Writers’ Trust announces future Berton House residents

>>From the Writers’ Trust of Canada

January 19, 2015Toronto – The Writers’ Trust of Canada is announcing the 2015–16 slate of writers to attend the Berton House Writers’ Retreat, Canada’s most sought after residency program. Each writer will travel to Dawson City, Yukon, to live and work for three months in the childhood home of noted Canadian author Pierre Berton. Past writers-in-residence include Charlotte Gray, Lawrence Hill, and Joan Thomas.

“The Writers’ Trust is proud to offer authors the opportunity to immerse themselves both in their works in progress and in Dawson City’s flourishing arts community,” said Mary Osborne, executive director of the Writers’ Trust. “Berton House is a unique sanctuary and a residency there provides a once in a lifetime experience.”

The writers selected are:

Emily Pohl-Weary (July to September 2015)

Pohl-Weary has published six books, a series of girl-pirate comics, and her own literary magazine. During her residency she will work on a semi-autobiographical novel set in the late 1980s/early 1990s in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood.

Kim Fu (October to December 2015)

Fu is a resident of West Vancouver and the author of the novel For Today I Am a Boy. She is working on her second novel, which follows a young woman who, after the sudden death of her husband, seeks out her sister-in-law in a cult-like rural commune.

Shelagh Plunket (January to March 2016)

Plunket is the Montreal-based author of the childhood memoir The Water Here Is Blue. She is currently at work on Caught by All That’s Come Before, an examination of “ways that our identities are shaped by how we respond to events that we participate in or that we witness.”

Shauntay Grant (April to June 2016)

Grant is a writer and storyteller and past Poet Laureate of Halifax. While at Berton House she will work on proof, a middle grade poetry novel that follows a young boy’s efforts to document a marginalized Black Nova Scotian community.


About the Selection Process

The program received 85 applications from writers across the country. The selection committee was composed of two past writers-in-residence, Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail and Andrew Pyper, and Meg Walker, a writer and artist based in Dawson City.


About the Berton House Writers’ Retreat

Created in 1996, Berton House provides a three-month residency for writers in Pierre Berton’s childhood home in Dawson City. Writers receive a monthly honorarium, perform public readings, and are encouraged to become involved with the community. Professional Canadian writers who have published at least one book and are established in any creative literary discipline are eligible. The program is administered and funded by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. Support is provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, Dawson City Community Library, Klondike Visitors Association, and Whitehorse Public Library. Travel assistance is provided by Aeroplan through their Beyond Miles program. For further information visit bertonhouse.ca.

The current writer-in-residence is Nicole Dixon, a writer from New Waterford, Nova Scotia, working on a collection of stories about modern day Cape Breton Island. In April, Toronto-based poet Jacob Scheier begins his residency.

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