Literary Arts

Push your creative boundaries

Banff Centre’s Literary Arts programs provide an inspiring space and focused time for emerging and established writers to push the boundaries of their talent and realize their potential. Our programs prepare writers in all genres for literary success on a national and international scale.

2024 marks 50 years of annual writing programs at Banff Centre. The residencies were founded by W.O. Mitchell in 1974 and for five decades Banff Centre has provided writers with exceptional opportunities for artistic development within a community of supportive peers. Today, our year-round roster of intensive thematic residencies involves many of Canada’s most celebrated writers.

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An update on our offerings

Banff Centre's 2024/25 season of Literary Arts residencies consists of 5 programs focusing on new and dynamic areas of international writing: Form & Constraint, Memoir, Fiction by Early Career Writers, and new forms in fiction and poetry offered from our campus on the side of Sleeping Buffalo Mountain. Our residencies focus on building community and conversation, mentorship and professional development -- all in the service is supporting national and international authors achieve their writing goals.

Dedicated to supporting (semi)professional writers across genres, all of our residencies feature dedicated writing time and space, individual mentorship, public events, private studios, and talks by some of the world’s finest writers, all in-person in our beautiful campus in Canada’s oldest National Park. Our alumni are consistently published nationally and internationally and recognized by literary awards -- including the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Governor-General’s Award, the Lambda Literary Awards, and more.

Every Literary Arts residency features mentors who bring the best in contemporary practice, who are consistently recognized for modelling mentorship and encouragement alongside their own internationally-recognized writing.

Our 2024/25 season invests both in genre-specific themes and widening our reach to artists who may not have had the opportunity to attend Banff Centre before. Every residency will feature mentorship from some of the world’s finest authors across genre; 2024/25 includes Sina Queyras, A.E. Stallings, Waubgeshig Rice, Danez Smith, Kazim Ali, Kim Fu, Kyo Mclear, Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Ian Williams, and Daniel Levin Becker -- all of whom are internationally recognized for the quality of their writing, mentorship, community development and advocacy. Residencies also include guest speakers from across literary arts professional careers from publishers, editors, and agents including Kwame Fraser (Dundurn Press), Norm Nehmetallah (Invisible Books), Danielle Dutton (Dorothy, a Publishing Project), Jen Sookfong Lee (ECW Press), and Samantha Haywood (Transatlantic Agency).

Banff Centre remains dedicated to supporting the best in new prose writing, poetry, journalism, memoir, and translation with those topics reflected in our evolving offerings.

Derek Beaulieu
Director, Literary Arts

2024/2025 Programs

Winter Writers' was an energizing, inspiring and nourishing experience.

Lee Suksi, Writers in Residence - Winter, 2023

Literary Arts Stories

Contact Us

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