2017 Deborah Cass Prize Open

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Writers Victoria and the Deborah Cass Trust

The Deborah Cass Prize is now open.

Named in memory of Deborah Cass, the prize is now in its third year and going national. This is a prize for early career writers with a migrant background.

In the first two years, the prize was open to Victorian writers only and attracted a high quality field of entrants.

The inaugural prize was won by Moreno Giovannoni for 'Tales of San Ginese', a book of stories about an Italian village, which will be published in 2018 by Black Inc.. Melanie Cheng, who was runner-up in the first year, recently published her first collection of short stories, 'Australia Day', which are about belonging in contemporary Australia.

Jean Bachoura won last year’s prize, for Night Falls, about a young Syrian-Australian man, largely set in war-destroyed Damascus.

Three of Australia’s leading writers, Christos Tsolkias, Alice Pung and Tony Ayres, are the judges of the prize again in 2017. The winner will receive a cash prize of $3,000 plus a three-month mentorship with an established writer. The winning manuscript will be presented to Black Inc. There is also the opportunity for publication of the winning excerpt in Mascara Literary Review.

You can find more information and details of how to apply on this website.

Key dates

  • Competition closes: 5pm, 16 October 2017
  • Shortlist announced: November
  • Winner announced: December

About Deborah Cass

The prize is in the memory of Deborah Cass. The granddaughter of Jewish immigrants, Deborah Cass became a prize-winning professor of International Law at the London School of Economics. After diagnosis of cancer, Deborah left her academic career and focused on creative writing. She had a number of short fiction pieces published, but was unable to realise her aim to complete a novel. With generous support from family and friends, this prize aims to help someone outside the mainstream find a voice for themselves.

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