Applying for a Residency


A Varuna Invitation-by-Request Residency offers peaceful writing accommodation at Varuna the National Writers House, a writing retreat. With independent writing time and the opportunity to work within a community of writers, Varuna is unique in its service to Australian literary culture.

If you wish to be considered for an Invitation-by-Request Residency you will need to have an identified creative writing project on which you are working as well as a commitment to an ethos of concentrated work and collegial support. As with all our writing residencies, Invitees are expected to work in a self-directed manner on a project.

Invitation-by-Request residents may also wish to incorporate within their residency a Writer Development consultation service with one of Varuna’s creative writing consultants. This should be booked in well in advance of the residency week.

We often find that those wishing to take an Invitation-by-Request Residency are also interested in the Varuna Focus Week Program and the Varuna Writer Development Residencies.

Can I Request An Invitation for a Group Residency?

Varuna has space in the house for five residents at a time and can take block bookings for one week (Monday afternoon to the following Monday morning) depending on availability in the house.

This can be suitable for groups of creative writing students, or writing groups. If your group would like to include some structured time with a Varuna creative writing consultant within your residency this can also be negotiated.

How much does it cost?

Our Invitation-by-Request Residency offers full bed and board and private working space in the special environment of Varuna for $1050 (including GST) per week.

All Varuna residential programs run from Monday, after 2:00pm, to the following Monday morning, leaving by 9:30am.

A consultation costs $295 (up to 15,000 words) or $665 (up to 70,000 words).

How do I book for an Invitation-by-Request residency?

To find out if there is a vacancy when you would like to come, or to inquire about a vacancy week (if shown below), please complete an Invitation by Request Form with your date preferences and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If the nature of your project aligns with Varuna's purpose and your request is approved and we are able to accommodate your request, you will be invited to book a residency - emailed a residency form to complete and return to us with payment. Once your forms and payment are received, your booking is officially confirmed.

Vacancies in 2017

December 4-11

To be put on the waiting list in case of a cancellation for 2017, or to request a week in the first half of 2018, please complete a 2017 request form and email it to Vera at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Dates for the period January to May 2018 will be known late October.

Want more information?

For information about the Varuna, the National Writers House or for practical details about staying at Varuna please see residency details and staying at Varuna sections of the website. If you have any further questions please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
If you still want to know more about the experience of staying at Varuna you may enjoy this short video clip made by Mark Welker who stayed at Varuna in 2010.

Varuna's strength is the combination of being so well connected into Australia's vibrant literary community, yet offering a serene and undisturbed place simply to write.

The most productive and nurturing literary retreat in Australia, by far.

My writing has never been more productive or satisfying as during my Varuna retreat.

Meg Vann, June 2017

This has been one of my best experiences ever. I have never felt so inspired and productive. My plan is now to make this an annual event.

… I felt so comfortable and productive and the atmosphere helped me think about how to find my own voice within my non-fiction genre.

The character of the 1930s house was valuable for me, even the retro bathroom. The discussions about writing were so valuable.

The quiet was the most crucial thing and the windows and the bookshelves, and the access to local walks. Dinners were wonderful! An excellent system of self-serve during the day and fantastic home cooked shared meal at night.

Helen Proctor, August 2012

More in this category: Alumni Residencies »