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The Mouritz Award for Writing on the Alexander Technique

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Introduction

The annual Mouritz Award was established to reward excellent and thoughtful articles or essays on the Alexander Technique, and to encourage new as well as more established writers. The contest is open to all writers.

Mouritz is grateful for the volunteers who are giving generously of their knowledge, time and energy for the benefit of this award: Janet Winterbourne, Miriam Wohl, and Malcolm Williamson.

What to submit 

Subject

The chosen topic must be on the F. M. Alexander Technique and be of a non-fictional nature. The article or essay may be on or include one or more of the following:

  • introduction to the Alexander Technique
  • description of the Technique
  • learning and/or teaching the Technique
  • the practice and theory of the Technique
  • review or appraisal of writings on the Technique
  • the Technique in education or applied to a particular discipline or activity
  • literary, scientific, sociological, philosophical, or historical aspects of the Technique
  • the implications of the Technique for society or culture, the arts, politics, etc.

Excluded are research papers, journalism (of the ‘who said what at a meeting’ variety), and submissions which consist more of editing than of writing, i.e. where the author has contributed little original writing and is relying on quotations and/or reportage. Examples of the latter are: interviews (but “portrait-type” articles of individual teachers or pupils are allowed); third-person case histories without critical comment or discussion and conclusions, i.e. merely reporting other people’s experiences. First-person case histories and investigative journalism are acceptable.

Length
The manuscript must be of a minimum of 1,000 words and should not exceed 12,000 words. It must be original and previously unpublished (unpublished as of the date for announcement of the winners, see below). It may have one or two authors but not more than two.

English language
All entries must be written in the English language. Entries may, of course, contain brief passages in other languages for creative emphasis. Foreign nationals should note that proficiency in English is an essential.

Submission rules 

  1. Include a completed and signed cover sheet form with each entry. The sheet must provideVictorian woman writing at desk

☞ your full name, address, phone numbers, e-mail address (if applicable)
☞ the title of the piece submitted plus a word count
☞ a one-paragraph (max. 100-word) biography
☞ a one-paragraph (max. 150-word) abstract or summary.

  1. Type or word-process your entry (manuscript), use an easily-read font, make sure it is free of mechanical errors and clearly legible for photocopying; preferably on A4 or US letterhead size paper. Submit four copies of your manuscript. Submissions are not returned.
     
  2. Include only the entry’s title(s) and page number on the manuscript pages. Make certain that your name appears only on the cover sheet and not on any of the manuscript pages. Apart from the title or abbreviated form of the title at the top of each page and page number, no other identifying information must be on the pages of your manuscript.
     
  3. Illustrations (pictures, tables, graphs) may be included if they are relevant to the text. The quality of the pictures will not affect the judgement of your manuscript.
     
  4. Include footnotes in the word count, but exclude references, captions and bibliography.
     
  5. All manuscripts entered must be previously unpublished in any format and during the course of the competition. Making a manuscript available on the internet is considered a form of publication.
     
  6. You may submit only one manuscript for each year's competition – multiple entries will not be accepted.
     
  7. The last date for receipt of entries is the second Monday in June, each year. Late submissions are regarded as entries for the following year.
     
  8. Submission implies acceptance of publication rights and all of the rules given in this document.
     
  9. Send your entry to: Mouritz, c/o Janet Winterbourne, 6 Francis Bentley Mews, Clapham Old Town, London SW4 0EG, England.

Additional Notes

  • Theses etc. may be submitted if they are within the word count requirement, but it is recommended that they be rewritten, summarised or abbreviated in order to have wider appeal.
  • Please do not send us entries by fax or e-mail. Such entries will be disqualified.
  • There is no reading fee.
  • No manuscripts will be returned. Do not, under any circumstances, send the original copy of your manuscript.
  • The Mouritz Award is a volunteer operation and we will not enter into any correspondence with any author entering the competition. If you wish to have confirmation of receipt of your manuscript enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard. The return of the postcard will be your confirmation.
  • Views and opinions expressed by the authors does not necessarily reflect those held by Mouritz or the judges.

Prizes 

There are three prizes: €400 first prize; €200 second prize; and €100 third prize. There may also be runners-up prizes of £€0. The Mouritz Award is funded from the profits of Mouritz. The prizes may therefore differ from year to year.

Eligibility

The competition is open to all writers anywhere writing in the English language regardless of race, creed, colour, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, political persuasion or location of residence.

No employee of Mouritz or their immediate families or any of the judges or volunteers or associates of this award may enter the competition.

Judging

Manuscripts are submitted anonymously (blind) for judging by three teachers of the Alexander Technique who are experienced in teaching, writing and editing. Judgement is made on the basis of the manuscripts' contribution to the literature on the Technique, the understanding of and insight into the Alexander Technique and the ability to communicate such understanding and insight for a wider readership. Also taken into account is writing talent, originality, and excellence in the use of the English language.

The judges reserve the right to reject any or all entries in a category in the event that entries submitted do not meet the standards of quality established by the Award and its judges.

There is no obligation to award any or all of the prizes.

woman writing, head on handThe manuscript should be ready for publication. It is suggested that authors have their work read by disinterested third parties for purposes of correcting spelling, grammar, and typographical mistakes, prior to finalising entries.

The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. We regret that we cannot offer critiques of entries, nor can we respond to e-mails, faxes, letters or phone queries regarding whether an entry was received or why it was not selected for a prize. The discussions between the judges will remain private in order to ensure the integrity of the award. The judges will reach a collective decision and any discussion of the choices of individual judges, whether speculative or not, must remain out of bounds.

The judges are not informed of the identity of authors of the non-winning entries.

Any dishonesty or non-entitlement under these rules or attempt to influence a judge will result in disqualification.

Publication Rights

Participating in the competition implies acceptance of the following: that Mouritz reserves the right to submit for publication the winning material to the journal Conscious Control or other journals or newsletters of the Alexander Technique, and that the Author accept publication in such journals or newsletters. Please note that in some cases authors only have a few days to make minor changes and improvements prior to publication. (Submission does not guarantee publication; the journal or newsletter has the right of first refusal).

The Mouritz Award also has the right to publish short excerpts of winning manuscripts of 250 to 500 words on its website and print such excerpts in limited-edition pamphlets for gifts to sponsors and limited sales to offset the costs of printing. Neither honorarium will be paid to authors nor can it be guaranteed that authors will receive free copies from publication of winning entries. No earnings from any such publications are expected. Subject to the copyright policy of any journal in which the winning entries are published, the copyright remains with the author for all other uses.

Winners

In the caseWoman writing with huge quill of a winning work by co-authors, the prize is shared, not multiplied. Prizes are only paid to winners, cannot be deferred and are non-transferable.

The prize is paid by bank transfer at the current exchange rate set by Mouritz’s bank and all transfer costs in connection with the bank transfer is deducted from the prize money. Prizes cannot be paid in cash and no substitute is available. All national and local taxes are the responsibility of the prize winners.

By accepting the prize, each winner grants to Mouritz the right to use the winner’s name and picture for purposes of advertising and publicity in any and all media, without further permission or additional compensation.

Announcements
Woman writing hand on foreheadWinners are announced 1st September: they are posted on the Mouritz website and will be announced in those Alexander Technique newsletters which are willing to publish the results of the competition. Winners will also be alerted by e-mail (if they have provided an e-mail address), and later by letter.

Questions

We prefer that you do not phone or fax. Use the phone only as a last resort: +43 316 319 468. We are an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff. We therefore urge you to e-mail your questions rather than call.  You can use the Contact Form here or email jmofischer@mouritz.co.uk.

Where appropriate, questions are posted as FAQs (see below).  If you are concerned that your question may compromise your anonymity, please e-mail janetwinterbourne@gmail.com.


Postscript on Writing man exhausted at desk

There are many books on writing and there is also much advice on the internet (see for example the submission guidelines for Conscious Control here). Much advice does pay attention to the means, not the end (“If you’re not having fun, then why are you doing this?” “Treat writing as a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t rush.”) Yet, beyond very general advice, the Alexander Technique appears to offer some profound methods for the process of writing which have, on the whole, yet to be explored. There is little on the psychophysical means-whereby for writing, even in the Alexander literature.

This award is not meant to encourage misuse of ourselves in writing but, on the contrary, make ourselves more aware of our use in the activities of reading, studying and writing. If the author is applying the Technique to the process of writing, this may well be communicated in the writing, and make the reader more ready to apply the Technique. Reading and writing should be stimulating, and it should stimulate us to “go up


FAQs  

Q. I am writing about my own experiences with the Technique. How can I stay anonymous?

A. We suggest you use a pseudonym instead of your own name (if your name appears in the text). Your name can be reinstated if your manuscript is published. However, do not change other names - names of places, training courses and teachers. Generally speaking, anonymity cannot be guaranteed. The Alexander world is still small, and it is possible that a judge can infer from either writing style or subject who the author is. All we can do by keeping your name off the manuscript is to reduce the chances of identifying the author.


Q. I have submitted my manuscript, but now wish to make corrections to it.

A. You can withdraw your entry at any time, but you cannot resubmit it the same year. If you wish to withdraw, please send an e-mail to Janet Winterbourne or telephone Jean on +43 316 319 468.


Previous Awards

Prize Prize Awarded to For
2022      
  No prizes awarded    
2021      
  1st prize Not awarded  
  2nd prize Michele Capalbo Whispered Vowels for Singers: A Discussion and Exploration
  3rd prize Not awarded  
2020      
  1st prize Not awarded  
  2nd prize Michele Capalbo Investigating Alexander’s Human Voice: A Singer’s Perspective
  3rd prize Not awarded  
2019      
  No prizes awarded    
2018      
  No prizes awarded    
2017      
  1st prize Not awarded  
  2nd prize Eve Bernfeld Pressure, Pain and Parenting
  3rd prize Not awarded  
2016      
  No prizes awarded    
2015      
  1st prize Not awarded  
  2nd prize Serena J. Woolf The Nature of    Habit, F. M. Alexander and John Dewey
  3rd prize Not awarded  
2014      
  No prizes awarded    
2013      
  No prizes awarded    
2012      
  No prizes awarded    
2011      
  No prizes awarded    
2010      
  No prizes awarded    
2009      
  No prizes awarded    
2008      
  1st prize Not awarded  
  2nd prize Claire Rechnitzer Unmisted by love or dislike
  3rd prize Not awarded  
2007      
  1st prize Not awarded  
  2nd prize Terry Fitzgerald 1600 and all that
  3rd prize Shelagh Aitken Sailing your own ship

For full stories on the previous years' competitions see here.

Download submission rules

Click her to download submission rules as PDF.