All judges are to remain anonymous, except to the trustees of the Sophie Coe Memorial Fund and to their co-judges in any given year.
Judges are honorary. They do not receive a fee for their work. They are, however, invited to keep a record of any significant expenditure, for example on long distance phone calls, and to apply – within reasonable limits – for reimbursement.
All discussions should be confidential between the three appointed judges, with the exception that they may (discreetly) seek expert advice from others if they feel this is necessary to form opinions on highly specialised papers. If such advice is required, the trustees should be notified. Anyone approached for advice will also be expected to remain anonymous.
Judges serve for three years, with one judge retiring each year and a new one entering the group. The ‘senior’ judge (in their third year of judging entries) acts as co-ordinator for that year, and writes a brief report to be read out at the prize-giving ceremony.
The Sophie Coe Prize is a single award. Although the Prize was split between two winners on the first occasion of its award, it has been agreed that it will not be split in furture. This accords with the view of Michael Coe, who endowed the fund, that it should be clearly perceived as a single prize.
Depending on the financial position of the fund, there may be scope for awarding smaller additional prizes. The trustees will indicate the possible amount when papers are sent out for judging. Additional prizes can be awarded to papers which the judges feel have points of special merit.
An award does not have to be made, if the judges feel that no papers of sufficient merit have been received.
The Sophie Coe Prize is an essay prize. Whilst book chapters may be entered, they must stand alone as independent pieces of writing if they are to be, exceptionally, considered for an award.
The ideal winning essay will display academic merit, be well structured, coherently argued, and properly referenced. It will provide some new insight rather than simply presenting in a new form information and ideas already available. Illustrations are not essential, but will be taken into account by the judges if provided.