Shortlist for the 2019 Deborah Cass Prize announced

Monday, October 21, 2019
Writers Victoria and the Deborah Cass Writing Prize

We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2019 Deborah Cass Writing Prize.

Now in its fifth year, The Deborah Cass Prize is for early-career writers of migrant background. The ten works on this shortlist represent a range of exciting works from emerging voices; in a brief statement, the shortlisting judges said that they were moved and impressed by the quality of the stories. The winner will receive a cash prize of $3,000 plus a three-month mentorship with an established writer, and the winning manuscript will be presented to Black Inc. There is also the opportunity for publication of the winning excerpt in Mascara Literary Review.

The shortlisted works are (in alphabetical order):

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

The prize winner and runners up will be determined by this year's three judges: Melanie Cheng, Lee Kofman and Nyadol Nyuon. The winners will be announced at a special event on 4 December at Abbotsford Convent. Please check the Deborah Cass Prize website for details:

The prize is in 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.