Writer-in-Residence Program

Our Department houses one of the longest running Writer-in-Residence programs in the country; it has hosted a writer annually since 1972. For more than 50 years, we have been fortunate to provide a home base to such writers as Jane Urquhart, Cherie Dimaline, André Alexis, Margaret Avison, Anita Rau Badami, Joan Barfoot, Gary Barwin, Earle Birney, George Bowering, Bill Bissett, Robert Bringhurst, Bonnie Burnard, Austin Clarke, Ivan Coyote, Emma Donoghue, Sheila Heti, Penn Kemp, Margaret Laurence, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Karen MacCormack, Daphne Marlatt, Daniel David Moses, Alice Munro, Susan Musgrave, M. NourbeSe Philip, Leon Rooke, Gerry Shikatani, Drew Hayden Taylor, and Adele Wiseman. For a complete list of all past Writers-in-Residence as well as links to our collection of their works in Western Libraries, please click here.

The mandate of the residency is to provide support for an accomplished writer while allowing the community as a whole to benefit from the writer’s creativity and expertise. The Writer-in-Residence’s contact with the community includes holding office hours on campus to offer feedback to and consultation with amateur creative writers. S/he also gives readings, visits classrooms at the university and elsewhere, and takes on a leadership role at a variety of literary and cultural events both on and off campus. Through such events, the Writer-in-Residence works to raise the profile of literary activity in the community and enriches the local cultural scene, often engaging audiences with little previous literary experience. The Writer-in-Residence is generally available to the local community for seven months of the academic year, between September and March (with activities suspended during December since classes are not in session).

How to Apply for the Writer-in-Residence Position

We welcome applications for the Writer-in-Residence position. The position is typically held from September to April each academic year. The deadline for applications for the subsequent academic year is October 30th. Please submit a resumé, a sample of your work (no more than 15 pages), the names of three references, and a one-page statement about how you would support the work of apprentice writers and contribute to the cultural life of the community to:

Professor Pauline Wakeham, Vice-Chair
Department of English and Writing Studies
University College 2401
Western University
London, ON   N6A 3K7
or to pwakeham@uwo.ca

Selection Process

The selection of the Writer-in-Residence is made by means of an ad hoc committee composed of faculty and graduate students, in consultation with students and members of the department. Foremost among our selection criteria is the quality of the writer’s work. We also place value on the writer’s ability to engage and support apprentice writers and on the writer’s potential contributions to the cultural life of the university and the community beyond it.

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