The Deborah Cass Prize for Writing awards an emerging writer from a first or second generation migrant background prize money of $3000 and a mentorship with an established writer to help bring a full-length manuscript to publication.
The Prize is now in its fourth year. For the last three years the Prize has been honoured to have the support of a prestigious judging panel acclaimed for their powerful representation of migrant voices in the mainstream – film and TV writer-producer Tony Ayres and authors Christos Tsiolkas and Alice Pung. Noted publisher Black Inc. will look at the winner’s completed manuscript.
Last year your donations helped the Prize go national for the first time. We received a record 91 entries from a diverse field of writers. The winner was 23-year-old Rafeif Ismail (pictured) from WA.
Rafeif’s winning entry explores Sudanese storytelling techniques through western writing styles. The judging panel stated, ‘Rafeif Ismail has invented a new style of poetry-prose that incorporates her home culture with English in a startling way. We were astonished by the voice and the power of the writing. She writes with skill and restraint and her work reads like poetry — each word is there for a purpose.’
Rafeif was overjoyed at her win, and said she has plans to ‘write a work for third-culture youths, who are left out of the mainstream literature of their new home and not represented by the stories of their countries of origin.’
The judging panel also praised the high quality of the entries by co-runners-up Sivashneel Sanjappa (VIC) and Jessie Tu (NSW).
The Prize is run by volunteers, entirely on donations from the community. This year please help us maintain the Prize’s newly-established national profile, and grow it further. With your help we can provide even better support to the winner and runners-up and other writers whose important work first announces itself through the Prize.
Please contribute to the Deborah Cass Prize for Writing, and help bring more exciting new migrant voices like Rafeif’s, Sivashneel’s and Jessie’s to be heard in the mainstream.