Deborah Cass Prize for Writing

Literature & Publishing

The Deborah Cass Prize for Writing 2019

The Deborah Cass Prize for Writing is for emerging writers of any age from a migrant background to tell stories that illuminate the diversity of the migrant experience.

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The Deborah Cass Prize for Writing breaks new ground in the recognition of Australian writers. Entrants must be from a first or second-generation migrant background, and the winner receives a prize of $3000 along with a mentorship with an established writer to help bring their entry to a full-length manuscript for publication. The award honours the life of lawyer and writer Deborah Cass, who died in 2013.

The Prize, now in its fifth year, has been hailed as an important cultural initiative to bring migrant voices into the mainstream. This year the Prize committee is delighted to welcome two new judges and luminaries of Australian writing, Melanie Cheng and Lee Kofman, to join lawyer and writer Nyadol Nyuon on our judging panel. Publisher Black Inc. will look at the winner’s completed manuscript.

Your donation is vital to help keep the momentum going, allowing a fifth national Prize to be awarded. You will help another writer like our 2017 winner, 23-year old Rafeif Ismail from Perth and from a Sudanese background, or last year’s winner, Sydney-based Karina Ko (pictured), whose parents migrated from Hong Kong before she was born, and whose work the prize judges described as “coherent and captivating, the work of a natural writer.”

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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.

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Links

Artists Website
http://deborahzcass.org