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David Noel Freedman Award for Excellence and Creativity in Hebrew Bible Scholarship

2022 Call for Papers

The David Noel Freedman Award for Excellence and Creativity in Hebrew Bible Scholarship is open for submissions as of October 1, 2021.


There is a $1,000 monetary award. The awarded paper will be delivered at the SBL Annual Meeting with a panel discussion. No one may receive this award more than once.

Qualifications for Submission

Any SBL member who has received a Ph.D. or Th.D. in biblical studies or related field since 2011 may submit a paper. This paper should be of publishable quality. It must not have been previously published or accepted for publication; however, a paper may be submitted that is under review by a journal or academic press if a decision to publish has not been reached at the time of submission. If the paper was delivered at an annual or international meeting, it must exhibit significant revision, as demonstrated by submission of both the original draft and the revision.

Submission Requirements

  1. In order to submit a paper for the award, the intent to submit form must be completed no later than 10 January 2022. All required information must be included in the form, including contact information, SBL membership number, and a dated CV. A tentative paper title may also be included, but is not required.

  2. Applicants will submit no later than midnight on 15 February 2022:
    a. A brief abstract (limit 250 words) regarding how the paper advances Hebrew Bible scholarship.

    b. A paper, in English, of no more than 10,000 words including footnotes, and double-spaced. A bibliography is not required. If your paper is over the 10,000 word limit it will be automatically disqualified.

    c. Both abstract and paper should be formatted as a PDF and submitted anonymously, that is, an author’s name should not appear after the paper’s title or in any heading; neither should any reference be made to the author within the paper in a manner that would reveal the author’s identity.

    Failure to follow submission requirements will result in a paper’s automatic disqualification.

    All materials should be submitted in PDF format to Applicants should refer to the SBL Handbook of Style for guidelines. If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within 2 business days please contact Paige Schmidt.

  3. Applicants may submit to only one of the Achetmeier, Freedman, and Diamond Awards in a given year.


The paper will be evaluated on the basis of three criteria:
  1. A persuasive thesis that engages the Hebrew Bible and demonstrates quality of scholarship and significance to the field;
  2. Clarity of expression and thought;
  3. Originality and creativity.

The committee review process is a blind peer review. All submissions are anonymized prior to committee review.

Do you know someone that should apply? Spread the word! Click here for a printable award flyer.

2021 Award Committee



Years of Term

Elaine James 1 2022-2024
Brad Kelle 1 2022-2024
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott 1 2020-2022


10 January 2022   Nominations or intent to submit
15 February 2022   Submission of the materials
30 April 2022   Announcement of Award

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