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Announcing the Round 1 Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund Recipients

Round 1 of the Neilma Sidney Travel Fund received 205 applications, requesting a total of $1,215,738.38 in grant money.

The judges (Robert Watkins from Hachette, Warren Bonnet from Embiggen Books and writer Toni Jordan) were thrilled with the quality and scope of the applications. They awarded $49,967 to 10 applicants.

Congratulations to:

  • Playwright Alexandra Collier, awarded for a professional-development workshop in New York City for her musical ‘Triplight’. Alexandra was granted $3,702.
  • Playwright Andrew Bovell, awarded for an Artist in Residency program in Madrid to develop a new performance work with Spanish theatre director, Julian Fuentes Reta. Andrew was granted $3,200.
  • Publisher Arwen Summers, awarded for an internationally-recognised publishing course at Yale University. Arwen was granted $9,700.
  • Writer Bren MacDibble, awarded for a research trip through rural New South Wales and Victoria to inform her dystopian, climate-focused novel, which explores the extinction of grass. Bren was granted $2,999.
  • Writer Eda Gunaydin, awarded for a research trip to France and Germany for a novel that explores first-and-second-generation members of the Turkish diaspora. Eda was granted $4,050.
  • Bookseller and writer Michael Earp, awarded for a professional-development conference on children’s bookselling in New Orleans and a writing residency in Pennsylvania. Michael was granted $6,036.
  • Journalist Michael Green, awarded for a research trip to Manus Island to inform an essay on the impending closure of the detention centre. Also, for a research trip to Brisbane to follow the coronial inquiry into the death of Faysal Ishak Ahmed. Michael was granted $6,670.
  • Writer Mark O’Flynn, awarded for a research trip to Tasmania to inform a novel that concerns the 1933 arrival of German SS agents in Tasmania. Mark was granted $5,000.
  • Writer Robert Dessaix, awarded for invitations to the Kolkata, Chennai and Jaipur Literary Festivals in India. Robert was granted $2,850.
  • Writer Vanessa Russell, awarded for a research trip to Christmas Island, Port Headland and Acacia Prison to inform her novel ‘Refugee Zoo’, which concerns the life and death of Ahmad Shah Abed. Vanessa was granted $5,760.


Round 2 of the Nielma Sidney Travel Fund will be open 1 February – 1 March, 2018.

Thank you to The Myer Foundation for making this fund possible.


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