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Autobiography and Fiction with Electric Literature

Literary Arts

Program Information

Literary Arts programs at Banff Centre

Image: Doug Robichaud.


This residency is for writers working in autobiography, fiction, and auto-fiction. With the support of guest faculty, participants will explore the distinctions and intersecting themes between genres, such as when to be beholden to the truth and when to break free from it, writing fiction vs. memoir (and how to decide which is which), and teasing satisfying narrative threads from real life. 

Through these themes and questions, guest faculty will help writers develop their own unique voice and approach to writing autobiography, memoir, and fiction.

What does the program offer?

Over two weeks, writers will have time and space to work on their individual manuscripts. Editors Halimah Marcus and Jess Zimmerman, from Electric Literature will be available for editorial consultations and will lead a group seminar on strategies for getting published.

Guest faculty Meredith Talusan and Susan Choi will lead group and individual discussions around the residencies themes and approaches relevant to the process of writing narrative fiction, auto-fiction, memoir, autobiography, and other related subgenres.

The residency will feature a guest speaker event featuring award-winning Canadian writer Dionne Brand, as well as two reading nights featuring writers reading from their works in progress alongside guest faculty.

Who should apply? 

We welcome all writers (emerging and established) writing auto-fiction, autobiography, and memoir, from all backgrounds, and all gender identities and expressions.

What's Included

Single RoomRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes a single bedroom on the Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.

Get connected with other artists on campus and focus on your projects in a creative environment while we take care of the day-to-day essentials.

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Regular Meal PlanRead MoreClose

Using a credit-based system to dine on campus, our flexible meal plans allow you to select meals according to your own needs during your stay.

The Regular Flex meal plan includes $30 credit per day, equivalent to lunch and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.

Showcase Icon
Showcase Your WorkRead MoreClose

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work-in-progress in one of our performance venues.

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Gym MembershipRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes free access to the swimming pool, climbing gym, and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.

Paul D. Fleck Library and ArchivesRead MoreClose

Access a wide range of publications, books, music, and films in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, open six days a week.

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Box Office DiscountsRead MoreClose

Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.

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Participant ResourcesRead MoreClose

Enrich your experience and get to know other artists on campus by taking advantage of the activities and support provided by our Participant Resources team.

Fees & Financial Assistance

Program fee (single room)*
$2 218.22
Program fee with financial assistance (single room)*
$1 109.11

Application fee: $35.  The application fee for this program has been reduced through our partnership with Electric Literature.

*Financial Aid of up to 50% of the program fee is available for this program. 

If you would like to be considered, please complete the Financial Aid section when uploading your supporting materials.

Help fund your experience at Banff Centre! View a compiled list of national and international opportunities here.

How to Apply

Learn more about the steps to Complete Your Application.

Financial Assistance

Be sure to complete the Financial Aid section to be eligible for financial assistance.


A one-page resume or C.V. describing academic, professional, and other relevant experience.

Project Proposal and Professional Bio

Your proposal should be a maximum of one page in 12 pt. Times New Roman font and double spaced. 
Your professional bio should be a maximum of 150 words. This bio will be part of printed material used for the program and its public events.

Writing Samples (Portfolio)

A segment from the work-in-progress you will work on during the program, and samples of additional published or unpublished work.  Maximum 20 pages total. Please make sure your writing samples are double spaced and in 12 pt. Times New Roman font.

Autobiography and Fiction with Electric Literature only accepts projects that are being written in English.


Participants are selected by the adjudicators based on artistic merit and diversity (inclusive of writers from all backgrounds, gender identities and expressions, and ages). 

In addition to the above criteria, consideration will be given to the likelihood that the artist's work will benefit from the program.

Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete, approximately three to five weeks following the application deadline.


Applicants will have published a body of work (a book of poetry, fiction or other narrative prose, or substantial publication in magazines and/or anthologies). Emerging writers who may not have an extensive body of published work are still encouraged to apply and should include any published work as part of their writing samples submission.  

This program only accepts projects that are being written in English. 

All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is 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. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

Contact the Registrar

For questions on preparing your application, please contact the Office of the Registrar:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)