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Literary Journalism Online 2021

Literary Arts

Program Information

3 people, in a photo collage, are looking at the camera

Collage of program faculty, Charlotte Gill, Carol Shaben and Michael Harris


This two-week online residency encourages the exploration of new ideas in journalism and experimentation in writing. Designed to challenge and stimulate, the program aims to inspire creative pieces of non-fiction and to assist the writers in their completion. 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?

This residency gives writers time to work on their manuscripts, receive individual consultations with faculty, and participate in group discussions. This 14-day online residency provides mentorship from faculty members, Q&A sessions, and one-on-one workshopping. Instructors will discuss ideas, experiences, and obstacles that participants may be encountering with their literary journalism.

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 (3,000-5,000 words). 

Participants 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.


This 14-day synchronous, online residency provides mentorship from faculty members, on-line lectures, Q&A sessions and one-on-one workshopping. 
Schedule to be confirmed.


What's Included

Online LecturesRead MoreClose

Log-in to online lectures.

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Group Seminars/WorkshopsRead MoreClose

Log-in to group seminars and workshops.

Individual MentorshipRead MoreClose

Manuscript development in consultation with one of two faculty editors. Once confirmed, accepted applicants will receive details about their assigned editor.

Fees & Financial Assistance

Program Fee
Program Fee with Financial Assistance*

Application fee: $25

Literary Journalism participants will receive 100% scholarship to cover the program fees.

How to Apply

Learn more about the steps to Complete Your Application.


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

Project Summary and Bio

Provide a 100-word artist biography and a 100-word summary of the proposed project. These summaries  and bios will be used for administrative and public purposes related to your program. 

Publication Names

Applicants should also include the name(s) of the publication(s), national or international, in which the project could or will be published.

Project Proposal

An outline of three to five pages describing the project the applicant proposes to work on during the residency, detailing both the reporting that has been done and the textual approach the applicant plans to take. The project is ideally a deeply reported piece of narrative-driven non-fiction of approximately 4,000 words. 

General subject matter varies widely from one project to another, and can be concerned with art, science, music, politics, medicine, culture, style, sports, history, personal history, geography, business, or biography, to list a few possibilities.

Work Samples

Up to three samples of relevant recent artistic work not exceeding 25 pages in total. 

NOTE: The time between acceptance to the program and the draft deadline should be used for research and manuscript development in consultation with one of two faculty editors. Once confirmed, accepted applicants will receive details about their assigned editor and will be required to submit a revised manuscript one week prior to program start. 


Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. The eight 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. Projects can be risk-taking endeavours both stylistically and intellectually. Consideration will also be given to the likelihood that the writer’s work will benefit from the program.

Applicants will be notified as soon as adjudication is complete.


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.

Note: Past participants of Literary Journalism are not eligible for this year's iteration of Literary Journalism. 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.

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)