2023 E.M. Fletcher Writing Competition

Every family has a story – write yours now!

The 2023 writing competition will open on 15 February 2023. Competition closes on 15 July 2023.





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Entries for the best short story of 1500 – 2000 words on a family history or genealogy theme will be in contention to win:

  • a $1,000 first prize proudly sponsored by Family History ACT;
  • a $500 prize for the runner up proudly supported by the Family History program at the University of Tasmania https://www.utas.edu.au/study/family-history; and
  • a separate Family History ACT (FHACT) member prize of a $100.00 FHACT voucher.

The entry fee is $20.00 for FHACT members and $30.00 for non-members.

Please read the competition Terms and conditions.

The entrants checklist is an aid to inclusion of commonly missed requirements.   Download entrants checklist

Please direct any enquiries and requests to the Writing Competition Committee.

Download the 2023 E.M. Fletcher writing competition poster and share it with your friends and networks. Download Poster

Judges for the 2023 competition

The judges for the competition are as follows.

Dr Craig Cormick OAM

Dr Craig Cormick OAM

Craig is an award-winning author of over 30 books of fiction and non-fiction. He is a former chair of the ACT Writers Centre and has been a Writer in Residence in Malaysia and in Antarctica. Most of his work has historical themes, and his awards include a Victorian Community History Award, the ACT Book of the Year Award and Queensland Premier's Literary Award. He is particularly drawn to telling the stories of the marginalised – including migrants, indigenous and disabled.

Craig has taught creative writing at tertiary, school and community levels and has been a guest speaker at dozens of literary festivals, both overseas and in Australia. He has a PhD in Creative Writing and is a graduate of the US Yale Writers' Conference. He is also co-host of the writing podcast Secrets from the Green Room.

His most recent book, On a Barbarous Coast - an alternative history of Captain Cook's encounters on the East Coast of Australia, was cowritten with First Nations author Harold Ludwick.

Dr Wendy Paterson

Dr Wendy Patterson

Wendy’s interest in family history began many decades ago, fostered by her parents’ and grandparents’ tales about living in the Dandenong ranges and country Victoria. While raising a young family and working in community services, Wendy studied history at the University of Newcastle and achieved First Class Honours, a University Medal, and an Australian Postgraduate Award that led to a Doctor of Philosophy in 2003.

Wendy then moved to Canberra to begin working as a mature age graduate with the Australian Government Department of Family and Community Services. Highlights included disseminating the results of the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children to help inform policy, providing secretariat services for the Department’s human research ethics committee and leading a team responsible for the department’s research strategies, publications, and library services.

Now retired, Wendy has been a member of FHACT for 10 years. She recently enjoyed studying three family history subjects with the University of Tasmania and proofreading two family history books – one of these won the South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society’s TT Reed Family History Book Award. Reading, researching, and writing family stories continues to be a lifelong passion!

David Wintrip

David Wintrip

David was born in Malta to English parents. From early childhood, his family was always on the move and this instilled in him a curiosity about people and place. His enthusiasm for and enjoyment of family history interrelates with his continuing passion for travel, each feeds the other. He has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Pacific, as well as Australia.

He holds a post-graduate qualification from Charles Sturt University and a master’s degree from the University of Canberra. David joined Family History ACT in 2017 and is currently a member of Council, attends a number of special interest groups and is a library volunteer. He was the winner of the 2020 E.M. Fletcher Writing Award.