Writing Studio

Program dates: April 27, 2015 - May 30, 2015

Application deadline: Extended to February 4, 2015

The deadline for poetry applications has been extended to February 4, 2015. We are no longer accepting narrative applications.

Program Information

Director: Greg Hollingshead - ,
Associate Directors: Karen Solie - Poetry, Dionne Brand - Narrative,
Faculty: Dale Genge - Voice and relaxation, Rabindranath Maharaj - Narrative, Tessa McWatt - Narrative, John Burnside - Narrative, Linda Spalding - Narrative, Tim Lilburn - Poetry, Kevin Connolly - Poetry,

"The Banff Centre is a sacred place: life’s daily interruptions are set aside; our exchanges with other artists energize us; and the mountains gently nudge us into creativity. I encounter my muse there, and return home with a fierce desire to write."
Jacqueline Bourque, Writing Studio 2013

About Writing Studio

The Writing Studio is a five-week program offering poets and writers of fiction and other narrative prose the time, space, and support they need to pursue a writing project, with the benefit of editorial consultation. Designed for literary writers at early or intermediate stages in their careers, the program offers an extended period of uninterrupted writing time, one-on-one editorial assistance from experienced writers/editors, and an opportunity to engage with a community of working writers. The Writing Studio is an ideal environment for artistic inspiration and growth. Situated in the majestic Canadian Rockies, The Banff Centre offers a unique natural setting for artists of all disciplines to realize their creative potential.

All participants may work with at least two or, in the case of poets, three faculty mentors during the five weeks of the program. Writing Studio participants and faculty offer a weekly reading series. To help writers develop their public reading skills, we offer one-on-one sessions with a voice and relaxation instructor. Activities other than the writer’s individual work (e.g., guided hikes, social gatherings, concerts, and performances) are voluntary, and participants are encouraged to structure their time to suit their own needs and goals.

Enrolment is limited to 24 writers.

Work Spaces

Participants are housed in single rooms that also serve as their private work spaces. Writers should bring their own computers or laptops, as well as software, if they wish to use a computer on a full-time basis in their rooms. A PC and a Macintosh computer are available for general email and printing purposes. Photocopying services are available at several public locations, and free wireless internet access is available throughout the campus.

Who Should Apply

This program is designed for published poets or writers of fiction (or other narrative prose) who are at an early or intermediate stage in their career. If you are seeking a period of dedicated time to develop a book-length manuscript, with the guidance of an experienced writer/editor, this residency is for you. Since there are fewer poets in the industry than narrative writers, poets are particularly encouraged to apply. Past participants of the program have become leading writers in Canada. Applications from international writers are also welcome.

For more specifics, see the Eligibility section.  

Arrival and Departure Dates

Participants should plan to arrive in Banff on Sunday, April 26, 2015 and depart on Sunday, May 31, 2015.

Suggested Reading

In 1999, the Banff Centre Press published Meltwater — a collections of fiction and poetry from the Writing Studio programs at The Banff Centre. The collection includes some of the programs’ most accomplished writers and showcases work that grew from their Banff writing experience. In Thing Feigned or Imagined: The Craft in Fiction, internationally acclaimed author and Wired Writing Studio director Fred Stenson draws on a career of writing and mentoring to offer an engaging take on the craft in fiction. Both can be purchased through your local bookstore or the Banff Centre Press website.

Want to extend your stay?

Self-directed Writing Residencies run year-round and provide the time and space for focused work. Extend your stay before or after this program by applying for a Self-directed Residency.


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All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of The Banff Centre.