July 8 – July 19, 2024

Deadline: (Extended)
May 19, 2024 at 5:00pm

Apply Here
Co-presented by the Irish Writers Centre and Varuna, The National Writers’ House, Australia.

After the success of our previous collaboration, Irish Writers Centre and Varuna, National Writers’ House are excited to announce a second iteration of the Lamplight International Residency Programme. This online programme is a two-week residency opportunity for fiction writers to enjoy the combined warmth and support of both organisations. Find inspiration for writing, enjoy professional development opportunities, and build international connections with other writers to sustain your creative practice.

In keeping with goals 1 and 3 of the IWC 2022-2026 strategy this programme will support professional writers to advance their craft and career with confidence and resilience while also cultivating an engaged community of writers and the strategic alliances that support our ambitions.

Programme Outline

This two week online residency includes: 

  • Two one-to-one consultations with Mary Anne Butler and Conor Kostick to discuss your current work.
  • Q&A session with a multi-award winning Irish writer Elaine Feeney
  • Q&A session with bestselling and award-winning Australian author Charlotte Wood.
  • Daily writing opportunities together as a group.
  • Group workshops with your peers throughout the week, including the opportunity to share work, talk about the writing process, and to receive feedback.

Eight writers will take part in this two-week residency. Four participants will be based in Ireland (Irish Writers Centre awardees), and four participants will be based in Australia (Varuna awardees). The Irish Writers Centre can only accept applications for Ireland-based writers. Australian based writers can apply here.

Time commitment:

Sessions will take place every morning (9.30am – 10.30am) Monday to Friday until the end of the programme.

The two one-to-one consultations will take place in the afternoon.

All sessions will take place online: Participants will need a reliable internet connection, and a computer or mobile phone with a camera and microphone.

Programme dates: Monday the 8th of July to Friday the 19th of July.

The full programme schedule will be available to view soon.

Please note, participating writers must confirm that they are available for the duration of these dates to attend all group sessions at present.

Who is it for?

This residency opportunity is exclusively for Professional Irish Writers Centre members* who are over the age of 18 and living on the island of Ireland.

*Professional IWC Membership is our initiative to better support and engage with writers who rely on writing as a source of income. There are a variety of eligibility requirements to qualify for professional membership (You do not need a full book published to qualify). Not yet a member? It is quick and easy to sign up for professional membership once you meet the eligibility requirements. Find out more here.

Please note that this is a fiction-writing residency only (prose, novel, short stories).On this occasion, writers who exclusively practice non-fiction or poetry are not eligible for this programme.

We encourage writers from background that are typically underrepresented in Irish literature to apply. We particularly invite applications from Minority Ethnic, Black, POC (person of colour), Traveller, Roma, LGBTQ+, disabled and working-class writers.

How to Apply

We ask that all applicants apply via Submittable form by 5.00pm on Sunday 19 May 2024.

In your application, you will be required to submit a writers CV, cover letter and two short writing samples.

In your cover letter, please tell us about:

  • Your writing practice, and what you are currently working on. 
  • Why would you like to do this online residency? You may wish to talk about how this will benefit your practice, what would you gain from meeting consulting writers, meeting peers etc.
  • What can you provide to the residency? The selected writers are expected to be active workshop participants and offer peer support and feedback during the online group sessions.

What is Submittable? 

Submittable is an online platform that the Irish Writers Centre uses to collect and review submissions and applications. To submit your application via Submittable, applicants will need to create a Submittable account. It’s free and easy to use but if you have any issues with Submittable, please email Applications will be acknowledged via an automatic email. If you don’t receive a confirmation of receipt, please contact us to check if your application has gone through.

If you have any difficulties accessing this link or any questions about the programme please contact us at

Due to the volume of applicants we are not able to give individual feedback to applicants, unless they have been interviewed, depending on the scheme. This policy extends across all our calls in the interests of equity and transparency, and because, as a small team, we don’t have the capacity to give individual responses.


This residency re-invigorated my energy for my novel thanks to the wonderful workshops and advice. I learnt a lot and met a great group of writers and we’re all still in touch. The Lamplight residency was a warm, welcoming space and a fantastic opportunity to work with the Irish Writers Centre and Varuna House. I loved it and highly recommend it.

– Michelle Walshe (Lamplight International Residency Programme 2023 Participant)

The online Lamplight residency was a wonderful opportunity to connect with writers both here in Ireland and Australia. I found the workshops and feedback sessions very inspirational and of tremendous value to my own practice and confidence as a writer. As a group we’ve stayed in touch and I hope that we will get a chance to meet up in person in Varuna at some stage in the future.

– Sinéad Ingoldsby (Lamplight International Residency Programme 2023 Participant)

My time in Lamplight was invaluable, the online format provided a focus but did not disrupt my everyday life. I got constructive feedback on work in progress from the group and in the one to one sessions. I have stayed in contact with the other participants and we have continued providing each other with support and feedback.

– Aoibheann McCann (Lamplight International Residency Programme 2023 Participant)

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by a selection panel made up of IWC team members, Varuna team members and independent professional writer(s) for eligibility, expression of intent, and the range and quality of writing samples provided.

Applications will be evaluated by a selection panel, with reference to the considerations outlined in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and to the case made in your application form as to how you would benefit from this programme.


Varuna and the Irish Writers Centre are grateful to the Australia Council for the Arts and the Arts Council of Ireland for their support of this project.

Consulting writers

  • Mary Anne Butler
  • Elaine Feeney
  • Conor Kostick
  • Charlotte Wood

Biographies below.


Mary Anne Butler’s plays have won the Victorian Prize for Literature, Victorian Premier’s Drama Award, a stage AWGIE and two NT Chief Minister’s Book of the Year Awards. She has been nominated for the Griffin Theatre Award and twice for the Nick Enright Award (NSW Literary Awards). Mary Anne is a Sidney Myer Creative Fellow, Arts NT Fellow, Winston Churchill Fellow, Regional Arts Fellow and Asialink Fellow. She holds an MPhil in Creative Writing and an MEd in Arts Education, and is currently undertaking a PhD in the Creative Literature of the Anthropocene.

Elaine Feeney writes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. She has published three poetry collections including The Radio was Gospel & Rise. Her debut novel As You Were won Dalkey Emerging Writer Prize, The Kate O’ Brien Prize, Society of Authors’ McKitterick Prize, and was shortlisted for Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards and was shortlisted for the Rathbones-Folio Prize. Her second novel, How to Build a Boat was published in 2023 and was longlisted for The Booker Prize, shortlisted for Novel of the Year at Irish Book Awards and won Tatler’s Literature Award, 2023. Feeney’s short fiction was published in The Art of The Glimpse: 100 Irish Short Stories and she has published widely including The Paris Review, The Stinging Fly, The Moth, Poetry Review and The Guardian. A new collection, All the Good Things You Deserve is forthcoming in 2024. She lectures at University of Galway.

Conor Kostick is a writer of history and fiction, living in Dublin, Ireland. As a novelist, Conor Kostick’s works have received several awards, including a place on the International Board of Books for Youth Honours List (2006); The Reading Association of Ireland ‘Special Merit’ award (2009); a place on the New York Public Library book for the teen age (2008); and the Master List of the Soaring Eagle Book Award (2008). Conor has been shortlisted for the Sakura Medal (Japan) and the Farniente Prize (Belgium). He was twice a nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. A member of the board of the National Library of Ireland since 2015, Conor Kostick has long been an advocate for writers and was chairperson of the Irish Writers Union 2002-4 and 2006-8; and chair of the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency 2015-18.

Charlotte Wood is the author of seven novels and three books of non-fiction. Her new book Stone Yard Devotional was described by the UK Guardian as ‘a quiet novel of immense power’ and has been praised by authors Anne Enright, Tim Winton, Karen Joy Fowler, Hannah Kent and Paula Hawkins among others. Her previous books include The Luminous Solution, a book of essays on the creative process; the international bestseller, The Weekend; and The Natural Way of Things which won a number of prizes including The Stella Prize and the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Her features and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Literary Hub, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Saturday Paper among other publications.

In 2023, Belvoir Theatre Company staged an adaptation of her novel The Weekend, and her novel The Natural Way of Things featured in ABC Television’s 2021 series The Books That Made Us.

She has produced a podcast of interviews with artists, The Writer’s Room with Charlotte Wood, and in 2024 launched a monthly newsletter on the creative process titled Subtraction. 


About Varuna, The National Writers’ House (Australia)

Varuna is the foremost institution for literature development in Australia. The core mission of Varuna is to inspire the creation of Australian writing that enriches and shapes our culture. Through its program of fellowships, writers’ residencies, international residencies and community events, Varuna provides the time and space for writers to develop their craft and professional writing practice. Varuna has also developed an international reach by encouraging an international exchange of writing and ideas, reflected in the strong commitment to our overseas partners, such as Tyrone Guthrie and the Irish Writers Centre.


Other Opportunities