2018 Prize Winner – Karina Ko

Karina Ko, winner of the 2018 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing (photograph – David Patston)

The 2018 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing Award has been won by Karina Ko for her story, ‘Things I Used to Believe’.

Judges Tony Ayres, Nyadol Nyuon and Christos Tsiolkas described Karina’s story, a prose poem about the ghosts who stalk the lives of children and adults in a family divided between two cultures, as “coherent and captivating, the work of a natural writer.”

Karina (pictured), whose parents migrated from Hong Kong before she was born, is an Arts-Law graduate from Sydney who is working on a collection of short stories. Karina told us:

“As with most pursuits that we care about, I experience some self-doubt with my writing. This is one of the first times that I’ve shared my writing outside my little circle. It has also connected me with other writers so that we can encourage and motivate each other. Thank you so much to everyone involved for making this prize happen.”

Second prize was won by Emily Sun for her story, ‘Maybe It’s Wanchai’, and third prize by Su-May Tan for her story,‘The Origin of Things’.

View images from the 2018 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing Award Ceremony held at the Abbotsford Convent, 5 December. With thanks to guest speaker Jonathan Green and photographer David Patston.

Karina Ko worked with mentor Emily Maguire following her 2018 Deborah Cass Prize win.

Emily Maguire was Karina Ko’s mentor in 2019.