This year we selected 30 unpublished manuscripts written by new or emerging Australian writers to send to our seven publishing partners.
From these shortlisted manuscripts, we have asked our publishing partners to each select either one or two manuscripts to award the writer a PIP Fellowship, which includes a one-week residency, a literary mentor and the guarantee that the writer's manuscript will be read by one of seven leading Australian publishers.
We thank each of our Publishing partners for taking the time to consider the work of these writers. We also thank Varuna consultants Helen Barnes Bulley, Carol Major, Stephen Measday and Vanessa Kirkpatrick who assessed the 194 manuscripts that writers submitted to Varuna for the 2017 program.
And the writers and their manuscripts are . . .
Higher Education by Elizabeth Smyth (Young adult fiction)
A teenage girl struggles to escape poverty and neglect.
No Offence Mum But... by Mary-Ellen Mullane (Fiction)
Poppy Davis gives advice to troubled parents of teenagers while secretly living in fear of her 17-year-old daughter.
SAYFO - Year of the Sword by Sarah Lindenmayer (Narrative non-fiction)
The true story of an Anzac who rescued 90,000 Assyrian refugees from genocide during the Great War.
The Beat of a Wing by Susan Francis (Memoir)
Am I ready to find out who I really am?
The Dreamers of Dreams by Frances Chapman (Young adult fiction)
Guitarist Taylor Donadi yearns for success, but when fame beckons she must choose between the music and the dream.
Always Greener by Michelle Marquardt (Young adult fiction)
To escape starvation on a distant, hostile world, a fifteen-year-old girl must confront terrible secrets.
Burning Jane Austen's Letters by Janet Lee (Historical fiction)
Historical fiction set in Hampshire, 1843, when Cassandra Austen is sorting and destroying Jane Austen's letters.
Ebony Black by Rachel Bowen (Young adult fiction)
Sixteen-year-old Ebony is murdered then resurrected as a warrior chosen to hunt killers.
Inside the Tiger by Hayley Lawrence (Young adult fiction)
A girl from an elite Sydney boarding school writes to a Thai death row prisoner and falls for him, destroying them both.
South Sea Trouble by Phillipa Fioretti (Crime fiction)
Historical detective novel set in Sydney in 1912.
A Moth to the Flame by Emily Stoikovich (Fiction)
When two women's lives fall apart they forge an unlikely friendship that ultimately saves them.
DreamWalker by Tyswan Slater (Young adult fiction)
Trapped in the underbelly of dystopian neo-Sydney, a middle-class princess betrays a paranormal cult to catch a killer.
Sand Child by Eleni Hale (Young adult fiction)
She survived being a home's kid but the struggle isn't over.
The Uncharted Kingdom by Fiona Reilly (Narrative non-fiction)
A rollicking, dangerous journey of self-discovery in search of 'The Real China', with children in tow.
Beating the Big Australian by Diana Covell (Narrative non-fiction)
Unlocking the inside story of the Wollongong Jobs for Women Campaign and landmark legal battle with BHP.
Faded Yellow by the Winter by Scott Pearce (Fiction)
Faded yellow by the winter is a mythic novel about boys and men, Australian Rules Football, and living off the land.
Granite Belt by Malcolm Steele (Fiction)
In 1976, in a small country town, three people live, love and die.
Repentance by Alison Gibbs (Fiction)
A literary novel set in 1976 in the fictional town of Repentance, NSW.
Loading Zone by Owen Ravenscroft (Fiction)
A wealthy, substance-abusing sociopath repairs his disorder to regain family but some hurts can't be forgiven.
Love Care and Forgiveness by Bruce Fell (Fiction)
Terminally-ill convicted murderer, Darren Ashley Circus, reflects on the life of his official visitor, Sister Marion Wes.
The Reunion by Silvia Kwon (Short stories)
A collection of stories set in Asia, Australia and America.
What They Didn't Say by Janine Mikosza (Fiction)
One mistake in her childhood altered the course of her future; how far will she go to atone for the past?
Head Space by Polly Jude (Young adult fiction)
YA Fiction about dealing with suicide and growing up.
In the Time of Fever by Bill Collopy (Fiction)
A luckless digger, forced to take police work, fights an outbreak of fever and a crime syndicate in gold-rush Melbourne.
Leave Them All Behind and Other Stories by Craig Billingham (Short stories)
A collection of interconnected short stories.
Rescuing Chang by Irma Gold (Young adult fiction)
Two Australians begin rescuing maltreated elephants, together traveling deep into the dark side of the tourism industry.
Invisible Ink by Margaret Patrikeos (Narrative non-fiction)
A daughter's memoir of an absent father.
Liberté by Bill Collopy (Speculative fiction)
France arrives first, thwarting a penal colony, so Britain starts a rebellion with the aboriginal tribes for a price.
Mending Heart by Anne Hotta (Short stories)
In this collection of short stories set in Australia and Japan, the protagonists struggle to overcome their dilemmas.
Where Love Should Be by Diana Leach (Fiction)
It appears Alan's mid-life crisis unravels the Waterman family but we discover there are more sinister forces at play.