The Deakin University Nonfiction Prize

Please note that the Deakin University Nonfiction Prize is on pause for 2020 due to challenges associated with COVID-19.

 

Express Media and Deakin University are thrilled to announce the 2019 Deakin University Nonfiction Prize has been awarded to Adelaide-based writer, Olivia De Zilva.

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.

Word Four Word Friday. Deakin University Non-Fiction prize winner Olivia DeZilva and Deakin University Associate Professor of Writing and Literature Maria Takolander. Picture: Mike Dugdale

Express Media and Deakin University are thrilled to announce the 2019 Deakin University Nonfiction Prize has been awarded to Adelaide-based writer, Olivia De Zilva.

De Zilva’s Let’s Eat食飯! impressed the judges with its ingenious weaving of culture and personal reflection within a beautifully versed commentary on the bonds that family share.

De Zilva said, “It feels great that a work inspired by my whacky family with pop-culture allusions to Neighbours, Gangsta’s Paradise and smiley fritz be acknowledged by a panel of esteemed judges. I hope that winning this award will allow me to explore my family’s story further in future writing.”

De Zilva wins $3000 and an editorial mentorship to develop her work with Managing Editor at Black Inc, Prize judge, and Express Media Board Member, Julia Carlomagno.

Carlomagno said, “Let’s Eat食飯! is marked by an original voice that’s funny, touching and charming. Drawing together elements of Chinese, Hong Kong and Australian culture, the result is a compelling and wildly entertaining family story. I can’t wait to see what Olivia writes next.”

Kat Capel was highly commended for their piece work & love.

Capel said, “I would like to thank Deakin and Express Media for their support of emerging writers and their affinity for diversity and risk taking, of which the shortlist is an example. I am honoured to be highly commended amongst such a talented pool of writers, thank you!”

Associate Professor in Writing and Literature at Deakin University, Maria Takolander, presented the 2019 Deakin University Nonfiction Prize in Geelong on Friday Night at the opening night of the Word For Word National Non-Fiction Festival, with Olivia reading an excerpt of ‘Let’s Eat食飯!’ ahead of Tyson Yunkaporta in conversation with Harriet Gaffney.

Earlier in the day, the shortlisted writers learnt from masterful writers Ruby Hamad and Hella Ibrahim in a day of professional development.

We congratulate Olivia and Kat and look forward to seeing their literary careers develop. 

The 2019 Deakin University Nonfiction Prize shortlist was:

  • Kat Capel – work & love
  • Olivia De Zilva – Let’s Eat食飯!
  • Oliver Reeson – Someone who is sensitive to pain
  • Jonno Revanche – Friends of Charlene: The saintlike engineering of Kylie Minogue’s creative catalogue, anti-effeminate respectability, and defacto metropolis maternity princesses
  • Danielle Scrimshaw – Be Gay, Do Crime: Or, The Ballad of Catherine and Ellen
  • Jim Thomas – 15,000 Roentgen
  • Dženana Vucic – A Teleology of Folding, and of Dying
  • Yen-Rong Wong – I can’t talk to my mum about sex

The Deakin University Nonfiction Prize is generously supported by Deakin University, in partnership with Express Media. Word for Word National Non-Fiction Festival is a proud presenting partner.