When Arthur Hoey Davis (Steele Rudd) returned to Brisbane from Sydney in November 1907, he had recently ceased production of Steele Rudd's Magazine. The magazine appeared monthly between December 1903 and July 1907, bringing a modest profit, but Davis, tired of of the small return he received, decided to concentrate on his own writing. This, however, was not the end of Davis's life as a magazine proprietor. Ten years later with the help of Ashton Murphy, he revived the magazine as an annual publication.
The first issue of Steel Rudd's Annual appeared in December 1917. The editorial announced that the magazine 'will take a leading hand in featuring the love, the loyalty, the literature and art of Australia, and be a boon, a blessing and a joy for ever in the land.' Maintaining the rural focus of the earlier series, the annual continued to advertise farm equipment and other domestic products.
In addition to the serialisation of Steele Rudd's Some Memoirs of Corporal Keely, other contributors included Will Ogilvie and David McKee Wright. Artists appearing in this first issue included A. J. Hingston, Ruby Lindsay and Ambrose Dyson. In later issues, regular contributors included Edward Dyson, E. L. Anderson, Ashton Murphy and Mabel Forrest.
Most of the prose, poetry and art work exhibited the rural bias of the magazine, supporting Davis's belief in the nobility and reward that came from living on the land. This theme is most evident in the first issue where the opening article addresses the problem of compensating soldiers returning from the First World War. By stressing the benefits of the land settlement plan proposed by the Queensland Government, the article began a sustained promotion in Steel Rudd's Annual of settlement in rural Queensland. Among other articles on settlement in Queensland, the success of the land settlement plan was described four years later in the article 'Empire Defenders and Builders.'
The December issue of 1922 announced the formation of The Queensland Magazine Co. Ltd for the purpose of printing and publishing a new monthly magazine. This issue was to be the final Steele Rudd's Annual. It was replaced in April 1923 with the first issue of Steele Rudd's Monthly.