The 2018 Writing NSW Varuna Fellowships have been awarded to Tanya Vavilova for her lively selection of short stories Excess Baggage, and to Karina Young (under 30 category) for her engaging novel The River Runs Deeper.
“I’m thrilled and honoured to be selected. I’m looking forward to having the space to daydream, to take bush walks, to talk to other writers, to write and edit in the grand yellow house. At the end of my stay, I hope to be one step closer to having my manuscript ready to pitch to publishers.”
“I am so excited for this opportunity! For as long as I can remember, I’ve been dreaming up stories. But now, finally, I feel like a writer.”
This year, the fellowships were judged by award-winning writer Roanna Gonsalves, Allen & Unwin publisher Jane Palfreyman, and Writing NSW CEO Jane McCredie. All of the judges were very impressed by the high standard and diversity of entries across genres.
From the pool of high-quality submissions, the judges selected two runners-up: Sarah Klenbort for a collection of short stories, and Chloe Higgins for a non-fiction book about sexual politics.
Awarded annually, the Writing NSW Varuna Fellowships are for members of Writing NSW who have a work that is ready for the next stage of development. Two fellowships were available this year, with one place reserved for a writer under the age of 30. Through this initiative, the winners Tanya and Karina will receive a week-long residency at Varuna, the National Writers’ House, and a manuscript assessment from Allen & Unwin.