Winners of the 2020 Writing NSW Varuna Fellowships

Writing NSW is delighted to announce the 2020 fellowships have been awarded to Kylie Boltin and Eleanor Kirk.

Writing NSW Varuna Fellowship Winners Kylie Boltin and Eleanor Kirk

Kylie Boltin was awarded the general fellowship for her novel, Snake Bite. With striking prose and a voice which will stay with the reader, Kylie explores cultural identity and systemic misogyny. 

Kylie says:

This fellowship is the precious gift of space and time to focus on the work and I am so looking forward to it. Thank you Writing NSW and judges!

The fellowship for a writer under 30 was awarded to Eleanor Kirk for her sparkling young adult contemporary novel, People Watcher, which cleverly explores growing up and getting a little lost on the way. Fifteen-year-old Emma is determined to fix her parents’ marriage, and is convinced that temporarily splitting them up is the way to do it.

Eleanor says:

I am so excited to sink my teeth into writing the next draft of my manuscript at the beautiful Varuna, having read about so many wonderful, inspiring and productive experiences that have been had there before me. I am incredibly grateful to both Writing NSW and Varuna for this opportunity!

This year, the fellowships were judged by author Jarrah Dundler, Writing NSW Senior Program Officer Ashley Kalagian Blunt and representatives from Text Publishing. The judges were strongly impressed by the passion, quality and diversity across all entries, and wish all entrants the best in developing their craft.

Runners up were Rebecca Chaney, for her quirky and energetic middle-grade, Stu’s Sketchy Time Stops, and D. M. Cameron, for her unconventional yet uplifting eco-thriller, Until the Sky Turns Purple. James McKenzie Watson was highly commended in the writer under 30 category for Denizen, an engaging psychological exploration of the impact of severe mental illness and childhood trauma.

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  Kylie and Eleanor will receive a week-long residency at Varuna, the National Writers’ House, and a manuscript assessment from Text Publishing.

For more information on the Writing NSW Varuna Fellowships, including past winners, see here.

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