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About the Fellowship

Regarded as one of most distinguished accolades presented by Canada’s literary community, the Writers’ Trust Fellowship grants recipients inclusion amongst a select group of our country’s finest authors. 

The Fellowship annually rewards one writer $50,000 for demonstrating exceptional creative ability and outstanding promise in their publications to date. The Fellowship is intended to draw attention to a writer’s past work and to stimulate interest in their future work, but, most importantly, it is meant to provide recipients a window in which they can work on their next book with as much creative freedom as possible.

Fellows are invited to attend a two-week, self-directed residency at the Leighton Artists’ Colony at The Banff Centre in Alberta.

Writers who have a strong publishing track record in the categories of fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, or literature for young people are eligible.

2019 Winner


Jury Citation

"In those imperceptible spaces between magic and reality, fairytale and modernity, innocence and experience lies the world of Heather O’Neill. Her narratives are the closest modern Canadian fiction comes to books of spells, entrancing readers and transporting them into the lives of girls and women who always seem to exist on the cusp of love, of desire, of doom. O’Neill’s body of work has reimagined and translated the sacred and profane mythologies of Montreal to English readers for so long that her name and the city’s have become as entwined as the lovers and siblings who orbit her female-centred worlds. As a tribute to her critically lauded, award-winning novels and short stories and in anticipation of many more to come, the Writers’ Trust of Canada welcomes to its Fellowship an exquisite, masterful writer." — 2019 Writers' Trust Fellowship Jury

Author Page

Selected Works

About Heather O'Neill

"I'm just at the beginning of what I'm going to do." -Heather O'Neill

Heather O’Neill is a novelist, short-story writer, and essayist. Her work, which includes Lullabies for Little CriminalsThe Girl Who Was Saturday Night, and Daydreams of Angels, has been shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction, and the Scotiabank Giller Prize in two consecutive years, and has won CBC Canada Reads, the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, and the Danuta Gleed Award. Her most recent work, Wisdom in Nonsense: Invaluable Lessons from my Father, was published in 2018. Born and raised in Montreal, O’Neill lives there today with her daughter.