View from the Dome, photos by Tim Falconer
Writers’ Trust Reveals Future Residents of Berton House
Notable authors travelling to Canada’s North to live and write in the Yukon
January 23, 2017 – Toronto – The Writers’ Trust of Canada is announcing the 2017–18 roster of writers to attend the Berton House Writers’ Retreat, Canada’s most sought-after residency program for authors. Each writer will travel to Dawson City, Yukon, to live and work for three months in the childhood home of Canadian icon Pierre Berton. Past writers-in-residence include Charlotte Gray, Pasha Malla, and Joan Thomas.
“The Berton House Writers’ Retreat offers a unique opportunity for Canadian writers to immerse themselves in their work while enjoying the experience of the community of Dawson City, its rich literary history and vibrant arts community,” said Mary Osborne, executive director of the Writers’ Trust. “The Writers’ Trust is proud to offer authors this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.”
The writers selected are:
Elizabeth Ruth (July to September 2017)
Toronto-based writer Ruth is the author of three novels, including Ten Good Seconds of Silence, which was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. She will be working on her first collection of poetry, This Report Is Strictly Confidential, inspired by the experience and records of a developmentally delayed family member who was institutionalized long-term in a notorious residential hospital.
Wendi Stewart (October to December 2017)
Stewart is a writer from Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and the author of the novel Meadowlark. She will be working on her third novel, War Paint, which tells the story of a white teacher in a First Nations school and tackles issues of truth and understanding.
Lawrence Hill (January to March 2018)
Hill is the author of the novels The Book of Negroes and The Illegal, both of which won the Canada Reads competition. He is working on his 11th book, The Highway, about 3,000 African-American soldiers who were shipped from the Deep South to northern Canada to build the Alaska Highway. Hill visited the Berton House for four weeks in 2012 to fill in during a last-minute vacancy.
Sandy Pool (April to June 2018)
Pool is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Calgary. She is the author of two poetry collections and a past finalist for a Governor General’s Literary Award and a Trillium Book Award. She will be working on The Ebbinghaus Illusion, a memoir detailing the suicide of her former romantic partner.
The current writer in residence is Stacey Matson, a Vancouver-based author at work on a series of YA novels about the capers of a group of pre-teen girls locked in an aquarium overnight. In April 2017, playwright, novelist, and journalist Drew Hayden Taylor begins his residency.
About the Selection Process
The program received 85 applications from writers across the country. The selection committee was composed of two past writers-in-residence, fiction writer and poet Kim Fu and poet Phil Hall, and Karen DuBois, executive director of The Klondike Institute for Arts and Culture.
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. In addition to time to focus on their writing, residents 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 are eligible. The program is administered and funded by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. Support is provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, Dawson City Community Library, Klondike Visitors Association, and Whitehorse Public Library. Travel assistance is provided by Aeroplan through their Beyond Miles program. For further information visit bertonhouse.ca.
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 and interview opportunities contact:
Mary Osborne, 416-504-8222 x244