The Sidney Prize and the Neilma Sidney Prize

A prize awarded each year to an undergraduate student whose essay, taken as a whole, best demonstrates the ability to explore feelings through language. The prize is named after Sidney Cox, who was an influential professor whose writings and teaching style left an indelible mark on the lives of many Dartmouth students. This prize, deliberated upon by the faculty of the English department, is awarded to the work which most closely adheres to the high standards of originality and integrity exemplified by his teaching style and his writing.

In a time when our world is shrinking and we are becoming increasingly inundated by short-form media, the Sydney Prize stands in opposition to technology and declares: STOP! It honors long-form journalism and thought pieces that demonstrate the power of storytelling to advance humanity. Founded in 1950, the Hillman Foundation honors investigative reporting and deep storytelling that reflects the principles of humanism. Every month, the Foundation selects one submission that demonstrates how journalism can advance our collective human dignity. Whether it is The New York Times in regards to Haitian debt, Rose Arce’s series about being held captive by Taliban or Ta-Nehisi Coates’ piece on racial injustice, the Hillman Prizes recognize journalists who are committed to social justice.

Each year, a member of the Sidney Taylor Book Award Committee designates Notable Books (originally called “The Best of the Bunch”). These are works that were not selected as prize winners but are deemed worthy of mention. The Notable Books are published each year at the same time as the winner’s list. A compilation of the Notable Books from 1985-2011 is available for purchase.

In 2023, Nazanin Boniadi was the recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize for her work advancing women’s rights in Iran. The prize was presented by the Sydney Peace Foundation at a ceremony at Sydney Town Hall.

The Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize is administered jointly by Overland and the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, offering one winner a $5,000 prize and publication both online and in print. Two runners-up receive $750 each. The judges for this prize are looking for stories that have a loose theme of travel but go beyond simply describing a place or landscape – they want to see a story move the plot along.

Since its inception in 1985, the Sydney Taylor Book Award has given more than 400 books recognition and publicity. In addition to selecting the annual winners in the Younger and Older Readers categories, the Committee also designates Notable Books. The Notable Books are published at the same time as the winners’ lists and a compilation of Notable Books from 1985-2011 is available to purchase.

This scholarship was established by the late Dr. and Mrs. Sidney Taylor to support students whose academic achievements and character show a strong commitment to the values of scholastic excellence and community service. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic achievement and a demonstrated commitment to the values of scholastic honesty, fair play and good sportsmanship.