Since 2009, the Historic Joy Kogawa House Society has hosted writers to live and work in Historic Joy Kogawa House on a paid basis. Funding is provided through the Canada Council, BC Arts Council, and donations from the general public.
Residencies typically run for three months, at a time convenient to the writer. While in residence, the writer progresses a full-length writing project while engaging with the community via a program of writing-focused activities.
The aims of the residency are to:
- foster greater appreciation for Canadian writing within the Metro Vancouver community
- offer members of the community an opportunity to interact with the writer in residence
- provide space, time, and resources for a Canadian author to write.
Previous authors-in-residence have included writer and cultural critic Susan Crean, fiction writer Nancy Lee, poet and scholar John Asfour, fiction writer Deborah Willis, and writer, scholar, and translator Ava Homa.
It’s a privilege for any writer to be given time and a place to write. The big bonus of being asked to do that at Kogawa House is the house itself which comes with a community. And with a mission — that being for us all to be mindful of the embedded injustices that still exist in Canadian society.Susan Crean
Some of the following details are drawn from our application guidelines, which should be read in full before applying. We revise our guidelines annually and make them available when we are open for applications. If the current guidelines are not yet available or you have a question that’s not listed here, please get in contact.
Are there any minimum requirements to apply to be an author-in-residence?
- Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada
- Minimum of two professionally published titles (including but not limited to literary fiction or nonfiction, poetry, scriptwriting, and playwriting, or a hybrid form of writing) or two professionally produced plays or other performance pieces
- Experience in professional teaching and/or other forms of public presentation related to creative writing
- Currently working on a full-length writing project that will be the main focus of your proposed residency. This project must be intended for book-length publication or another form of public presentation
- Willing to engage with the local writing community.
How accessible is the house?
Please visit this link to learn about the accessibility of the house.
Do you accept joint applications?
We welcome joint applications from two practitioners. If both practitioners are working on a collaborative project, a single application should be submitted. If both practitioners intend to pursue separate creative projects during their stay, separate applications must be submitted, which will be assessed individually.
Please note that the remuneration for a joint residency must be split between both practitioners.
How much time is spent engaging with the community as part of the residency?
The writer in residence is a full-time position (35 hours per week). It requires that 25 percent of the writer’s time be spent on community programming, leaving 75 percent of the work week available for their own writing project.
What facilities are provided at the house?
We provide a fully furnished house that includes full kitchen facilities, laundry with washer and dryer, and linens. The master bedroom has a double bed and is on the main floor. A single bed is in the office space adjoining the master bedroom. Two further bedrooms, each with a single bed, are in the basement.
Work facilities include two work desks, two office chairs, a printer, and a wifi connection. A data projector and a TV are also provided. We also have a long table, up to 25 folding chairs, and 8 folding tables that can be used for group activities and public events.
Writers-in-residence should supply their own computers and other working equipment, including printer paper and toner cartridges.
What is the remuneration for the residency?
The writer in residence is paid $2,500 per month and is provided with free accommodation valued at $1,500 per month. Assistance is also available for travel expenses (to be negotiated with Historic Joy Kogawa House Society). The position and the length of the residency term are subject to Canada Council funding.
What is the application deadline? When are you open for applications?
Exact dates can vary from year to year, but we have a rolling annual deadline of 1 February and we are usually open for applications at least one month before this date.
Applicants are typically notified of the outcome of their applications by the end of February.
Do you charge an application fee?
We charge a $5 application fee so that we can cover the costs of the application process. However, if you are experiencing financial hardship and you need to ask for an exemption from this fee, please feel free to get in contact.
Is the residency opportunity open to writers who are based in Greater Vancouver?
Yes. We welcome applications from writers who are based in Greater Vancouver.