WestWords-Varuna Residency
2019 winners


The 2019 successful WestWords-Varuna residents completed their residency on 21st-25th October 2019!

Congratulations to James Elazzi, Erin Sayers, Tina Nyfakos and Gonzallo Cappielli! They will be spending a week at Varuna the Writing house being mentored by a television screenwriter turned crime novelist, Andy Muir and publisher and editor, Jody Lee.


Gonzalo Cappielli The Warehouse Boys – screenplay
Brief description: Changes to industrial relations laws force a stoner, a gambler and a doomsday prepper to unionize and lead their work mates in a battle for their working rights.

“I have completed a second draft of my screenplay (currently 116 pages) and will be looking to tighten it up as much as possible. If I’m successful I really look forward to any help and insight that I can get with this, particularly in terms of structure and pacing. I guess what I want to achieve is to have is to have a final draft done that I can be proud of.”

Tina Nyfakos (Nadir – literary fiction)
Nadir, follows a twenty-three year old girl in the throes of mental illness, over a period of five days. It is an anti-coming-of-age novella.

“I plan on working on my novella, re-writing and editing the draft, ideally rewriting it as a novel.  I already have major plot changes in mind, and would like to receive feedback or advice from an external figure. I hope that a change in environment, especially one dedicated to creativity, will give me the motivation to write the novel I know I am capable of writing”.

Erin Sayers Rephlexa Book One – Unveiled – YA fiction
Grace, an inventor and high school student, discovers an alternate world on the other side of every mirror, a world of magic and steampunk on the verge of civil war. She becomes embroiled in the fight for both the mirror world and her own.

“I want to undertake a new edit and refine with feedback a crisper version of the novel. I also want to prepare for the starting of the second book in the series. For me, this is time to get out of my head and objectively curate the best version of the book”.

James Elazzi Lady Tabouli – drama script
Lady Tabouli is about a young Lebanese man, being forced to come out to his family.  Secrets will out, and amidst the sugared almonds and balloon deliveries, Danny discovers the true colours of those to whom he’s closest.

I hope to finish the Lady Tabouli script and then write a screenplay of Son of Byblos for a feature film (currently a play). I write scripts that I believe if I had read ten years ago, would’ve changed the course of my adult life. I write to change and expose taboos within my Lebanese heritage. I have always dealt with the dissection of my Lebanese heritage and my Australian background. Mix this with deriving from a large Lebanese family, having this week to focus on my writing, could and will be immensely vital to me.

Congratulations to all

Presented in partnership with Varuna, The Writers’ House