2015 Shortlist

The Deborah Cass Writing Prize was established to support emerging writers whose work reflects on the migrant experience.

Ten entries were shortlisted from a field of 56 submissions including: poetry, plays, memoir, fiction, and non-fiction. 

  • Tito Ambyo, ‘A Peci for Mamadou’ (Indonesia)
  • Melanie Cheng, ‘Australia Day’ (Hong Kong)
  • Rumiko Commons, ‘Peacekeeper’ (Japan)
  • Sanaz Fotouhi, ‘Scent of Sousan and Yasaman’ (Iran)
  • Moreno Giovannoni, ‘Tales From San Ginese’ (Italy)
  • Christine Lambrianidis, ‘The Debt’ (Greece)
  • Magdalena McGuire, ‘The Shape of Your Song’ (Poland)
  • Fatima Nazar (pen name: Fatima Sehbai), ‘Losing my religion’ (Pakistan)
  • Emilia Nazari, ‘The Autumn Limes Of Amoo’ (Iran)
  • Maha Sidaoui, ‘One Arabian Night’ (Lebanon)

Alice Pung, Christos Tsiolkas and Tony Ayres will judge the Prize.

Deborah Cass prize Committee members statements about the submissions:

Shirley Cass

The sharply distinctive voices together with a commitment to writing by authors from widely differing background experiences, augurs well in my view, for the future of Australian literary culture.

May Lam

The number and quality of submissions was really impressive. Though the writers’ voices and writing genres varied, the work submitted was characterised by vivid powers of observation and the kind of vitality that is generated among people who find themselves living in a new world.

Kevin Murray

The response demonstrated a large pool of fascinating stories of migration in Australia that are still waiting to be told. What came through the entries was not just a high quality of writing, but also strong personalities who can represent their experiences in public life. The samples confirmed the importance of cultural diversity in Australia.