English and Film Studies

Writer in Residence Application Information

2020-2021 Writer-in-Residence
English & Film Studies, University of Alberta


The term of the Writer-in-Residence is from September 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021.

Who Are We?

This Writer-in-Residence (WIR) in the Department of English & Film Studies is the longest consecutive running program in Canada.  Established in 1975, our program has a distinguished history that maps the trajectory of Canadian literature. We have a dynamic community of student writers and scholars.

The salary is  $50,000 plus a full range of benefits and a professional expense allowance.* Along with decades of generous Canada Council funding from its inception, the program has depended on grants and donations from the public, including a generous 1995 gift made on behalf of Sandy and Kay Pearson, and a major endowment from Jason Kapalka. In recognition of the Pearson family gift, the Writer-in-Residence is the recipient each year of the Sandy and Kay Pearson Distinguished Writing Award. A Banff Centre one-week residency will be available to the Writer-in-Residence pending funding.

*Benefits include full dental, medical, vision, gym membership, one of the top Canadian university libraries, and access to a sound studio. Professional Expense Allowance =$900.

Who are you?

The successful applicant must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada and must have at least one published book. Eligible publications include a complete book of fiction, short stories, poetry, drama, children’s literature, multimedia, graphic novels, creative non-fiction, or literary non-fiction that lends itself to a public reading.

“The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.”

What will you do?

Writing: the majority of your time will be devoted to your work.

Community engagement - The WiR normally gives two readings in the department, as well as other readings in response to requests from the community. Although the WiR also may be invited to visit Creative Writing, Canadian Literature and other classes on campus, this is not a teaching position. You are invited to generate interest in the EFS WIR program and become involved in community activities, including consultations with and mentoring of writers.

If the Writer-in-Residence wishes to apply for project funding from Canada Council for the Arts, our Writer-in-Residence Coordinator will help guide the successful candidate through the Canada Council application process. This position is subject to Canada Council for the Arts funding regulations.There may be additional sources of funding on campus as well.


The University of Alberta (est. 1908) is one of the top Canadian research universities and home to 40,000 students studying for creative degrees in EFS, Drama, Art & Design, Music - in more than 500 graduate and 200 undergraduate programs. The university is centrally located and linked by public transit and 23 km of North Saskatchewan River Valley walking and cross-country ski trails. For more information see https://exploreedmonton.com/

The writer's physical residence will be in the city of Edmonton for the duration of the appointment. Edmonton boasts a vibrant artistic community with many independent and long-standing theatres and galleries, along with a film and video co-op, poetry and nonfiction festivals, and the award-winning Alberta Art Gallery, Royal Alberta Museum, and Winspear Centre.


Applications must include:
• a literary resume
• writing samples: 50-page writing sample from a published book and/or 20-30 pages of work-in-progress
• a statement of interest in the residency (maximum 1 page)
• a single-page description of the writing projects to be undertaken during the residency

Please submit applications online. You will need a Gmail account to complete the online application. Otherwise, please send complete applications by mail or courier to:

Writer-in-Residence Committee
c/o Dianne Johnson, Research Coordinator
Department of English and Film Studies
University of Alberta
3-5 Humanities Centre
Edmonton, AB T6G 2E5

The postmarked deadline for applications is August 31, 2019.

Please contact Associate Professor Marilyn Dumont (mdumont@ualberta.ca) for further information about the Writer-in-Residence Program.