Each year, the program gives 13 selected writers of novels, short stories, poetry and non-fiction the chance to nurture their manuscripts to publication stage with:
1. Private writing time
Immerse yourself in the natural drama of the Blue Mountains with a one-week residency at Varuna, where there is nothing to do but write. Of course, you can also indulge in fine food, celebrate your breakthroughs with the four other resident writers or walk to nearby World Heritage rainforests and towering sandstone escarpments.
2. A literary mentor
Your time at Varuna is about creative solitude, but you can also tap into the expertise of Varunaâ€™s experienced consultants, all current writers working on their own projects. You will be matched with a mentor who understands manuscript development and knows the publishing process. Your mentor will be there when you need a fresh perspective, offering friendly, professional guidance to bring your work to fruition. And the support doesnâ€™t end when you leave Varuna â€” your mentor will read your final work, when you are ready, to help make sure the final draft is true to your vision.
3. A date with a publisher
Having your work read by the right people is a critical step towards publication, but standing out from the crowd can be hard. The jewel in the crown of the Publisher Introduction Program is the guarantee that your manuscript will be read by one of seven leading Australian publishers â€” Allen and Unwin, Pan Macmillan, Picaro Press, Random House, Scribe Publications, Text Publishing or UQP. Your writing mentor will support you in the process of presenting your final manuscript to the publisher for their consideration.
4. Be part of a writing community
We all know about the isolation of a writing life. Varuna helps writers forge enduring friendships through the Varuna alumni community. And for Publisher Introduction Program writers who need a little extra help, thereâ€™s also the Writing Development Program.
For more information on how to apply, click on the following link:
To identify outstanding new Writers who are developing high calibre, relevant new work and to offer these writers the opportunity for their work to come to the attention of a leading Publisher,
To provide Publishers with an opportunity to make a connection with exceptional new writers creating interesting new work,
To offer new Writers an environment of guidance, community and conversation in which to develop their work,
To provide Writers with an experienced reader of their manuscript and to assist the writer in choosing the appropriate time to submit their work to the publisher.
To be eligible for one of 13 one-week fellowships you will need to submit your manuscript and a one-page outline of your project by 28 November 2013. Your pages should express the idea behind your writing project and illustrate your style as a writer.
A panel of Varuna Consultants will read all applications and make a shortlist of proposals to present to one of seven publishers. From this shortlist the publishers will select thirteen writers for fellowships.
From a writer who has been awarded a Publisher Introduction Fellowship
Having finished my manuscript after five long years, I fully expected to hang rejection after rejection on a railroad spike, adopt a grizzled countenance for a few years and wait out a long literary winter. Instead, I was awarded a Varuna Publisher Fellowship and found myself editing my manuscript at Eleanor Darkâ€™s writing desk. The professional consultation I received at Varuna was insightful, intelligent and invaluable. Amongst other things, it allowed me to solve a long-standing problem with the contemporary strand of my novel. All of this would have been more than enough for an emerging writer but I am very pleased to say that because of this Fellowship, University of Queensland Press will be publishing my novel, entitled 'Letters to the End of Love', in April 2013. Y. E. Walker, Perth, Western Australia (2011 Publisher Fellowship recipient)
ACT Writers' Centre Blog
Who should apply
We encourage writers working on the development of a new work of fiction, narrative non-fiction or writing for young adults to apply for Varuna's Publisher Introduction Program.
Drafts submitted may be for full-length works, novellas, short stories, and/or poetry.
Projects may be at any stage of development but you do need to be confident of your direction and voice for the work and be able to show clear evidence of this within your submitted pages.
We do not accept proposals for instructional non-story genres eg handbooks, guidebooks, cookbooks, self-help books, textbooks or proposals for the development of Children's books or play or film scripts.
Publisher Introduction Fellowships are only available to writers aged 18 years and over and who are Australian citizens or permanent residents.
We expect most submissions for Varuna's Publisher Introduction Program to be from new or emerging writers, but only writers who are actively contracted to a particular publisher for the submitted work are excluded from applying.
Applications are accepted from 14 October 2013 and must be received (electronically) by 5pm on 28 November 2013.
Shortlisted applicants will be announced on the Varuna website (Varuna News) on 30 January 2014.
Final selections will be available on the Varuna website by 31 March 2014.
Costs To Applicant
$110 per application. Fees cover administrative costs and help sustain this program.
Please note that all successful applicants are asked to make a contribution of $350 towards their seven-night residency. Publisher Introduction Fellowship residencies include all board and accommodation and a consultation with one of Varuna's writing consultants.
No travel fund is available, but State and Territory arts departments are often willing to provide a contribution for travel expenses to support genuine professional development opportunities.
What the publishers say about the program (Selection Criteria)
Allen & Unwin
Varuna has long been a supporter of Australian writing and Allen & Unwin feel privileged to have the opportunity to work in partnership with them on the important work of discovering and nurturing new Australian voices.
Allen & Unwin are looking for strong, original voices in commercial and literary fiction. We will also consider literary non-fiction and narrative writing.
We are looking for original voices who are skilled in the art of storytelling, as well as the craft. Fiction that is compelling and distinctive, and serious non-fiction that engages with the world at large.
We are not looking to be prescriptive. Surprising us is probably the best strategy. Still, what performs well doesn't always make the best page poetry. Innovate by all means but creativity isn't an end in itself. The one thing which never fails to impress is good craft.
Varuna is renowned as a centre offering writing time, feedback and space to writers new and established. Like all workplaces these days, publishing houses are busy, busy hives and it can be difficult to pull your head out of the work of writers you have been working with for a while and point your nose into environments where you can discover new talent. Varuna's Publisher Introduction Program is a wonderful opportunity to read new voices.
I am looking for fiction (no science fiction or fantasy) and narrative non fiction featuring a strong voice, interesting ideas and confident storytelling. Books with something to say. I receive hundreds of fiction manuscripts each year but not enough non fiction.
Varunaâ€™s Publisher Fellowship Program is a wonderful way for us to connect with writers early on in the writing process, and to spot talented authors and potential books that would suit Scribeâ€™s list. It enables us to make connections with writers whose careers we would like to launch and/or develop further.
At Scribe weâ€™re looking for quality non-fiction and fiction. In terms of non-fiction, itâ€™s books that matter and make a difference, and are well written and informative. In terms of fiction, itâ€™s novels that are distinctive and outstanding, with a strong narrative voice and a compelling story.
At Text we publish a very broad range of fiction and non-fiction, for adults and young adults. We are looking for original voices and quality writing.
University of Queensland Press (UQP)
We are interested in Australian works of adult fiction, issues-based and narrative non-fiction and literary young adult fiction.
We are always looking for innovative and imaginative books. Working with Varuna and their upcoming writers is a great way for UQP to search for new Australian talent and to keep involved with the local writing community. UQP is a proud publisher of Australian authors so itâ€™s nice to be able to read new voices that are supported through Varunaâ€™s amazing program.
For more information on how to apply click on the following link: