NSW Writers’ Centre Varuna Fellowship
The NSW Writers’ Centre Varuna Fellowship has been awarded to two lucky writers this year. Alex Chalwell won the Under 30 category for his evocative and intriguing magic realist novel, Sky, while Irma Gold’s entry Rescuing Chang, stood out from a strong field for its funny, believable characters and disturbing exploration of the dark side of elephant tourism in Thailand. Both winners will receive a one-week writing residency at Varuna the Writers’ House in 2017, including accommodation for seven nights and all meals.
Runners-up were Susan Fox for her suspenseful novel about switched babies, Mine, and Maura Pierlot for her savagely comic YA novel, True North. Runners up will each receive a book pack from Random House, and all winners and runners will also have the opportunity to submit their manuscript to Random House for assessment.
The judges were impressed by the quality and range of entries across genres. There was a particularly strong contingent of entries from the YA category.
The NSW Writers’ Centre Varuna Fellowship is an annual prize for a writer who has a manuscript, play or suite of poems that is ready for the next stage of development. In 2016 two fellowships were available, with one place reserved for a writer under the age of 30.
Judges of the 2016 NSW Writers’ Centre Varuna Fellowship were Random House publisher Meredith Curnow, author Eleanor Limprecht and NSW Writers’ Centre Executive Director Jane McCredie.
Previous NSW Writers’ Centre Varuna Fellowship winners include Sylvia Johnson, Mark Brandi, Jacqui Dent, Helen Thurloe, Lucie Stevens, Alison Thompson and Greg Woodland.
Entries for the prize open annually. Applicants must be NSWWC members and be willing to commit to developing their work.