Flagship Fellowships

Flagship Fellowships are awarded to exceptional applications, and offer a three-week residency (with the exception of the Henry Handel Richardson Fellowship and the Ray Koppe/ASA Young Writer’s Fellowship, which are awarded for two weeks).

Flagship Fellowships are awarded by the Peer Selection panel as part of the Varuna Residential Fellowships assessment process and do not need a separate application.

The Flagship Fellowships are:

Eleanor Dark Fellowship – Fiction

Established in memory of Blue Mountains writer Eleanor Dark, this writing fellowship will be awarded to a fiction application of outstanding quality.

Eric Dark Fellowship - Non-fiction

Established in memory of Blue Mountains writer and social activist Eric Dark, this writing fellowship will be awarded for a non-fiction application of outstanding quality in social, historical or political writing.

Varuna Poetry Fellowship

This fellowship will be awarded for a poetry application of outstanding quality.

Mick Dark Fellowship

Established in memory of Mick Dark, who bequeathed Varuna House to the writers of Australia, this writing fellowship will be awarded to outstanding Environmental Writing.

Henry Handel Richardson Fellowship - Short Story Writing

Offered in partnership with the Henry Handel Richardson Society, this award promotes the life and legacy of Henry Handel Richardson as a significant Australian author and encourages excellence in Australian short story writing. This award is offered every second year and will next be offered in the 2021 program.

Ray Koppe/ASA Young Writer’s Fellowship

Offered in partnership with the Australian Society of Authors, and generously supported by the Ray Koppe bequest, this flagship fellowship is offered to a writer under the age of 35 who is as yet unpublished. The fellowship includes two weeks residency (with accommodation and all food), a one-hour consultation, a year’s membership to the Australian Society of Authors, and travel subsidy for writers outside of NSW.

The residency has been established by the Koppe family as a tribute to their mother, Ray Koppe. Ray, who for many years managed the business affairs of the ASA, was always passionately interested in, and supportive of, young writers. 

The recipient will be asked to acknowledge The Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Residency in any published work associated with time spent at Varuna. 

Past winners include Holden Sheppard (2017), Nick Couldwell (2016), Chloe Higgins (2015), Danielle Binks (2014), Hannah Bent (2013), Dimitra Harvey (2012) and Renae Gibson (2011).