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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.

You can download an application kit with more information here

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

  • 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. 
  • Pay close attention to the submission guidelines for your project overview, bio, budget, and support material: each of these should be no more than one A4 page. If a document exceeds one page, it won’t be considered.
  • We ask for a limited amount of support material, so make what you submit count: choose the document (such as a writing sample or a letter of support) that best reflects the project for which you’re applying. 
  • Be careful your application doesn’t read like a 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 publishing’, ‘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?

Terms & Conditions

  1. Applications must be made online. If the online application form isn’t accessible to you, let us know: (03) 9094 7855 or [email protected]
  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 or 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. Collaborative projects are subject to the same $10,000 maximum grant request as individual projects.
  8. Late applications will not be accepted. Please note the deadline time of 4pm AEDT on Tuesday 4 May 2021 – you will not be able to submit an application after this time. Due to high internet traffic, the online form might be slow to load around the cutoff time; Writers Victoria is not responsible for connection issues, and we recommend submitting your application well in advance of the 4pm cutoff time to avoid potential delays
  9. The judges’ decision will be final. No correspondence will be entered into.
  10. Applicants from former rounds (both successful and unsuccessful) may reapply in this round. However, 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 the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund agreement.
  12. All recipients agree to comply with public health restrictions before, during, and following travel. 
  13. Travel activity must be undertaken within one year following the date of the agreement. For Round 6, this means travel must take place between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022 (dates inclusive).
  14. Recipients will be fully responsible for coordination and delivery of travel activity (including appropriate insurances, etc).
  15. Recipients will be required to complete an acquittal within two months of the end of the travel activity.
  16. Recipients will be required to write a 500-word article about the travel activity for potential publication by Writers Victoria and/or The Myer Foundation.
  17. Recipients will be required to 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.
  18. Recipients will be required to reimburse the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund should any of the conditions be breached, or the project not undertaken as outlined (without prior written agreement).
  19. Writers Victoria staff or Committee of Management members are not eligible to apply.
  20. Uploaded documents must be in either PDF or Word Doc formats. If providing audio support material, you must upload it in .mp3 format. If providing video support material, you must upload it in .mp4 or .avi format.
  21. Supporting documentation must be meet the size limits: a maximum of one A4 page for each uploaded file, or a maximum of three minutes for an audio or video file.

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. Applicants from across Australia are encouraged to apply.

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).

In Round 6, due to COVID-19 restrictions and the difficulties of international travel, we particularly invite applications for domestic travel projects within Australia. We will still consider applications that include international travel, but we recommend that the project outline demonstrate why it is necessary for the applicant’s work that they travel overseas at this time. All Neilma Sidney Travel Fund recipients will be expected to follow public health restrictions in pursuing their projects.

What kinds of costs can I budget for?

Travel Fund grants can be used towards all reasonable travel costs including flights, accommodation, per diems, insurances, visas, tickets and tour fees, public transport, and – if necessary – quarantine periods.

What currency should my budget be in?

All expenses should be in Australian dollars. Even if you are budgeting for costs in another currency, please convert it to AUD according to the exchange rate at the time of your submission. 

Can I use a grant towards digital opportunities, such as an online course or festival?

Usually, the Travel Fund is only for costs associated with national and international travel. However, given that COVID-19 restrictions have made travel options more limited, in Round 6 we will consider applications that budget for online professional development. Please note, though, that this is still a fund for literary projects that require travel: projects cannot be only online course and festival attendance. If your project outline contains a digital component, it must still be in conjunction with domestic or international travel costs. 

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 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 or family members travelling with you. Joint applications are also subject to the same $10,000 limit as individual grants – that is, your combined travel costs can’t exceed $10,000.

When can the travel activity take place?

Activities must to be undertaken within a year of confirmation. For Round 6, that is between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022 (dates inclusive). 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 per round. This means we will probably be able to make between 5 and 20 grants (depending on the size of the grant requests). 

Future Rounds?

Round 6 will open for applications on 1 April 2021.

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