The Deakin University Nonfiction Prize

Express Media and Deakin University are thrilled to announce that entries for the 2021 Deakin University Nonfiction Prize are now open!

The Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers was started as a joint venture between Scribe Publications and Express Media in 2013, and has since been a unique development award to foster talented writers aged 30 and under writing longform nonfiction. Deakin University and Express Media are thrilled to continue the legacy of this Prize.

Entries of up to 3,000 words are welcome across all nonfiction genres, including memoir, journalism, essay, and creative nonfiction.

In 2021, all shortlisted writers will receive:

  • an invitation to an exclusive craft development masterclass with some of Australia’s best nonfiction writers
  • a generous selection of new-release books from Black Inc.

The winner receives:

  • a cash prize of $1,500
  • an editorial mentorship to develop their work from Managing Editor and Express Media board member Julia Carlomagno

The Prize winner will be selected by Lur Alghurabi (Co-Director of the National Young Writers’ Festival), Mira Schlosberg (Voiceworks Editor 2018–2020 and author of Guidebook to Queer Jewish Spirituality and Kugel Western) and Briohny Doyle (Lecturer, Writing, Literature and Culture at Deakin University).

Past winners and shortlisted writers have gone on to sign works as a direct result of the prize: Briohny Doyle (Adult Fantasy, 2017), Oliver Mol (Lion Attack!, 2015), Patrick Mullins (A Liberal View, 2018) and Lech Blaine (Car Crash, 2021). 


We have just announced out 2021 prize winner! Learn more about them and their work here, and congratulations to everyone involved with this year’s prize, we have been blown away by the level of talent, vision and ethic in young Australian nonfiction writers! 



Judging Panel

Briohny Doyle is the author of Echolalia, out now through Penguin Random House. Her previous books are Adult Fantasy and The Island Will Sink. She is a lecturer in writing, literature and culture at Deakin University.

Mira Schlosberg is a writer and comics artist. They were a 2017 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk fellow, and in 2018 their essay ‘Dick Talk’ was shortlisted for the Lifted Brow and non/Fiction Lab Experimental Nonfiction Prize and longlisted for the Cosmonauts Avenue Nonfiction Prize. They were the editor of Voiceworks magazine from 2018-20, and taught Express Media’s Toolkits: Graphic Narratives course from 2019-20. Mira is the author of Guidebook to Queer Jewish Spirituality (2018) and Kugel Western (2021), both published by Glom Press.

Lur Alghurabi is an Iraqi and Australian writer, poet and playwright, and Co-Director of the National Young Writers’ Festival. She is winner of the AM Heath Prize for Prose and the Scribe Nonfiction Prize, and shortlistee of the Deborah Cass Prize. She has been widely published in Australia and the US including fine print magazine, LitHub, the Lifted Brow, Scum Mag, Kill Your Darlings, Right Now, Going Down Swinging and Meanjin. Lur is a recent alumna of the Oxford University Master’s in Creative Writing with Distinction.


The Deakin University Nonfiction Prize is generously supported by Deakin University, in partnership with Express Media.