Forum Essay Prize 2013: Literature and Gossip

Truman Capote famously said that ‘all literature is gossip’, but how true is this’ Gossip plays a key part in the literature of oral traditions, in classical drama, and in the epistolary novel, among many other forms. For the 2013 Forum Prize competition, the General Editors of Forum for Modern Language Studies (FMLS) invite articles addressing the topic of Literature and Gossip.

In what ways does literature exploit the concept of gossip« What can the use of gossip in fiction, drama and verse tell us about characters, plot and tone? In what ways is literature itself gossip » La Princesse de Clèves has been described as ‘courtly tittle-tattle’: does the function of literature in a culture parallel that of gossip in a community« What can literary culture tell us about gossip » What can linguistics tell us about the language of gossip as it is represented in literary texts, broadly understood to include non-fiction and correspondence, and can it offer parameters by which gossip can be described or defined’ Does the new immediacy made possible by the internet, and, for example, the increasing popularity of confessional literature, offer new ways of thinking about the relationship between gossip and literature« What effects has the practice of criticism as gossip had on the production of literature »

The Forum Prize 2013 competition invites submissions on the subject of Literature and Gossip, addressing literature of any period, from a literary or linguistic perspective, and in any of the languages covered by the journal (usually English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian, but we will consider others too). The competition is open to all researchers, whether established or early-career: it is worth noting that previous competitions have been won by scholars in both categories.

*The Forum Prize*
The winner’s prize will consist of:
1. Publication of the winning essay in the next appropriate volume of Forum for Modern Language Studies
2. A cheque for ?200

A panel of judges will read all entries, which will be assessed anonymously. There is no runner-up prize, but the Editors may commission for publication any entries that are highly commended by the judges.

*Entry Requirements and Submission details for the Forum Essay Prize 2013*
The closing date for entries is *Tuesday 30 April 2013*

Entries must be written in English and should be no more than 6,500 words in length including notes, should conform to MHRA style, and must be accompanied by an abstract summarizing the principal arguments and making clear the relevance of the article to the competition topic.

Articles should be submitted online at:
– flagged as Forum Prize entries and following the guidelines for authors.

We will also accept submissions by email or hard copy and disc, if there is a compelling reason: in this case, please contact the Administrative Editor, Dr Robin

Click below for full details of the Essay Prize rules: