Writers' Residency Opportunities

Active residency programs for professional writers in Canada.

Below is a list of active residency programs for professional writers in Canada. They are divided into three categories:

  1. Private residency
  2. University residency
  3. Public library residency


This is not a comprehensive list. Residency programs that are not annual, are less than four weeks in duration, or charge an application fee are not included here.

The availability of residency programs may be contingent upon the host organization receiving Canada Council funding. Check with the host organization before applying.

The Berton House Writers' Retreat is the only residency that is administered by the Writers' Trust.

I. Private Residencies

BERTON HOUSE WRITERS’ RETREAT

Type: Private Residency
Location: Dawson City, Yukon
Application Deadline: October 5, 2017
Website: bertonhouse.caBerton House

The Berton House Writers’ Retreat offers three-month residencies to poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, playwrights, and writers of children’s literature in the cozy two-bedroom, childhood home of Pierre Berton. Residents receive a $6,000 honorarium. Travel costs to and from Dawson City are also covered. Applications are accepted online and include a letter of intent, resume, and up to 10 pages of writing.
Contact: James Davies, 416.504.8222 ext. 245, jdavies@writerstrust.com

HAIG-BROWN HERITAGE HOUSE

Type: Private Residency
Location: Campbell River, British Columbia
Application Deadline: January 31, 2017
Website: haig-brown.bc.ca/writer-in-residence

Administered by the Museum at Campbell River on the east coast of Vancouver Island, the Haig-Brown House is a restored heritage house on the edge of a small city that backs onto the banks of the river. Residents receive $2,000 month for a five month period that stretches from November to April. Additionally, up to $1,000 is provided for travel. The house is fully equipped and large enough to accommodate a spouse. Residents are required to spend 40% of their time on public engagement.
Contact: Ken Blackburn, 250.287.3103, public.programs@crmuseum.ca

HISTORIC JOY KOGAWA HOUSE

Type: Private Residency
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Application Deadline: March 1, 2017
Website:kogawahouse.com/wp/residencies

Administered by volunteers involved with the Historic Joy Kogawa House Society and the Land Conservancy of British Columbia, this residency is available to writers continuing work on a writing project. Applicants must have published two books and have previous teaching and public speaking experience. Writers are expected to devote 25% of their time to public engagement. Residents receive a $2,500 per month stipend. The residency will host a writer in residence for a three-month period at a time convenient to the successful candidate between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018. Applications are accepted through kogawahouse.submittable.com/submit. 
Contact: Ann-Marie Metten, residency@kogawahouse.com

AL PURDY’S A-FRAME

Type: Private Residency
Location: Ameliasburgh, Ontario
Application Deadline: varies, usually October
Website: www.alpurdy.caAl Purdy A-Frame

The Al Purdy A-frame Association offers writers the opportunity to live and work in a space and place of inspirational literary and historic significance and resonance. Residencies range from one to three months with writers receiving a $2,500 per month stipend. Travel is also provided. To be eligible, applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Writers at all stages of their career are accepted, with strong consideration given to those in the early stages of their careers.
Contact: Visit alpurdy.ca/residency

WALLACE STEGNER HOUSE

Type: Private Residency
Location: Eastend, Saskatchewan
Application Deadline: March 15
Website: stegnerhouse.ca
Wallace Stegner House

Owned and operated by the Eastend Arts Council, the Wallace Stegner House is available for rent from November to September for $250/month. The month of October is reserved for the winner of the Wallace Stegner Grant for the Arts, details are available at stegnerhouse.ca. The writer is required to give two readings and/or workshops in the Eastend School and one public reading. Applicants must be published Canadian writers and their application must include a sample of their work and a statement on why they want to come to Eastend.
Contacts: Anne Davis, 306.295.3281 or Mary Stratford Thomson 306.295.3673, information@stegnerhouse.ca

 

II. University Residencies

UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residency
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Application Deadline: September 15, 2017
Website: ualberta.ca/english-film-studies/programs/writer-in-residence-program

Residents receive $50,000 (plus benefits) for this nine-month residency, which runs from September to May. To be eligible, writers must have one previously published book. It is assumed that applicants live in Edmonton during the duration of the residency. As an added perk, residents receive a one-week residency at the Leighton Artist Colony at the Banff Centre.
Contact: Thomas Wharton, twharton@ualberta.ca

ATHABASCA UNIVERSITY WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE/WRITER FOR HEALTH

Type: University Residency
Location: Athabasca, Alberta (virtual residency)
Application Deadline: By invitation only.
Website: writer-in-residence.athabascau.ca/

Athabasca’s program is a unique virtual residency. The eventual resident will be an established author in one or more of the following genres: poetry, fiction, drama, literary nonfiction, screenwriting, and new media writing. The writer-in-residence must be someone with teaching capabilities and be familiar with working in an online environment. Dependent upon funding, residents receive an honorarium that ranges from $18,000 to 45,000. The residency usually starts in September and runs 8 to 12 months. A program committee selects the writer-in-residence each year among nominations by the members of the committee. Contact: Manijeh Mannani, 1.866.376.3105, manijehm@athabascau.ca

CALGARY DISTINGUISHED WRITERS PROGRAM

Type: University Residency
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Application Deadline: December 31, 2017
Website: ucalgary.ca/cdwp/University of Calgary

Lasting 10 months, from September to June, this residency is one of the highest paid Canadian residencies. To be eligible, candidates need to have published/produced one to four works and have community engagement experience, such as teaching or mentoring writers. Half of the resident’s time is reserved for their own writing projects, and half devoted to public outreach including manuscript consultations, public presentations, and other related duties. Travel is partially covered by the host, but accommodation is not. Residents also receive a two-week residency at the Banff Centre's Leighton Artists' Colony. 
Contact: Dymphny Dronyk, CDWP Coordinator, 403.220.8177, cdwp@ucalgary.ca

UNIVERSITY OF FRASER VALLEY KULDIP-GILL WRITING FELLOWSHIP

Type: University Residency
Location: Abbotsford, British Columbia
Application Deadline: September 1, 2017 (annual)
Website: ufv.ca/english/writer-in-residence/

Lasting 10 weeks, from January to April, this residency is open to writers who have previously published at least two books with an established publishing house. The resident holds office hours two days a week, provides the keynote address at Mission Writers and Readers festival, offers two readings and two workshops at the university, provides guest lectures in creative writing and literature classes, and writes the forward for Louden Singletree annual issue. A generous stipend is attached to the position. The resident is responsible for their own travel and living arrangements.
Contact: Andrea MacPherson, 604.504.7441 x4260 andrea.macpherson@ufv.ca

UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residency
Location: Guelph, Ontario
Application Deadline: mid-January
Website: uoguelph.ca/sets/

Organized by the University of Guelph School of English and Theatre Studies, the writer-in-residence program is offered once a year for a 12 week term, in either the fall or winter academic term. Writers receive $20,000 and are responsible for their own travel and accommodation. To be eligible writers must be established in their field and commit to providing public consultations during their residency and participating in three public events.
Contact: Ann Wilson, annwilso@uoguelph.ca

WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY’S EDNA STAEBLER-LAURIER WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residency
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Application Deadline: May 31, 2017
Website: legacy.wlu.ca/homepage.php?grp_id=13110

Residents receive $4,000 for this two-week position, which runs from October 23 to November 3, 2017. The resident lives in Lucinda House, a century home close to Wilfrid Laurier's Waterloo campus. They are required to devote 40% of their time to planning and facilitating community programming at the university's various campuses (Waterloo, Kitchener, and Brantford). Travel costs are covered by the host. 
Contact: Dr. Jenny Kerber, jkerber@wlu.ca

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA’S CENTRE FOR CREATIVE WRITING AND ORAL CULTURE WRITER AND/OR STORYTELLER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residence
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Application Deadline: mid-November
Website: umanitoba.ca/centres/ccwoc/writer_in_residence/CCWOC_WIR.html

This three-month residency usually takes place between September and December. Writers spend approximately 16 hours per week providing mentorship and practical artistic advice to developing writers and storytellers. They also give a limited number of readings and/or performances on campus and lead an informal non-credit workshop. The writer-in-residence will receive a $15,000 stipend, and accommodation and travel expenses will be covered.
Contact: Warren Cariou, 204.480.1065, ccwoc@umanitoba.ca

MCGILL UNIVERSITY’S MORDECAI RICHLER WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residency
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Application Deadline: typically late February/early March
Website: mcgill.ca/english/writer-residenceAnosh Irani_past writer-in-residence_cr Cleo Valentine

This Montreal-based residency runs for four months alternating each year between the fall and winter academic terms. Applicants must have an established publication track-record. Preference is given to Canadian writers, but international writers are also eligible. Residents are required to teach a weekly three-hour workshop as well as participate in other public activities and make themselves available to students and faculty. A stipend of approximately $17,500 is provided. Accommodation and travel are not provided.
Contact: Trevor Ponech, 514.398.4400 x.09846, trevor.ponech@mcgill.ca

MCMASTER UNIVERSITY’S MABLE PUGH TAYLOR WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residency
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Application Deadline: Not available until 2017
Website: humanities.mcmaster.ca/~english/WIR/Index.html

This eight-month residency program runs annually from September to April. Residents receive a $40,000 stipend and are responsible for accommodation and travel costs. To be eligible, writers must have published a minimum of two books and made a significant contribution to their area of specialty. The resident has an office at both the university and Hamilton Public Library. They must devote 40% of their time to public programs and projects. In 2014, McMaster advertised a call for applications for three residency positions stretching from September 2014 to April 2017.
Contact: Antoinette Somo, 905.525.9140 x. 27797, somoant@mcmaster.ca

MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residence
Location: St. John’s, Newfoundland
Application Deadline: Summer 
Website: mun.ca/english/place/WriterinResidence.php

The resident will work on their own writing projects while making 40% of their time available to students and writers within the university and in the community at large. The residency runs for four months, in either the fall or winter semester. Writers will receive approximately $20,000, return air fare, and an office space on campus, and accommodation.  
Contact: Dept. of English, 709.864.8277, english@mun.ca 

UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residency
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Application Deadline: November 1
Website: unb.ca/fredericton/arts/graduate/english/about.html#writer

An eight month residency beginning in September and covering both academic terms. Writers are required to give public readings, lectures, and workshops and to travel within New Brunswick for short periods to meet with writers. A stipend of $37,000 is provided. The writer is required to cover their own accommodation and travel costs.
Contact: Mark Jarman, 506-458-7398, mjarman@unb.ca

UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residency
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Application Deadline: By invitation. Inquires welcome.
Website: arts.uottawa.ca/english/about-the-department/writer-in-residence

Residents are selected by a committee composed of Canadian literature and creative writing professors. There is no official application process, though inquiries are welcome. The residency runs for a six month period in either the fall or winter academic term. Residents receive a $16-17,000 honorarium, and also have the flexibility to teach a course for additional salary. Living expenses are not provided. 
Contact: Chair, Dept. of English, 613-562-5764, english@uottawa.ca

QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residence
Location: Kingston, Ontario
Application Deadline: Not available until 2019
Website: queensu.ca/english/department/writerinres.html

A three month program offered in either the fall or winter academic semester, this residency provides a $10,000 honorarium, contingent upon the application securing a grant from the Canada Council to supplement the honorarium and further costs involved. Preference is given to a writer who works across genres, otherwise writers working in fiction or poetry are preferred. As of 2017, the program has secured future writers-in-residence for the next two years.
Contact: Carolyn Smart, 613.533.2153 x. 74434, smartc@queensu.ca

SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY’S ELLEN AND WARREN TALLMAN WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residence
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Application Deadline: By invitation only
Website: sfu.ca/english/writer-in-residence.html

This eight-month residency program is focused upon writers that have a strong publishing track-record, are active in the public sphere, and have mentoring experience. The residency is by invitation only, with an internal committee approaching a shortlist of candidates and requesting applications. Residents hold office hours, consult with students, provide manuscript evaluations, and participate in a public project, such as a lecture or workshop. The host covers travel costs and supplies a stipend.
Contact: Jeff Derksen, 778.782.5431, jderksen@sfu.ca,

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCARBOROUGH WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residence
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Application Deadline: By invitation only
Website: http://ose.utsc.utoronto.ca/ose/story.php?id=6831Nino Ricci_past writer in residence University of Toronto Scarborough

Occurring during the winter academic term, this 13-week residency is for Canadian writers with an established reputation. The residency is by invitation only. Residents hold office hours, consult, run occasional workshops, and visit classes. An undisclosed stipend is provided from which residents cover accommodation and travel expenses.
Contact: Andrew Westoll, 416 208-2234, awestoll@utsc.utoronto.ca

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO JACK MCCLELLAND WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residence
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Application Deadline: By invitation only
Website: english.utoronto.ca/facultystaff/wir.htm

Occurring during the winter academic term, this four month residency is for Canadian writers with an established reputation. The residency is currently by invitation only. Because there are no funds to cover an author's travel, it usually goes to Toronto-based authors. Residents are required to mentor, consult, teach a weekly writing workshop, hold office hours, and deliver at least one reading. An undisclosed stipend is provided.
Contact: Sangeeta Panjwani, Dept of Enligsh, english@chass.utoronto.ca

UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residency
Location: London, Ontario
Application Deadline: December 1
Website: uwo.ca/english/people/about_wir.html

The residency program begins in September at the start of the academic year, and is usually between four to eight months. To be eligible, writers must have an established publication record and work in the fields of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or playwriting. Strong consideration is given to applicants’ intentions with working with apprentice writers and adding to the cultural life of the community. Residents receive a stipend from which they cover accommodation and travel expenses.
Contact: Thy Phu, 519-661-2111 x. 85806, tphu@uwo.ca

UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residency
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Application Deadline: November 2017
Website: uwindsor.ca/english/writer-in-residence-2014

The University of Windsor’s English Department hosts a 4 month residency in either the fall or winter term (to be negotiated between the writer and the department), While accommodation is not provided, the resident does receive $20,000. Partial assistance with travel is available. Residents are expected to allot 40% of their time to consultation and related public activities. Eligibility preference is for candidates who have published books and have gained either national or international recognition.
Contact: Margaret Mrozowski, 519 253 3000 x. 2289, mmurray@uwindsor.ca

UNIVERSITY OF WINNIPEG’S CAROL SHIELDS WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: University Residence
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Application Deadline: By invitation only
Website: uwinnipeg.ca/index/english-writer-residence

This one-to-four-month residency usually takes place between January and April. Writers spend most of their time working on a new creative project, and 40% of their time giving public readings, lectures, workshops, and holding regular office hours on campus for members of the public who want to consult them about their manuscripts or about the writing life. Funding for the program varies, but the program aims to remunerate residents with a $5,000 stipend per month and cover their accommodation and travel costs.
Contact: Catherine Hunter, 204.786.9283, c.hunter@uwinnipeg.ca
 

III. Public Library Residencies

BRANT COUNTY REGIONAL LIBRARY WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: Library Residency
Location: Paris, Ontario
Application Deadline: 2018 program to be determined 
Website: www.brant.library.on.ca

The Writer in Residence will provide manuscript critiques and workshops, delivered both in person and via email, to participants from the County of Brant. Priority is given to applicants who are published authors and who have previous workshop teaching experience. The residency begins in April. A generous stipend is provided.
Contact: Gay Kozak, 519.442.2433, gay.kozakselby@brant.ca

CALGARY PUBLIC LIBRARY WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: Library Residency
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Application Deadline: June 30, 2016 (for 2017 position)
Website: calgarylibrary.ca/author-in-residence/

The program typically runs for three months in the fall. Residents are required to spend 17.5 hours per week at the Central Library, leaving the remaining time for writing. The resident acts as a mentor to emerging and established writers and planned activities include individual consultations, delivery of writing programs and workshops, and public readings. Remuneration is approximately $4,000 per month. Accommodation is not provided.
Contact: n/a

EDMONTON PUBLIC LIBRARY WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: Library Residency
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Application Deadline: typically late September
Website: epl.ca/writer-in-residenceEdmonton Public Library

Run concurrently with the Metro Writer-in-Residence program, the Edmonton Public Library provides a writer $27,500 for a year-long residency (which includes six weeks vacation). To be eligible, applicants must have previously published one book, have instruction/facilitation experience, and a driver’s license and vehicle. Half of a resident’s time is devoted to library programs and projects and the other half is for personal writing. Local travel assistance is provided but accommodation is not. Applicants must provide a cover letter, resume, three references, and a writing sample. Leading candidates will be interviewed.
Contact: Katherine Gibson, 780.496.1890, kgibson@epl.ca

METRO (EDMONTON) WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: Library Residency
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, and surrounding area
Application Deadline: typically late September
Website: metrowir.com/

Run concurrently with the Metro Writer-in-Residence program, and run in partnership between the Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, St. Alberta, and Strathcona County libraries, this residency provides a writer $27,500 for a year-long period (which includes six weeks vacation). To be eligible, applicants must have previously published one book, have instruction/facilitation experience, and a driver’s license and vehicle. Half of a resident’s time is devoted to library programs and projects and the other half is for personal writing. Local travel assistance is provided but accommodation is not. Applicants must provide a cover letter, resume, three references, and a writing sample. Leading candidates will be interviewed.
Contact: Katherine Gibson, 780.496.1890, kgibson@epl.ca

REGINA PUBLIC LIBRARY WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: Library Residency
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Application Deadline: April 10, 2017
Website: reginalibrary.ca/about/wir.html

Running from September to May this residency is independently funded by the Regina Public Library. Residents are required to spend at least 40% of their time on public projects and activities, including consultations, community and school visits, and leading group workshops and seminars that serve and support the Regina writing community. Residents receive a $40,000 stipend. Accommodation is not provided.
Contact: Colleen Hawkesford, 306.777.6015, chawkesford@reginalibrary.ca

CITY OF RICHMOND WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: Library Residency
Location: Richmond, British Columbia
Application Deadline: Not available until 2018
Website: www.richmond.ca/artists

Organized by the City of Richmond in partnership with the Richmond Public Library, Minoru Place Activity Centre, and Richmond Arts Centre, the residency seeks to place public programming in each venue. Residents are required to spend 25% of their time working with and engaging the public. Subject to Canada Council funding, the residency runs from late September to late November. Residents receive $4,000 per month. They are expected to cover accommodation and travel costs.
Contact: Liesl Jauk, 604.204.8672, ljauk@richmond.ca

SASKATOON PUBLIC LIBRARY WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: Library Residency
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Application Deadline: Nov. 3, 2017
Website: saskatoonlibrary.ca/wir

Running from September to May, the nine-month residency provides residents with a $40,000 honorarium and an office in the library’s main branch. While accommodation is not provided, residents do receive partial support for travel if they are from out of province. Writers are expected to devote 40% of their time to public programs and projects, including workshops, readings, and manuscript consultations. 
Contact: Theressa Slind, 306.975.7563, t.slind@saskatoon.ca

SOUTH SHORE PUBLIC LIBRARIES WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: Library Residency
Location: Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
Application Deadline: typically Oct/Nov
Website: southshorepubliclibraries.ca/

Established in 2010 and organized by the South Shore Public Libraries, the residency is available to all applicants that have previously published one book; however, preference is given to local candidates. The residency runs from mid-September to mid-December. The program is fully dependent upon Canada Council funding; it may not be offered every year, and compensation is based on the grant funding received. Residents are required to participate in consultations and related public activities. Accommodation is not provided. A budget for local travel is available.
Contact: Jeff Mercer, 902.240.5774, jmercer@southshorepubliclibraries.ca

TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: Library Residencies
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Application Deadlines: December 2016 (4 month - Spring 2018) and late spring 2017 (2 month - Fall 2017)
Website: torontopubliclibrary.ca/writer-in-residence/Toronto Reference Library

Alternating between the Toronto Reference Library and the North York Central Library are a four-month spring residency (Feb-May) and a two-month fall residency (Oct-Nov). Each residency provides writers with a $4,000 per month stipend. Residents are required to devote 40% of their time to public programming, the bulk of which will be manuscript reviews but may also include consultations, workshops, and panel participation. More often than not the resident will be working in literary fiction, but the focus of the residency changes to other genres year-by-year. The 2017 four-month residency position at the North York Central Library is for writers of literary fiction.

Contact: (Toronto) Rosa Pinto, 416-393-7017, pjacklin@torontopubliclibrary.ca; (North York) Greg Kelner, 416-395.5648, gkelner@torontopubliclibrary.ca

VANCOUVER PUBLIC LIBRARY WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: Library Residency
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Application Deadline: TBD in December 2017 for 2018 residency
Website: vpl.caVPL central branch_cr_Jay Banks

Writers receive a monthly $4,000 honorarium for this residency, which runs for four months in the fall (generally, September through December). Each year, the call for applications is posted in December and identifies a specific genre or form (2016 was crime fiction, 2017 is romance, etc). The residency is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the VPL Friends of the Library. Residents are expected to find their own accommodation. A writer’s time is divided 60% for personal writing projects and 40% for library programming and projects. The writer-in-residence mentors emerging writers, facilitates writing workshops, and plans engaging events featuring their work and the work of other authors.

Contact: Anne O'Shea, 604.331.4030, anne.oshea@vpl.ca

WINNIPEG PUBLIC LIBRARY WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

Type: Library Residency
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Application Deadline: typically mid-May
Website: wpl.winnipeg.ca/library/contact/writer.asp

This seven month residency runs from October to April and is open to writers in all genres. A writer’s time is divided 60% for personal writing projects and 40% for community engagement projects. To be eligible, writers must have published two books. The program is limited to Manitoba residents only.
Contact: Danielle Pilon, 204.986.2802, dpilon@uwinnipeg.ca

***

These listings were last updated on 09-01-2017. Tell us if you think a residency program should be added to this list.

 





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