--> The 2020 Nine Dots Prize|US$100,000 Cash Prize — Pawners Paper | Pawners Paper

The 2020 Nine Dots Prize|US$100,000 Cash Prize — Pawners Paper

The Nine Dots Prize seeks to reward original thinking in response to contemporary societal issues. Each Prize cycle lasts two years, with a new...

The 2020 Nine Dots Prize|US$100,000 Cash Prize

The Nine Dots Prize seeks to reward original thinking in response to contemporary societal issues. Each Prize cycle lasts two years, with a new question being announced every other October.


Eligibility For The 2020 Nine Dots Prize

All those 18 years of age and over are welcome to enter but responses and the resulting book must be in English. 

They are looking for innovative thinking, whether this comes from new voices or from experienced authors. 

The Prize’s heartland is in the analysis of contemporary society and societal challenges, and we welcome responses that draw on all disciplines and cross-discipline thinking.
 Joint entries will be considered, although proposals that put forward a number of authors all contributing single sections (such as an edited collection) will not be accepted.

The Judging Process For The 2020 Nine Dots Prize

The Prize will be awarded anonymously. 

The Board will award the Prize to the entry that in their view best responds to the set question. Responses can critique, agree or disagree with, or reject the premise of the question, but they must engage with it fully and insightfully.

The Board hopes to look for originality of the ideas and arguments put submitted for the prize, the ways in which the ideas are communicated and the conclusions or recommendations that the author(s) reach. 

Responses may draw on research and evidence from a wide variety of sources and disciplines not restricted solely to the social sciences.

The Judging Panel will consider the submissions based on the 
Judging Criteria (see below) and award the Prize to the entry that in 
their view best responds to the set question. 
The Judging Criteria states that the Judging Panel will look for 
submissions that:
• are original, important and of excellent quality; 
• contain a strong argument and show a depth of analysis;
• are rigorous whilst being accessibly written and engaging for a 
wide audience;
• exhibit a distinctive voice; and
• are relevant to the question.

Responses can critique, agree or disagree with, or reject the premise 
of the question set, but they must engage with it fully and insightfully.

Responses may use research and evidence from a wide variety of 
sources. Entrants are welcome to draw on their experience or the 
experience of others in answering the question, but this should be 
contextualised alongside relevant research and evidence. A purely 
opinion based response will not be accepted.

The Prize will be judged anonymously. The Judging Panel will make 
their decision on anonymised versions of the summary response and 
outline structure documents only. Entrants do not need to anonymise 
their responses. The Prize’s organising team may use the justification statement provided to confirm information contained in the 
submissions. But the final decision will be made on the strength and 
originality of the response to the set question. 

 

ABOUT THE PRIZE TEAM

The Prize is sponsored by the Kadas Prize Foundation with support from CRASSH at the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Press. We have a Board made up of 12 distinguished experts. Day to day, the Prize is run by the Senior Prize Manager.

Submission Guidelines For The 2020 Nine Dots Prize

All application for the Nine Dots Prize must be submitted in accordance with the guidelines below, that is, containing the three parts.

Summary response to the set question, which must be no 
more than 3,000 words in length. Should you win the Prize, 
you will be required – with the support of the editorial team at 
CUP – to develop this summary into a short book of between 
25,000 and 40,000 words. The summary should cover the 
main ideas and arguments your proposed book will make, the 
evidence and research on which it draws and the key 
conclusions it will reach.


- An outline structure of this short book, including provisional 
chapter headings. This can be up to 1,000 words and will 
show how you see your response expanding into a complete 
book and how you would develop your arguments, should you 
be successful. It is an opportunity to prove that there is 
enough depth to your arguments to provide content for an 
entire book.


- A justification statement, which can be up to 1,000 words, 
that sets out how you will complete the book in the time given 
(approx. seven months). This will outline your previous 
experience in communicating effectively about evidence, 
research and ideas, and a commitment from you that your 
responsibilities will allow the book to be completed in the 
seven month period. Where applicable this should include 
confirmation of support from your institution(s) or employer(s) 
that time away from your usual responsibilities has been 
approved.

All entries should be submitted through the online submission form on 
No entries submitted via 
other routes will be accepted. No changes to entries can be made 
once submitted.


Fiction entries will be accepted as submissions. As with all entries, 
fiction entries would need to engage fully with the question and utilise 
research, evidence and experience in order to answer it. We 
encourage applicants to look at the Judging Criteria, set out below, 
and consider whether their fictional response meets these criteria.

The summary response should include references to the research 
and evidence used. References can be in any format and do not 
count towards the 3,000 word limit. 
Documents should be in Word (.doc or .docx formats) and should not 
exceed 5MB in size.

Prize For The 2020 Nine Dots Prize


What will the winner receive?
The Prize winner will receive US$100,000 from the Kadas Prize Foundation - payable in three stages: on announcement of the 
winner, on delivery of the manuscript to CUP and on publication of the book. The book will be published by CUP and made available open access online (i.e. free to read online and download) and also published by CUP in a range of print and digitalcommercial formats. 

CUP will also provide support and editorial assistance to the Prize winner. By submitting the response, the author(s) is/are agreeing 
that if awarded the Prize, the book will be published by CUP in various formats, and the author(s) will promptly enter into the 
necessary publishing agreement(s) with CUP or third parties for the publication in accordance with the Prize Rules. 

Deadline For The 2020 Nine Dots Prize

The deadline for submissions is 11.59am GMT on 18 January 2021. 
Late submissions or those over the set word limits will not be 
accepted.

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Pawners Paper: The 2020 Nine Dots Prize|US$100,000 Cash Prize — Pawners Paper
The 2020 Nine Dots Prize|US$100,000 Cash Prize — Pawners Paper
The Nine Dots Prize seeks to reward original thinking in response to contemporary societal issues. Each Prize cycle lasts two years, with a new...
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