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, and are published on the Society's website.

The 2018 Joan Reese Writing Competition will for the first time have a cash prize to the value of $100. The prize is partly funded by the GSQ Writing Group, as a way to encourage members to write up the results of their research. Previously the prize has been for a credit note with the GSQ shop.

The topic for 2018 is “My ancestor was a  …” and provides a wide scope for stories about ancestors that may shed light on, for example, their occupation or calling; religion; nationality or origin. Your ancestor may have been a pioneer or explorer, a sporting hero or a decorated member of the armed forces. You may choose to write about a female ancestor or a male member of your family.


In 2018, 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
  • is readable
  • 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.
  • Entrants must agree to the story/ies being published in Generation and on the GSQ website.
  • 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 10 May 2018 (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