Berton House Writers’ Retreat

Berton House Writers' Retreat in Dawson City, Yukon Cr. Nicole Dixon, winter 2015Berton House Cr. Nicole Dixon, winter 2015

Heralded as "the best three months of your life" by past writers-in-residence, Berton House provides a remote northern setting where authors can concentrate on their work—or just get away to think. With special roots as Pierre Berton's childhood home, the cozy Dawson City cottage comes complete with a sprawling front porch and library of nostalgic canlit gems. Because every Canadian should experience the North.

Professional Canadian writers who have published at least one book and are established in any creative literary discipline (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, play/screenwriting, journalism) may apply for a three-month residency. Self-published writers or writers working in other genres are not eligible at this time. 

Current Writer-in-Residence

Lawrence Hill Berton House

Lawrence Hill (January to March 2018) 
Lawrence 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.

Catch a reading with Lawrence Hill at the Dawson City Community Library on Thursday, January 25 at 7pm. For more details please call 993-5571 or email

Upcoming Writers-in-Residence

Sandy Pool Berton House

Sandy Pool (April to June 2018) 
Sandy 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.

About the Program

Inspired by the late Pierre Berton, Berton House is owned and operated by the Writers' Trust of Canada. Operational support is provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Dawson City Community Library Board, the Klondike Visitors Association, and the Whitehorse Public Library. View photos from past writers-in-residence via our Facebook page:


Further gratitude goes to Aeroplan for their generosity in supporting travel of the writers-in-residence to and from Berton House through their Beyond Miles program. Consider donating your own miles to support the program.

Charlotte Gray“My stay at Berton House was like stepping into another dimension. I was satisfyingly productive in a house that welcomes each newcomer and allows us to focus on our work. But I also felt the pull that Dawson City, and the North, has always exerted on people: the excitement of Spring Break-up, the magnificence of the landscape, the adrenalin of endless light at midsummer. I met extraordinary people, relished my new friends’ eccentricity and creativity, and cannot wait to return.”

Writer-in-Residence, 2008

Berton House“I came to Dawson City expecting to do a lot of typing; what I wasn't prepared for was how relentlessly fascinating a place it is. Here you're confronted with history at every corner, and the past looms large in a way you don't find most places in Canada. I had a great summer, and would recommend the Berton House residency to any writer interested in getting work done — and some thinking, too.”

Writer-in-Residence, 2009

For more information, please contact: 
James Davies, Program Director 416 504-8222 x 245




Woodcock Fund


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


May 16 for books published between Mar 14 and May 15, 2018

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