Judith Rodriguez Prize

The Judith Rodriguez Prize is an annual prize awarded to an outstanding piece of work in fiction/poetry/creative nonfiction submitted in a level 3 coded unit in trimester 1 or 2. Work is nominated for the long list by relevant third-year staff and then judged by other members of the Professional and Creative Writing discipline area.

All highly commended works are published in the Deakin University Professional and Creative Writing e-magazine Writing Evolutions, and the winner receives:

  • $450 of mentoring from a professional writer (organised through Writers Victoria);
  • Free membership of Writers Victoria for 2013; and
  • Publication of the winning piece in Etchings (published by Ilura Press.)


Long list

Brandenburg, Abbey ‘The irreversible metamorphosis of the girl, the boy and the butterfly on the wall’—fiction
Elliott-Ryan, Hayley ‘Everything must go’—creative nonfiction
Elliott-Ryan, Hayley ‘Transfer station’—fiction
Elliott-Ryan, Hayley ‘Varanasi’—poem
Hannan, Gemma ‘The wolf in the park’—fiction
Jarrad, Amanda ‘Genetic modification’—fiction
Jaunay, Melissa ‘The pig farmer’—fiction
Mahoney, Paige ‘How to portray a face with the right light and shade’—fiction
Mahoney, Paige ‘Ghosts’—creative nonfiction
Noone, Chris ‘The truth about socks’—poem
Noone, Chris ‘What my desk did while I was on holidays’—poem
Perkins, Luke ‘A second home’—creative nonfiction
Warren, Ezra ‘Mr Four Square versus the big red hand’—creative nonfiction

Highly commended

Brandenburg, Abbey ‘The irreversible metamorphosis of the girl, the boy and the butterfly on the wall’—fiction
Elliott-Ryan, Hayley ‘Varanasi’—poem
Jaunay, Melissa ‘The pig farmer’—fiction
Mahoney, Paige ‘Ghosts’—creative nonfiction

The winner

Amanda JarradJarrad, Amanda ‘Genetic modification’—fiction

What the judges had to say: ‘Like the best science fiction writing, this story weaves everyday human qualities and experiences through its spectacular other-worldliness—reading it, one feels a million miles away in one's own backyard.’

Amanda Jarrad is about to complete her studies in creative writing at Deakin in Geelong. She likes stories that present a puzzle and is a fan of writing that blends the speculative with the literary. Genetic Modification, like many of her stories, is set on Mars, the subject of her endless fascination. She hopes to one day see the great libraries of the world; in her spare time you can usually find her hanging out in one.


Winner for 2012: Jonathon Lawrence

2012 prize winner

Lawrence, Jonathon ‘Transit’—creative nonfiction

What the judges had to say: ‘With its mature and professional approach, “Transit” holds the reader's interest from first word to last, evokes a stirring style, and lays down a tangible and sometimes confronting sense of place.’

Jonathon Lawrence is a third year writing student at Deakin University, currently completing a double major in creative writing and literature. He is also a performer, a poet, a spoken word artist, a part-time pirate, and a contributing editor of Words@Deakin and Verandah 28. His creative non-fiction piece, Transit, shows a tourist’s-eye view of New York City. He enjoys the company of cats, owning two himself, and laments the death of 70’s style discotheques.


Winner for 2011: Daniel Lah

2011 prize winner

Lah, Daniel, ‘Boxes’- fiction

Daniel Lah recently completed a double major in Creative Writing and Politics, and is currently writing a short biographical note in the third person. His prize-winning short story, Boxes, recently won the Judith Rodriguez Prize and subsequently became a prize-winning short story. It is an absurd fable that was inspired partly by the GFC and partly by the GFA (the Global Financial Armageddon). The GFA is, of course, yet to come. But when it arrives it should prove even more entertaining than the GFC ever was and involve ever more imaginative and elaborate displays of creativity - a veritable cornucopia of delights, if you will. Daniel is also on the verge of cracking a complex literary algorithm that will soon allow him to construct the perfect novel.

Shortlisted Candidates 2011

Hogg, Aidan, ‘The red door’ - creative nonfiction
McGee, Nicholas, ‘Tin spectacular’ - poem
Meagher, Daniel, ‘Sunlit lies’ - creative nonfiction
Morris, Rachael, ‘Running out of road’ - creative nonfiction
Sparshott, Emily, ‘Considere al turista’ - creative nonfiction

2010 prize winner

Winner for 2010: Palila Opit

Palila Opit completed her Bachelor of Arts (Professional and Creative Writing) at Deakin University in 2010, and is currently undertaking her Honours year at Deakin. She was raised on the surf-coast and is the oldest of 6, 8, or ten siblings depending on how you count. Her story, ‘The Truth of Stories’, was inspired by her parents' insistence that they have had extraordinary lives. Fortunately that was true.

Shortlisted Candidates 2010

Kieron Byatt, ‘No Atticus’ - fiction
Stuie Emmerson, ‘Great White’ - fiction
Palila Opit, ‘The Pig’- poetry
Casey L. Scott, ‘Jellyfish Mimic Lightening - poetry

2009 prize winner

Winner for 2009: Allyse Near

Allyse Near, with her short story 'Venus in the Twelfth House', won the Judith Rodriguez Prize for 2009. Allyse was inspired by a particularly incomprehensible daily horoscope (which she admits to reading religiously but rarely believing). Etchings No8, including Allyse's story, was launched on 11 March 2010. Allyse was presented with her prize at the launch.

Short listed candidates - 2009

Charlotte Adams ‘ In the knickers of time’  from ALW350
Allyse Near ‘Venus in the Twelfth House’  from ALW326 (2009 winner)
Amber Beilharz ‘Giving Up’, ‘Migration’  from ALW326
Katherine Harland ‘The Splendiferous Adventures of Vale the wood pigeon’ from ALW326
Alexandra Burgess ‘Four very short stories’ from ALW326
Thomas Miller ‘ Darkness’, ‘Goodbye’ from ALW326
Carrick Tomlin ‘Redemption Rd’ from ALW326

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