– 10 Self-Directed Writing Residencies in Canada for Emerging Writers –
In Canada, there are many self-directed writing residencies and retreats available to professional writers, but what about emerging writers or writers focused on writing for wellness?
Are you early in your writing career? Do you use writing for personal development and healing? Do you just like to write? Here are 10 organizations across Canada that are open to emerging writers.
10 Writing Residencies in Canada for Emerging Writers:
- Artscape Gibraltar Point
- Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
- Caetani Cultural Centre
- Dragon Dance
- International Writers and Artists Residency
- Khel Centre
- Loretto Maryholme
- Pelee Island Book House
- Ross Creek Centre for the Arts
- Spark Box Studio
Bonus: Firefly Creative Writing
Artscape Gibraltar Point is an arts and cultural centre located on a secluded section of Toronto Island. The location offers self-directed residencies for artists, musicians and writers. The facility is set in a former schoolhouse on 46 acres and includes a flower and vegetable garden and adjoining beach. Self-directed residencies are offered year-round.
“Come stay in our dedicated quiet ‘Writers’ Wing. Every Writing Studio includes a large desk and comfortable chair.”
The Banff Centre is focused on learning in art and creativity. Set in the Rocky Mountains, and operating since 1933, it is dedicated to inspiring and developing creative excellence. The Centre offers self-directed writing residency programs at various times throughout the year. So far in 2018, they are offering a Writing Studio as well as a Winter Writers Retreat.
“Explore new directions with remarkable faculty and artists from around the world.”
Located in downtown Vernon, British Columbia, the Caetani Centre operates out of a 120 year old heritage home, the former residence of an artist, writer and teacher. The Centre is run by a not-for-profit society dedicated to facilitating high-quality creative programming. They offer 2 week to 3 month self-directed writing residencies at very affordable rates.
“Creative living and working spaces in an independent community atmosphere.”
The Dragon Dance artist residency is located just outside Trois-Rivières, Quebec, and provides residencies of between 2 weeks and 5 months. There are only one or two artists/writers in residence at any given time.
“Artists, printmakers, musicians, sculptors, painters, poets, thinkers, dreamers, adventurers, Bienvenue au Québec!”
This writer and artist residency in Val David, Quebec, is run by poet, Flavia Cosma. This residency is run out of a large home with a terrace, many balconies and a large garden. Residencies run from 1 to 6 weeks.
“The residency allows unstructured time, away from the demands of daily life, with no expectations on output. Here writers and artists can meet, live and work in a unique, multicultural community.”
Khel is a creative and meditative arts centre near Caledon, Ontario, that offers self-directed residencies of between 2 and 14 days. They are particularly interested in supporting writers and artists whose work is focused on Canada’s natural environment.
“Nestled amongst 10 acres of nature, Khel is a beautiful retreat from your hectic daily routine.”
Loretto Maryholme is a former nunnery, now run as a spirituality centre by the Loretto Sisters of The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Set in Roche Point, Ontario (near Barrie), their silent retreat offers time for self-reflection. Although not dedicated to writing specifically, these retreats offer extended silent writing time to attendees. Please note that this is a religious setting, however, no particular religious affiliation, or lack of, is required to attend these retreats.
“In this flurry and inundation of messages, do we remember how to listen, to be quiet, to be still?”
The Pelee Island Book House is set in Ontario on beautiful Pelee Island, renowned for its birds, butterflies and beaches. It’s also known as a place where artists congregate. Margaret Atwood, among other literary artists, owns a cottage on the island and is an instructor at the Pelee Island Book House. The timing of their self-directed residencies vary and sell out quickly, so check back often for new dates. In 2018, there are two residencies available in the spring and two in the fall.
“You will have plenty of time to write, read, walk, and explore the Island, while in a community of writers.”
Located north of Canning, Nova Scotia, in the Annapolis valley, writers (and other artists) stay in a private room in a shared artist farmhouse. The Centre sits on 178 acres of land and includes an organic garden.
“Our residencies provide a spectacular rural environment free from distraction. Each season offers a unique and changing landscape guaranteed to inspire artists of all disciplines.”
Set in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Spark Box Studio is an artist studio and residence run by two artists. They can accommodate up to 3 artists simultaneously and residencies can be as short as 3 days or as long as 2 months.
“An affordable, focused environment that encourages exploration, experimentation and the cultivation of new ideas.”
Bonus: Firefly Creative Writing
Firefly Creative Writing has a beautiful studio on the Danforth in Toronto. Their 2018 Writer in Residence program is now closed to new applications, but check back often for their next round.
“We’re looking for one fierce, hardworking, and enthusiastic writer who wants to become part of the fabric of our studio.”
Looking for more?
The above self-directed writing residencies accept emerging writers as well as professional writers. If you are looking for self-directed writing residencies for professional writers, the Writers Trust of Canada has a detailed listing on their website.
Are you interested in attending a facilitated writing retreat? Check out this list of facilitate retreats in Canada.
Prefer conferences? Here’s a list of 25 writing conferences and literary festivals in Canada.
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