DayMay 15, 2024

The Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize

The Sydney Prize is a writing competition that recognizes journalists and writers who have covered contentious issues that affect public life, particularly controversial subjects covered by New York Times columnist David Brooks’ New York Times column. Past recipients have included Hilton Als from The New Yorker, Ed Yong from The Atlantic and other top national publications; alongside honoring writers the sidney prize also strives to encourage civil discourse on sensitive matters by honoring writers while encouraging debate over difficult subjects.

The Sydney Prize was first established by the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts in 1996 to honour their former President Sir Maxwell Arthur. Each year on recommendation of the Department of Australian Literature at University of Sydney, this prize is awarded to graduating students who have achieved outstanding results in senior units of Australian literature studies and are judged to possess sufficient merit.

Since its inception, the prize has gone to students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. One recipient was former student of Dartmouth College professor Sidney Cox who was widely revered for his literary talent and ability to inspire students towards realizing their dreams. It is fitting that his name be commemorated due to his lasting influence in teaching creative projects among his pupils.

As well as receiving a cash prize, the winner of the 2024 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize will have their work featured alongside two runners-up stories in Overland magazine – with this issue only available free to subscribers who may also enter at a special subscriber rate.

Submitting work online requires filling out an online submission form; here, you will need to include your name, email address and brief description of the entry. In addition, if your entry addresses marginalised or vulnerable identities we ask if you identify with them – though this question is optional but must be completed to be taken into consideration for consideration of inclusion or exclusion in Overland magazine.

The prize is administered by the University of Sydney, one of Australia’s premier research institutions. A panel of judges composed of former Overland editor Malcolm Robertson and author/literary critic John Birmingham select the recipients; its cash value stands at $5000. Deadline to enter: 30 September 2024. The winning story will be published in Overland’s autumn edition; runners-up stories will appear both online and in an ebook edition of Overland. SFCU generously sponsors this prize: the winning entry will receive USD $4,000 as well as a plaque, while second and third place stories can each win USD $1500 or $1,000 prize money to use towards tuition or creative endeavors; winners will be revealed during a ceremony held in Sydney during November.