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The Harry Gration History Prize is sponsored by the University of Huddersfield and we thank them for their support.

Why Harry Gration?

Bradford born Harry Gration MBE (1950-2022) was a renowned BBC journalist and broadcaster. He was also a a former history teacher and a much-loved Vice President of The Yorkshire Society with a  passion for all things Yorkshire.

In order to celebrate all that Harry achieved in his lifetime, The Yorkshire Society is renaming its annual Yorkshire History Prize as the Harry Gration History Prize.

Everything, from the year AD 866 when the Vikings captured York and soon after formed the kingdom of what we now know as Yorkshire – and in fact since around 8000 BC from when the same area has been occupied, until today, has contributed to the long, rich and varied history of God’s own Country.

Its history makes Yorkshire what it is, and The Yorkshire Society wants to encourage everyone to celebrate it, and if possible, add to our record and understanding of it. Hence a History Prize.

An evolution of the Society’s annual competition for academic essays on the history of Yorkshire, first held in 1987, the new Harry Gration History Prize was launched in 2022 and is now open to anyone. There are now two simple categories: under 18 and 18 and over.

Entrants are invited to submit an article or essay of not less than 1,500 words in the 18 and over category, and not less than 1,000 words in the under 18 category on any topic of their choice relating to any aspect of Yorkshire’s history.

Entries must be factual and based on personal research. The Society particularly welcomes submissions which utilise original research or relate to less well known and perhaps under-appreciated topics.

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For further information or to enquire about the
History Prize, please write to:


Each category winner will receive an impressive framed certificate and the opportunity to read their work to the delegates at the Yorkshire Heritage Summit. The prestige of winning is the real prize but we appreciate a more tangible prize is welcome too and so the two category winners will also share £250 prizemoney.

A prize giving ceremony for the winners of both categories will be held at the Yorkshire Heritage Summit, which is an important annual event organised by The Yorshire Society and held in May.


  1. The competition is open for entries from 1st September each year.
  2. Closing date for entries is 31st March the following year (1st March 2024).
  3. The competition is open to everyone irrespective of where they were born.
  4. Entries for the Over 18 category must be at least 1,500 words (Maximum 10,000). Entries for the Under 18 category must be at least 1,000 words (Maximum 5,000). Illustrations may be included if necessary.
  5. Entries must be original work, written in an essay format and be based on personal research undertaken by the author.
  6. Entries must be submitted by email to historyprize@theyorkshiresociety.org
  7. Entry emails must also give the full name of the entrant, their postal address and their date of birth.
  8. There is no entry fee or charge for entries.
  9. Whilst the topic of choice is up to the entrant, we would prefer to see submissions which are original in scope.
  10. Relevant sources must be included at the end of the essay, but in-essay referencing is not mandatory. Those who would prefer to include references in the text may use a style of their choice.
  11. All entrants, if asked, will have to provide contact details of an independent referee to verify that the work submitted is the unaided work of the entrant. Referees will only be contacted if entries are shortlisted.
  12. Entries will be judged on the quality not quantity of the research and writing by a panel of judges including authors and senior academics.
  13. The decisions of the judges will be final and no correspondence will be entered into about the judges’ decisions.
  14. Winners will be announced and contacted by 30th April.
  15. The Yorkshire Society will ask winners to attend the Yorkshire Heritage Summit to receive their prize. It is anticipated there will be good press coverage for the competition and winners may be asked to make themselves available for interview.
  16. The Yorkshire Society reserves the right to publish any entries however, the essays will remain the copyright of individual authors.
  17. Entrants do not need to reside in Yorkshire.

Our esteemed panel of judges:

  • Professor Richard Morris, author and Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Huddersfield
  • Dr Alison Harrop, historical novelist, editor of Blanc Sanglier, journal of the Yorkshire branch of the Richard III Society
  • Dr Rachael Whitbread, historian and teacher, winner of the Harry Gration History Prize 2023
  • Josh Daniels, South Yorkshire local historian and documentary film maker
  • Dr Colin Speakman, writer and environmental campaigner, heritage lead of The Yorkshire Society

The 2022/23 competition is now open.

SEND YOUR ENTRY TOhistoryprize@theyorkshiresociety.org  The closing date is 31st March 2023. PLEASE NOTE: this email is for entry submission only and NOT for correspondence or enquiries. Remember to include with your entry, your full name, postal address and date of birth.

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