Joan Reese Memorial Short Story Competition

About the competition

The Joan Reese Memorial Short Story Competition recognises the contribution of Joan Reese in the significant provision of access to NSW Colonial records and her support of GSQ and its members over many years. The winning stories and other entries appear in subsequent issues of the Society's quarterly journal, Generation, and the winner will be  announced at a seminar or meeting held by the Society in 2023. The winner's name is also inscribed on a plaque displayed at GSQ.

The 2023 Joan Reese Writing Competition provides a cash prize to the value of $100. This prize is partly funded by the GSQ Writing Group, as a way to encourage members to write up the results of their research.

The topic for 2023 is “A Love Story”. Love can take many forms. Write a family story which focuses on a love story. Does the story reveal the love between ancestors or maybe it was the love that an ancestor had for community, place, a treasured heirloom, a garden, a pet? What was the significance of this love to your family? The meaning should be clearly explained and its significance to your family shown. GSQ welcomes inclusion of a relevant photo or photos that help to support your story and looks forward to reading your stories


Judging Criteria: 

In 2023, stories will be judged on the following criteria:


  • addresses the topic set for the year
  • provides the reason/s for your choice of topic
  • includes evidence of your research.



  • uses standard English sentence construction and variety of expression
  • a readable style
  • uses a consistent form of references or citation of sources
  • contains appropriate illustrations, with captions if used.


Overall impression:

  • is an interesting story
  • is well presented.


Judging panel

  • President of GSQ, or nominee
  • Convenor of the GSQ Writing Group
  • Independent judge.


  • Members of GSQ are eligible to enter at no cost
  • Non-GSQ members can enter upon payment of an entry fee of $10
  • Editor of Generation, Convenor of the GSQ Writing Group and members of the Judging Panel are not eligible.


  • Maximum length to be 2500 words.

Conditions of entry

  • The story must not have been previously published
  • Multiple stories can be entered (with non-members paying an entry fee for each entry)
  • Endnotes/references will not be included in the total word count
  • Entrants are encouraged to include a photo relevant to their story. Approval must be sought, where appropriate, for permission to use any photographic or other material which is subject to copyright
  • Entries must be in Word or Word compatible format, font to be Times New Roman 12 or Arial 12 with double line spacing.

Deadline for submissions

  • Entries must be received no later than 2 May 2023 (no entries will be accepted after that date).
  • Entries to be emailed to with “Joan Reese Memorial Short Story Competition” in the subject line.

Further information
Anyone requiring further information should address enquiries to Pauline Williams at