The sidney prize aims to reward the best short fiction in English written about travel, and to inspire creative and imaginative writing based on this theme. The competition is open to all writers nationally and internationally, at any stage of their writing career.
The first prize will be $5000, and two runners-up will receive $750. The winner’s story will be published in Overland’s autumn 2023 issue.
In the past, winners have travelled on cruise ships, visited the Great Barrier Reef or sailed to Tasmania, but the competition is now open to all kinds of destinations. The winning story can be set anywhere, but the judges want to see a piece that is fresh, exciting and innovative.
We’re particularly keen to hear stories about travel in a non-western context, or with a focus on a particular culture. We’re especially interested in pieces that explore how cultural identity is shaped by the way we are brought up and raised as a community.
If you’re a current Overland subscriber, you can enter at the special subscription rate of $12; if you’re not a subscriber, the entry fee is $20. You can also enter by submitting your story online or via email.
Applicants should be able to demonstrate that their work is based on research, rather than a personal experience or impression. The submission should also include a statement that it has been submitted to the competition without having been under consideration by any other publishers.
A judging panel will select a winner and two runners-up from the shortlist, which will be published on Overland’s website in September 2023. The judge will choose a winner from the shortlist by taking into account a number of criteria, including the quality and creativity of the story, the impact of the narrative and the clarity of the characters and their settings.
For more information about the prize, please visit the official website or contact us.
The award was founded by Sydney University alumnus and writer Nikky Finney, who is known for her poetry, books, performances, teaching and workshops in African American poetry. She has served as a Cave Canem workshop leader and faculty member, and is a founding member of Affrilachian Poets, a literary group for poets of color in Appalachia.
Nikky Finney has published several collections of poetry, as well as a memoir, a collection of essays and two novels. She is currently a professor at the University of Kentucky and serves as a visiting lecturer and scholar at Berea and Smith colleges.
She has also worked as a consultant for the National Park Service and has won numerous awards for her work, including the Virginia Woolf Prize for Literature and the American Book Award. She has a new book, “Seasons in the Making of a Woman,” out this spring from University of Pittsburgh Press.
Her poem, ‘Sudden Death,’ won the PEN/Hemingway Award in 2016. She also won the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism and was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize.