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2018 Deborah Cass Prize Shortlist Announced

Migrant Writing Growing Strong

Jonathan Green to present 2018 Deborah Cass Prize


The fourth annual Deborah Cass Prize for Writing, which goes to unpublished migrant writers, will be presented by literary editor and journalist Jonathan Green, on Wednesday 5 December.

The Prize received 91 entries from around Australia in 2018. The judges Christos Tsiolkas, Nyadol Nyuon and Tony Ayres will choose the winner from a shortlist of nine entries:

  • Shannon Anima (Canada) “Bread of the dead”

  • Lyn Dickens (Singapore) “The resurrection of Tuesday Goodman”

  • Karina Ko (China) “Things I used to believe”

  • Nasrin Mahoutchi-Hosaini (Iran) “Taking care of eggs”

  • Aline-Mwezi Niyonsenga (Rwanda) “Fell our selves”

  • Marianna Shek (China) “The lady on the dark side of the moon”

  • E Sun (Malaysia, Vietnam, China) “Maybe it’s Wanchai”

  • Su-May Tan (Malaysia) “The origin of things”

The Prize is for unpublished Australian writers with a migrant background. It was established in the memory of Deborah Cass (1960-2013), an established Australian lawyer and aspiring writer, whose grandparents were Jewish migrants from Eastern Europe.

The winner receives a cash prize of $3,000 plus a three-month mentorship with an established writer. The winning manuscript is presented to Black Inc publishers for consideration and published in Mascara Literary Review. In 2018 Black Inc published The Fireflies of Autumn, by Moreno Giovannoni, for which he won the inaugural Deborah Cass Prize, in 2015.

Jonathan Green said, “As issues of race and diversity continue to be topics of broad cultural interest, it is wonderful to see the Deborah Cass Prize delving deep, helping writers explore the migrant experience and what it means in contemporary Australia.”

Dan Cass, brother of Deborah, said, “The Prize is proud that our first winning entry, Moreno Giovannoni’s The Fireflies of Autumn is in print, selling well and earning great reviews, because it shows the value of a literary prize for migrant authors.”

Angela Savage, Director of Writers Victoria, said “It is a great sign for the migrant literary scene in Australia that the Deborah Cass Prize attracted almost 100 entries again in 2018, in this its fourth year. Writers Victoria is excited by the work that this prize illuminates and thrilled see it leading to publishing success.”

Award night 2018: 6-7.30pm, Wednesday 5 December, Industrial School, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford


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