The 2021 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award: A Call for Submissions


From AMFF:

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 2021 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 2021 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, 2021. The submission form and additional instructions can be found on the Voelker Foundation website:

The Traver Award winner will be notified in the fall of 2021. The winning entry will be published in the Spring 2022 edition of the American Fly Fisher, the journal of the American Museum of Fly Fishing. The 2020 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award was given to “Blue Lines” by Alexander Benoît, an essay about how the author uses hand-drawn maps to guide his memory and his storytelling of the places he has fly fished. “Blue Lines” will be published in the Spring 2021 edition of the American Fly Fisher.


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