Varuna Residential Fellowships for Writers 2019

Program Guidelines & Application Form

Please note that the application process has four steps:

STEP 1: Prepare your submission
STEP 2: Online Form (Part A)         
STEP 3: Payment Page (Part B)     
STEP 4: Submission Upload (Part C)

STEP 1 - Prepare Your Submission - Formatting Guidelines

You will need to have saved your submission (cover page plus up to 50 pages of your work) as a single PDF before you start the application procedure (Parts A, B & C). 

Your application should include:

  • Cover page (details of what to include below)
  • Up to 50 pages of your work (consecutive pages from your manuscript). Please note that while 50 pages is the upper limit, projects submitted with fewer than 30 pages are unlikely to be competitive. 

Your cover page should include the following details:

  • The name of your manuscript
  • A logline (1-2 line description of your project)
  • A brief synopsis of the work (approx. 200 words)
  • Brief outline of your intended work plan while at Varuna, bearing in mind that a Fellowship will normally be taken some months after your application (approx. 100 words)
  • Brief outline of previous writing experience, if it includes previously published works please identify the publisher or journal but do not include the title of the work (approx. 100 words)

Your work should be formatted as follows:

  • Submitted work should be in English, typed in Times New Roman (font size 12), double-spaced and generous margins (at least 3cm on left and right).
  • Please do not right-hand justify your paragraphs, as this makes the manuscript harder for our assessors to read.
  • You should include an identifying title and the page number on the top right corner of each page. 
  • Please do take the time to carefully check your manuscript for spelling and grammatical errors. If you require assistance with this process, Varuna can put you in touch with professional editorial services.
  • When work is double-spaced, it can be hard discerning where one paragraph ends and another begins. For this reason, we stress the importance of indenting the first line of each new paragraph (you can set up the style in Word to do this automatically). New paragraphs should also be used for each new speaker of dialogue.
  • As we assess submissions 'blind' it is very important that you do not include your name or identifying details on any portion of your submission, including your cover page.

You will need to save your submission as a single PDF document

  • You will need to save and upload your cover page and up to 50 pages as a single PDF document.
  • Please use the name of your manuscript as the PDF submission name. To save your file as a PDF your submission name will need to be 25 characters or less.

Click here for tips on how to convert word doc to pdf - it may simply be a matter of 'saving' your document as a PDF.


  • While there is no limit to how often you may apply for a Varuna fellowship, we request that you do not resubmit a work that you have already submitted in a previous year unless there has been substantial reworking/revision.
  • Applicants can submit a maximum of two applications.

Click here to see a sample submission.

Varuna reserves the right to not process applications that do not follow the formatting guidelines.

STEP 2: Complete the online Application Form (Part A)

Remember you will need to have saved your submission (cover page plus up to 50 pages) as a single PDF document before you start the application procedure.

Instructions are included in the form. 

When you have successfully submitted your Application Form (Part A), you will be taken to the Payment Page (Part B).

Please complete Online Form (Part A) once only per application.

STEP 3: Make Your Payment (Part B)

After submitting Part A you will be taken to the Payment Page (Part B) where you can either:

• pay the application fee by Paypal if you have a Paypal account
• or pay by credit card if you do not have a Paypal account.

The application fee is $65 (GST-free). If you are a holder of a current Healthcare card, the application fee is $30 (GST-free). If you are experiencing financial hardship and cannot pay this fee, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Payment must be made before you can upload your submission (Part C).

Payment must be made by midnight (AEST) on the closing date.

Following payment, PayPal will issue you a receipt – it’s important that you keep this for your records.

Following successful payment you will be taken to a Thank You page with a link to the Submission Upload Page (Part C).

STEP 4: Upload Your Submission (Part C))

After you have completed your payment (Part B) you will be taken to a Thank You page with a link to the Submission Upload Page (Part C) where you can upload your submission.

 Your submission should include up to 50 pages of your draft manuscript (See Formatting Guidelines above) and a cover sheet.

After uploading your submission successfully you will be taken to a Thank You screen – this completes your application.

If there is any problem with your application, Varuna will be in touch via email. To ensure that you receive the email from Varuna, you need to add Varuna's email address (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to your address book and you may need to whitelist Varuna - click here for instructions.


In submitting an application, applicants agree to the following conditions:

• Applications must comply with the program's requirements as set out in the Program Guidelines.
• Applicants must be 18 years or older.
• Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents.
• Writers who have previously been awarded a fellowship are required to wait three years before applying again for another fellowship e.g. if you were awarded a fellowship in 2014 (for residency in 2015), you can reapply in 2018 (for residency in 2019).
• Submitted material must be the applicant's own original work.
• Submissions must be uploaded (electronically) by the deadline. Late applications are not considered.
• Application materials are not returned under any circumstances. After the selection process is finished, materials are responsibly disposed of.
• Individual feedback is not provided to unsuccessful applicants.
• The applicant's name or identifying details must not be included on any portion of the uploaded manuscript or support material.
• Varuna retains information from application forms for one year.


Applicants retain copyright of their material but agree to their work being used as stated in this program's description.

To view Varuna's Privacy Policy, click here.

Feedback To Applicants

The selectors' decisions are final. Selectors do not discuss the selection process or offer individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

If you would like to receive more specific feedback on your manuscript Varuna is happy to provide writers with structured and ongoing support through our Writer Development Program.

We value the effort you've made to submit your work and we wish you well with your application.

Disclaimer: Varuna reserves the right to make changes to its advertised programs and all applications are accepted subject to this proviso.

Keeping up to date with Varuna's programs

If you are interested in receiving news of other programs, events and news at Varuna, you can subscribe to Varuna eNews by going to Varuna's Mailing List page. You can also keep up to date by visiting regularly.

 Applications close 30 July 2018

  • Submission saved as per the guidelines above.
  • Data for Online Form (Part A) prepared including log line and manuscript name.
  • Payment ($65/$30) can be made using Paypal.


CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE TO APPLICATION FORMS   (applications open 16 June 2018)