Varuna's Publisher Introduction Program 2019


Publishing Introduction Program (PIP) Frequently Asked Questions


What are the costs of the program?
Your initial application fee helps to cover the administrative costs of this program and to pay our assessors for their time reading your work. Application fees are $120 per application, unless you are a financially current alumni member using your annual fee waiver. If you are currently experiencing financial hardship, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request partial fee relief.

In addition, if you are accepted for a PIP Development Residency, you will be asked to make a contribution of $385 towards your fellowship, which includes full board and accommodation for seven nights, a half-day publishing workshop, and a full manuscript consultation with one of Varuna's writing consultants. If you are accepted for a PIP Pathways Residency, you will be asked to make a contribution of $315 towards your fellowship, which includes full board and accommodation for seven nights, and a one-hour Varuna conversation with one of Varuna's writing consultants.

You will also need to meet your travel costs to get from your home to Varuna. However, we do have a travel assistance fund for which you can apply, if eligible. State and Territory funding bodies are often willing to provide a contribution for travel expenses to support genuine professional development opportunities.

Note that Varuna does reserve the right to make changes to its advertised programs and all applications are accepted subject to this proviso.


Will I receive feedback upon my work?
Selectors do not discuss the selection process or offer individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants. If you would like to receive more specific feedback on your manuscript. Varuna is happy to provide writers with structured and ongoing support through our manuscript consultation program.


I’ve missed the deadline. Can I still submit an application?
No. Unfortunately no applications will be accepted after the deadline date.


I submitted work to the PIP program last year. Can I resubmit the same work this year?
While there is no limit to how often you may apply for a publishing fellowship, we request that you do not resubmit a work that you have already submitted in a previous year unless there has been substantial reworking/revision.


I do not have a complete manuscript yet. Can I still apply?
Your manuscript should be well advanced in its development with your application clearly showing that you are confident of both your direction and the voice for the work. For the strongest application, your manuscript should be complete. Any partial submission of a manuscripts should be at least 75% complete, with a clear indication of where further development is intended to occur.


Is there a word limit for my submission? No, there is no word limit.


Does the PIP program accept applications for anything other than full-length works?
Your work must be a new work of fiction or narrative non-fiction, either as a full-length work or as a collection of short stories. For the PIP program, we do not accept manuscripts for instructional non-story genres such as guidebooks, self-help books, or textbooks. We also do not accept poetry collections, children’s picture books, or play or film scripts.

Please note that we do welcome children’s picture books, poetry, scripts and screenplays for most of our other fellowship programs.


Can I exceed the word count for items on the cover page such as the synopsis or bio?
We do not count each word and penalise you for going a few words over, but we do appreciate if you could endeavour to stick within the word count limits suggested.


How can I write my bio without including identifying details?
Try to indicate the level of your experience without being too specific. For example, you might write ‘I have had many essays published in literary journals, including Griffith Review and Meanjin, and my first novel was published by Black Inc. in September 2016.’ In general, it is advised not to include the titles of any published works. You can however mention any awards or fellowships received.


Can Varuna accommodate writers with disabilities?
Unfortunately, our facilities are limited in this regard, although we are well advanced in planning for new buildings to accommodate a wider range of residents in the future. If you have restricted mobility, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your specific requirements. Please note that we are not equipped to accommodate residents with challenging mental health conditions due to the complexity of issues such conditions may present.


Can I apply for more than one Varuna fellowship at a time?
Yes. For example, our First Nations fellowship is open at the same time as the PIP fellowship, and you are welcome to apply for both.


I received a PIP fellowship two years ago. Can I apply for a fellowship again this year?
No. There is a three-year time limit for each program. Therefore, if you received a PIP Fellowship in 2017, you cannot apply for a PIP fellowship until 2020. However, you can apply for a PIP fellowship if you received a different Varuna fellowship within this period. For example, if you received a LitLink fellowship within the last three years, you are still eligible to apply for a PIP fellowship.


Can I apply for a fellowship submitting work that is already under contract with a publisher?
No. This program is open to unpublished and uncontracted manuscripts only.


If I am awarded a PIP fellowship, does this mean I am offered a publishing contract?
No. There is no obligation for the publisher to offer you a contract at the conclusion of the Varuna fellowship.

If you are awarded a PIP fellowship, this means that a publisher has read your work and chosen it as being of interest. The publisher will provide feedback to you as to how you might best develop the work further, and makes a commitment to appraising your work one more time, after you have completed a seven-day residency at Varuna and a manuscript consultation with a Varuna consultant. We ask that you resubmit your work to the publisher by April of the year following your fellowship by the latest.


If I am accepted for a PIP fellowship, can I approach other agents or publishers with my work?
If you decide you would like to approach another publisher or agent or enter a competition with the same manuscript, a condition of the program is that you notify both Varuna and the publisher who chose your work, so that the publisher can have the option to make an offer should they wish to do so. However, if you do sign with another publisher or agent, then your PIP fellowship at Varuna may be withdrawn.


I work with another writer collaboratively. If our application is successful, can we come to Varuna together?
If your writing is genuinely a joint work, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to explain your specific requirements. We will try to accommodate you if we possibly can.