Scholarly Awards

In 2015 the Defoe Society instituted two Scholarly Awards. They are as follows:

1) The J. Paul Hunter Prize for the best Graduate Paper given at the Defoe Conference . This $US200 award is given every two years and is assessed both based on the high quality of the scholarly paper given as well as the mode of presentation. This prize is judged by the Executive Board of the Society. All Graduate Students who speak at the conference are automatically considered for this award. Graduate students must be a member of the society to speak at the conference.


2) The Maximillian E. Novak Essay Prize: The best published essay (chapter in a book or journal article) on Daniel Defoe. This prize is also given every two years. The winning essay will receive $US200. To be eligible for this award, you must be a member in good standing of the Defoe Society; the essay must be published in English; it must deal substantially with any aspect of Defoe's life or writings, but does not have to be exclusively on Defoe. The prize will be judged by a committee comprising members of the Defoe Society Executive Board. The judges reserve the right not to award a prize or to award it jointly (splitting the award). Members of the sub-commitee of judges are ineligible for the prize. Please direct queries about this award to Dr. Nick Seager at

Essays for the second award should have been published with a 2016 or 2017 imprint. To submit your essay for consideration for this prize, send the published version of your essay either as an email attachment or in hard copy to It must arrive by March 1, 2018.

Prize Winners

The J. Paul Hunter Prize for best Graduate Paper Given at the Defoe Conference

*2017, Michelle Lyons-McFarland, Case Western Reserve University

* 2015, Angela Gehling, The Australian National University

The Maximillian E. Novak Essay Prize for best Published Essay on Daniel Defoe, 2016

*Jordan Howell, "Eighteenth Century Abridgements of Robinson Crusoe." The Library. Vol. 15, Number 3, September, 2014. pp. 292-342.