Program Overview



Varuna, the National Writers House Residential Program


The Varuna Residential Program supports intensive work, conversation and community for writers at all levels of experience and across a wide range of writing practice. The program runs continuously throughout the year with up to five writers, each with an identified project, invited to be in residence at Varuna at any one time. The five streams of the Varuna Residential Program are: 

Varuna Fellowships: Varuna Residential Fellowships for Writers & Illustrators is a selective program that offers residential weeks to outstanding Australian writers and illustrators currently developing new work. Varuna offer 30 Residential Fellowships each year. In addition the LitLink Residential Fellowship offers five fellowships each year to outstanding writers living in regional NSW or greater Sydney area. The inaugural Copyright Agency Fellowships for First Nations Writers is planned for late 2017.

Varuna Publisher Introduction Program: Through creative and respectful partnerships, built between Varuna and the Australian Publishing sector over the last two decades, Varuna has developed a range of highly valued opportunities offering exceptional emerging writers an introduction and the chance to work with editors from Australia’s leading publishing houses. This includes the Varuna Publisher Introduction Program - with publishers Black Inc., Pan Macmillan, Random House, Scribe Publications, Text Publishing, University of Queensland Press and UWA Publishing -  and the Affirm Press Mentorship Award which offers up to three writers the opportunity to work with the Affirm Press publishing team whilst in residence at Varuna.

Varuna Guided Programs: Professional development residency programs offered by Varuna include: Writer Development Residencies, offering one-on-one consultations with one of Varuna’s Writing Consultants whilst in residence; and the Varuna Focus Weeks offers a residential masterclass to writers with a shared interest in a particular area.

Varuna Invitation by Request Residencies: Limited places are also available for writers with an identified project to request a paying residency at Varuna.

Varuna Residential Partnerships: In partnership with writing organisations and individual philanthropists Varuna supports a range of residential opportunities for writers that encourage equity, access and diversity in Australian writing. These partnerships include: Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Residency (Australian Society of Authors); Griffith REVIEW Contributers' Circle Award (Griffith REVIEW), Val Vallis Award (Queensland Poetry Festival), New South Wales Writers’ Centre Residency (New South Wales Writers’ Centre), WA Playwrights Residency (Stages WA), CAL Creative Audio Focus Week (CAL) and the Tyrone Guthrie Exchange for Varuna Alumni (The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland).


Community Engagement

Varuna, the Writers’ House is committed to developing Australia’s living literary culture and works within the broader community to do this.

The Varuna Alumni: The Varuna Alumni program offers past recipients of a Varuna Residential Program the opportunity to maintain connection with a national network of professional peers through online activity, a national-news service and further professional development opportunities.

Varuna Consultations, Workshops & Events : Varuna offers one-on-one consultations to writers through the Varuna Writer Development Consultation Service as well as occasional writing workshops in the Blue Mountains, NSW.

Varuna Events include the Varuna & Sydney Writers’ Festival and Varuna Open Day.


View the Varuna Program Calendar for the current year (see below) and see Varuna News for current programs on offer.

More in this category: Varuna Program Calendar 2018 »