2020 Varuna Fellowship for Young Writers


Varuna, the National Writer's HouseWriters SA is once again partnering with Varuna, the National Writers’ House, to offer a residency and development fellowship for a young South Australian writer in 2020.

This opportunity is open to writers and poets who are under 35, are Writers SA members, and are South Australian residents.

The week-long residency will follow the Blue Mountains Writers’ Festival from August 24th to August 31st. (Due to Covid-19, the festival has been cancelled and the recipient of the residency can choose a mutually agreeable week long stay from Oct 2020 to March 2021 – updated 5th May 2020)

The fellowship includes:

  • 7 nights accommodation, including a private space to further develop a work in progress,
  • all meals plus a $300 travel subsidy,
  • an hour-long consultation with one of Varuna’s external writing consultants, to be held during the residency (the consultant will read an extract of up to 10 pages in advance), and
  • offer the fellowship recipient free tickets and access to some events held over the Blue Mountains festival weekend (Friday 21nd August to Sunday 23th August) including access to the writers’ green room.

The recipient must be:

  • under 35 on 1 December 2020,
  • a member of Writers SA at the time of application
  • an SA resident for at least the past 12 months,
  • able to take up the residency on the above dates, and
  • have a current work in progress.

Selection criteria:
The recipient will be selected by Writers SA. Selection will be based on:

  • The impact of the opportunity on the writer,
  • the ambition and potential of the project, and
  • the quality of the support material.

To apply:
Please submit a single PDF document containing the following materials to [email protected]:

  • Your contact details,
  • a bio (max 150 words),
  • a statement addressing how the opportunity will benefit you (max. 250 words),
  • a synopsis of your project (max. 1 page), and artistic support material (writing, illustrations, etc; max. 10 pages including links).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers, and those from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, are encouraged to apply.

Applications close on Friday 29th May, 5pm. The successful recipient will notified by Friday 12th June, 5pm. If you have any questions, feel free to get in contact with us.

Terms and conditions
By entering this application process, you agree to the following terms and conditions:
1. You must be under 35 years of age on the 1st December 2019,
2. You must be a writer with a work in progress,
3. You must be a South Australian resident for at least 12 months,
4. You must be able to take up the residency between the dates of August 24th to August 31st 2020 and if circumstances beyond your control prevent you from attending, you must notify Writers SA of this immediately so another applicant can be offered the fellowship,
5. If the recipient takes up the offer of free access to The Blue Mountains Festival, they do so at their own expense. No diems, meals or accommodation will be offered however there may be an option to billet with a Varuna staff member or book a room at Varuna depending on occupancy over the festival dates. No guarantees are made in relation to this specific offer. ‘Free access’ does not include masterclasses or workshops at the festival,
6. The final recipient will be chosen at the discretion of Writers SA and Varuna. The decision will be final and no discussion will be entered into with applicants or other Writers SA members.



Points 4 and 5 null and void. The recipient will need to work out a date that is mutually agreeable for all parties between Oct 2020 and March 2021.

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