Varuna Residency Fellowships 2016

Congratulations to the writers who have been awarded a Varuna Residency Fellowship for 2016.

This year we received 150 applications for Varuna Residency Fellowships. Submissions included applications from both published and yet to be published writers, and came from writers of all states and from diverse cultural backgrounds. Four peer assessors read each applicant's proposal and the 30 fellowships were decided upon through criteria that included calibre of work, uniqueness of voice and clear communication of the proposed work plan. Thank you to all of the applicants who submitted their work for consideration this year. On behalf of all at Varuna and the peer assessment panel we wish you well with your future writing.

The writers awarded a 2016 Varuna Residential Fellowship are:


Awarded for applications of outstanding quality these fellowships offer the writer a three week residency at Varuna to continue the development of their manuscript.

The Mick Dark Flagship Fellowship - Awarded to Brenda Saunders for under storey poetry, a collection of nature poems about the Australian environment 
Established to honor of the amazing legacy of Varuna benefactor and committed conservationist Mick Dark this fellowship is awarded to a writer who is working on a manuscript of outstanding quality in the area of environmental writing. 

The Eleanor Dark Flagship Fellowship Awarded to Anita Smith  for her YA fiction Dirty Heart which tells the story of Harrison Dean who is dared to lose his virginity by the end of a wild and random weekend. Established in memory of Blue Mountains writer Eleanor Dark this writing fellowship is awarded for a fiction application of outstanding quality. 

The Eric Dark Flagship Fellowship Awarded to Carolyn Dowley for her Non-Fiction manuscript Too Much Running thst explores reconnections, to past and present, identity and memory, country and history, as a stolen generation woman travels home. Established in memory of Blue Mountains writer and social activist Eric Dark this writing fellowship is awarded for a non-fiction application of outstanding quality in social, historical or political writing. 

The Dorothy Hewitt Flagship Fellowship Awarded to Caitlin Maling for her collection of poetry Us Girls - a  finding of the intersection of place and gender in Texas and Western Australia. Established in memory of Blue Mountains poet Dorothy Hewitt this writing fellowship is awarded for a poetry collection of outstanding quality. 


Residential Fellowships are awarded to writers currently developing a new work of high potential and offer the writer a two week residency at Varuna to continue the development of their manuscript.

Endeavour by Lynnette Lounsbury (YA fiction)

The British sent their worst to colonise Australia in 1788. It was mostly a disaster. We would never do that again, would we?

Jeanne's Curiosity by Claire Scobie (Fiction)

A novel based on the true story of Jeanne Baret, the first woman to circumnavigate the globe.

The Sand by Cameron Hindrum  (Fiction)

A violent unsolved murder brings several residents of a small town to moments of epiphany addressing their own demons.

Damned Pretty Weird Maddest by Judyth Emanuel (Short Story collection)

At the heart of these stories, dark inarticulate longings emerge.

After Before Time by Robbi Neal (Memoir)

Yarns that explore Aboriginal experience through the voices of aboriginal people

The Guy The Girl and What Happened Next by Gabrielle Williams (YA fiction)

A book about a guy and a girl coming to terms with who they are, who they want to be, and how to get there

Further Fables Queer & Familiar by Margaret Merrilees (Fiction)

A sequel to Fables Queer & Familiar - the life and times of two of lesbian grannies, their family and friends

I'm Losing You by Paul Dalgarno  (Memoir)

A Scots-Australian thirty-something returns to his hometown of Aberdeen without his young children

Tryst by Jarrah Dundler (YA Novel)

Tryst is a young adult novel about broken bonds and brotherhood.

Fight Like A Girl by Clementine Ford (Non-Fiction)

A feminist manifesto for the 21st century and the young women fighting therein.

The Boy the Wolf and the Stars by Shivaun Plozza  (Fiction)

A boy sets to break a curse by defeating a magic wolf and returning the stars to the sky

Higher Education by Elizabeth Smyth (Fiction)

Higher Education is a novel of contemporary fiction set in the tropics

Tattoo by Carmel Reilly (Fiction)

Tattoo explores the nature of grief and retribution and how a moment of ill-judgement led to a sequence of disasters

The Accident by Janine Mikosza (Fiction)

The Accident illuminates the relationship between three siblings struggling to escape the betrayals

The Bird is Light by Nimity James (Fiction)

A drifting portrait of Lucia Joyce, the only daughter of James and Nora Joyce.

The Road to Winter by Mark Smith (YA Fiction)

A Young Adult novel that explores the themes of conflict, identity and survival in a dystopian Australian landscape.

Breaking Silently by Karen West  (YA Fiction)

Breaking Silently is a young adult fiction novel that tells the story of a teenage girl with advanced ovarian cancer.

Executive Order 10450 by Caroline Petit  (Fiction)

Anna Jacobson’s world falls apart when the FBI accuses her of being a Communist.

The Cot by Janey Runci  (Short Story Collection)

Linked stories and a novella about the challenges and complexity of contemporary grand parenting

Dear Vincent (working title) by Heather Taylor Johnson (Poetry Collection)

A poetry collection exploring poetry as art, art as illness narrative, and illness narrative as poetry, through the work

Polluted Sex by Lauren Foley (Short Story Collection)

A short story cycle exploring constructs of femininity in The Republic of Ireland at the turn of the last century.

Wishes Come True by Kim Fleming (Illustrated Children's Book)

A solitary polar bear embarks on an epic journey to find a new home and finds friendship along the way.

Wimmera by Mark Brandi  (Fiction)

Fab and Ben share a terrible secret from their youth but a chance discovery threatens to uncover their past.

StrokeCorrection by NatalieKestecher (Fiction)

On her 50th birthday Naomi discovers that her husband's bisexual and the promotion she wanted has gone to the intern

Chipped Bowl by Anne Hotta (Short Story Collection)

The manuscript is a collection of short stories set in Australia and in Japan.

Algiers by Michelle Hamadache (Memoir)

An ethnographic memoir, Algiers tells the story of a young Australian girl falling in love with an Algerian Muslim man.

Vera Costello