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The Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund: Round 2

Date: Thu March 1 2018 12:00 am to Thu March 1 2018 11:59 pm

Applications for Round 2 of the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund are now closed.

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 Round 2 include award-winning writer Emily Bitto, publisher Rachel Bin Salleh from Magabala in Broome and commissioning editor Angela Meyer from Echo in Melbourne. Judges will be looking for applications that demonstrate how strategic travel opportunities will benefit their own writing practice, career development and/or the broader Australian literary sector.

Key Dates

  • Applications open: Thursday 1 February 2018, 10am
  • Applications close: Thursday 1 March 2018, 4pm
  • Applicants notified: April 2018
  • Travel activities: 1 May 2018 – 31 May 2019

To Apply

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 Round 1 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.

Applications are now closed

For more information email Adriane.

What We Learned from Round 1

  • 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.

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 2, that is between 1 May 2018 and 31 May 2019. 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 2. This means we will probably be able to make between 5 and 20 grants (depending on the size of the grant requests). In Round 1, we received over 200 applications, 10 of which were successful. There will be four more rounds over the next three years.

Future Rounds?

We anticipate Round 3 to close July 2018 and Round 4 to close March 2019.

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