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Applications closed

Applications are closed. Applicants will be contacted in July 2024. 

Apply to be Canadian Writer-in-Residence

For 30 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 Canadian 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?

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

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.

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. 

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.

Calgary is a scenic mountain city in the heart of the foothills. You’ll also have a two-week off-campus writer's retreat in beautiful Western Canada.

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
  • Two letters of reference from people who can speak to any of the following: 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 

Letters of reference must be sent directly from referrers to the CDWP by email to cdwp@ucalgary.ca. Please use the subject line: Letter of Reference: First Name Last Name - WiR 2026-27

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

Applicants who apply by the deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9, 2025 for the position of Canadian Writer-in-Residence (2026-27) will be contacted regarding the committee’s decision by the end of July 2025.

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.