The Affirm Press Mentorship Award offers up to three writers developing exceptional new work the opportunity to work with the Affirm Press publishing team while in residence at Varuna.

Affirm Press Publishers will choose each of the manuscripts because they believe it has the potential to become a publishable work of literary value. It is important for applicants to note that this program does not come with a guarantee of publication.

The residency includes manuscript feedback and meetings with Affirm Press editorial staff, independent writing time in your own private writing studio, accommodation and meals.

Key dates

Applications open 18 March, 2019 and close 30 April 2019.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome by email, and the fellowship recipients will be announced on Varuna's website on 30 July 2019.

The residency will take place between Monday October 28 and Sunday November 3, 2019.


There is a fee of $60 per application. If you have a Healthcare card, the application fee is $30. Fees contribute towards assessment and administrative costs and help sustain this program.

You may submit more than one application, but a separate application form and application fee is required for each submission.

If you are successful, you will be asked to make a contribution of $385 (GST-free) towards your residency and you will need to meet your own travel expenses to and from Varuna. If you have a Healthcare card, you may apply to The Varuna Travel Assistance Fund for a subsidy of up to $300.

What are Affirm Press looking for?

Melbourne-based Affirm Press is dedicated to publishing great Australian stories and the most engaging local authors. They are keen to extend their award-winning kids list, which will be the focus of the Affirm Press Varuna Mentorship this year.

Specifically, Affirm Press is looking for YA manuscripts and middle-grade fiction (10+) with exciting concepts and remarkable characters. Think captivating, heartfelt, funny and warm stories with an uniquely Australian touch. They don't generally trade in genre fiction but are happy to consider manuscripts that have genre elements. Affirm Press is not currently calling for poetry, graphic novels, verse novels, drama scripts, non-fiction or novellas and writers should not submit works in these genres or forms.

Program Details

At the beginning of the week, an Affirm Press editor will meet with you to discuss your project. During the week, the editors will be happy to look at new sections and will also meet up informally with all writers each evening over dinner to chat about publishing and writing. An editor will meet with you again at the end of the week to assess how far you have progressed with developing the manuscript, what has worked, and where next for your project when you leave Varuna.

After the residency Affirm Press will keep in touch, offering further feedback as you develop your manuscript to a completed or reworked draft.

Affirm Press maintains first right of acceptance to your manuscript until they have had the opportunity to read and respond to the completed or reworked draft. At this stage Affirm Press will either release you from this agreement or issue publishing contacts for works they would like to publish or further develop.

                     .. I learnt more in two hours with the publishers than in three and a half years doing this novel as my PhD.
                                                                                                        Participant Feedback, Affirm Mentorship Program

The fine print (application guidelines and application form)


Click HERE to read FAQ

Click HERE to go to Application Guidelines

Apply now