2020 ESU Roly Sussex Short Story Competition




Entries to the 2020 ESU Roly Sussex Short Story Competition have now CLOSED.

This prized literary award was launched in 2012. It is designed to foster original creative writing of outstanding quality, including experimental, challenging or thought-provoking work.


This competition is named after Professor Roly Sussex. Professor Sussex is an Emeritus Professor of Applied Language Studies at the University of Queensland, and a leading champion for language and languages in Australia. His weekly ABC Radio program A Word in Your Ear has been running for 23 years, and he is a weekly columnist on language for the Brisbane Courier-Mail.




Open Category
First Prize: $7500
Second Prize: $1500
Highly Commended

Secondary School Category
First Prize: $1000
Second Prize: $500
Highly Commended



Submission opening date:    31 May 2020.
Submission closing date:  the closing date has been extended to October 31, 2020.
No submissions will be accepted after this date.



Authors must be Australian citizens or Australian residents who are not related to the judges or members of the Executive of the English-Speaking Union.

Entrants to the Secondary School section must be enrolled full-time at a secondary school.
Submitted stories should not have been published before.



Length:    Maximum 3,000 words.
Text format:    Microsoft Word, .doc or .docx, double-spaced, A4.



Three separate documents should be submitted, using the on-line templates:
1. Entry form, including evidence of payment and declaration of eligibility
2. Separate title page, including:
• author’s name, email address and telephone number
• the title of the story
Secondary school students should indicate the name of their school.
3. Story text (title and text, no indication of the author’s name or other
details). This is the only document available to the judges until the judging process is
completed. Click on this link, download the template file, copy your title and story into it,
give the file the name
and email it to the address below.


Submission addresses:
email: rolysussexstory@esu.org.au
post: PO Box 1429, Milton BC, QLD 4064



The results will be announced on 30 November, 2020 through the website of the ESU: https://www.esu.org.au/
ESU (Queensland) will pay up to $500 for first or second place winners from outside SE Queensland to attend the awards ceremony (travel and accommodation). This payment will be available on provision of travel receipts to the Treasurer: email to accounts@esu.org.au



All stories submitted to the Roly Sussex Short Story Award will be considered for publication by the ESU and may be used for marketing and publicity in conjunction with the ESU. In submitting their stories for publication authors indicate their consent to these initiatives.



Authors retain copyright of their work



Enquiries may be directed to rolysussexstory@esu.org.au



Judging Panel


Chair of Judges: Emeritus Professor Peter Little AM, former Vice Chancellor (Corporate Programs and Partnerships), QUT.

Professor Little is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a Fellow of CPA Australia and a Fellow of the Queensland Academy of the Arts and Sciences.
He is a board member of the European Foundation for Management Development, a Councillor of the RNA, a director of the RACQ Foundation, a director of Ormiston College Ltd, a co-founder of the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame, a Consultant to McCullough Robertson Lawyers, an avid reader, and is chairman of the judging panel.



David Fagan
Director, Corporate Transition, QUT

David Fagan is a writer, editor and lover of the short story. While editor of the Courier-Mail he launched QWeekend, the home of some of Queensland’s best writers, and reintroduced serialised fiction to the newspaper’s summer editions through a five-year series of crime fiction written by one of Queensland’s best authors, Matthew Condon. Since leaving journalism he has joined the higher education sector, and works in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the Queensland University of Technology.




John Thompson-Gray BSc BEd MEng

Following honours in The Short Story as an Art Form at the University of Cambridge, John has published four books including bestseller Japanese Blitz on Darwin. His speaking engagements include the Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne, ABC radio and commercial TV.
He earlier worked with the Department of the Interior, Scotch College Melbourne, Swinburne University, RMIT, and then for 25 years with BHP.
In support of his friend, the late Ann Garms OAM, John has been a reader for the ESU Roly Sussex short story competition from day one.

All Rights Reserved 2020 ESU QLD / Website Design: Brizweb