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Apply for the Writer-in-Residence Position

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Submissions for this form are closed.
Submitted by ccummin on Wed, 08/21/2013 - 1:40pm

Applications for the 2021–22 Canadian Writer-in-Residence are now closed.

Thank you to everyone who applied; applicants will be notified of the committee's decision by the end of June 2020.

Applications for the 2022–22 Canadian Writer-in-Residence will open in September 2020.

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?


Why apply?

  • Opportunity
    Our program is one of the best-paid and longest-term writing residencies in the country. You'll have ample time to work on your next book-length project.
  • Freedom
    You'll be able to make your own schedule. Divide your time between your writing and community outreach, and take advantage of your own office on campus.
  • Community
    Immerse yourself in Calgary’s literary community. Our Writers-in-Residence speak at high-profile literary events around the city each year. Many of our past 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 university and literary communities. Together, you’ll contribute to the selection process for future Distinguished Visiting Writers and Writers-in-Residence, and to shaping 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, courtesy of the program. 
  • Support
    The coordinator of the CDWP will be available to help you manage your schedule and make the most of your time as Writer-in-Residence. The program pays for one-way travel to Calgary at the beginning of the residency, and for return travel for the following year’s Hello/Goodbye reading.


Who are we looking for?

Promising Canadian writers available from September 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 should apply.

We encourage applications from writers of all genres who have one to four published and/or 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.


How do I apply?

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, January 15, 2020.

Please attach and upload 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
    • A literary resume including:
      • Your mailing address, telephone number, and email address
      • Your publication history
      • Talks, readings, workshops, etc. you’ve given
      • 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)
    • PDFs and/or physical copies of your 1–4 published books, plays, or screenplays

    • list of your books, plays, or screenplays included with your application, including:
      • If you have submitted them in hard copy, electronically, or both
      • If you wish to have hard copies returned to you in the event your application is unsuccessful

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

All materials provided should be clearly marked with your name and contact information. All application materials, except any physical copies of your works, should be submitted electronically using the form.

If you are sending physical copies of your work, please send them to:

Calgary Distinguished Writers Program

University of Calgary

SS 1319, 2500 University Drive NW

Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 

If you would like these materials returned to you, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage.

References may be included with your uploaded submission or sent separately by your referees by email to, with the subject line, “WiR 2021–2022: Applicant Last Name, Applicant First Name.”

The submission deadline for this position is January 15, 2020. All application materials must be received or postmarked by this date.

Applicants will be contacted regarding the committee’s decision by the end of June 2020.



See our FAQs for more information on eligibility, the position, and the application process. 



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.