Writing Residencies in Australia

The team at KSP is incredibly proud of its residency programs. They offer writers the valuable opportunity to add to their CV, focus on the production of creative work and network with others in the industry. In Australia, we are lucky to have a couple of programs available - not quite so much as in the United States and Europe, but better than nothing at all!

After extensive research, it seems Australia has only three dedicated residency programs for writers: KSP Writers' Centre (WA), Varuna the Writer's House (NSW), and Peter Cowan Writers Centre (WA). There are two other residency programs for artists in Australia, which includes writers, Bundanon (NSW) and Bilpin (NSW). You'll find links in the list below. Good luck.

KSP Writers’ Centre, Greenmount, Western Australia

KSP has residency programs that cater to writers from Australian and overseas. Categories include Established, Emerging and Young Writers which includes a weekly salary as well as a new Fellowship program. Applications open at the start of each year with mid-to-late year deadlines. Information can be found via the Residency Program page on the KSP website.

KSP residencies run between two to four weeks, depending on the category. Writers will stay in one of KSP’s self-contained cabins located in the Perth hills where they have access to laundry and cooking facilities, internet and complimentary printing. All linens and crockery/cutlery is supplied. The residencies do not cover travel or food, except for transport to and from the airport (if necessary), and the meal provided at the Literary Dinner. Residents also receive a welcome gift basket on arrival. In addition to progressing a literary work, writers also offer special events such as a workshop and library author talk, all coordinated by the Centre.

The three cabins available for writing residencies at KSP Writers' Centre

Writing space provided in each cabin

Bedroom and bathroom facilities provided for the writer's convenience

Varuna: the National Writers’ House, Katoomba, New South Wales

Varuna offers residential programs in five different categories: Fellowships, Pathways to Publication, Guided Programs, Apply to Stay and Residential Partnerships.

The National Writers’ House accommodates up to five guests at a time. Breakfast and lunch ingredients are provided and dinner is served in the house dining room, which is prepared by Varuna’s caterer.

Residents must bring their own laptops, flash drives (as there is only one printer on site), mobile broadband device, warm clothes, shower soap, and earplugs (if necessary).

For more details and to apply, please read the residency requirements on the Varuna website.

The Varuna House in Katoomba, NSW

One of the writing rooms available at Varuna

The dining room where writers enjoy meals prepared by Varuna's caterer

Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre, Joondalup, Western Australia

Subject to funding, the Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre offers residencies as well as writing retreats. Please visit their website for more information on their current writers in residence and their upcoming retreat.

View of Peter Cowan Writers' Centre in Joondalup

Bundanon Trust

Bundanon Trust has an Artist-in-Residence program which is also available for writers. The Bundanon Artist-in-Residence complex has a studio and rehearsal space in single or shared apartments and cottages. They have a Writer’s Cottage available which is self-contained, although this may be more suitable for music composers and songwriters.

Their residencies run for one week accommodating five to ten residents at a time. Travel, housing, supplies and food must be paid for by the resident. Bundanon provides internet access and a fully equipped kitchen.

For more information on this residency please visit the Bundanon Trust website.

The Writers Cottage at Bundanon Trust in Illaroo, NSW

Bilpin International Ground for Creative Initiatives (BigCi)

Located at Wollemi National Park in Sydney’s Blue Mountains, BigCi targets people from the art community including those who specialise in literature. Writers are also invited to apply for their residencies.

Residencies at BigCi last for two weeks where five to ten residents can stay at the Art Shed, the Barn or the House, depending on availability. Travel, housing, supplies and food must be paid for by the applicant. Resources such as internet connection, office, kitchen, and computer are provided.

For further information please visit the BigCi website.

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