ASA/Varuna Ray Koppe Young Writers Residency

Each year, the Australian Society of Authors awards a two-week residential fellowship to a writer under the age of 35 who is as yet unpublished. The fellowship is comprised of a two-week residency (including accommodation and all food), a one-hour consultation with a Varuna consultant, a year’s membership to the Australian Society of Authors, and travel subsidy if the recipient lives outside of NSW.

The residency has been established by the Koppe family as a tribute to their mother, Ray Koppe. Ray, who for many years managed the business affairs of the ASA, was always passionately interested in and supportive of, young writers. (Read more about Ray here)

The recipient will be asked to acknowledge The Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Residency in any published work associated with time spent at Varuna.

Past winners include Aaliyah Sugitha (2023), Sarah Stivens (2021), Tim McGuire (2020), Hayley Scrivenor (2019), Holden Sheppard (2017), Nick Couldwell (2016), Chloe Higgins (2015), Danielle Binks (2014), Hannah Bent (2013), Dimitra Harvey (2012) and Renae Gibson (2011).

This flagship fellowship is part of the Varuna Residential Fellowships program:

“In October of 2019, I found out I’d won the 2019 ASA / Varuna Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Residency. This was a much-needed boost to my writing, not only because of the external validation, but because of my experience at Varuna itself – I will cherish the time spent and the community found there for the rest of my life. I strongly encourage others to apply for this fantastic opportunity.”
Hayley Scrivenor

Key dates

Applications for the 2024 Residency Program open

17 June 2024

Applications close

Midnight, 31 July 2023

Date of residency

Between January and August 2025

Entry requirements

You will need to submit between 7,000 and 10,000 words from the beginning of your manuscript, along with a synopsis of the entire work. For poetry, you need to send a selection of 10 poems.


Application fees are $70 per application, unless you are a financially current Varuna alumni member using your annual fee waiver. Application fees are used to pay professional assessors to read your work. If you have a Healthcare card, the application fee is $40.

Past winners

The 2023 ASA/Varuna Ray Koppe Young writers Residency is awarded to Aaliyah Sugitha for their memoir Somatic.


Somatic is a memoir that explores the relationship between mother and daughter, mental health, and the body. In its current form, Somatic experiments with fragmentary poetic expression to depict trauma.


Aaliyah is a Sydney based teacher and emerging writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English Literature and History, and a Bachelor of Education. She has a fascination with the aesthetic workings of a text, and hopes to further explore this throughout her own work.


Congratulations Aaliyah!


Find out more about the 2023 Flagship Fellowships here.