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The Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund: Round 8

Date: Mon August 1 2022 9:00 am to Mon September 5 2022 11:59 pm

With: Writers Victoria and The Myer Foundation

The Neilma Sidney Travel Fund Round 8

Applications are now open for the eighth round of the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund.

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

The travel fund is open to emerging, midcareer and established Australian writers and literary sector workers. This includes writers, editors, agents, publishers, librarians, booksellers, employees and associates of literary organisations and journals, and other literary professionals currently living in Australia.

Applicants can apply for grants between $2,000 to $10,000.

Judges for the eighth round are independent writer, artist and facilitator Haneen Martin, award-winning poet and writer, human rights activist and community organiser Sara Saleh and disabled organiser and writer Mali Hermans. The judges will be looking for applications that demonstrate how strategic travel opportunities will benefit the applicant’s writing practice, career development and/or the broader Australian literary sector. Applications close at 11:59PM on Monday 5 September.


Key Dates

  • Round 8 opening date: Monday 1 August, 2022
  • Closing date: Monday 5 September, 2022
  • Applicants notified: Late September/Early October 2022
  • Travel activities to take place between: 1 November 2022 – 31 October 2023

To Apply

Please make sure you read the below terms and conditions and frequently asked questions before preparing your application.

For more information on budgeting, please download our sample budget.

A full list of grants awarded in the first six rounds of the Travel Fund can be found here.

Applications must be made online via our Submittable. If the online application form isn’t accessible to you, please let us know.


Terms and Conditions

  1. Applications must be made online. If the online application form isn’t accessible to you, let us know: (03) 9917 8461 or caitlin@writersvictoria.org.au.
  1. Applicants must be Australian citizens or residents (currently living in Australia).  
  1. Applicants must be aged 18 or over.  
  1. Applicants must be emerging, midcareer or established Australian writers and literary sector workers (not beginners) with a demonstrated publication and/or career history. 
  1. Applicants can only make one submission per round.  
  1. Where relevant, activities must comply with the Australia Council’s First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts.  
  1. Joint applications for collaborative travel projects will be accepted. Collaborative projects are subject to the same $10,000 maximum grant request as individual projects.  
  1. Late applications will not be accepted. Please note the deadline time of 11:59PM on Monday 5 September 2022 – you will not be able to apply after this time. Due to high internet traffic, the online form might be slow to load around the cut-off time; Writers Victoria is not responsible for connection issues, and we recommend submitting your application well in advance of the 4pm cut-off time to avoid potential delays that may cause you to miss the deadline.  
  1. The judges’ decision will be final. No correspondence will be entered into.  
  1. 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.  
  1. Recipients agree to abide by the terms of the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund agreement.  
  1. All recipients agree to comply with public health restrictions before, during, and following travel.   
  1. Travel activity must be undertaken within one year following the date of the agreement. For Round 8, this means travel must take place between 1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023 (dates inclusive). If unexpected restrictions impact a recipient’s travel, changes to this timeline may be negotiated with Writers Victoria staff. 
  1. Recipients will be fully responsible for coordination and delivery of travel activity (including appropriate insurances, etc).  
  1. Recipients will be required to complete an acquittal within two months of the end of the travel activity.  
  1. 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.  
  1. 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.  
  1. 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).  
  1. Writers Victoria staff or Committee of Management members are not eligible to apply.  
  1. 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.  
  1. 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.

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 and publishing 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.

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 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 8, that’s likely to be between 1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023. You may want to consider applying for activity that takes place after November 2022 to give you at least a month to coordinate your travel. 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 First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts.  

What are my chances?

We average eleven grants awarded each round (calculated from the six previous rounds). The amount of grants we are able to award each round depends on the size of the individual grant requests. We receive around 100 applications per round. You can can apply for a future round if you are unsuccessful in your application this round.

Will you have future rounds?

Thanks to generous funding from the Myer Foundation, we will be offering seven more rounds in the coming four years (two rounds per year).

I have a question that wasn’t answered here. Who can I contact?

For any query that hasn’t been covered by our Terms and Conditions or these FAQs, please get in touch with Caitlin at caitlin@writersvictoria.org.au.


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