Writers' Trust Sending Authors to Canada's North
Future Berton House Writers-in-Residence Named
February 11, 2014 – Toronto – The Writers’ Trust of Canada is pleased to announce the next four writers to attend the Berton House Writers’ Retreat, Canada’s most sought after residency program. Each writer travels to Dawson City, Yukon, to live and work for three months in the childhood home of noted Canadian author Pierre Berton. Past writers-in-residence include Charlotte Gray, Lawrence Hill, and Andrew Pyper.
“The Writers’ Trust is proud to provide Canadian writers with an opportunity to focus on their current works-in-progress in the unique sanctuary that is Berton House,” said Mary Osborne, executive director of the Writers’ Trust. “Sixty-six writers have previously benefitted from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we anticipate that this new crop of residents will each have a memorable, productive, and rewarding experience in Dawson City.”
The writers selected are:
Anik See (July to September 2014)
See is a Canadian writer living in Amsterdam. She is working on a creative non-fiction book that explores changing landscapes through a combination of “family history, personal experience, and the existence of a family tree that goes back to the 12th century.”
Tara Beagan (October to December 2014)
Beagan is a Dora Mavor Moore Award winning playwright based in Toronto. She intends to work on “a novel inspired by the innumerable fatherless boys in First Nations Communities” as well as continue to adapt a theatre script for the screen, entitled Dreary and Izzy.
Nicole Dixon (January to March 2015)
Dixon won the Writers’ Trust’s Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award for emerging writers in 2005. She published her first collection of stories, High-Water Mark, in 2012 and is currently at work on a series of stories about modern-day Cape Breton Island, where she lives.
Jacob Scheier (April to June 2015)
Scheier is a Toronto-based poet and recipient of the 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. Working on a collection of essays, he intends to write about his “experiences being Jewish in places absent or virtually absent of Jewish communities.”
About the Selection Process
The program received 64 applications from writers across the country. The applicants were assessed by three past writers-in-residence: writer Dan Dowhal, a Dawson City resident; Billeh Nickerson, a poet based in Vancouver; and Manjushree Thapa, a writer living in Toronto.
About the Berton House Writers’ Retreat
Created in 1996, Berton House provides a three-month residency for writers in Pierre Berton’s childhood home in Dawson City. Writers receive a monthly honorarium, perform public readings, and are encouraged to become involved with the community. Professional Canadian writers who have published at least one book and are established in any creative literary discipline (including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, play/screenwriting, and journalism) are eligible. The program is administered and funded by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. Additional support is provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, Dawson City Community Library, Klondike Visitors Association, Amazon.ca, Aeroplan, and Whitehorse Public Library. For further information visit bertonhouse.ca.
The current writer-in-residence is Clement Martini, a writer from Calgary working on a play as well as a trilogy for young adults. In April, Ottawa-based writer Alan Cumyn begins his residency.
About the Writers’ Trust of Canada
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs, including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.
For more information:
Mary Osborne, 416-504-8222 x244