Photo of hands at typewriter, a cup of tea and pair of scissors to the left, and a golden pineapple inexplicably at the right.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about applying to be the Canadian Writer-in-Residence?

What works do or don’t count towards the 1–4 book bracket?

The following works DO count towards the 1–4 book bracket: Books from all genres; plays professionally produced in any size of venue; e-books; books written in other languages*; works of literary translation*; television episodes; movies; graphic novels; co-authored books. Publishing contracts in hand do count towards the 1–4 book bracket but do not push applicants out of said bracket. A copy of the contract or letter from the press verifying this will be required.

Important: to be eligible for the position of Canadian Writer-in-Residence, an applicant must have a minimum of one and a maximum of four published works that meet the above criteria.

The following works DO NOT count towards the 1–4 book bracket: Pieces in anthologies, newspapers, and magazines; plays produced as part of fringe festivals or community theatre; self-published works; chapbooks; edited volumes; non-literary translation; translations the author has done of their own work. 

*The committee will count works in other languages and works of literary translation towards the 1–4 book bracket. However, the committee will only count each book once. If an author has translated their own book, the committee will only count the two versions as one book.

Do I require Canadian citizenship?

To be eligible for this position, you must be either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

What should my statement of interest include?

You may write up to two pages to articulate why you are interested in the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program. What is it about this program that interests you? What is your approach to community engagement? Do you have specific ideas for community engagement projects? What is your ability to mentor and consult with other writers? For writers with less community engagement experience, this is an opportunity to tell us about your philosophy on community engagement, and how you would use your residency to grow that experience.

What should my literary resume include?

Your literary resume can be up to 10 pages in length and should give us an overview of your career as a writer so far. Aside from listing your publications, it should show any relevant teaching, mentoring, and community experience you have, such as panels, book clubs, talks, readings, work on literary magazines or with literary festivals, etc. Please include your mailing address, telephone number, and email address on your literary resume.

What should my description of projects include?

Your description of projects should outline the writing projects you would plan to undertake while you are in the Writer-in-Residence role. You are encouraged to propose the writing projects that you are most excited about, no matter if it diverges from your previous work.

Who should I approach as references? 

Reference letters can come from colleagues, peers, former students, former teachers, literary organizers (directors of festivals, reading series organizers, administrators from previous residencies), etc. Letters from agents and publishers are discouraged. Letters of reference must be sent directly from referrers to the CDWP by email ( Please use the subject line: Letter of Reference: First Name Last Name - WiR 2026-27.

Does the residency include accommodation?

The Canadian Writer-in-Residence is provided with many benefits during their ten-month residency, but successful candidates must arrange their own accommodation while in Calgary.

Former Ws-i-R Sina Queyras and Larissa Lai. Photo by Monique de St. Croix.

Former Ws-i-R Sina Queyras and Larissa Lai. Photo by Monique de St. Croix.

When is the residency?

The current application period is for our 2026–27 residency, which begins on September 1, 2026 and ends on June 30, 2027.

When will I find out if I’ve been chosen?

We will notify all applicants of the steering committee’s decision by the end of July 2025.

How much is the Canadian Writer-in-Residence paid?

Over the past few years, the salary of the Canadian Writer-in-Residence has been in the range of $54,000–$56,000 over ten months. This figure is subject to budgetary revision.

Former Ws-i-R Rosemary Nixon, Larissa Lai, Ian Williams, Sara Tilley, and Deborah Willis. Photo by Monique de St. Croix.

Former Ws-i-R Rosemary Nixon, Larissa Lai, Ian Williams, Sara Tilley, and Deborah Willis. Photo by Monique de St. Croix.

Will I get my books back?

At this time, the CDWP requires digital copies of books, plays, or screenplays. Please submit PDFs through the online application form in lieu of or in addition to hard copies by mail. For any files deemed too large, please email to make alternative arrangements for electronic file transfer.

What is the time commitment for this position? Is the duration of the residency flexible?

This is a full-time residency lasting ten months, from September 1 to June 30. We are not able to move, shorten, or lengthen this residency.

The Canadian Writer-in-Residence is expected to divide their time equally between community outreach and their own writing. One of the requirements of this residency is that the Writer-in-Residence will meet with members of the community to provide manuscript consultations. The Writer-in-Residence is not expected to review whole manuscripts; rather, they will review excerpts and/or shorter works.

The Writer-in-Residence may also choose to offer creative consultations, meeting with community members to discuss aspects of writing, research, publishing, etc. more generally, without reviewing any writing in particular. However, the Writer-in-Residence cannot opt to do only creative consultations. 

For other community outreach, the Canadian Writer-in-Residence speaks at events around Calgary and the surrounding area throughout the year. This may include events at literary festivals, book clubs, literary organizations, libraries, etc. We encourage the Writer-in-Residence to pursue community outreach options that are meaningful to them.

Regarding their own writing, the Writer-in-Residence may use the residency to focus on an initial draft, on editing, on research, or some combination of the above, depending on what projects they pursue. The Writer-in-Residence can negotiate their own office hours, and is not required to do their writing in their office.