The NT Varuna Residential Fellowship

Supporting outstanding writers and illustrators living and creating new work in the Northern Territory

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In partnership with the Northern Territory Government through Arts NT Varuna the National Writers House is delighted to invite writers and book illustrators living in the Northern Territory to apply for The NT Varuna Residential Fellowship.

Located in the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park Varuna offers writers, songwriters and illustrators seeking uninterrupted time to develop a new work in an inspirational and productive environment and a friendly and collegial atmosphere.

Varuna invites writers from around Australia to enjoy a Varuna residency providing comfortable accommodation and including private study and all meals, for a cohort of up to five writers at a time.


Four fellowships of $3,500 each are available with two Fellowships available for writers and illustrators from the Top End and two for writers and illustrators from the Central Desert region.

Applicants may be developing a new work in any field of creative writing. This could include literary, genre fiction and non-fiction, book illustration and graphic novels, Young Adult and Junior fiction, poetry and songwriting, writing for screen, theatre or radio.

Applicants to this program are able to design a fellowship program that suits their individual needs. Your Fellowship program could include one or more residency weeks at Varuna, a Varuna mentorship during your stay or even a night or two in Sydney on the way through to the Blue Mountains to develop industry networks. You can also apply to be reimbursed for expenses associated with your residency such as travel and incidental expenses (some conditions do apply). Your budget just needs to come in under $3,500.

For further information on how to cost and plan your Fellowship see budget notes on the Application Form. The form is pretty straightforward but if you do have any questions please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Residencies for this program may be taken between January and June 2017. All Varuna Residential weeks run from Monday (arriving from 2pm) to Monday (vacating by 9:30am). For more information on what to expect at Varuna follow the link to our Residency Details.

Selection Criteria

We are looking for applications from NT writers and illustrators who can show achievement and talent in their field of writing as well as being able to articulate clear goals and how The NT Varuna Residential Fellowship will be useful for their creative and professional development.

Applications for The NT Varuna Residential Fellowship will be assessed using the following criteria:

Level of achievement (works completed, published or produced, awards won)
Clarity of work focus and creative objectives (how you will use your time)
Professional benefits to the recipient (where you are now and where you are trying to get to with your writing and how this Fellowship and your current project will help you get there)
Merit of writing or creative sample provided

Selection Process

Selections for The NT Varuna Residential Fellowship will be made by a committee of three Peer Assessors including representatives from Varuna and from the NT.

All decisions are final and no correspondence about the selection process or results will be entered into.

Useful information

Applicants will be notified of the outcome by 30 September 2016.

Successful applicants will need to contact Varuna as soon as possible after notification of their place, to nominate their preferred dates.

To Apply

To apply for a NT Varuna Residential Fellowship you will need to complete the Application Form and submit your completed application through the Varuna Online Submission portal.

(Applications open 30 July 2016)