Books

Writers' Trust relaunching Berton House writers' residency in fall 2022

The writers' residency at Pierre Berton's childhood home in Dawson City, Yukon, returns with a new opportunity for Indigenous writers in 2022 and four writers-in-residence starting in 2023. The application deadline has been extended to Aug 15 at midnight PT.

After a pause during the pandemic, writers will again be welcomed to Pierre Berton's former home in the Yukon

Berton House, the childhood home of the late Canadian writer Pierre Berton, is located in Dawson City, Yukon. (Writers' Trust of Canada)

The Writers' Trust of Canada is relaunching its Berton House writers' residency in the fall of 2022.

The deadline for applications, which will be adjudicated by Indigenous authors Marilyn Dumont, David A. Robertson and Jackie Olson, has been extended to Aug. 15 at midnight PT from its original deadline of Aug. 2.

Based in Dawson City, Yukon, at the childhood home of the late acclaimed Canadian author Pierre Berton, the residency has hosted nearly 100 writers since 1996.

The front entrance to Berton House, where writers will stay during their residency. (Writers' Trust of Canada)

Writers' Trust, which has run the residency since 2007, has partnered with the Dawson City Community Library to relaunch the program, which was put on hold in March 2020 due to pandemic-related travel restrictions.

The residency, which includes a two-month stay at Berton House, located on the traditional territory of the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, provides a $4,000 stipend and travel to and from Dawson City. Writers are required to deliver two public readings and encouraged to interact with the community during their stay.

Writers' Trust is relaunching the program with a special call for applications for Indigenous authors who have published at least one book or have a signed book contract with a publisher. The selected writer will live and work in the house in October and November 2022 — the traditional time for storytelling in the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in community.

A general call for applications from all Canadian writers will follow later in the year, with four writers offered the opportunity annually to live and work at Berton House starting in 2023.

"An establishment like the Berton House is invaluable to the Canadian literary community," said award-winning Indigenous playwright and author Drew Hayden Taylor in a news release from Writers' Trust. "The place itself, the people in the community, the territory which surrounds it, all are instrumental to the ongoing success of Canadian literature."

An establishment like the Berton House is invaluable to the Canadian literary community.- Drew Hayden Taylor

Berton House is undergoing a renovation this summer to improve accessibility and comfort for future writers-in-residence.

Writers' Trust will be seeking partners to support each residency, which aims to allow writers to find inspiration in the North and encourage the development of major Canadian works created in the unique environment of Berton House and its surroundings.

LISTEN | Tim Falconer returns to the Yukon to share some stories from his book Klondikers

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