Prizes & Awards for Students

  • Judith Rodriguez Memorial Prize
  • Deakin SCCA Postgraduate Publication Prize
  • Peter Davis Memorial Honours Scholarship
  • Deakin University Nonfiction Prize, with Express Media

The Judith Rodriguez Memorial Prize is presented annually to an outstanding piece of work in fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction submitted in a third-year writing coded unit during trimester one or two. Work is nominated for the long list by relevant third-year Deakin staff and then judged by two members of the Professional and Creative Writing discipline area.

The prize provides:

The Judith Rodriguez Memorial Prize is named after distinguished and generous Australian poet, educator and human rights advocate, Judith Rodriguez (1936 – 2018).  Judith Rodriguez, the Dame of the Victorian Writer’s Centre, stakeholder in PEN, well known writer and one of the key mentors of Verandah Journal sadly passed away in late 2018.

Judith attended many Verandah launches, board meetings and student events, and her legacy will continue to live on through the Deakin School of Communication and Creative Arts Judith Rodriguez Memorial Prize, presented annually to third year creative writing students from the degree she did so much to shape and encourage. She was also an Honorary Fellow who gave lectures and readings, provided mentoring and nurtured the creative community at Deakin. Judith’s influence has spread far and wide across the community at Deakin University, and her passing leaves both an acknowledgement of her many achievements and sadness that we will no longer receive her fine wisdom. You can read more about Judith’s life and work, here.

Past winners (details below) have been published in Verandah since 2015:

Prior to 2015, the Judith Rodiguez Prize winner was published in the relevant year’s edition of Etchings, produced by Ilura Press (founding publisher the Deakin alumnus Christopher Lappas).


Deakin SCCA Postgraduate Publication Prize

The PostGraduate Publication Prize for Writing has been established by Deakin’s School of Communication and Creative Arts (SCCA), under the Verandah imprint.

Commencing in 2022, up to four winners are selected for inclusion in the annual Deakin prize anthology judged by a panel comprising staff and the postgraduate editorial interns. Individual creative works that were submitted as part of the Deakin University SCCA Creative Writing stream Honours or Masters thesis in previous years are eligible for entry. These works must be between 7,000 and 12,000 words (or equivalent) and can be in any genre. Previously published works are not eligible for entry. Submission callouts are announced yearly to Deakin students and alumni, with links and guidelines provided. Winning entries receive supervised professional editing from postgraduate interns and their supervisor, and are published as part of a digital and print-on-demand book that is commercially available through Amazon.

Further details regarding each year’s anthology are available here. There is a callout for the PG Publication Prize editorial interns in June or July each year, through the Deakin WIL website.

Peter Davis Memorial Honours Scholarship (Creative Writing)

The late Peter Davis was a much admired colleague, respected for his commitment to professional and creative writing and his encouragement of commencing scholars. This scholarship provides acknowledgement of, and support for, students completing their honours studies within the creative writing discipline.

This scholarship is a one-off cash payment of $500 for full time Honours students.

Previous winners are:

Of these recipients, four have gone on to PhD including tutoring at Deakin, one has published a book and one is now working at a major publishing house as an editor.

Deakin University Nonfiction Prize, with Express Media

NOTE: This prize has been suspended 2022 on.

The Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers began as a joint venture between Scribe Publications and Express Media in 2013. The prize is a unique development award to foster talented writers aged 30 and under writing longform nonfiction.

The winner will receive a cash prize of $3000, and an editorial mentorship to develop their work. Shortlisted writers will receive an invitation to an exclusive craft development masterclass with some of Australia’s best nonfiction writers, personalised feedback on their entry from the judges and a generous selection of new-release books from publishers including NewSouth Publishing, Black Inc and Scribe Publications.

The Deakin University Nonfiction Prize is presented in partnership with Express Media and Word For Word National Non-Fiction Festival.

Olivia De Zilva Wins the 2019 Deakin University Nonfiction Prize