The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization on a mission to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing.

To honour our commitment to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, on whose land Berton House Writers’ Residency is situated, Writers’ Trust will bring an Indigenous author to their community during their traditional time for storytelling in the fall of 2022.

An Indigenous author will be selected to live and work for two months in the childhood home of noted Canadian author Pierre Berton, which has operated as a writers’ residency since 1996 in Dawson City, Yukon. The resident will receive a $4,000 stipend and travel costs will be covered by Writers’ Trust. Residents are required to perform two public readings: one at the Whitehorse Public Library and one at the Dawson City Community Library. As well, they are encouraged to engage further with the local community by holding writing workshops in the community, interacting with the public and local literary communities, participating in local events, and availing themselves and their work to local and national media.

To be eligible candidates must be:

  • First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit, and declare the Indigenous community or communities with which they are affiliated,
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident,
  • Have published at least one book or hold a book contract with a professional publishing house,
  • Established in any literary creative discipline (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young readers, playwriting). Self-published writers or writers working in other genres are not eligible.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: AUGUST 2, 2022 (11:59PM PT) All applicants will be notified of the results in September 2022.

How are applications assessed?

Applications will be judged by a three-person jury of Indigenous authors and a Dawson City community member. In their assessment they will place heavy emphasis on a candidate’s expression of interest in Berton House. We want to know why this program is the right match for you at this time (as opposed to any other residency program). Please note that applicants need not be working on projects related to the Canadian North to be Berton House writers-in-residence.

Special access and medical requirements?

We encourage all eligible writers to apply. Please contact the program director at any stage of the application process to discuss any specific mobility concerns, sensory impairments, medical requirements, or other issues you may have that affect your decision to apply to the program. Writers’ Trust aims to accommodate all writers and mitigate access barriers whenever possible.

Renovations currently underway at Berton House will increase accessibility so that more Canadian writers can benefit from this opportunity. Built a century ago, the house was restored in the 1990s and is being renovated in 2022. It will have an access ramp at the entrance and accessibility within the house has been improved.

However, Berton House is a century-old home in a remote community. It may not provide the accessibility standards or services potential applicants may be accustomed to in their own communities. The house itself is a bungalow located on the southern edge of town. It is roughly 800 sq ft. It is cozy and comfortably accommodates one or two people, but it is not large or spacious.

Dawson City is not entirely accessible though many buildings in meet accessibility requirements. The city is serviced by unpaved roads and has sidewalks made of wood planks. These sidewalks are raised off the ground and not serviced by curb ramps. It is challenging to get a wheelchair from the unpaved road up onto the sidewalk. Sidewalks are shoveled during winter months, but the roads are not.

Dawson City’s hospital provides 24/7 emergency care. The medical clinic is housed in the same building and offers walk-in and scheduled appointments and has a retail pharmacy. Occupational or physical therapy is not a service typically provided in Dawson and may not be available.

Dawson City is serviced by Air North airlines and they provide as needed carry on/off service for persons with disabilities.

While Berton House has a no-pet policy, we make exceptions for service animals.

For more information, please contact:

Amanda Hopkins, Program Director

You can nominate a developing writer who deserves to be considered for WT Rising Stars or submit yourself for consideration. Selectors for the 2023 program will review eligible nominated writers in equal standing to writers they discover through their own independent search.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • In the developing stages of their careers, though there is no age restriction.
  • Working in any language in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or children’s literature, including artists working in multiple mediums and/or experimenting with the literary art form.
  • At minimum, have at least one literary publishing credit in a magazine, newspaper, periodical, or anthology.
  • At maximum, have two books published with a traditional publishing house.

Evaluation Criteria

Recipients will be writers who demonstrate exceptional literary merit and display outstanding promise in their publication(s) to date. Selectors are asked to choose a writer whose talent amazes, whose approach to writing shines, and who, in their opinion, has the potential to become an important and influential Canadian voice.


Please send us a nomination letter (one or two pages max). We ask that you make a case for your nominee’s selection with a description of their writing and their potential. Tell us why their work shines so bright and why they should be a WT Rising Star.


Monday, August 22 at 11:59pm PT

For more information, contact:

Amanda Hopkins, Program Director

Writers' Trust of Canada