consideration a specific piece of work that has been published or is available in the public domain (such as on a website), during the past three years. Whilst there is no absolute prescription on the length of the work submitted, a range of between 6,000 and 15,000 words (including footnotes) is recommended. Books will not be considered. Essays on wider topics but predominantly discussing brasses or incised slabs are also eligible. Entries in foreign languages will only be considered if accompanied by a full translation in English.

  6. There is no application form, but applications should be accompanied by a short submission of no more than 500 words on why the work being submitted is important and worthy of consideration for the prize. Such supporting material should be submitted electronically. Only one entry per individual each year is permissible.

  7. All applications should be made by email with attachments, and should include an electronic version of the piece of work if published in a monograph, journal or magazine; a link to a website; or other appropriate supporting material to help the judges access the work. All applications will be acknowledged. Hard copy applications will not be accepted.

  8. The same piece of work cannot be submitted more than once. However, the judges will have the power to hold over unsuccessful applications of a very high standard, once only, to the year immediately following, in case the competition in that following year should prove to be weak. Any applications held over will still need to have been published or made available within three years of the year to which they have been held over.

  9. Entries should be submitted between 1 January and 31 March each year. The winner will be announced in July and invited to receive the prize at the Annual General Meeting of the Society. The winner will also be announced in the MBS Bulletin and on a dedicated page of the Society’s website.

  10. No member of the panel of judges will be eligible for the prize.

  11. The decision of the panel of judges is final.
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