***Please note this opportunity has now closed. Applications will open again in 2022***



A beautiful space of quietude, productivity, and connection – this was equally a retreat from the everyday, and an opportunity to affirm myself as a writer. (Nicole Cadelina)

We are so thrilled to announce that WestWords and Varuna have once again partnered for the WestWords Varuna Western Sydney Residential Program, offering four emerging Western Sydney writers from diverse backgrounds* the opportunity of a six-day residency at Varuna, The National Writers’ House in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.

The residency will run from 22nd – 28th October, and includes:

  • a mix of mentorship, private writing time as well as social time for unstructured conversation.
  • one-on-one mentorship/consultation with an industry professional
  • six nights’ accommodation at Varuna including meals

The residency is intended for the development of a current project where a significant amount of work has been completed. Prior to taking up the residency successful applicants were required to submit the manuscript they intend working on. This is for the purposes of tailoring the mentorship to your needs, including finding the very best industry mentor for the group.

To apply:

Applications are now closed

Varuna, the National Writers’ House, is Australia’s only national writers retreat devoted exclusively to the development of the literary form. This iconic institution provides the perfect environment for concentrated writing, and has nurtured the work of hundreds of writers for over the last 25 years. Varuna’s residential program runs continuously throughout the year, with up to six writers, each with an identified project, invited to be in residence at Varuna at any one time.

Presented in partnership with


  • For the purposes of this program, “diverse” refers to First Nations, culturally and/or linguistically diverse, living with a disability,  LGBTQIA+. If in doubt, please get in touch.