Deborah Cass Prize for Writing

Literature & Publishing

Deborah Cass Prize for Writing 2018

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 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.

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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.

MB

Marjorie Button

VIC
AF

Australian Communities Foundation Limited

VIC
MR

Margot Rosenbloom

VIC
MG

Moreno GIOVANNONI

VIC
DA

Daniel Cass

VIC
RK

Rosanne Kennedy

ACT
GC

Gina Cass-Gottlieb

NSW
KW

Kristen Walker

VIC
JM

Jenny Morgan

VIC
SC

Sharon Connolly

TAS
HF

Helen Frajman

VIC
VM

Victoria Marles

VIC
CS

Melbourne Law School

VIC
JB

James Button

VIC
MI

Michael Crommelin

VIC
IR

Isaac Rich

VIC
TP

Tiffany Plummer

VIC
VS

Virginia Steiner

VIC
CM

Catriona MenziesPpike

NSW
SH

Sharmill Films

VIC
MB

Mary Bram

VIC
TD

Tessa Dwyer

VIC
NB

Nicolas Brasch

VIC
SC

Sue Cheng

VIC
HE

Hans Eisen

VIC
KS

Kate Sands

NSW
ST

Sarah Tomasetti

VIC
GD

- none -

VIC
JS

Julie Shiels

VIC
TP

Tania Patston

VIC
MC

Melanie Cheng

VIC

Links

Artists Website
http://deborahzcass.org