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Previous Winners of SIG Awards





Guidelines for 2010 Award Year


The History of Reading Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association sponsors a triennial award for an outstanding article on the history of literacy. A prize of $100 (US) will be awarded to the single or coauthored article that represents the best scholarship on the history of literacy, broadly defined to include the history of authorship, books, instruction, audiences, publishing, spelling, libraries, reading, and writing. The winning article is announced at the annual meeting of the History of Reading SIG, which coincides with the International Reading Association’s annual meeting in early May of each year. Winners of the award receive a special plaque as well as a three-year membership in the SIG.


Recipients of the award are invited to present a paper based on their article as part of the next annual meeting of the SIG. The deadline for submitting applications for the 2010 award is January 15, 2010; articles must have been published in a peer-reviewed journal between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2009. The award deadline has now been extended to February 1, 2010.





1. Submit three copies of the ‘Title Page Form.’ A downloadable copy of this form can be found on the SIG’s website: http://www.historyliteracy.org.

2. Submit three copies of an abstract. The abstract should be typewritten; photocopies are acceptable. Photocopies are acceptable.

3. Submit three copies of a 1-2 page letter that outlines the merits of the article, including the reasons for its unique contribution to the history of literacy and the soundness or originality of its methodology. It should be single-spaced and written in English. Font size should be no smaller than 12 point. The letter should be written on letterhead and signed by the nominator.

4. Submit three copies of the article, including a copy of the table of contents in which it appears.

5. Only articles published between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2006 will be considered for the 2007 award. More than one article may be submitted from a single journal or author.

6. The author’s/authors’ article must clearly be an historical research project related to literacy.

7. All entries will be judged by a jury of three literacy historians who are members of the Joyce M. Morris Article Award Committee. The decision of the judges will be final.

8. The envelope containing 3 copies of the Title Page Form, 3 copies of the Abstract, and 3 copies of the Article (including the table of contents page), must be postmarked no later than January 15, 2010, and sent to:


Joseph E. Zimmer

St. Bonaventure University

P.O. Box 76

St. Bonaventure, NY 14778




9. Additional information and copies of these forms can be found at the SIG’s website: http://www.historyliteracy.org.

10. Application materials that do not adhere strictly to the above guidelines will be eliminated from the competition.


Final determination of adherence to the guidelines will be made by the chairperson of the Award Committee.




The article will be judged on the following criteria:


1. Significance of study to the field of literacy history.

2. Clear identification and relevance of the question researched to the history of literacy.

3. Appropriate methodology used in relation to the topic investigated (archival research, oral history, etc.).

4. Utilization of appropriate or sufficient primary sources.

5. Appropriate and effective use of secondary sources.

6. Conclusions appropriate given the design and results of the research.


Download the Title Page Form.






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