Varuna Residential Masterclasses

Are you looking for a way to get a head start on a new project, or some extra feedback on a work in progress?

Varuna has a relaxed, friendly and informal atmosphere – Varuna is your home for a week. You'll be writing, living and eating together with a group of four other writers.

Since 1989, Varuna has been offering writers time and space to write. In the beautiful world heritage-listed Blue Mountains, with expert tuition from Varuna consultants and the support of other like-minded writers, you can feed your imagination and let your stories flourish.

We've cultivated the ideal environment for your creativity to thrive. Time and time again, we hear how surprised and delighted people are by the results of their Varuna week, and how the experience has boosted their confidence and creativity long after.

A Varuna Residential Masterclass offers writers with a shared interest in a particular area a creative and stimulating mix of individual work time, facilitated sessions, one on one mentorship, as well as social time for unstructured conversation. Each Masterclass is limited to only five participants. 

Residential Masterclasses are led by some of Australia’s best cultural facilitators including Vanessa Kirkpatrick (Poetry), Tegan Bennett Daylight (Short Story), Patti Miller (Advanced Memoir), Claire Corbett (Novel) and Siobhan McHugh (Creative Audio). Each Facilitator will lead a unique and stimulating masterclass that promotes writing, conversation and creative engagement.

Poetry Masterclass at Varuna

with Vanessa Kirkpatrick

A six-day residecy focussing on the art, craft and inspiration of writing poetry. At Varuna, the National Writers' House, in the Blue Mountains, NSW.

KIRKPATRICK Vanessa 3Monday 3 December to Sunday 9 December 2018
Applications close 5 September

The Poetry Masterclass Residency includes:

• Private writing time in your own writing studio
• A one-on-one consultation and three small group masterclasses led by Vanessa Kirkpatrick
• Six nights' accommodation at Varuna including meals


About Vanessa Kirkpatrick

Vanessa Kirkpatrick's first collection of poetry, To Catch the Light, won the inaugural John Knight Memorial Poetry Manuscript Prize and was Commended for the 2013 Anne Elder Award. Her second collection, The Conversation of Trees, was published by Hope Street Press in 2017. Vanessa has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Sydney and her poetry has been broadcast on national radio. She is a qualified teacher and has mentored creative writing for many years.

About the Poetry Masterclass Residency

In this six-day residency, you will be immersed in the writing and crafting of poetry and will extend and explore your creative and critical capacities. There will be a series of three masterclasses, as well as dedicated private writing time each day, and a shared poetry reading on the Saturday night. You will also be given a one-on-one consultation about your poetry with Vanessa, in which you can have a thorough discussion of work in progress. Workshops will involve both on-the-spot writing exercises to inspire you, and discussions of published poems in a wide range of poetic styles.

How much does it cost

The fee for the residency is $1,750 (gst inc) including accommodation, workshops and meals.

A special discounted rate is available to all financial Varuna Alumni of $1,450.

How to apply

Varuna is accepting applications for the Poetry Residential Masterclass now.

Writers interested in participating need to submit a short Expression of Interest (EOI) to Varuna in an online application. Your EOI should include a sample of your work and a cover sheet with your name and contact details.

Please see below about preparing your submission and uploading it on the online application form.

More information

If you need further information about the application process contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone 02 4782 5674. Regarding the residency please contact Amy Sambrooke the Varuna Creative Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The deadline for applications is 5 September 2018.
Applicants will be notified of the selection outcome by 19 September 2018.

Preparing your submission

Submission (electronic copy only)
Please download the application cover sheet, fill out and attach your submission (10 poems), ready to upload when you complete the online application form.

The cover sheet includes:
• Your personal contact details
• Brief publication history
• What you would most like to gain or work on during the Residential Masterclass

Your application cover sheet and submission should be saved and uploaded as a single PDF document.
The title of your saved document should include your name and the words 'Poetry EOI' (eg 'Mary Smith Poetry EOI')

Online Application Form

Fill out all the fields and upload your prepared EOI submission. 

In submitting an application, applicants agree to the following conditions:
• Applications must comply with the program's requirements.
• Applicants must be 18 years or older.
• Submitted material must be the applicant's own original work.
• Submissions including application cover sheet must be uploaded (electronically) by the deadline.
• Application materials are not returned under any circumstances. After the selection process is finished, materials are responsibly disposed of.
• Individual feedback is not provided to unsuccessful applicants.
• Varuna retains information from application forms for one year.

When you submit your application you will see a 'Thank You' screen indicating that your submission has been uploaded and the data sent to Varuna. 
Your application is complete. If there are any issues, Varuna will be in touch by email.

Disclaimer: Varuna reserves the right to make changes to its advertised programs and all applications are accepted subject to this proviso.

Click HERE to go to the online APPLICATION FORM 

Varuna is now accepting applications for the Poetry Residential Masterclass and the deadline is 5 September 2018