Shortlist Deborah Cass Writing Prize 2019

Now in its fifth year, the Deborah Cass Writing Prize is pleased to announce the 2019 shortlist of ten works by writers from a migrant background. In a brief statement, the shortlisting judges said that once again they were moved and impressed by the quality of the stories.

The shortlisted works are (in alphabetical order):

  1. Deniz Agraz ‘Rosewater’ NSW
  2. Michelle Almiron ‘El Cuco and Her Faithful Oso’ VIC
  3. Antoinette Bauer ‘Bermuda Triangle’ QLD
  4. Janette Chen ‘Wall of Men’ NSW
  5. Tinashe Jakwa ‘Nothing But the Queen’s English’ WA
  6. Vicky Karitinos ‘Lady Diana’ VIC
  7. Anna Kortschak ‘Pieces of Nothing’ VIC
  8. Mary Manias ‘Burning Tyres By the Linden Tree’ VIC
  9. Brian Obiri-Asare ‘The Eclipse of the Sun’ NT
  10. Belinda Paxton ‘Clinging to Space Hardware’ NSW

According to Angela Savage, CEO of Writers Victoria, “This prize offers a critical link for writers from a migrant background who otherwise have difficulty accessing publishers. It’s pleasing to see such as a diversity of stories that contribute new perspectives to our culture, including a growing African voice.”

The prize winner and runners up will be determined by our three judges, Melanie Cheng, Lee Kofman and Nyadol Nyuon. The winners will be announced at a special event on 4 December at Abbotsford Convent.

The Deborah Cass Writing Prize is for early-career writers of migrant background. The prize is in the memory of Deborah Cass. The granddaughter of Jewish immigrants, Deborah 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.

The winner receives 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.

Media inquiries: Writers Victoria


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