Shortlist for the first Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize

Named after the late Neilma Gantner, this prize seeks excellent short fiction of up to 3000 words themed around the notion of ‘travel’. With support from the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the competition awards a first place of $4000 and two runner-up prizes of $500. The winning story is published in Overland’s first edition of 2016 (available after the Easter break), with the two runners-up published as part of the edition online.

new MRF logo-2015The three judges for the first year of the competition – Alice Pung, Ellen van Neerven and Stephanie Convery – have now finished their blind judging and deliberation, and decided on a shortlist of eight outstanding stories with varying approaches to the theme.

Overland and the Malcolm Robertson Foundation are pleased to announce the shortlist for the first year of the Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize:


KCashA visit to one of Budapest’s public baths leads to an encounter with a fellow traveller – a man from Damascus.

Kieran Cash is a young writer and recent graduate of a Bachelor of Laws / International Studies degree at the University of Adelaide. He has previously written for UK-based football activism magazine STAND.

‘The republic’

Laura Elvery photoA woman returns home after news of a crime.

Laura Elvery is a writer and PhD candidate from Brisbane. In 2015 she was awarded the QUT Emerging Writer’s Mentorship. Her work has appeared in Kill Your Darlings, Yen Mag, Award Winning Australian Writing, The Big Issue fiction edition, and Griffith Review.


Selfie – Overland – K-K-K

A story about states of placenessness. #ForSyria

Lauren Foley is Irish, and newly Australian. Her short story, ‘Squiggly Arse Crack’, appeared in the 2014 Margaret River Press Anthology. She was shortlisted for the Overland Story Wine Prize, and Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Award, 2015. She has been awarded a 2016 Varuna Residential Writer’s Fellowship.


McKnight‘Panama’ follows the journey of four women, brought together on a reality survivalist show, thrust into the jungle and face-to-face with all that lurks between here and there.

Harriet McKnight was shortlisted for the 2015 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. She has been published in Australian Book Review, the Suburban Review and Westerly. Harriet has worked since 2013 as the deputy editor of the Canary Press. Her first novel will be published by Black Inc. in 2017.

‘Civilisation at last’


‘Civilisation at last’ is the story of a childhood ending in flaming ruins, an early adulthood spent re-learning how to love, and one moment on the edge of maturity.

Toby Sime grew up in Daylesford, where he now lives with his wife and children. He has been writing poetry since he was eight, and began writing stories a few years ago. He studied literature at Melbourne Uni, at Ballarat, and at Boston College. His story ‘Hooked’ appeared in Australian Love Stories (Inkerman & Blunt, 2014).

‘On the road to Kuang Si Falls’

A story of love, betrayal, and beginning again which centres around the capture of a moon bear on a bile farm in the jungles of Luang Prabang.

AS is a writer living in Sydney. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in various anthologies and journals such as MeanjinOverland and Award Winning Australian Stories.


Katy Warner BW2 (1)Aunty is about arrivals and departures, about following and leading, about interruptions to routine, about looking up but never back.

Katy Warner writes plays and stories. She received the Melbourne Fringe Award for Best Emerging Playwright for her 2010 play These are the isolate. Other works include Reasons to Stay Inside, Dropped and Spencer. Her work has been presented at La Mama, Theatre Works, The Blue Room and Old Fitz.

‘The last class’

June Winch‘The last class’ is about the migration experience in Europe, focused on three new friends in a French language class.

Tara June Winch is an Australian (Wiradjuri) writer based in France. She has written essay, short fiction and memoir for various Australian and international publications. Her award-winning novel, Swallow the Air has been on the HSC curriculum since 2009. Her new book, After the Carnage, is out August 2016.


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