Final results of the 2017 Neilma Sidney Short Prize

Overland is pleased to announce the winning entries in this year’s Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize, which awards a first place of $4000 and two runner-up prizes of $500.

The judges of this year’s prize – Jennifer Mills, Ryan O’Neill and Nic Low – note that they were:

pleased to see a broad range of entries, diverse in form and voice, and creative in their approach to the theme of travel. We noticed that some writers struggled to think beyond cliché, and others struggled to balance experimentation with engaging the reader. In general, though, the quality of entries was very high, and we enjoyed seeing some humour and formal experimentation in the mix.

The winning story and judges’ notes will be published in Overland’s first 2018 edition (available late March), with the two runners-up published as part of the edition online.

Congratulations to this year’s winners and shortlist, and to all those writers who took the plunge and submitted.

First place

‘Unspooling’ – Laura Elvery


Overwhelmed by a pair of tragedies, a woman contemplates a new destination.

Laura Elvery is a writer from Brisbane. Her debut short story collection, Trick of the Light, out through UQP, was released just this week!


‘Hot days’ – Joey Bui

Joey Bui_resized

In the middle of an overbearing Vietnamese summer, a poor, simple waitress in the country attracts the attention of a gentleman who brings her to the city for guitar lessons.

Joey Bui is a Vietnamese Australian author. She graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi in 2016, where she completed her first collection of short stories. Joey has been published in literary magazines in the US and Australia, and competes in poetry slams in New York.


‘Psychosexual thriller’ – Ursula Robinson-Shaw


A series of episodes about an ill-conceived trip to Mexico, which examine the sexual politics of looking and being looked at.

Ursula Robinson-Shaw is a writer from Wellington, New Zealand, currently living in Melbourne. Her work has appeared in Cordite and Minarets Journal, and she was shortlisted for the 2017 Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Awards.




Lead image: ‘green plant red brick wall’ / HK Tang

new-MRF-logo-2015-300x221The Neilma Sidney Prize is supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation



Editorial team

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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