The 2023 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award: A Call for Submissions


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 2023 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 2023 Traver Award will be granted for the winning short work of fiction or nonfiction essayin 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, 2023. 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 2023. The winning entry will be
published in the Winter or Spring 2024 edition of the American Fly Fisher, the journal of the
American Museum of Fly Fishing.

The 2022 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award winner is A Dog Named Fish” by Frank
Sargeant of Guntersville, Alabama. Mr. Sargeant’s story is a warm, humorous, but heartrending
story about a man and his dog who both love tarpon fishing. “A Dog Named Fish” is available
for reading on the AMFF website and in the Winter 2023 edition of the American Fly Fisher.

Two entries received Honorable Mention recognition:

“Vanity Plates” by Sarah Holly Bryant of Dorset, Vermont
“Western Waters, 2022” by Paul Kennebeck of Denver, Colorado

Both honorable mention stories are available on the American Museum of Fly Fishing and
Voelker Foundation websites.

The 2022 competition drew a field of 86 stories and essays. Entries were judged anonymously
resulting in seven finalists. The other four finalists were:

“How Bobby Crump’s Trout Won the Bronze Star” by Richard Landerman of Sandy,
“Leather Shop Man” by David Gray-Clough of North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
“How many anglers…” by Katie MacDonald of Charlottestown, Prince Edward Island,
“The Wedding Planner” by Chris O’Byrne of Mulberry, Florida

Since 1994, twenty-three 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

For more information, see and

For More Information, Contact:
Rich Vander Veen, John D. Voelker Foundation
(616) 437-3177; [email protected]
Sarah Foster, American Museum of Fly Fishing
(802) 362-3300 X201; [email protected]
David Van Wie, Traver Award Committee
(207) 272-2482; [email protected]

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