Call for Submissions

2023 Call for Submissions:

Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing

The Society for Humanistic Anthropology (SHA) announces the annual juried competition for the Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing. The late Victor Turner devoted his career to seeking an accessible language that would reopen anthropology to the human subject, and the competition recognizes the innovative books that further this project. We seek graceful, accessible ethnographic writing which deeply explores its subject and contributes in innovative and engaging ways to the genre(s) of ethnography and the field of humanistic (and/or post-humanistic) anthropology.


A $1,000 first-place, a $500 second place and a $250 third-place prize will be awarded in autumn of 2023 (either via online SHA awards ceremony, or in person at the American Anthropological Association meetings in Toronto, November 15-19, 2023).


  • Eligible ethnographic genres include single or co-authored book-length monographs, narratives, historical accounts, biographies, memoirs, dramas, and creative ethnography (including nonfiction, fiction, and poetic works); as well as single-authored collections of essays, short prose, or poems (sorry, no edited collections with multiple contributors).
  • Book publication year may be 2021, 2022, or 2023 (through the submission deadline). If the work is in translation to English, we allow 2 extra years from the original publication date; therefore a book published in its original language no earlier than 2019 would be eligible.
  • Books must have been peer-reviewed independently of its author(s).
  • Books may be entered into the competition by authors, publishers, book editors, or colleagues. No formal letter of nomination is needed.
  • Books published in 2021-2022 entered in last year’s competition are welcome to be resubmitted for consideration again this year with the appropriate entry fee.


By June 15, 2023, Please:

  1. Complete your information in this ENTRY FORM
  2. Pay the entry fee
  3. Mail one copy of your book to each of the five (5) judges. We are also asking publishers to provide links to electronic copies of the submissions by the June 15 deadline to
  4. While there is no separate entry for the Edie Turner prize, if this is your first book it would help us if you could include a short note indicating if the submission is an author’s first book publication.
  5. (optional) You may also submit a cover letter to (including author’s biographical sketch, circumstances surrounding the research/ writing of the book, etc.)

Biographical information submitted will be used for presenting the winners and publicizing the results of the competition and will not be used for judging the quality of the entries.


For authors who are already or become SHA members, the entry fee is $25/book. For authors who are not SHA members, the entry fee is $75/book. (Publishers: for all books you submit, please check with authors first to discover whether they are current SHA members and please encourage authors to join SHA). The fee may be paid either online here (log into Community Hub to get the SHA member rate of $25), or by check (made out to the American Anthropological Association) with the Submission-Fee-Form sent to:

Christian Martinez, Controller
American Anthropological Association
2300 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 1301
Arlington, VA 22201-3386
Phone: 703.528.1902 ext. 1161
Fax: 703.528.3546

SUBMISSION: BOOKS (a total of 5 copies)

Send one copy of the book to be entered to each of the 5 judges. In order to mitigate problems with mailing and receipt by the deadline, we would ask that you also arrange for your press to send an electronic copy of the book for judges to consult until physical books are received to  Thank you.

  1. Victor Turner Prize, c/o Tarini Bedi,
    5444 South East View Park, Apt. 2
    Chicago, IL 60615
  1. Victor Turner Prize, c/o Lucas Bessire
    University of Oklahoma
    Department of Anthropology
    DHT 521
    455 West Lindsey Street
    Norman OK 73019
  1. Victor Turner Prize, c/o Jason Cons
    2505 Roxmoor Dr.
    Austin, TX 78723
  1. Victor Turner Prize, c/o Naisargi Dave
    80 John St. #4206
    Toronto, ON M5V 3X4, Canada
  1. Victor Turner Prize, c/o Sabine Mohamed
    Department of Anthropology
    Johns Hopkins University
    461 Mergenthaler Hall
    3400 N. Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD 21218

The deadline for receipt of all required materials is June 15, 2023.

If necessary, given continuing coronavirus issues, please also arrange for the press to send an electronic copy of the book for judges to consult until physical books are received.  Thank you.

All inquiries should be directed to Dr. Tarini Bedi, prize coordinator, at 

2023 Edie Turner First Book Prize in Ethnographic Writing

Authors for whom their submission to the Victor Turner Prize is also their first book publication will also be eligible for consideration for the Edie Turner First Book Prize in Ethnographic Writing, a newly created award which recognizes Edie Turner’s support and mentorship of junior scholars. Up to two winners of the Edie Turner Prize may be selected at the discretion of the prize committee with an award of $250 per winner. Eligibility for this prize will not affect any book’s consideration for the Victor Turner Prize, and a book may win both awards. There is no separate entry form for the Edie Turner Prize.  

All inquiries should be directed to Dr. Tarini Bedi, Chair, Prize Committee Chair and coordinator, at