Ray Koppe Young Writers Residency

The Ray Koppe Young Writers' Residency for associate members of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) is part of the Varuna Residential Partnerships.

Associate members of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) are invited to apply for a one-week residency at Varuna, The Writers’ House, located in the Blue Mountains of NSW at 141 Cascade St, Katoomba.



The residency has been established by the Koppe family as a tribute to their mother, Ray Koppe. Ray, who for many years managed the business affairs of the ASA, was always passionately interested in and supportive of young writers. This residency is targeted at writers under the age of 30 who are Associate members of the ASA and are not authors of a published book.


The Residency

The residency iincludes a week’s residency at Varuna and offers the recipient a private working space to further develop a work-in-progress, as well as accommodation and meals.

The dates of the residency are arranged with Varuna with the The Recipietn able to take the award at any time between 1 July and 30 June in the year that the award was offered. Travel expenses are not covered.

ASA and Varuna ask the recipient to acknowledge The Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Residency in any published work associated with time spent at Varuna.


‘The ASA is proud to be associated with this residency, aimed at assisting writers in the early stages of their career. The project reflects Ray Koppe’s passion for supporting authors and authorship – and keeps her name alive in the organisation she loved and served for so many years.’
ASA Executive Director Angelo Loukakis




2015 Chloe Higgins

2014 Danielle Binks, you can find out more about Danielle and the award here

2013 Hannah Bent (The 2013 Residency was awarded to Hannah Bent for her work-in-progress, a novel set in Hong Kong in 1997 - see below for full announcement)

2012 Dimitra Harvey (The 2012 Residency was awarded to Dimitra Harvey from Sydney, for her contemporary verse novel ‘Poems from Saru’.)

2011 Renae Gibson (The 2011 inaugural Residency winner was Perth-based writer Renae Gibson, for her children’s fantasy novel ‘Enter the Dusk’.)


Who should apply

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • be a current Associate member of the ASA
  • be under the age of 30 on the closing date
  • have a writing project you wish to work on in the creative genres of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, young adult literature or children’s books
  • not be the author of a published book (see FAQs for definition)
  • not be under contract to publish any book (see FAQs below for definition)
  • have no more than five short pieces in total published in journals, collections and/or anthologies, including commissioned creative blog-posts. You do not . need to have any pieces published to be eligible to apply.




Please click here for Ray Koppe Young Writers' Residency application information on the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) website.


Selection criteria

Applications will be assessed on:

  1. the creative substance of your project, as demonstrated by the half-page summary; and
  2. literary merit, as demonstrated by the sample of your work.



Selection process

Applications will be considered by a panel of ASA judges, drawn from experienced writers across a range of genres. It is expected that the selection process will be completed within six weeks of the closing date for applications.


FAQs for The Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Residency downloadable here


Ray Koppe Young Writers' Residency 2013 Winner Announcement

The Australian Society of Authors is delighted to present the results of the 2013 Ray Koppe Young Writers' Residency. This year's Residency at Varuna, The Writers' House has been awarded to Hannah Bent for her work-in-progress, a novel set in Hong Kong in 1997.

This annual program provides a one-week stay at Varuna to an unpublished Australian writer under 30, to support the development of a new work. The ASA received the highest number of submissions for the 2013 program. The quality and diversity of the applications reflected the healthy state of young Australian writing.

Bent's untitled manuscript follows 22-year-old Joyce Ya Xin and her twin sister Callista, who has Down syndrome. When Callista is denied a heart transplant, Joyce finds herself at odds with her family and culture in confronting how far she will go to save her sister.

Assessor Hazel Edwards stated that Bent's work was keenly observed, with realistic characterisation which 'gives the reader the reassurance of being in the world of a competent storyteller.' Assessor Lynne Spender noted the work's universal appeal, its skilful exploration of issues and use of contrasting locations. Spender commented that the work had 'an authentic voice ... and an entirely credible description of people and places.' Bent's background in filmmaking was evident in the extract, and the panel enjoyed her ironic humour.

Assessors commended four applicants:

  • Jay Carmichael, for his YA-literary fiction novel Ironbark, which showed elements of insight and an understanding of young male characters
  • Trinity Doyle, for her edgy, convincing and contemporary YA novel Hungry Sun
  • Julie Koh, for her well-plotted novella The Man Who Held the Universe in his Mind, which included well-placed botanical details
  • Nicole Lee, for her novella Salvation, Tibet which demonstrated imaginative use of medical detail.