The 2018 ESU Roly Sussex Short Story Award is a prestigious Australian literary award, established by the ESU Queensland Branch in 2015. Our Branch is supporting this competition.

The competition is named after Professor Roly Sussex, Emeritus Professor of Applied Language Studies at the University of Queensland. Professor Sussex is a leading expert on the meaning and origin of words and phrases and 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.

The Short Story Award is designed to foster original creative writing of outstanding quality, including experimental, challenging or thought provoking work. The Competition commenced in 2015 and attracts entries from all over Australia.

The 2018 Award is now open for entries, closing on Friday 15th June 2018.

First Prize $7500
Second Prize: $1500

Secondary School Student story:
First Prize: $1000
Second Prize: $500

Length: Max. 3,000 words

Submitted stories should not have been previously published.

Eligibility for Open Section: Australian citizens, except those related to the judges or members of the Executive of the English Speaking Union in any State.

Eligibility for Secondary School Section: Entrants to the Secondary School section must be enrolled full-time at a secondary school in Australia.

Entrants should adhere to the following guidelines:

Submission Opening Date:  1 March 2018

Submission Closing Date: 15 June 2018

Address for Submission by email:

Click here for the Entry Form

Results: The results will be announced on 30th July 2018. ESU will pay return travel from within Australia and a night’s accommodation in Brisbane for 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.
A title page template and entry form available on line and should be submitted along with the $60 entry fee for Adults and the $30 fee for 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


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.

Ann Garms OAM
President of the English Speaking Union

Ann Garms OAM FAIM

From the late 1970s to the 1990s Ann saved and fully restored some of Brisbane’s most iconic historic buildings which were at risk of demolition, thereby incorporating Heritage Preservation and Tourism to create some of Brisbane’s first fine dining restaurants, The Old Courthouse, circa 1853 on the shores of Moreton Bay at Cleveland, Petrie Mansions circa 1885 at Petrie Terrace, Roseville Restaurant circa 1886 at Newstead and the Tivoli Restaurant & Theatre circa 1905 in Fortitude Valley. In 1984 Ann initiated Queensland’s first Heritage Legislation.
Ann’s love of Queensland’s Heritage, Hospitality, Tourism and Literature continues today with her position as President of the English Speaking Union QLD and Deputy President of the Australian Chapter of the English Speaking Union. Ann is a founding member of the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Governing Committee and former Senior Vice President of the National Trust of QLD.

Winning entries will also feature in a compendium of short stories produced by the ESU bi-annually.