The aims of this award, now in its third year, are to encourage new research and new thinking into any historical, artistic, or technical aspect of popular optical media to 1910, including early cinema: photography: panoramas & dioramas: the magic lantern: shadow theatre: optical philosophical toys, and to promote engaging, accessible, and imaginative work.

Essays, of 5000 to 8000 words, may be co-authored. Although the judges welcome international submissions, all essays must be in English. Work must be the author’s own, and not previously published. Open to all, applications now welcomed.

Deadline: 30 January 2010. For further details, rules, and application form see the website:

Last modified 21 April 2009