Varuna Writers House

Varuna awards residential fellowships, including specific Flagship Fellowships for short story writers, poets and political writers and more, to Australian writers each year. In 2019, 24 fellowships will be awarded. Fellowships offer a writer independent writing time, accommodation and full board at Varuna in the Blue Mountains near Sydney. Varuna Fellowships are open to writers of all genres of imaginative writing. Applications are expected to open in June and close at the end of July.
Varuna offers a range of prestigious Fellowships designed to support writers across different genres and at all stages of their writing careers. Fellowships are all competitively awarded and include between one and four weeks’ residency at Varuna.
You may also wish to apply for a residency outside of a fellowship program via our Invited Residencies program, our Alumni Residencies program, or our Residential Masterclasses.
Varuna Residential Fellowships
Varuna Residential Fellowships offer two to three weeks of full board and accommodation at Varuna including a prepared evening meal, uninterrupted time to write in your own private studio, the companionship of your fellow writers and a one-hour Varuna Conversation with a Varuna consultant.
In 2020, Varuna will offer 24 Varuna Residential Fellowships, including our prestigious Flagship Fellowships.
Key dates
Applications for the 2020 residency program will open June 16, 2019 and close midnight on July 30, 2019.
Varuna Residential Fellowships can be taken between January and the end of May 2020.
What you need to send us
You will need to send us between 7,000 and 10,000 words from the beginning of your manuscript, along with a synopsis of the entire work. For poetry, you need to send us a selection of 10 poems.
What we are looking for
Varuna welcomes manuscripts from writers working in all creative forms, including fiction, drama, poetry, children’s books, and narrative non-fiction. Artistic merit is the most important criterion for our assessors, who are looking for strongly written characters, sound structure, compelling themes, a distinctive and engaging voice, and social and cultural relevance. Our assessors also consider the potential of your manuscript, based on the experience of the writer and their work plan.
Application fees are $65 per application, unless you are a financially current alumni member using your annual fee waiver. Application fees are used to pay professional assessors to read your work. If you have a Healthcare card, the application fee is $30.
If you are successful, you will be asked to make a contribution of $315 towards your residency (note that this fee is waived for the Henry Handel Richardson fellowship).
And you will need to meet your own travel expenses to and from Varuna. If you have a Healthcare card, you may apply to the Varuna Travel Assistance Fund for a subsidy of up to $300.
The fine print (preparing your submission, FAQ and application form)


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