Applications close midnight 14 December 2018

For further details, including how to apply, visit or phone (02) 4782 5674.

Varuna – the National Writers’ House
Eleanor Dark Foundation Ltd
141 Cascade St
Katoomba NSW 2780
Phone: (02) 4782 5674

The 2019 round of fellowships for Indigenous writers is now open under a program developed by Varuna the National Writers’ House, Magabala Books, Sydney University and the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. 

“Australian Indigenous writing continues to represent some of the most vibrant and significant work taking place in Australia today, and Varuna is committed to supporting this work” said Veechi Stuart, Executive Director, Varuna. “A $30,000 grant over three years has enabled the Copyright Agency Fellowships for First Nations Writers.” 

The program invites both unpublished and published Indigenous writers to apply for a one-week residency at Varuna, the National Writers’ House. Set in the Blue Mountains of NSW, Varuna is well known for its support of the writing process and the development of Australian literature. Each residency includes full board and accommodation including a room and writing studio for each writer, and all travel expenses to and from Varuna. 

“Like art, dance, cinema and all forms of creative expression, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature is central to the cultural strength and vitality of Indigenous communities, and to how we share knowledge and understanding with one another,” said Peter Minter, Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Sydney. 

“Since editing the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature with Dr Anita Heiss in 2008, I’ve seen sensational growth in Indigenous writing across all genres, and the new Copyright Agency Fellowships for First Nations Writers that Varuna is offering are a terrific new development in support for these writers.”

As a key partner in the program, Rachel bin Salleh, from leading Indigenous publisher Magabala Books, will be involved in selecting applications for the program. Magabala Books will also undertake to appraise all works completed by writers as a result of attending the fellowship program, with an option for possible publication.

Rachel bin Salleh said “Indigenous writing is important because we are thadae original storytellers for this country. We have been telling stories for an exceptionally long time, and we would like to continue with our practices in an environment that will help support and nurture creativity.”

In 2018, the inaugural recipients of this fellowship were Adam Thompson, Caitlin Smith, Declan Furber Gillick, Lisa Fuller, Mangatjay McGregor and Tyson Yunkaporta.