Applications open

Applications for the Canadian Writer-in-Residence will close January 14, 2022.

Apply to be Canadian Writer-in-Residence

For 25 years, the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program (CDWP) has fostered promising Canadian writers. Our Canadian Writers-in-Residence have gone on to great success, including alumni such as Eden Robinson, Larissa Lai, Suzette Mayr, Sina Queyras, Deborah Willis, and Governor-General’s Literary Award winners Oana Avasilichioaei and Richard Harrison. Do you have what it takes to be the next CDWP Canadian Writer-in-Residence?

Who are we looking for?

We encourage applications from writers of all genres who have one to four published and/or professionally performed works to their credit.
This residency is a full-time term position, dates non-negotiable. For more information on eligibility, see our FAQs.

The Canadian Writer-in-Residence is expected to spend 50% of their time working on their own writing, and 50% of their time on community outreach, including one-on-one consultations with the public and public lectures or readings. We encourage candidates to propose their own initiatives for community engagement. A background or demonstrated interest in community engagement — such as experience teaching or mentoring writers — is an asset.

While the Canadian Writer-in-Residence will be invited to speak to university classes and to the general public, this is not a teaching position.

This high-profile position has continued interaction with the external community and impact on the reputation of the CDWP and university.

Nick Thran, former Canadian Writer-in-Residence. Photo by Monique de St. Croix.

Why apply?

Opportunity
Our program is one of the best-paid and longest-term writing residencies in the country.

Freedom
You'll be able to make your own schedule. Divide your time between writing and community outreach, and take advantage of your office on campus.

Community
Our Writers-in-Residence are immersed in Calgary's literary community. Many of our Writers-in-Residence have chosen to stay in Calgary after their residency. 

Influence
You’ll have a spot on the CDWP steering committee, alongside key players in the local community. Together, you’ll help select future Distinguished Visiting Writers and Writers-in-Residence, and shape the CDWP.

Setting
Calgary is a scenic mountain city in the heart of the foothills. You’ll also have a two-week residency at the Banff Centre’s Leighton Artists’ Studios.

Support
The coordinator of the CDWP will be available to help you make the most of your time as Writer-in-Residence. We pay for one-way travel to Calgary at the beginning of the residency, and return travel for the following year’s Hello/Goodbye reading.

How do I apply?

Applications must include the following documents:

  • A statement of interest (max. two pages) showing:
    • Why you’re interested in this residency
    • Your experience in and approach to community engagement
    • Your experience in and approach to mentoring and consulting with writers
  • A literary resume (up to 10 pages) including:
    • Your mailing address, telephone number, and email address
    • Your publication history
    • Selected talks, readings, workshops, etc. you’ve given that are relevant to this position
    • Examples of your community engagement experience, if applicable
  • A description of projects (max. one page) outlining the writing projects you intend to undertake during your residency
  • Three letters of reference from people who can speak to your writing, mentorship, and/or community engagement (this would not normally include agents or publishers)
  • PDF copies of your 1–4 published books, plays, or screenplays
  • A list of your books, plays, or screenplays included with your application 

For more information on the application requirements, visit our FAQs.

Applicants who apply by the deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 14, 2022 for the position of Canadian Writer-in-Residence (2023-24) will be contacted regarding the committee’s decision by the end of July 2022.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply.


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The University of Calgary's Archives and Special Collections considers Writer-in-Residence applications to have long-term research value as part of its collections mandate, which includes Canadian Literary Archives. Do you give permission to release your application materials to researchers? If so, would you prefer time restrictions be placed on your materials?
Have you applied for this position in previous years?

Please attach your statement of interest (max. two pages).
One file only.
100 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.
Please attach your literary resume.
One file only.
100 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.
Please attach your description of projects (max. one page).
One file only.
100 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.
Letters of reference may be attached here or emailed to the program by your referee.
One file only.
100 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.
Letters of reference may be attached here or emailed to the program by your referee.
One file only.
100 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.
Letters of reference may be attached here or emailed to the program by your referee.
One file only.
100 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.
You may include electronic copies of your published and/or produced works here, or mail hard copies to the program.
One file only.
100 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.
You may include electronic copies of your published and/or produced works here, or mail hard copies to the program.
One file only.
100 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.
You may include electronic copies of your published and/or produced works here, or mail hard copies to the program.
One file only.
100 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.
You may include electronic copies of your published and/or produced works here, or mail hard copies to the program.
One file only.
100 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.
Please attach a list of the books or other published or produced works you have for review, and indicate a) if you are sending them electronically, in hard copy, or both; and b) if you would like hard copies returned to you if your application is unsuccessful.
One file only.
100 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.
If you have any additional documents to support your application, you may attach them here.
One file only.
100 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.