The John D. Voelker Foundation and the American Museum of Fly Fishing (AMFF) are pleased to announce that submissions are now being accepted for the 2022 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award (the Traver Award). The award is named after Robert Traver, pen name for the late John Voelker, author of Trout Madness, Trout Magic, Anatomy of a Fisherman, the 1958 best seller Anatomy of a Murder, and the historical novel Laughing Whitefish.
The Traver Award, which includes a $2,500 prize, was created in 1994 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.” The Traver stories and essays must demonstrate high literary values in one or more of these three categories:
- The joy of fly fishing: personal and philosophic experience
- Ecology: knowledge and protection of the natural world
- Humor: piscatorial friendships and fun on the water
The 2022 Traver Award will be granted for the winning short work of fiction or nonfiction essay in the English language not previously published commercially in print or digital media. “Short work” means 3,000 words or less. An entry fee of $25 will offset the administrative costs of the award program. Previous Traver Award winners are not eligible.
The deadline for submissions is midnight on May 31, 2022. The submission form and additional instructions can be found on the Voelker Foundation website: voelkerfoundation.com.
The Traver Award winner will be notified in the fall of 2022. The winning entry will be published in the Winter or Spring 2023 edition of the American Fly Fisher, the journal of the American Museum of Fly Fishing.
The 2021 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award was given to Dr. Joel “Jody” Martin for “Simon’s Daughter,” which is available for reading on the AMFF website. It will also be published in the Spring 2022 edition of the American Fly Fisher.
The 2021 competition drew a field of 75 stories and essays. Entries were judged anonymously resulting in eight finalists. The Traver Award judges also bestowed Honorable Mention recognition on three finalists:
- “Pretending to Listen” by Paige Wallace of Portland, Oregon
- “Solitude” by Mike Chalmers of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania
- “Lower Squall” by Paul Kennebeck of Denver, Colorado
These three stories are also available on AMFF’s website. The other four finalists were:
- “Eider in the Silence” by Andrew Harris of Bozeman, Montana
- “Fly Fishing with God” by Jody Martin of Thousand Oaks, California
- “A Priest and a Promise” by Richard Landerman of Sandy, Utah
- “Metamorphosis” by Jim Bale of Salt Lake City, Utah
Since 1994, twenty-two awards have been given. Two anthologies of the Traver Award winners and finalists have been published: In Hemingway’s Meadow (2009) and Love Story of the Trout (2010).