Robert Traver was the pen name for John Voelker, a highly respected attorney, author and trout fisherman from the UP of Michigan. His work has graced the pages of magazines like Field & Stream and Rod & Reel, been collected into sough-after anthologies, spent more than a year on the NY Times best-sellers list, and has even been turned into a movie. His fishing writing though truly embodies a genuine love for the sport and has influenced generations of anglers who chase trout, or most any other species for that matter. The fly fishing writing contest created in Traver’s name is accepting submissions through May 31st.
The Traver Award was created in 1994 by Nick Lyons and the Voelker Foundation to encourage and recognize “distinguished original stories or essays that embody the implicit love of fly-fishing, respect for the sport and the natural world in which it takes place.” Submissions (stories or essays) must demonstrate high literary values in one or more of these three categories:
- The joy of fly-fishing: personal and philosophic
- Ecological: knowledge and protection of the natural world
- Humor: piscatorial friendships and fun on the water.
Since 1994, nineteen awards have been given for the winning entry. Two anthologies of the Traver Award winning essays were published in two volumes: In Hemingway’s Meadow (2009) and Love Story of the Trout (2010).
$2,500 Prize: The 2019 Traver Award will be granted for the winning short work of fiction or non-fiction essay in the English language, either unpublished or published within the previous two years (e.g. for 2019 award, only works published after January 1, 2017). “Published” means released to the public in print or digital media, including a blog, website or social media; any previously published work must include a full copyright release for future publication in the Journal and an anthology. “Short work” means under 3,000 words. An entry fee of $25 will offset the administrative costs of the Award program.
Please submit your Entry Form, upload a PDF of your Traver Award entry and submit your entry fee to www.voelkerfoundation.com by May 31, 2019.
The 2019 Traver Award Winner will be notified in September 2019 and receive $2,500. The winning entry will be published in the Spring 2020 edition of The American Fly Fisher – Journal of the American Museum of Fly Fishing.