The Deborah Cass Prize 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 Prize is for emerging writers from a migrant background to tell stories that reflect on the migrant experience in Australia. It recognises that the voices of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants may need special nurturing to be brought to a wider audience. This is why it offers not only a cash prize – which we hope to grow in the future – but also a mentorship with an established writer, with the aim of helping the winner develop a full-length manuscript for publication.

The prize is currently supported by a judging panel acclaimed for their powerful representation of migrant voices in the mainstream and by noted publisher Black Inc., which will consider the resulting manuscript. Please help us help new migrant voices to be heard.