Literary Journalism: Environmental Writing - February 2025

Literary Arts | In Person

Program Information

Photo of program faculty Denise Balkissoon and Stephanie Kwetásel’wet Wood

Program faculty Denise Balkissoon and Stephanie Kwetásel’wet Wood 

Overview

This two-week residency encourages writers of Literary Journalism focusing on environmental concerns. Designed to challenge and stimulate, the program aims to inspire creative pieces of non-fiction and to assist the writers in their completion. The program addresses universal environmental concerns at a time when they could not be more relevant – from fire and flood, to climate change, to life after oil. 

A preeminent space for long-form journalism, this residency emphasizes the strengths of thorough and articulate reporting, distinctive storytelling, and literary devices. 

Work created in this program has been published in many outlets including The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, and The Atlantic, and pieces have gone on to win National Magazine and National Newspaper Awards.

What does the program offer?

Faculty provide mentorship and one-on-one workshopping. Instructors will discuss story ideas, craft concepts such as voice and structure, and challenges writers may be encountering with their literary journalism. Writers will have time to work on their manuscripts, receive individual consultations with faculty, and participate in group discussions.

Successful applicants will receive 100% scholarship to cover tuition, on-site accommodation, and on-site meals.

Who should apply?

Literary Journalism is designed for writers seeking a professional development opportunity in a community of peers with the guidance of an experienced writer/editor, as each participant prepares a long form piece.

Applicants should be experienced professionals, active in the diversified fields of writing, including print or electronic media. This program is open to fiction and non-fiction writers, journalists, freelance critics or curators, artists, and academics, with an emphasis on those who can write for a lay audience with logic, vigour, and charm—and those who have a portfolio to prove it.

We welcome writers from all backgrounds, and all gender identities and expressions.

Please note: This program is run in English and participants are accepted for an English-language essay.

The Literary Journalism program is generously supported by: 

Rogers Communications Chair in Literary Journalism Endowment Fund

Faculty

What's Included

Accommodations
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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Full Flex 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. Banff Centre can accommodate most dietary requests. 

The Full Flex meal plan is calculated at $70 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast, lunch and dinner at our Buffet service.

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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 climbing gym, and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.

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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.

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Studio spaceRead MoreClose

Each participant will be allocated a private writing space on campus.

Paul D. Fleck Library and ArchivesRead MoreClose

The Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives - Current Services

The Library is delighted to support Banff Centre Participants, Artists, and Faculty with the following services:

  • Open hours:  9:30 am to 1 pm, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • Access to collections, including program relevant books, scores, artists’ books, recordings, periodicals, and object library.
  • Library accounts for borrowing materials.
  • Digital Library, on campus and remote access.
  • Library research assistance, by appointment.
  • Archives research, by appointment only.

Please email library@banffcentre.ca or archives@banffcentre.ca for more information or assistance.

Fees & Financial Assistance

You pay (fee after scholarship applied)
$0.00
Total fee (Tuition, Accommodation and Meal Plan)
$3 507.00
Scholarship amount applied*
$3 507.00

Application fee: $65 for individuals ($35 for applicants who identify as Indigenous).

Application Fees are non-refundable.

*Scholarship of 100% is available and will be applied to cover tuition, meals and accommodation costs.

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

Banff Centre will issue official tax receipts for eligible tuition fees and financial assistance and awards as required by the Income Tax Act. You will receive a T2202 (Tuition and Enrolment Certificate) for eligible tuition fees paid and a T4A (Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income) for applicable financial assistance and awards.

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.

Resume

A 1-3 page resume or C.V. describing academic, professional, and other relevant experience. 

Cover Letter

A one-page cover letter explaining why you are interested in this program and what you hope to achieve by attending it.

Project Proposal

An outline of one to three pages describing the project the applicant proposes to work during the residency.

Portfolio

Please provide one sample from your in-progress project, not exceeding 10 pages in total. 

Financial Assistance

Be sure to complete the Financial Aid question in SlideRoom to be eligible for financial assistance.

Adjudication

Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. The successful candidates will be selected from the field of applicants on the basis of writing skill, literary merit, and the relevance and originality of their project idea. Consideration will also be given to the likelihood that the writer’s work will benefit from the program.

Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete. 
 

Eligibility

Applicants are usually accomplished, professional journalists and writers who have been published in national or international magazines, newspapers, anthologies, or literary journals. However, writers with less experience have also been accepted to the program based on merit, the proposed project and writing skill.

Applicants must be ages 18+ at the time of the program start date.

Note: Past participants of Literary Journalism are not eligible. Those accepted as participants to the program who subsequently find themselves unable to attend for the full program schedule are asked to withdraw and re-apply another year. This program is not open to current faculty members of any other Banff Centre programming.  Applications will not be accepted from any applicants who have participated in a Banff Centre program in the last 12 months.

International Applicants

Banff Centre welcomes domestic and international applicants for this program. Please note, Banff Centre programs do not meet Canadian Student Visa eligibility requirements, you must obtain a Visitor Visa to enter Canada. Accepted individuals are responsible for identifying and complying with the immigration requirements to enter Canada as a visitor from their country of origin. Current wait times to receive a visa are much longer than normal, so applicants who require a Visitor Visa should check the current expected processing times prior to applying.

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. MDT.

Contact Admissions

For questions on preparing your application, please contact Admissions:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)
1.800.565.9989