The Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund: FAQs & T&Cs

To Apply

Applications are to be made through an online Submittable form, which will be made available when applications open.

Please make sure you read the terms and conditions and frequently asked questions before preparing your application. It would also be beneficial to read what we learned from previous rounds and to watch the online Q&A video to answer any fund and application questions. For more information on budgeting, please download our sample budget.

Information on the current round

For more information, email us.


What We Learned from previous rounds

  • Be careful your application doesn't read like holiday itinerary. Focus on the literary merit. Why is travel imperative to your project?
  • If you're writing a family history, what is it about the history that Australia needs to know? What is the bigger picture? Make the personal, universal.
  • Understand the difference between 'vanity/self publishing' and 'traditional publishing'. Writers who are applying for the Fund must be have been published by a traditional publisher, literary journal, newspaper or magazine. What is vanity publishing?
  • Make sure the travel you propose will take place during the period specified for that round. If your travel itinerary/budget dates are even one day out, your application won't be eligible for consideration. 

Terms & Conditions

  1. Applications must be made online. If the online application form isn’t accessible to you, let us know.
  2. Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents (currently living in Australia).
  3. Applicants must be aged 18 or over.
  4. Applicants must be emerging, midcareer and established Australian writers and literary sector workers (not beginners) with a demonstrated publication and/or career history.
  5. Applicants can only make one submission per round.
  6. Where relevant, activities must comply with the Australia Council Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Writing.
  7. Joint applications for collaborative travel projects will be accepted.
  8. Late applications will not be accepted.
  9. The judges’ decision will be final. No correspondence will be entered into.
  10. Preference will be given to writers who haven’t previously received a Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund grant.
  11. Recipients agree to abide by the terms of Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund agreement.
  12. Travel activity must be undertaken within one year following the date of the agreement.
  13. Recipients will be fully responsible for coordination and delivery of travel activity (including appropriate insurances, etc).
  14. Recipients will be required to complete an acquittal within two months of the end of the travel activity.
  15. Recipients will be required to write a 500-word article about the travel activity for publication by Writers Victoria and/or The Myer Foundation.
  16. Recipients will be required acknowledge the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund, The Myer Foundation and Writers Victoria in any promotion or publication resulting from the work supported during the activity.
  17. Recipients will be required to reimburse the Neilma Sidney Literary Fund should any of conditions be breached, or the project not undertaken as outlined (without prior written agreement)
  18. Writers Victoria staff or Committee of Management members are not eligible to apply.
  19. Uploaded documents must be in either PDF or Word Doc formats.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be based in Australia to apply?

Yes, this opportunity is open to Australian citizens and permanent residents currently living in Australia.

Do I have to be based in Victoria?

No, this is a national opportunity.

What do you mean by ‘literary professionals’?

Anyone with a direct connection to Australia’s literary sector is able to apply. This includes writers working in any style or genre, including (but not limited to) fiction or non-fiction writers, journalists, script writers, poets, memoirists, short story writers, aural storytellers or people who write for performance. It also includes editors, agents, publishers, librarians, booksellers and staff members of literary organisations.

What do you mean by ‘emerging or established’?

This opportunity is not for beginners or those at the very start of their literary careers. You should be able to demonstrate a publication history and/or several years’ employment or professional engagement within the literary sector. Am I emerging?

Can I apply for national or international travel?

You can apply for either (or both).

Can I apply to do research for my book?

Yes. You will need to demonstrate why the research requires travel and how you will use the time.

Can I apply to attend a writers’ festival / book fair / book launch / publisher meetings?

Yes, travel activities can include attendance at these sorts of activities. However, the focus of the travel should be on professional/creative development rather than marketing or the replacement of usual business costs. For example, if a publisher always sends someone to a certain international book fair, then that would be seen as part of their usual business.

Can I apply to attend the Bite the Big Apple Tour (or similar)?

Yes, you can apply for international professional development tours. However, as we are likely to receive many applications for exactly the same opportunity, you will need to demonstrate how your application will differ from the others, and how it will specifically benefit your writing, career and/or the broader literary sector.

Can more than one person apply?

Yes, you can apply for more than one person to travel if you’re working on a collaborative project. However, you can’t apply for the costs of friends of family members travelling with you.

When can the travel activity take place?

Activities must to be undertaken within a year of confirmation. For Round 4, that is between 1 June 2019 and 31 May 2020. You can’t apply for activities that have already taken place.

Can I apply for access / interpreter / support worker costs?

Yes, if you identify as a person with disability, you can include access costs in your budget.

Can I apply to work with an Aboriginal writer or community / tell an Aboriginal story?

Applications from First Nations writers or literary sector professionals are strongly encouraged. Applications from non-First Nations writers or literary sector professionals should follow the Australia Council’s Protocols for producing Indigenous Australian Writing.

What are my chances?

We have up to $50,000 to grant in Round 4. This means we will probably be able to make between 5 and 20 grants (depending on the size of the grant requests). 

Future Rounds?

We anticipate Round 5 to close September 2019.