About

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Our Story

We all remember the one book that changed our world.

From a story about a redheaded girl who lives in a house with green gables, to investigative reporting that takes you across the ocean and brings you home again, to the poem that teaches you to rethink how a page of text “should” look, we have long been inspired, moved, and challenged by great Canadian writers and their books.

In 1976, five prominent writers — Margaret Atwood, Pierre Berton, Graeme Gibson, Margaret Laurence, and David Young — founded the Writers’ Trust to ensure that Canadian writing would continue to thrive for the benefit of all readers.

The Writers' Trust has built on this mission over the past 40 years, elevating our country’s writers to amplify the empathetic, imaginative Canadian voices that can change worlds far beyond our own border.

The Writers’ Trust is the only organization of its kind in the world.

No other country has a charity that supports its literary community in the same way and on the same scale as the Writers’ Trust. We administer ten annual literary awards, and programs that include a writers’ retreat in Dawson City, Yukon; a prestigious fellowship; and an emergency fund for writers in crisis. We celebrate and encourage our storytellers throughout the arc of their careers, enabling them to stand at the forefront of Canadian culture.

Great writing takes time. Financial stress often keeps writers away from their work. Writers who benefit from our awards and programs say that the time they gain is invaluable: the time to finish a book, to promote their work, to mitigate an unforeseen personal crisis. When the Writers’ Trust enables writers to make even the smallest changes in their lives, the reverberations can have a significant impact on readers around the world.

The world needs to hear what Canadian writers have to say. We envision a literary community where we continually forge strong connections between writers and readers: a community where we all rally around our writers and laud their achievements. It is our mission to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing so that our country’s voices are heard from coast to coast to coast… and beyond.

“The Writers' Trust is a pillar of the Canadian writing community, providing vital programs for writers at every stage of their careers.”
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