Final Results of the 2020 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize

Established in 2007 and supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the Overland Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize seeks powerful and original short fiction of up to 3000 words themed loosely around the notion of ‘travel’. 

This year’s wonderful judges, Mirandi Riwoe, Jeanine Leane and Wayne Marshall, rose to the challenging task of selecting a shortlist of eight pieces from over 500 entries, including writing from Amanda Niehaus, Adam Thompson and Madison Griffiths. 

First place receives $5000 and two runners-up receive $750 each. Overland will publish the winning story and judges’ notes in our autumn 2021 edition, with the two runner-up stories published online.

Overland, the judges and the Malcolm Robertson Foundation are thrilled to announce the final results of the 2020 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize.

First place ($5000)

Tricia Dearborn

‘The Case of G: A Child Raised by Trains’

A psychologist details the extraordinary case of an abandoned, ‘feral’ child found living with a family … of trains.

Tricia Dearborn has won national awards in both short story and poetry competitions. She is the author of four books, most recently Autobiochemistry (UWAP, 2019). Her work has featured in literary journals such as OverlandMeanjinSoutherly and anthologies including The Anthology of Australian Prose PoetryContemporary Australian Poetry and The Best Australian Poetry.

Runner-up ($750)

Adam Thompson


A naive young man discovers love on a greyhound bus as he journeys across

Adam Thompson is a pakana writer from Launceston, Tasmania. He is a fellow of the inaugural The Next Chapter initiative through The Wheeler Centre. Adam has been published by the Australian Dictionary of BiographyGriffith Review and Kill Your Darlings. Adam’s debut short story collection, Born into this, was published by UQP in February 2021.

Runner-up ($750)

Nicholas Duddy

Six Facts about Monarchs

On the morning of his new life, a teenager confronts a tragedy of love, loss and monarch butterflies.

Nicholas Duddy is a writer and theatre-maker from the Adelaide Hills. Supported by a John Monash Scholarship, he is now undertaking a PhD in English.


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




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

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Related articles & Essays