Writers Victoria announce inaugural Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund

Australian literary professionals will be able to follow their storylines around the country and overseas following the announcement of the inaugural Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund.

Delivered by Writers Victoria, the national professional development opportunity has been made possible by the generous support of The Myer Foundation, the Fund will provide inspiration and practical support to emerging, midcareer and established writers, editors, agents, publishers, librarians, booksellers and other literary professionals.

Named in honour of writer Neilma Sidney (1922-2015), the travel fund recognises the unique value of travel in the development of new writing and literary careers. Sidney was a constant traveller, with many of her eight books written whilst on the road (or upon the sea – her preferred mode of transport). Catching rides on container ships gave Sidney the time to write and space to travel with a typewriter and a trunk full of books.

The travel fund will give small grants of between $2,000-$10,000 to Australian writers and literary sector workers to undertake strategic travel opportunities for the benefit of their own writing practice or career development, or for the broader Australian literary sector.

“Finding the time and space to write is one of the biggest issues facing writers,” said Writers Victoria Director Kate Larsen. “With the recent demise of several travel funds and ongoing cuts to national arts funding, literary professionals are finding it harder and harder to seek opportunities for their creative and professional development.”

The Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund will invest in Australian writers and writing, and position Australian storytelling within an international context, with a total of $300,000 in travel grants to be distributed to the sector over the next three years. Judges will include author Toni Jordan, Jill Eddington from Queensland University Press and Warren Bonnet from Embiggen Books in Melbourne.

Applications for the first round of the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund open on Monday 24 July, and close on Monday 21 August 2017. For more information, visit: www.writersvictoria.org.au for details.