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 appear in subsequent issues of the Society's quarterly journal, Generation.

The 2020 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 2020 is “Connections”. Many of our ancestors have changed countries, states, counties and towns and the reasons for these changes are many and varied. Do you have an ancestor/s who moved during their life/lives?

The topic for 2020 provides a wide scope for stories that may shed light on the moves ancestors may have made during their lives and the reasons behind such moves.  Factors leading to relocation may be economic, religious, or adventurous, for example:  some factors push you away from your current place; others pull you towards a different place.

GSQ looks forward to reading your stories.


In 2020, 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 1 June 2020 (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