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The Writers’ Trust Rising Stars program is a multi-faceted career development program that recognizes talented authors in the early stages of their careers with $5,000 and highlights their work with an endorsement from a proven, influential author. Five notable Canadian writers who are past Writers’ Trust beneficiaries each select one developing writer who is poised to produce exceptional and enduring creative work. Through a flexible mentorship, selectors will offer recipients feedback, encouragement, and advice to help them take the next steps in their careers.

In addition to receiving one-on-one guidance from the writer who selected them, Rising Stars attended a two-day series of professional and networking events in Toronto and are invited to attend a two-week self-directed writing residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity. The Art Gallery of Ontario hosted a free panel discussion with the 2019 Writers' Trust Rising Stars and their selectors on June 5, 2019.

2019 Selections

Sponsors

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood
“Canada has much new and undiscovered writing talent. I’m proud to support a program that will champion the next generation of literary voices, many of which are now just beginning to be heard.”

Kari Cullen and William Bonnell
Kari Cullen and William Bonnell

Kari Cullen and William Bonnell
“We believe that Canada consistently distinguishes itself at home and abroad by the quality of its artistic endeavors, and Canadian writers make us especially proud. Whether they are helping us understand our country and ourselves better, or drawing us deep into a world of their own creation, our souls are richer for engaging with them. We are excited to play a small part in fostering the next generation of Canada’s literary voices by supporting the Writers’ Trust Rising Stars program.”

Clair Duff in memory of Catherine Shepard
Clair Duff in memory of Catherine Shepard

Clair Duff in memory of Catherine Shepard

“Catherine’s work as an archivist focused on the past, where this gift in her memory focuses on the future. There’s lovely symmetry in that. Catherine was an aspiring writer, and recognition like this in the critical early days might have been the boost she needed to devote herself to writing full time. As most of my work is in leadership development, identifying new talent on the horizon merges both of our values with great meaning.

Catherine would be truly chuffed to know she continues to make a lasting impact, a lasting difference on Canadian writing. In this honour, her voice lives on.”

Deb MacLeod and Ward Sellers
Deb MacLeod and Ward Sellers

Deb MacLeod and Ward Sellers

“We’re not writers ourselves, but it is very meaningful for us to connect with family and friends over good Canadian books. We’d be gutted if the most talented writers couldn’t continue their craft due to financial impediments, lack of support, or an absence of guidance and encouragement. There are so many pressures on writers that put constraints on their ability to produce great work. By supporting emerging Canadian writers, we want to help reduce some of those pressures and create more opportunities for great Canadian literature to emerge.”

Partners

The 2019 Writers’ Trust Rising Stars visited Toronto for two days of professional and social programming, culminating in a public event at the Art Gallery of Ontario on June 5 featuring the writers in conversation with one another and their selectors.

The Rising Stars will also attend a two-week, self-directed writing residency at the Banff Centre in Alberta. Special thanks to program partners the Art Gallery of Ontario, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and the Canada Council for the Arts.