ESU Roly Sussex Short Story Award

The 2018 ESU Roly Sussex Short Story Award

The 2018 ESU Roly Sussex Short Story Award. Entries, closed 30 June 2018.

The recent passing of our 3rd judge, Ms Ann Garm OAM, has necessitated an extension to the judging period. A new date for announcement of the winners will be announced and posted on the website as soon as possible.

The Governor of Queensland, His Excellency the Hon Paul de Jersey AC will formally present the 2017 and 2018 Awardees with their Crystal Trophies at a Ceremony at Government House at a date to be advised in either October or November 2018 in the year of the 100th Anniversary of ESU International.

The Board of Directors of ESU QLD express their grateful appreciation to His Excellency and Mrs Kaye de Jersey for their invaluable support of this most prestigious literary award.

The English Speaking Union (Qld) promotes global understanding and human achievement through the shared use of the English language


The ESU-Roly Sussex Short Story Award 2018

The English Speaking Union, QLD is delighted to have as our partner in English, Professor Roly Sussex. Professor Sussex is a Consultant to the Judging Panel. He is an Emeritus Professor of Applied Language Studies at the School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland and is a former chairman of the State Library of Queensland. He speaks Russian, French, Polish, Czech and Latin and is one of Australia’s leading experts on the meaning and origin of words and phrases including the evolution of the English language. Professor Sussex attracts a wide audience to his ABC Radio program A Word in Your Ear which has run for 15 years and is a weekly columnist for News Limited publications. The Competition is one of the most prized Literary Awards and is designed to foster original creative writing of outstanding quality, including experimental, challenging or thought provoking work. The Competition will be held every year, commencing in 2015.


Prizes: First Prize $7500
Second Prize: $1500
Best Secondary School Student story
First Prize: $1000
Second Prize $500
Highly Commended


Length: Maximum 3,000 words

Eligibility: Australian citizens who are not related to the judges or members of the Executive of the English Speaking Union Queensland.

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

Entrants should adhere to the following guidelines:

Submission Opening Date: 1 March 2018

Submission Closing Date: Friday 15 June 2018

Address for Submission by email:

Click here for the Entry Form

Results: The results will be announced on Friday 30 July 2018. ESU will pay return travel from within Australia and a night’s accommodation in Brisbane for the intestate Winners

Format: Microsoft Word, double-spaced A4.

Separate title page with the author’s name, email address and telephone number; the title of the story; and a signed statement of citizenship and authenticity of the submitted story.
Secondary School Students should indicate the name of their school.
The entry form is available on line and should be submitted along with the $60 entry fee for Adults and $30 Students.

Page 1. Should carry the title of the story but no information identifying the author.
Pages should be numbered from the first page of text and should carry the title of the story in the header.

Publicity and Publication: All stories submitted to the Roly Sussex Short Story Competition 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.

Copyright: Authors retain copyright of their work


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 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.

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