TaPRA 2023/24 Postgraduate Essay Prize



The TaPRA Postgraduate Essay Prize aims to recognise and support excellent postgraduate scholars within theatre and performance disciplines. The prize includes the opportunity to be mentored towards publication in a major academic journal. All entrants will receive peer feedback on their submission.

All postgraduates registered for postgraduate study at a higher education institution, anywhere in the world, up until completion, are eligible.

TaPRA aims to address the historic under-representation of black and global majority heritage scholars in the field of theatre and performance studies, and to expand its international outlook to include scholars from across the globe and those from or living in the Global South. We particularly welcome entries from those constituencies for this prize.

The TaPRA Postgraduate Essay Prize is generously supported by the following journals:

Studies in Theatre and Performance

Contemporary Theatre Review

International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media (IJPADM)

Research in Drama & Education (RiDE)

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training

and generously sponsored by the following publishers:

Methuen Drama


Manchester University Press



  1. Your essay must be an original unpublished piece of work not already under consideration for publication with a publisher or publishing platform.
  2. The essay must be 6,000–8,000 words long (including referencing).
  3. The essay must target one of the five participating journals. You’ll be asked to name the journal on the entry form.
  4. It must be presented according to the submission guidelines of the journal you are targeting:

Contemporary Theatre Review: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/gctr20/current

International Journal of Performing Arts and Digital Media: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rpdm20/current

Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/crde20/current

Studies in Theatre and Performance: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rstp20/current

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rtdp20/current

  1. To ensure a “blind” review process, your essay must be anonymised and not include your name, that of your supervisor or your institution. It should be submitted as a PDF. (Do not include your name as the title of the PDF file.) Entries not abiding to this formatting requirement will be disqualified.

The deadline for submission is midnight UK time on Monday 5 February 2024.

Judging and criteria

The essays will be judged in a blind peer-review process by editors and members of the editorial boards of the participating journals.

Reviewers will use the following criteria to judge the essays:

  • Makes a contribution to a defined field of knowledge (aim and purpose of research is clear)
  • Is appropriately contextualised through knowledge of subject and existing research
  • Demonstrates critical thinking and appropriate application of theory
  • Offers valid and original perspectives on the chosen topic
  • Demonstrates clarity of argument and quality of expression
  • Aligns with the editorial mission of the target journal


ALL entrants will receive peer feedback on their essay.


The winner(s) will receive:

  • A choice of FIVE free books* (in total) from our sponsors: Manchester University Press, Palgrave and Methuen Drama.
  • Payment of TaPRA annual conference fee (or equivalent in expenses if already registered), to include a year’s membership of TaPRA starting on the first day of the conference.
  • Costs associated with conference attendance covered up to £200.
  • Mentorship towards publication in the target journal.

* Paperbacks or e-books. The approval of titles is at the discretion of the publisher. Palgrave and Methuen Drama Handbooks are not included.



Resources to support you

Click here for a list of links to resources to support authors new to writing for academic journals.


Opportunity to be coached

If you are working towards entering this competition, you may apply to be matched with a coach – an experienced researcher and author in the field of theatre and performance – who can support and give advice aimed at developing your essay.

A coach will read your draft and meet with you online once to help you assess the strengths of your work and identify possible areas for improvement.

Coaches’ advice is given in good faith, but they are independent from the judging process for this prize; their aim is to give you support and encouragement towards developing your essay and your skills in academic writing.

To be matched with a coach, please fill in this form by 17 December 2023.





There are no nominations for this prize, only submissions.

TaPRA 2024 at Northumbria

Our 2024 conference will be hosted in partnership with Northumbria University from 4 to 6 September.

TaPRA 2024 at Northumbria

Our 2024 conference will be hosted in partnership with the University of Northumbria.

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