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 offer writing residencies to emerging writers.
10 Writing Residencies for Emerging Writers:
- Artscape Gibraltar Point
- Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
- Berton House Writers Retreat
- Caetani Cultural Centre
- Dragon Dance
- Dreamers Writing Farm
- Firefly Creative Writing
- International Writers and Artists Residency
- Loretto Maryholme
- Spark Box Studio
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.”
The Berton House Writers’ Retreat is located in the Yukon, on the edge of Dawson City. The house is acclaimed writer, Pierre Berton’s childhood home. Berton House offers 3 month writing residencies together with a $9000 honorarium, plus travel costs are covered. Timing varies and residents are accepted based on an online application process.
“The residency has hosted 84 writers since it was launched in 1996 and has played an influential role in the publication of dozens upon dozens of manuscripts.”
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!”
Dreamers Creative Writing offers self-directed writing residencies from the Dreamers Writing Farm in Hepworth, Ontario. Our residencies are run from our literary themed farm, which consists of a studio, 4 bunkies, and 2 prospector tents, as well as a small herd of friendly goats, a secret garden, wooded trails, an outdoor kitchen, indoor and outdoor bathroom facilities, and so much more.
“The Dreamers Writing Farm is located in Hepworth, Ontario, Canada, just minutes from multiple Bruce Trail access points. It’s only 10 minutes from Sauble Beach, one of the longest freshwater beaches in Canada… There’s no better place for your writing adventures!
Firefly Creative Writing has a beautiful studio on the Danforth in Toronto. Their 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.”
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.”
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?”
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.”
Looking for more?
You can find additional self-directed writing residencies for writers on the Writers Trust of Canada 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 31 writing conferences and literary festivals in Canada.
This writing residencies for emerging writers article was published on February 4, 2018 and last updated on January 9, 2022.