Varuna Residential Fellowships

Varuna Residential Fellowships offer two to three weeks of full board and accommodation at Varuna including a prepared evening meal, uninterrupted time to write in your own private studio, the companionship of your fellow writers and a one-hour Varuna Conversation with a Varuna consultant.

In 2020, Varuna will offer 24 Varuna Residential Fellowships, including our prestigious Flagship Fellowships.

Key dates

Applications for the 2020 residency program will open June 16, 2019 and close midnight on July 30, 2019.

Varuna Residential Fellowships can be taken between January and the end of May 2020.

What you need to send us

You will need to send us between 7,000 and 10,000 words from the beginning of your manuscript, along with a synopsis of the entire work.  For poetry, you need to send us a selection of 10 poems.

What we are looking for

Varuna welcomes manuscripts from writers working in all creative forms, including fiction, drama, poetry, children’s books, and narrative non-fiction. Artistic merit is the most important criterion for our assessors, who are looking for strongly written characters, sound structure, compelling themes, a distinctive and engaging voice, and social and cultural relevance. Our assessors also consider the potential of your manuscript, based on the experience of the writer and their work plan.


Application fees are $65 per application, unless you are a financially current alumni member using your annual fee waiver. Application fees are used to pay professional assessors to read your work. If you have a Healthcare card, the application fee is $35.

If you are successful, you will be asked to make a contribution of $315 per week towards your residency (note that this fee is waived for the Henry Handel Richardson fellowship).

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. 

The fine print (preparing your submission, FAQ and application form)


Clive Jones