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Writing Exchanges
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Tulis (Too-lis) 2018 is a two-way Australian-Indonesian writing exchange. The project will bring an Indonesian writer to Australia to conduct a four-week residency at Varuna Writers House, a two-week placement at WestWords and participation in the Sydney Writers Festival.

There will be a reciprocal exchange for an Australian writer, who will spend up to five weeks at Komunitas Salihara, before participating in the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. A short film will capture the exchange.

Open Call for Applications: Australia and Indonesia

An open call for applications will take place in Australia and Indonesia between 11 September-1 October 2017 for residencies taking place in 2018. Applications will be made through the online system Smartygrants.


For queries please email Asialink Arts [email protected]


Varuna, the Writers’ House.

What will be provided:

  • A one-month residency at Varuna, the Writers’ House, Katoomba
  • Participation in the Sydney Writers Festival (regional event confirmed)
  • A two-week residency at WestWords, Western Sydney
  • Successful applicants will be awarded a grant that will cover expenses for the six weeks in Australia, including flights, accommodation, support from the host organisations and per diems.

Indonesian writers applying for the six-week exchange should have an interest in conducting research and/or writing in Australia and interacting with the local writing community.

Applicants should have good conversational English skills and be able to present in a festival context. A translator for public events can be provided.

Literary forms accepted: Poetry, all forms of fiction, memoir and biography (academic thesis projects not accepted).

Key dates (not negotiable):

2 April 2018 - 30 April 2018: Writing residency at Varuna, the Writers’ House

30 April - 14 May 2018: Residency at WestWords.


  1. Quality of work as demonstrated by the application and support material provided, and relevant professional experience
  2. Relevance to the applicant's future professional goals
  3. Relevance of the proposed hosts and country to applicant's aims and objectives
  4. Demonstrated capability and confidence to engage in a meaningful and active way with the host and community in-country
  5. Potential for ongoing outcomes and connections in Australia and Indonesia
  6. Ability to present in a writers' festival setting


Varuna, the Writers House

Located in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains of NSW, Varuna, the National Writers’ House is the former family home of Australian writers and social activists Eleanor Dark and Dr Eric Dark. In 1989, their son Mick Dark gifted their home to the Australian public and to future Australian writers.

Today, the house and gardens have retained a warm and welcoming atmosphere that engenders both concentrated work and collegiality among writers. Five writers at a time stay at the house throughout the year, enjoying the dedicated studio spaces, the large gardens, and the wonderful meals that the Varuna chef cooks each night.

Varuna is located in regional New South Wales (1 hour 40 min by car, 2 hour 20 min by train from central Sydney). Link to google maps Varuna’s accommodation and facilities can be viewed here:


WestWords offers a comprehensive program of workshops, residencies, fellowships and support for writers, along with professional opportunities.

WestWords is located in Western Sydney.




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