Friday, July 1, 2011

Republican challenge to Australian writers

Entry to the Third National Republican Short Story Competition is now open. The theme for the Third National Republican Short Story Competition is 'Citizen or Subject'. Short stories will use the theme to speculate on Australian republican futures.

First Prize: $500
Highly Commended: $50
Length: 2000 to 4000 words
Entry is open to all Australian residents

The Third National Republican Short Story Competition challenges Australia’s fiction writers to speculate on the possible futures of the Australian republic.

Speculative fiction writers deal with possibilities.
They speculate.
They make the future seem real.

However, we can’t achieve anything unless we imagine it first. Before every great invention and before every great journey is the idea. Without ideas and imagination, we are all trapped in the past.

It seems strange there is no tradition of republican speculative fiction in Australia. In colonial times there were republican poets such as Charles Harpur writing in the 1840s and 1850s, and republican writers such as John Dunmore Lang and Daniel Deniehy in the 1850s and William Lane, Henry Lawson and John Norton in the 1880s and 1890s. But where have been the republican stories for the past century? There have certainly been many republican writers during this time but very few examples where republican settings or arguments have been explored in Australian fiction. Republican arguments and explorations of the past and imaginations of the future have almost always been written within the framework of constitutional debates.

Where do the people of Australia fit into this? Where are their myths and stories to tell and retell and remember about Australia’s emerging republican identity?

So, the Australian Republican Movement would like to point the way forward through Australian stories with a republican backdrop. They don’t have to be political thrillers or constitutional whodunits as long as they are an exploration of our future, our republican future.

To read more about the Australia’s emerging republican speculative fiction genre go to

Previous National Republican Short Story winners are:

Helen Bersten, Double Lives, 2010 Highly Commended
Sean Oliver Ness, Inauguration Day, 2010 Highly Commended
Kel Robertson, Rook Feast, 2009 First Prize

The competition guidelines and entry form and list of judges are available at

For more information contact
2011 Judging Panel announced

The Judging Panel was announced today for the Third National Republican Short Story Competition.

Thomas Keneally was born in 1935 and his first novel was published in 1964. Since then he has written a considerable number of novels and non-fiction works. His novels include The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Schindler's List, and The People's Train. His latest non-fiction book was The Australains: Origins to Eureka. He has won the Miles Franklin Award, the Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Times Prize, the Mondello International Prize and has been made a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library, a Fellow of the American Academy, recipient of the University of California gold medal, and is now a 55 cent Australian stamp. He is also widely known as the founding chairman of the Australian Republican Movement.

Professor John Warhurst recently concluded fifteen years as Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University. He is Adjunct Professor at both Australian National University and Flinders University, Senior Deputy National Chair, Australian Republican Movement and was Australian Republican Movement National Chair from 2002 to 2005. He also writes a weekly column for the Canberra Times.

Professor George Williams is Anthony Mason Professor of Law and Foundation Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at University of New South Wales. He was previously a National Committee member, Australian Republican Movement and regular reviews science fiction and fantasy books for The Book Show on ABC Radio National and for The Weekend Australian.

Dr Glenn Davies is Queensland State Convener, Australian Republican Movement, a republican historian and author, and a 2008 and 2009 Aurealis Awards Science Fiction Short Story judge. He reads slush pile for Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.
2011 Competition Terms and Conditions

1. Entry is open to all Australian residents. Entry forms can be downloaded from

2. The purpose of the short story competition is to promote non-constitutional change towards an Australian republic and to remind Australians what they still do not have.

3. The theme for the speculative fiction competition is 'Citizen or Subject'. Short stories will be required to use this theme to portray an Australian republican future.

4. First prize is $500. Highly Commended prize is $50. The First Prize and Highly Commended short stories are eligible for publication in Republican Roundup and on the ARM website. Copyright of each short story will remain with the author.

5. Entry fee is $11.99 (incl GST). Each additional submission fee is $6.11 (incl GST) Entry fees are to be paid by money order or cheque to Australian Republican Movement. Please do not send cash.

6. Entries must be unpublished and not have won any other awards. Each manuscript entered must meet all of the following requirements:
* Length -- 2000 to 4000 words
* Typed -- double spaced on one side of the paper
* Title Page -- must include your name, address, phone number, story title, length, and email
* Do not submit originals. Manuscripts will not be returned.
* While appropriate colourful language might be accepted (within moderation), entries must not contain extreme foul language, racial or sexually explicit content that would render the entry unsuitable for publication.
* Electronic copies will be accepted at
* Deadline -- postmarked on or before 6 November 2011 (Advice: enter early -- avoid deadline crush)

7. The competition will be judged by Professor John Warhurst, Professor George Williams and Dr Glenn Davies. The judging committee will select the best short stories from the qualified entries and determine the winners. The judges reserve the right not to award prizes if in their judgement there are no short stories entered of sufficient standard. The decision of the judging committee is final.

8. The prize money will be awarded by Australian Republican Movement in accordance with the decision of the judging committee. First Prize and Highly Commended winners will be publicised on 26 January 2011. Each contestant after 26 January 2011 will receive the following information: Name of the competition winner / Name and background of the judges / The 2010 competition statistics

9. Mail signed official entry form and your manuscript (s) on or before 6 November 2011 to: Australian Republican Movement (Qld), PO Box 87, Geebung Q 4034

10. If you have any questions, please feel free to email or post a blog query at

Best of luck!
2011 Entry Form

The Australian Republican Movement invites submissions of original short stories to be considered for the Third National Republican Short Story Competition.

How to enter
Simply fill in the entry form and send together with a cheque for $11.99 and your republican speculative fiction short story to:

Australian Republican Movement
PO Box 87
Geebung QLD 4034

Entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not have won another competition.

First prize is $500

Highly Commended prize is $50

Personal Details

Given Name(s) / Surname


Postal address


Email address


Story title


Please write the title of your story on each page of your submission

By submitting my entry into the competition I agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the competition. (posted at )

Signature _______________________ Date _________

Entries will be accepted until close of business on 6 November 2011.

Further information contact or go to