New literary travel fund announced

Monday, June 26, 2017
Writers Victoria

Photo of a cargo ship

Australian literary professionals will be able to follow their storylines around the country and overseas following the announcement of a new travel fund.

Opening for applications in July 2017, the inaugural Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund will provide inspiration and practical support to emerging, midcareer and established writers, editors, agents, publishers, librarians, booksellers and other literary professionals.

Delivered by Writers Victoria in Melbourne, the national professional development opportunity has been made possible by the generous support of The Myer Foundation.

Named in honour of writer Neilma Sidney (1922-2015), the travel fund recognises the unique value of travel in the development of new writing and literary careers.

Sidney was a constant traveller, with many of her eight books written whilst on the road (or upon the sea – her preferred mode of transport). Catching rides on container ships gave Sidney the time to write and space to travel with a typewriter and a trunk full of books.

The travel fund that bears her name will give small grants of between $2,000-$10,000 to Australian writers and literary sector workers to undertake strategic travel opportunities for the benefit of their own writing practice or career development, or for the broader Australian literary sector.

“Finding the time and space to write is one of the biggest issues facing writers,” said Writers Victoria Director Kate Larsen. “With the recent demise of several travel funds and ongoing cuts to national arts funding, literary professionals are finding it harder and harder to seek opportunities for their creative and professional development.”

The Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund will invest in Australian writers and writing, and position Australian storytelling within an international context.

A total of $300,000 in travel grants will be distributed to the sector over the next three years.

Judges for the first round will include author Toni Jordan, Robert Watkins from Hachette and Warren Bonnet from Embiggen Books in Melbourne.

Applications for the first round of the travel fund will open on this website on Monday 24 July and close on Monday 21 August 2017.

For media enquiries, email Kate


Hi there Kate,
I am an emerging writer who has just had my debut book published. Would I qualify to apply for a grant?
Also..can the recipient choose where and when they travel using grant money? Thank you. Su-Rose

What a wonderful new opportunity.
Are performance writers and playwrights eligible?

Yes, if you have a publication history you are eligible to apply. And applicants will need to propose what they use the grant for.

great to have a travel award, which I presume is not limited to Australia.
I write travel, but also novels and poetry. Is there a favoured or prefered genre?
Please send me the application form, or a reminder to

Hi Garry,
Thanks for your query. All the details can now be found here:
All best,


are applications open yet?

thanks, Phillip

Hi Philip,
Thanks for your query. All the details can now be found here:
All best,

Do you send email receipts of applications? I sent an application into the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund. When I submitted the final document the website said I had successfully submitted my application but I didn't receive an email confirmation of receipt. I just wanted to make sure I had submitted properly. Also, could you ell me when the results will be listed and where?
Kindest regards,Angela

Hi Angela,
We didn't use email receipts on this occasion, just the webpage notification.
Judging is happening through September, with results expected in October.
If you have any concerns about your application, please email
All best,
Writers Vic.

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