On-Campus Programs between January and March 2021 will be either canceled or shifted online. Participants who applied to in-person programs will be contacted directly. Programming that had been planned for online delivery will continue as anticipated.

To hear about upcoming online programs, subscribe to our mailing list.  We are pleased to roll out our new student system and application experience. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact admissions@banffcentre.ca.

Program dates have passed. Please join our contact list for updates.

Fables for the 21st Century

Literary Arts
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Program archived

Program Information

The Hemingway studio. 


Fable: A literary genre, a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse. A narration intended to enforce a useful truth.

The Fables for the 21st Century program invites emerging and established Canadian writers to explore and re-imagine our individual and collective identities, through the creation of an anthology of 10 stories.

The program will create an opportunity for talented writers to explore narrative and critical topics in an imaginative format, question the stories we currently tell ourselves, explore alternative histories, and leave a trail of wisdom for our future selves and society.

What does the program offer?

This program offers 10 emerging and established writers the opportunity to work with three of Canada’s most gifted writers to create an original fable published by Banff Centre Press.

Works will be developed and finalized during this intensive three-week program, and guided by the mentorship of Rawi Hage, Madeleine Thien, and Lisa Moore. The stories will be accompanied by two commissioned print illustrations by an award-winning Canadian artist, and incorporated in a limited edition anthology.

Story length is a maximum of 2,000 words. Writers should be prepared to submit an outline or partial draft two weeks prior to the program start date. During the residency, participants will engage with a cohort of their peers for workshops, discussion groups, and exercises, as well as have independent writing time. Participants will receive a commission fee of $2,000 for their contribution to the anthology.

Who should apply?

Emerging and established writers of any genre who wish to create an original short piece for inclusion in the anthology.

Generously supported by Barb and Walter McCormick.


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.

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 $29 credit per day, equivalent to lunch and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.

CommissionRead MoreClose

The program includes a commission of $2,000 CAD for written contributions to the anthology.

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.

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.

Box Office DiscountsRead MoreClose

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

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
$2 980.00
Program fee with financial aid*

Application fee: $65 .

*Financial Aid up to 100% is available to cover program fee.

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

It is important to be aware of all steps included in submitting your application.
Learn more.

Financial Assistance

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


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


Provide a 100-word biography which may be used as a narrative for administrative and public use.

Project Proposal

A brief (one-page) description of the fable you intend to write. Accepted applicants should be prepared to submit an outline or partial draft two weeks prior to the program start date and be prepared to deliver a finished story by the end of the three-week residency. Approximate word count for each individual piece is 2,000 words. 


Three samples of published or unpublished work (maximum 20 pages in total for all samples combined).


Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. In addition to artistic merit, 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.

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)