The Deborah Cass Prize for Writing is named for Melbourne-born Deborah Cass (1960-2013), a brilliant academic lawyer with an international career. Deborah was also a published short-story writer and aspiring novelist.
It was this passion that she returned to after being diagnosed with cancer. After Deborah died, her family and friends established a prize that they felt would honour Deborah’s commitment to social justice and her lifelong love of the written word.
The national prize named for Deborah is for emerging writers from a migrant background to tell stories that illuminate the diversity of the migrant experience. The prize aims to give the winner the confidence and practical support to develop a full-length manuscript for mainstream publication. This is why it provides not only a cash prize but also a mentorship and an offer by a publisher to consider the resulting manuscript.
Several years on, we can see that the Prize is succeeding in bringing new voices into the mainstream. A growing list of prize-winners and shortlisters have gone on to publish full-length works to acclaim. This would not be possible without you, and the many others who have helped bring the prize to life through donations of their funds, time and talent.
Deborah would be proud to see what has been achieved in her name.