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The Deborah Cass Prize for Writing

A photo of Deborah Cass.

Each year, early career writers of migrant background are invited to apply for the Deborah Cass Prize for Writing.

The prize was established and continues 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.

The winner receives a cash prize of $3,000 plus a three-month mentorship with an established writer. 

Read more about Deborah and the Prize on the Deborah Cass Prize website.

The 2022 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing


Submissions open: 1 July 2022 

Submissions close: 10 August 2022 

Judging period: 12 August – 14 October 2022 

Shortlist announced: 21 October 2022 

Winner announced: At online award event on 16 November 2022; media release 17 November 2022

Previous Years



Bryant Apolonio, ‘Independencia’

Read ‘Independicia’ at The Mascara Literary Review here.


Patrick Arulanandam, ‘The Seconds of Holroyd House’

Irina Frolova, ‘On the Tail of the Firebird’


  • Bryant Apolonio, ‘Independencia’
  • Patrick Arulanandam, ‘The Seconds of Holroyd House’
  • Sam Elkin, ‘Magic Waters’
  • Irina Frolova, ‘On the Tail of the Firebird’
  • Maria Katasabanis, ‘Motherlode: memory, mothers and migration’
  • Gary Paramanathan, ‘The Dreaming’
  • Mesh Tennakoon, ‘The Lollipop Lady’
  • Gisele Weishan, ‘The Marigold Girl’
  • Chamberlain Zhang, ‘Si Bo – Fourth Uncle – Eagle Flight’


Anith Mukherjee, ‘I am full of love’

Read Anith’s prize winning story, ‘I am full of love’, at The Mascara Literary Review.  


Janette Chen

Read Janette’s prize winning story, ‘Wall of Men’, at The Mascara Literary Review.


Karina Ko

Read Karina’s prize winning story, ‘Things I Used to Believe’, at The Mascara Literary Review.


Rafeif Ismail

Read Rafeif’s prize winning story, ‘Almitra Amongst Ghosts’, at The Mascara Literary Review.


Jean Bachoura

Read Jean’s prize winning story, ‘Night Falls’, on the Deborah Cass website.


Moreno Giovannoni

View Moreno’s book, ‘The Fireflies of Autumn‘, on publisher Black Inc.’s website.

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