The Sidney Prize

The sidney prize is awarded annually to the best graduating student who demonstrates excellence in writing for publication. There is no limit to the amount or variety of material submitted, and the award is open to undergraduate students whose work most closely meets the high standards of originality and integrity set by Sidney Cox in his writing and in his teaching.

The prize is administered by the University of Sydney and made possible by a gift from the Sidney Hillman Foundation. The foundation also sponsors the Sidney Prize for Journalism and the monthly Sidney Awards for investigative reporting in service of the common good.

In addition to the award, the Sidney Prize holder is invited to submit their work for publication in the annual edition of The Australian Review of Books (ARB). The winners receive cash prizes of up to $1,000.

This award recognises outstanding achievement in a thesis or dissertation based on an investigation of a social, political or cultural issue that is relevant to the university community. Its purpose is to encourage and promote the development of a critical research-based approach to understanding society.

It is a highly regarded, well-respected prize that attracts many of the world’s top writers and academics. Traditionally, the competition has been judged by members of the university faculty. However, it is now open to all researchers with an interest in the subject.

There are three categories in which the Sidney Prize is awarded: Undergraduate Writing, Postgraduate Work and Industry Project. The awards are presented at a ceremony held in May.

Background : The Sidney Prize is awarded annually to the best graduating student in the Bachelor of Arts, who has achieved the highest average mark in their third or fourth year of study in the University’s Department of Linguistics.

Eligibility : To be eligible for the Prize, students must be enrolled in their third or fourth year of study, in the University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and have been accepted into a major or minor in Linguistics.

Selection : The judges will select the prize winners on the basis of their overall literary merit and in keeping with the prize’s aim of encouraging new voices.

The judges will also consider whether the winning piece has a distinctive voice or an unusual subject matter. They will ask themselves whether the piece takes up a voice or experience that is often overlooked in contemporary literature, such as the experiences of Indigenous people.

In recent years, the competition has attracted a large number of entries from across Australia. The winning entry will be published in the autumn 2023 issue of Overland, and the two runners-up will be awarded $750 each.

This competition is a fantastic opportunity to be recognised for your writing and to be published by the University of Sydney. To be in with a chance of winning, visit the Overland website and subscribe to the magazine at a special subscription rate.