The Sidney Prizes

The Sidney prize is an innovative way of honouring those who are doing good work for humanity. Awarded at various levels – writing contests, activist awards or science prizes – they serve to inspire people to pursue their dreams and goals.

The Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize, sponsored by Overland magazine and the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, offers one lucky author a $5,000 prize money plus publication in Overland. Two runners-up will also receive $750 each. The judges are looking for stories loosely themed around travel. They want the winners to tell a bigger picture, beyond destination or trip planning.

This year, the judges are particularly interested in submissions that take up the voices and experiences of marginalised communities. We ask that all entrants self-identify if their work does this. For example, if it is written in the voice of an Aboriginal person, we ask that the author identify as themselves. This is to ensure that we are providing a fair and equitable opportunity for all Australian writers to participate in the competition.

Nazanin Boniadi, a human rights activist and journalist from Iran, has won this year’s Sydney peace prize. She is being recognised for her work to “turn outrage into action”. This includes her activism against the arrest of her father in Iran and her campaigning to support women’s right to vote in the country. The prize was awarded by the city’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore and will be formally presented later this year.

Professor Sidney Cox had a profound impact on the thousands of students who studied under him at Dartmouth College. So much so, that a prize was established in his name to recognise undergraduate writing that meets high standards of originality and integrity. This year, Sophia Jactel from Art History was the winner of the Sidney prize for her paper ‘Domesticity and Diversions: Josef Israels’ Smoker as a Symbol of Peasant Culture and Home in Nineteenth-Century Holland’.

The Sidney J. Levy Prize is awarded each year in memory of one of the founding fathers of Consumer Culture Theory. The prize is given for the best CCT-oriented article published in an English-language marketing or consumer journal in the previous year.

Each year, the Australian Museum’s National Gallery of Natural History, in partnership with the Sydney Peace Foundation, recognises a person or group who is promoting peace with justice, and the value of nonviolence. The 2019 Sydney Peace Prize was awarded to the Black Lives Matter movement, founded by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi after the 2013 US acquittal of George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

The Sidney Hillman Prize, founded in 1950, has been awarded annually to journalists who pursue investigative reporting and deep storytelling in service of the common good. The prize honours journalism that demonstrates reportorial excellence and has significant social justice impact. Past recipients include Hilton Als writing for The New York Times and Ed Yong for The Atlantic.