New writing prize launched in honour of Deborah Cass

Monday, July 27, 2015
Deborah Cass Prize for Writing memorial fund

Photo of Deborah Cass
Deborah Cass

Emerging Victorian writers from migrant backgrounds are invited to apply for the new Deborah Cass Prize.

The granddaughter of Jewish immigrants, Deborah Cass became a prize-winning professor of International Law at the London School of Economics. On learning that she had cancer, Deborah left her academic career to focus 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 from a migrant background find a voice for themselves.

Deborah's sister Naomi Cass said that family and friends started the award to recognise new writers who had talent and passion but who lacked opportunity. "We can't think of a better way to honour Deborah's life and love of writing than to help a new writer get a start," she said.

The judging panel for the prize will include Tony Ayers, Alice Pung and Christos Tsiolkas.

Two of the inaugural judges, writer Christos Tsiolkas and filmmaker Tony Ayres, said they were delighted to help establish the prize.

"We need a wider range of voices speaking on what it means to be Australian at this time. The Deborah Cass Prize will help to bring new writers into the public eye," Christos and Tony said.

Applications can be fiction or non-fiction. The winning writer will receive a cash prize of $3,000 plus a three-month mentorship with an established writer. Black Inc have offered to consider the resulting manuscript for publication.

Applications must be submitted online by Monday 19 October 2015.

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