THE ROSIE SCOTT WRITERS STUDIO
The Rosie Scott Writers Studio is a writers' residency located in the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.
We accept applications from Australian and New Zealand writers for our one-week and two-week residencies. Please read our guidelines carefully before applying.
Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently closed until further notice.
Most writers’ retreats are run by institutions, philanthropic trusts, or universities. Or as commercial ventures. We’re different. The studio is run by writers, for writers. It was established in honour of the late Dr Rosie Scott AM by her husband, Danny Vendramini, (himself a writer), and is administered by a group of Rosie’s writer friends.
As writers, we know the value of occasionally getting away from work, friends, partners and kids to concentrate on a project. And we recognise that solitude and incubation are the silent engines of creativity and great writing. So our aim is to provide a safe and stimulating environment that fosters contemplation and constructive activity.
The Rosie Scott Writers Studio is a sunny, north-facing self-contained apartment, occupying the lower floor of the house in Hazelbrook that Rosie Scott shared with her husband, Danny, from 2012 until her death in 2017.
The one-bedroom studio comprises a large, open-plan living-dining-writing area, a well-stocked kitchen, and a bathroom with a bath and shower. There is also a shared laundry.
The studio opens out onto a covered patio and a tranquil Japanese garden and fishpond with bush and mountain views.
There is also a sculpture garden.
The Studio is located at 120 Winbourne Road in the picturesque Blue Mountains township of Hazelbrook, which is 93 kms west of Sydney. The drive from Sydney takes 1hr. 15 minutes, via the tolled M4 Motorway.
The studio is virtually surrounded by the Blue Mountains National Park with its countless walking tracks, picnic spots and tourist attractions. The track to the Four Waterfalls Walk passes by the back gate.
For guests without private transport, the train from Sydney Central Station takes 1 hour and 50 minutes to reach Hazelbrook, plus a 15-minute walk to the Studio. We can arrange a pick up from the station.
It is also a 15-minute walk to the village shops, or you can take the studio bike.
Further west from Hazelbrook, a short drive or train trip along the Great Western Highway, is Katoomba, the largest town in the Blue Mountains. There you’ll find department stores, cinemas, theatres, galleries, restaurants and tourist attractions, including the world famous Three Sisters Lookout, and some of the best walking tracks in the world.
Who can apply
Applications are open to Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents over the age of 18, plus refugees and asylum seekers.
All writers are welcome: novelists, journalists, scriptwriters, poets, playwrights, writers of children’s books, non-fiction and young adult books. We welcome both emerging and established writers and we especially encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and refugee writers to apply.
At this stage there is no provision for family members or partners of the Resident Writer during the residency term. And we don’t allow pets.
Applications will be reviewed by a panel of distinguished Australian writers, including Debra Adelaide, Melissa Bruce, Anita Heiss and Denise Leith. Read more…
Successful candidates will be selected on the basis of their submitted material and artistic merit, but the following factors may also be considered:
- Cultural diversity
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage of applicants
- A balance between emerging and established writers.
From time to time, the selection panel may also invite individual writers whom they feel may benefit from a residency, in which case no application is required.
Writers can apply for either a one-week or two-week residency. Some writers may only need a week, while others will appreciate the extra time to delve deeper into a project. You may also split a two-week residency into two blocks, (for example, take one week in June and one in December.)
To share the studio with as many writers as possible, the selection panel may award a single week only.
Writers can apply for one residency per calendar year.
The Selection Panel will not discuss the selection process or offer individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants.
If you are approved for a residency, you will be offered a selection of available dates to choose from.
Cost of residencies
Both the one-week and two-week residencies are free.
There are no submission fees.
Danny Vendramini, Rosie’s partner, lives upstairs and is available to change light bulbs, arrange pick-ups and generally ensure the residency goes smoothly. He also administers the Studio and provides liaison between the Selection Panel and applicants.
Danny will welcome writers and familiarise them with the studio. He’s also a great source of local knowledge; the best bush walks, sightseeing and recreational areas.
What we supply
We supply bed linen, blankets, towels (changed weekly), plus Wifi, and a CD player – with lots of CDs.
We also supply coffee, along with three coffee machines (an espresso, a pod machine and a plunger) – because writers need coffee. There’s also tea, cereals, oats, milk, jam and eggs for breakfast. The kitchen pantry is fully stocked with condiments, herbs, butter/margarine, honey, sugar, and olive oil. The shared laundry has a clothes dryer.
The studio is well stocked with books, including Rosie Scott’s personal library. There is also a bicycle available, plus a trampoline.
What we don’t provide
At this point, we’re unable to cover travel costs, or provide stipends or living allowances. Catering, apart from the basics, is also the writer’s responsibility.
You will need to bring fresh food for your main meals, or make other arrangements. The Hazelbrook shops include a supermarket and takeaways, plus chemist, greengrocer, cafes and a pizzeria.
There is no computer, printer or TV in the studio.
The studio is accessed via stone steps which prohibits wheelchair access. Please contact us if you think disability access may be an issue.
Writers are responsible for organising and paying for their own travel insurance during their residency.
Please note that the Rosie Scott Writers Studio will not be held responsible for loss, damage or accidents occurring within or relative to the residential studio. Writers are responsible for any damage caused to the building or inventory (beyond normal wear and tear) and must report this to the host immediately.
What we’d like from you
You have come to write, so there are no obligations to give talks, take classes, sign books, or even be sociable. Structure your time as you see fit. If that means reading, editing, researching or taking long walks down country lanes rather than writing, that’s fine by us because as writers, we know it’s all part of the process.
If you would like to write a short report on your stay for our website, that would be appreciated. And if you have a book publication or similar as a result of your residency, we’d love to hear about it.
We’d love it if you left one or two of your books for our library.
Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the property.
Please keep in mind that the Studio will be passed on to another of your peers. Your consideration in leaving the space clean is appreciated.
When to apply
We are not currently accepting applications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before you apply
A solo writer’s retreat is not for everyone. Some writers may prefer the social/networking possibility of a residency that hosts multiple writers, such as the excellent Varuna Writers House (also in the Blue Mountains.)
The Rosie Scott Writers Studio is ideally suited to a writer who wants the time and solitude to work on a project in a safe, inspirational and relaxing space. And is comfortable with that.