Applications are now closed. Watch this space to find out who the successful applicant is!


WestWords and the Sydney Review of Books invite applications for a two to three week residency in September-October 2019 at the WestWords Centre for Writing in Parramatta. This residency will be an opportunity for an emerging or established Western Sydney writer to write an essay on place for publication on the Sydney Review of Books. It will allow the writer to develop a site-specific practice and to have their work published alongside Australia’s best writers. This year we are seeking applications that engage with some aspect of the themes of urbanism, suburbanism and sub-urbanism.

This essay will form part of an ongoing portfolio of essays on place published on the Sydney Review of Books. Our place essayists have drawn on history, memoir, urban studies, literary history and other disciplinary tools to explore relationships between place and culture. We’re looking for pitches that are rooted in the physical and social geography of Western Sydney from writers who will benefit from working at one of the WestWord Centre for Writing. To apply for this residency, writers will submit a >300w pitch outlining the essay they want to write and a brief cover letter that maps their writing experience, relationship to Western Sydney, and interest in this project.  The successful applicant will workshop their pitch and process with the SRB editor before taking up the residency; they will work the draft essay into its final published form with the SRB editor at the conclusion of the residency. The successful applicant will be expected to deliver a complete draft of their essay (2500-4000w) within four weeks of the commencement of the residency. The residency essay will be published on the Sydney Review of Books in October 2019.

The successful applicant will receive a $1200 stipend, desk space at the WestWords Centre for Writing in Parramatta, Campbelltown or Blacktown for two weeks (between September and October 2019), editorial oversight and publication on the Sydney Review of Books.

Apply via Submittable.

The applications will be read and judged by a selection panel composed of SRB and WestWords representatives.

Applications due: 23 August 2019.

Send any queries to SRB editor Catriona Menzies-Pike on