Applications for this generous residency offered by our Patron, Professor Emerita Di Yerbury, are now open to members from New South Wales and the ACT.
Di is again making her apartment in Barnstaple, North Devon, available for one lucky member in order to research, write and enjoy a place of their own. Whilst Cindy Broadbent (2020) and Ann Beaumont (2021) have not yet taken up their residencies due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 virus, Di is keen to continue offering the opportunity to others. It is likely Cindy and Ann will follow each other during the same year as soon as borders are opened and they consider it is safe to travel.
Details, including the terms and conditions, are on the application form available below. 


Judges’ Report

It is an honour and a privilege to judge the Di Yerbury Residency applications. The Residency is a prestigious award and a rare opportunity for writers to concentrate solely on their writing and research. The high standard of applications from our SWW Members made the judging process quite a challenge. We have, however, selected Ann Beaumont as the recipient of the Society of Women Writers Di Yerbury Residency 2021. Congratulations to Ann and a warm thank you to all who submitted applications.
Ann Beaumont    ‘Flesh Peddlers
Ann’s application is thorough and clear. She has a viable and fascinating work in progress and a clearly defined Research and Writing Plan. Ann has done preliminary research, walking the paths of her characters in East Sussex. Her character Harriet is fiery and an agent for change. The project is topical for today for it is important to know more about the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, and Women in White who were the forerunners of female emancipation. As in The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka  (Stella Prize 2014), reframing this history is most appropriate as women struggle towards equality in so many areas today.
Ann’s resume is very impressive. Her credentials as a researcher, historian and author are compelling. As a published author with at least six books to her name and several commissioned family histories successfully completed, her track record of publishing is assured. There is the possibility of a trilogy. The sample chapters from her previous book are well-written, well-researched and engaging for readers.
In our opinion, Ann would make excellent use of the Di Yerbury Residency, which would give her tangible support to write Flesh Peddlers, a powerful story for today

Other applicants submitted well-expressed, worthy and persuasive proposals, including an example of the new interest in the reconstruction of lives and achievements of women who have been overshadowed. The search for the woman behind the hero is important and relevant today. Applicants had all carried out some preliminary research in England.
Each applicant has an impressive professional writing career, and submitted fine samples of writing which demonstrated lyrical and poetic talent. Applicants have been short-listed in prestigious competitions and coveted awards. Each is a worthy candidate for the Di Yerbury Residency.
However, some applications were not as clear and advanced as the proposal from the winner. So it was our decision that Ann Beaumont would gain the most benefit from the Di Yerbury Residency 2021. 

Colleen Keating and Sharon Rundle, Judges
14 December, 2020

The Society of Women Writers offers a UK Residency to a Female Writer

This residency is generously donated by our Patron, Emerita Professor Di Yerbury.

The residency is located in the beautiful North Devon town of Barnstaple. As a major tourist centre, it has excellent public transport and car access to the moors, famous beaches and very pretty villages.

Ann Beaumont was the Winner of the 2021 Di Yerbury Residency Award

Ann's residency has been postponed due to COVID-19.

Cindy Broadbent was the Winner of the 2020 Di Yerbury Residency Award

Cindy's residency has been postponed due to COVID-19.

Helen Thurloe was the Winner of the 2019 Di Yerbury Residency Award

Helen used the residency to undertake research for an historical fiction, currently titled Borrowed Milk. Set in Exeter, Devon in the 17th Century, the story concerns a married woman who is hired as a wet-nurse, to breastfeed and raise the child of a wealthy merchant family.

Valerie Pybus was the Winner of the 2018 Di Yerbury Residency Award 

Valerie planned to consolidate preliminary research already undertaken in Devon and Cornwall in 2017, into the history and social fabric of these areas of England. Her focus was on the families that lived in the centuries-old mining communities, with all the dangers and difficulties that entailed. Her story West of Tamar, an historical novel set in the years 1910-1915 - a time of great change - revolves around one West Country family and the society in which the family struggled to survive. 

Terri Green was the Recipient of the 2017 Di Yerbury Residency 

The residency supported her writing and research for a novel set in Shakespeare’s London.

To Apply You Must Satisfy the Following Criteria:

  • be a member of the Society of Women Writers NSW Inc for at least 12 months at the time of submitting your application and be a paid up member for the year prior to departure.
  • be over forty-five (45) years of age at the time of taking up the residency.
  • be available to spend a minimum of ten weeks at the residency.
  • be a resident of NSW or ACT (proof required, e.g. copy of licence, rates notice etc.).
  • be researching or writing a manuscript, fiction or non-fiction, set in or linked to and has its main focus in the United Kingdom.
  • the work must be a work-in-progress, not an already or almost completed manuscript

Requirements (either hard copy or email attachment):

  • a copy of your CV (no more than one A4 page).
  • a summary of your proposed manuscript (500 words).
  • a research and/or writing plan you intend to carry out in the UK.
  • a chapter of a previous book or a short story or an article you have written.
  • proof of your NSW or ACT residency

What is Offered:

The successful applicant will be offered accommodation in a comfortably furnished one bedroom apartment for over 55s in the town of Barnstaple, North Devon for a period of up to three months from June to September. Electricity and phone calls are included as part of the residency.

What is Not Included:

Airfares, including travel insurance, domestic travel costs and meal allowance, will not be covered by the residency. These costs will need to be met by the recipient for the period of her stay or she should seek funding from other agencies to assist with these expenses.


Upon completing the residency, the recipient will be required to give an address to the members of the Society of Women Writers (NSW) at its February literary luncheon in 2022.

A written report of approximately 1200 words is required for publication in the Society's magazine Women’s Ink!


  • Must be a member of the Society of Women Writers NSW Inc for at least 12 months at the time
    of submitting your application and be a paid up member for the year prior to departure
  • Non-members of SWW are welcome to enter after becoming a member however same requirement as above.

Non-Member Relevant fees are:

  • Full membership fee $50; once-only joining fee $15
  • Concessional membership fee $40 (only available with a Pension card number); once-only joining fee $15.

2021 Di Yerbury Competition - CLOSING DATE:

30 October, 2020 (no later than 5pm)


February 2021


The Secretary, Society of Women Writers NSW Inc.,
GPO Box 1388
Sydney NSW 2001
or email applications to (with all required attachments)