Margaret Laurence Lecture Series

Graeme Gibson delivering Margaret Laurence Lecture 2011

Graeme Gibson delivers the 25th anniversary Margaret Laurence Lecture on May 24, 2011 at the Toronto Reference Library (cr. Ian Sullivan Cant)

For the past twenty-eight years, the Writers' Trust of Canada's annual lecture, the Margaret Laurence Lecture Series, has invited some of Canada's most prominent authors to discuss the theme of “A Writer's Life." MacLennan, Gallant, Findley, Mitchell, Berton, and  Atwood, among others, have all shared candid stories of how they became writers. 

Intimate, frank, and revealing in tone, these lectures give us unprecedented access to the heroes and heroines of Canadian literature, insights into their work, the profession of writing, and the cultural history of our country.

2014 Lecture

vanderhaeghe_guyGuy Vanderhaeghe
May 30, 2014
St. John's, Newfoundland
Read the full lecture online


Guy Vanderhaeghe
is a Canadian novelist, playwright, and short story writer who was born in 1951 in Esterhazy, a small Saskatchewan mining town. He is best known for his three novels set in the American and Canadian Wild West — The Englishman's BoyThe Last Crossing, and A Good Man. He won the 2004 edition of Canada Reads, the Writers' Trust Timothy Findley Award,  and two Governor General's Awards for his fiction; and has been shortlisted for the Booker prize, the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Vanderhaeghe is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is currently a visiting professor of English at the University of Saskatchewan's St. Thomas More College.


A Writer's LifeThe Writers’ Trust provides a $5,000 honorarium to each speaker. An anthology of the lecture series was published in May 2011 by McClelland & Stewart to coincide with the 25th lecture. Read complete transcripts of past lectures by Mavis Gallant, Alistair MacLeod, and Farley Mowat.


Listen to Lorna Crozier's 2013 lecture. Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke, Crozier entitled her lecture "Letters to a Younger Writer," and framed it as a series of ten letters written by a younger poet. Over the course of her 45 minute lecture, she shared stories of what mattered most to her and passed on words of wisdom to aspiring young writers. 

Part 1 (32:04) 
Listen  |  Download  (right click link + save)

Part 2 (24:17) 
Listen  |  Download  (right click link + save)

Download Dionne Brand's 2012 and Lorna Crozier's 2013 lecture podcasts from iTunes 


  • 2016 Jean Little
  • 2015 Guy Gavriel Kay
  • 2014 Guy Vanderhaeghe
  • 2013 Lorna Crozier
  • 2012 Dionne Brand
  • 2011 Graeme Gibson
  • 2010 Marie-Claire Blais
  • 2009 Elspeth Cameron
  • 2008 Josef Skvorecky
  • 2007 Margaret Atwood
  • 2006 Antonine Maillet
  • 2005 Rudy Wiebe
  • 2004 Audrey Thomas
  • 2003 Alistair MacLeod
  • 2002 Janet Lunn
  • 2001 William Deverell
  • 2000 Peter C. Newman
  • 1999 P.K. Page
  • 1998 Al Purdy
  • 1997 Edna Staebler
  • 1996 W.O. Mitchell
  • 1995 Farley Mowat
  • 1994 Pierre Berton
  • 1993 June Callwood
  • 1992 Timothy Findley
  • 1991 Maria Campbell
  • 1990 Roch Carrier
  • 1989 Dorothy Livesay
  • 1988 Mavis Gallant
  • 1987 Hugh MacLennan




Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing 
Final Deadline

November 5, 2014 for books published between
July 9 & Dec 31


Woodcock Fund



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