Apply now: Writing Fire, Writing Drought Fellowships

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VARUNA The National Writers’ House: Writing Fire, Writing Drought fellowships will be awarded to five writers from regional NSW and outer-western Sydney in 2020.

We are hoping to support writers to develop new work in response to the drought and bushfire crisis.

Each Writing Fire, Writing Drought fellowship includes a one-week residential fellowship at Varuna, uninterrupted time to write in your own private studio, all meals, the companionship of your fellow writers and a one-hour writing consultation. You will also receive a half-day professional development workshop during your residency.


  • Applications close 27 March 2020
  • The residency will be held from Monday 27 July to Monday 3 August

What you need to send us

You will need to send us a sample of your work (of up to 5000 words), and a proposed work plan for your residency.


For this fellowship, we are interested in your response to this crisis. Your writing might reflect climate, cultural, environmental, historical, political or social issues, and need not focus only on fire and drought — it may be that fire or drought is only one theme out of several in your work. We welcome all genres, including children’s books, essays, fiction, narrative non-fiction, poetry, scripts, screenplays and young adult fiction.

Your submission will be judged on the quality of your writing, the originality of your voice, and the opportunity for development during the residency at this point in your writing career.


Application fees are $65 per application, unless you are a financially current alumni member using your annual fee waiver. Application fees are used to pay professional assessors to read your work. If you have a Healthcare card, the application fee is $30.

If you are successful, you will be asked to make a contribution of $315 towards your residency and you will need to meet your own travel expenses to and from Varuna. If you have a Healthcare card, you may apply to the Varuna Travel Assistance Fund for a subsidy of up to $300. If these fees present a barrier that prevent you from applying, please contact to discuss.


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