Focus Week 2017: Reading & Writing the Short Story

Reading & Writing the Short Story

with Tegan Bennett Daylight

A six-day residency reading, writing and talking about the art and craft of the short story with Tegan Bennett Daylight.
At Varuna, the National Writers House in the Blue Mountains, NSW.

BENNETT-DAYLIGHT-TeganMonday 6 November to Sunday 12 November 2017
Applications close 30 August

The Reading and Writing the Short Story Residency includes:
Private writing time in your own writing studio
• One on one consultation as well as group sessions led by Tegan Bennett Daylight
• Six nights accommodation at Varuna including meals


About Tegan Bennett Daylight
Tegan Bennett Daylight is a fiction writer, essayist, critic and lecturer in writing. Her short stories have appeared in journals such as Best Australian Stories, Griffith Review and New Australian Stories. Her collection of short stories, Six Bedrooms, was shortlisted for the Stella Prize, the ALS Gold Medal, and the Steele Rudd Award. She is an experienced teacher and workshop leader and has been teaching the short story for many years.

Reading and Writing the Short Story
In this week we will be reading some of the greatest short stories from writers as varied as Anton Chekhov and Lydia Davis, as well as writing our own. Each writer will be asked to bring a short story in progress to be shared with the group and reflected on in the context of the short story today. We'll look at some practical advice on starting, finishing and selling a short story, but also talk about the more intangible subjects: inspiration, impulse, form and subject matter. Each writer will have a private session with Tegan, as well as participating in group sessions. Most significantly, a substantial part of the week will be devoted to the practice of writing, in the private, quiet and inspirational surroundings of Varuna, the National Writers House.

What Writers Say

It was such a relief not to have sessions segmented into discrete topics – characterisation, plot, setting etc – but to have instead an intelligent, searching and challenging conversation on the work each of us was engaged with, our individual processes, the source of our work, the reading that nourished and stimulated and provoked and inspired us. Tegan created a space for all this to happen. Add to this the ‘collective will’ of the group of writers – my idea of heaven!
Janey Runci, 2014 participant

I wanted to let you know how the Varuna experience at the 2014 Short Story Focus Week with Tegan Bennett Daylight has benefited my writing!
In 2015 I won the national Emerging Writer award in the New England Crime Fiction Short Story competition, being commended in the general category. Later that year I was runner-up in the National 90th Anniversary Society of Women Writers Short Story Prize.
In 2016 I won the prestigious (and lucrative!) Newcastle Short Story prize and have 2 of my prize-winning short stories published in the 2016 Award Winning Australian Writing anthology which was just launched in Melbourne.
I can truly say that my time at Varuna with Tegan was the catalyst for these very affirming developments.
Lynne Cook, 2014 participant

How much does it cost

The fee for the residency is $1,750 including accommodation, workshops and meals.
A special discount is available to all financial Varuna Alumni of $1,450.

How to apply
Varuna will accept applications for the Reading and Writing the Short Story Focus Week from 2 August 2017.

Writers interested in participating in the Reading and Writing the Short Story Week need to submit a short Expression of Interest (EOI) to Varuna in an online application. Your EOI should include a short, specific statement letting us know what you would most like to gain or to work on during the week, a sample of your short story writing (up to 20 pages) and a paragraph about your experience as a writer. Please also include a cover sheet with your name and contact details.

Please save your EOI and your submission (up to 20 pages of short stories), including the downloadable cover sheet, as a single document in PDF format. The title of your saved document should include your name and the words ‘SHORT STORY EOI’ (eg 'Mary Smith SHORT STORY EOI'). Then submit your submission online to Varuna by 5pm (EST) on 30 August 2017.
Please remember to include your name and short story EOI in the subject header.
Applicants will be notified of the selection outcome by 8 September 2017.

More information
If you need further information about the application process email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or about the residency please contact the Varuna Creative Director at Varuna by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone 02-4782 5674.
Further information about staying at Varuna and our programs can be found on our website.

Click here to go back to Focus Week information.

Click HERE to go to GUIDELINES and APPLICATION FORM - applications for the Reading and Writing the Short Story Focus Week will be accepted from 2 August to 30 August 2017