Pencil drawing of the exterior of the main house at Varuna by artist and fellow Libby Hyett
(Image Credit: Libby Hyett, 2020)

WestWords-Varuna Fellowships

The four WestWords-Varuna emerging writers in residence and their mentor, Wai Chim, have each had a chance to reflect on their week in Katoomba, and here’s what a couple of them had to say.
It was such a pleasure to spend a week (and a couple of afternoons!) with such a generous, kind and talented group of people and that I was deeply grateful for the thought that went into making sure that we had such a supported time. (Nicole Lee)
A beautiful space of quietude, productivity, and connection – [this week] was equally a retreat from the everyday, and an opportunity to affirm myself as a writer. (Nicole Cadelina)
I was a bit surprised to be asked what I wanted!! I didn’t expect to have input choosing the mentor. 🙂   Wai was the ideal mentor for me. I responded so strongly to her book that I felt comfortable sharing my vision for my work with her and hearing her feedback. (Libby Hyett)
This has been a great opportunity and I’m glad I applied when I did even though I was hesitant/doubted my work.  (Samara Lo)
And finally, from Wai Chim: The Varuna experience was wonderful, I’ve heard so much about this wonderful writing space nestled in the Blue Mountains and I know why it’s been so heralded and celebrated amongst the writers. … It was very rewarding to be a part of this valuable and unique experience to nurture and develop emerging writers in Western Sydney.  (Wai Chim)
Thanks to Varuna and staff for making this such a wonderful experience for these writers, even in these challenging times. Thanks to Wai for doing such a sterling job as mentor, and extra special thanks to the writers themselves for opening up their work and their minds, and for creating such a warm and nurturing environment for each other. We can’t wait to see where your work takes you, and who applies in 2021!