Berton House Writers' Retreat Guidelines

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

Four writers are annually selected to live and write for three months each in Dawson City, Yukon, in the childhood home of noted Canadian author Pierre Berton. Writers chosen for the July 2018 to June 2019 period will be announced in late April. Residents will receive a $6,000 honorarium, part of which may be covered by the Canada Council for the Arts’ Research and Creation grant program. (Successful Berton House applicants are required to apply to the Research and Creation program before receiving an honorarium from the Writers’ Trust.) Housing and travel costs are covered by the Writers’ Trust.

To be eligible candidates must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • have published at least one book with a professional publishing house and be established in any literary creative discipline (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young readers, playwriting). Self-published writers or writers working in other genres are not eligible at this time.

Applicants are asked to complete an online form detailing their preferred sessions, why they would like to stay at Berton House, what they expect to work on while in Dawson City, and how the residency fits in with their goals and ambitions as a writer. Applicants are also required to submit a brief resume. Two additional items are optional:

  • a 5-10 page writing sample (strongly encouraged)
  • 1-2 book reviews.

Berton House writers-in-residence are required to perform a public reading at the Whitehorse Public Library and the Dawson City Community Library. As well, they are encouraged to engage further with the local community by holding writing workshops in the community, interacting with the public and local literary communities, participating in local events and festivals, and availing themselves and their work to local and national media.


We encourage all eligible writers to apply. Special access requirements will not affect a writer’s application or chances of being selected, though we acknowledge a writer’s ability to accept a residency offer might be affected if needs can’t be met. Please contact the program director about any specific mobility concerns or medical requirements after submitting an application. Reaching out helps us assess existing barriers so that we may work to improve access in the future.

As an example, a ramp can be installed on the front porch and the cottage is one level, but the door frames in the house are not wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair and we are limited by the small planes that fly into Dawson City, Yukon. The remoteness of the area can also be an issue for writers who may need specialized medical attention. Understanding specific needs is key so please get in touch directly about any questions or concerns after submitting an application. The Writers’ Trust aims to accommodate all writers and mitigate access barriers whenever possible.

For more information, please contact:
James Davies, Program Director
1-877-906-6548 x245





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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