Skip to content

About the Program

It could be the best three months of your life — a time to reflect, to discover the Yukon, and to fully dedicate yourself to your work-in-progress. 

Due to travel restrictions into Yukon territory during the pandemic, the Berton House program is currently unable to operate as normal and bring in writers from other parts of the country. We are optimistic about resuming regular operations and issuing a call for applications in summer 2021. 

Berton House is a cozy cottage situated on the edge of the historic northern town of Dawson City. With special roots as Pierre Berton’s childhood home, the residency has hosted 84 writers since it was launched in 1996 and has played an influential role in the publication of dozens upon dozens of manuscripts.  

Poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, playwrights, and writers of children’s literature are invited to apply. Housing and travel costs to and from Dawson City are covered. Residents also receive a $9,000 honorarium, part of which may be covered by the Canada Council for the Arts’ Research and Creation grant program. Writers are required to deliver two public readings and encouraged to interact with the community during their stay.  

Current Writer-in-Residence

Greg Bechtel

Greg Bechtel’s debut story collection, Boundary Problems, won the Alberta Book of the Year Award for trade fiction in 2015, and was a finalist for the ReLit Award and the William L. Crawford Fantasy Award. He teaches English literature, creative writing, and writing studies at the University of Alberta.

Bechtel is currently at Berton House, where he is working on a novel about amnesia, climate refugees, ghost-possession, and polyamorous relationships set in a future Edmonton.

The House

Berton House is a fully furnished two-bedroom bungalow located on Eighth Avenue, between Mission and Hanson in Dawson City, Yukon, five hundred kilometers north-west of Whitehorse.

The house is situated on the southern edge of town on “Writers’ Row,” across the street from Robert Service’s historic cabin and just up the street from Jack London’s cabin. 

The home includes a bedroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, office, and bathroom and is fully-furnished and fully equipped (i.e. sheets, towels, dishes, etc). All the amenities necessary for you to immerse yourself completely in your work are provided (internet access, telephone, television, dishwasher, laundry). Plus, the house features a unique library containing Canadian North treasures, Pierre Berton’s voluminous collection, and works published by Berton House alumni. 

In 1989, Berton himself contributed $50,000 to the Yukon Arts Council so his childhood home, vacant and run down at the time, could be a place for Canadian authors to experience the north and pursue their craft. An eclectic and vibrant northern community, Dawson boasts a mixture of First Nations heritage and gold rush history blended with active gold mining and tourism industries as well as a thriving arts scene.  


While Berton House is owned and administered by the Writers' Trust of Canada, crucial operational support is provided by the Dawson City Community Library Board, the Klondike Visitors Association, and the Whitehorse Public Library. 

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.