We are excited to announce that applications are now open for residencies at Historic Joy Kogawa House, the Vancouver childhood home of author Joy Kogawa.

Historic Joy Kogawa House is a recognized historic place of cultural significance to the writing and Japanese Canadian communities across Canada not only as the childhood home of Joy Kogawa but also as an author residency operated by a community-based arts organization.

Writers from out of town or out of country are invited to live at the 1912 heritage house, usually for two-month periods, while creating new work, and often while in residence interact and collaborate with a wide community of writers and readers in Greater Vancouver.

An author residency at Kogawa House is a valued opportunity for writers to work while on retreat in an inspiring space that is dedicated to the creation of new work.

We are looking for writers to live and work in the leafy Marpole neighbourhood of South Vancouver, for residencies that take place over the next two years.

Most residencies run for two months, although a one-month period is also available on request. Periods are as follows:

  • November 15 to December 31, 2020
  • January and February 2021
  • September and October 2021
  • November and December 2021
  • January and February 2022
  • March and April 2022
  • May and June 2022
  • July and August 2022
  • September and October 2022
  • November and December 2022

Residencies are open to any writer who has published (either professionally or self-published) two manuscripts and who writes on topics or represents a community that reflects and builds upon the legacy of Joy Kogawa as a writer and as a formerly interned Canadian of Japanese heritage.

  • Writers of all backgrounds should apply, including writers of Japanese heritage who are encouraged to apply, but with the understanding all final decisions will be on merit.
  • Writers of children’s literature are encouraged to apply for our July and August 2021 residency and to participate in our annual summer neighbourhood reading program.
  • Emerging writers who have not yet published two published titles are welcome to apply for our November and December 2021 residency.
  • Writers with limited mobility are encouraged to apply for residencies in 2022. In Spring and Summer 2021, Historic Joy Kogawa House hopes to complete accessibility upgrades to allow access to people of all abilities.

Residencies offer precious time and space for authors to progress their practice and projects, while establishing new links with the community. Past writers-in-residence include Carmen Rodriguez, Monia Mazigh, Lindsay Wong, Doretta Lau, Carole Langille, Deborah Willis, Tom Cho and Jackie Wykes, Susan Aihoshi, Ava Homa, Susan Crean, Michael Mirolla, CE Gatchalian, Kagan Goh, Christine Lowther, Joseph Maviglia, Nancy Lee, our inaugural writer-in-residence John Asfour, and many others. To date, we have hosted more than 40 writers-in-residence and encouraged publication of the written work created.

While living at the house, past writers-in-residence have connected to Vancouver’s diverse literary communities in the local neighbourhood of Marpole and also in other communities such as the Downtown Eastside and Powell Street’s historic Japantown, LGBTQ communities across the City, and among writing groups and teaching institutions in the wider region. Each writer-in-residence proposes a public program or workshop that engages local writers and interested others.

Writers are selected by a three-person jury and curated online through Submittable.

Historic Joy Kogawa House offers a voice and space for representatives from groups that may experience barriers or feel marginalized within mainstream society. The aims of the residency are to:

  • provide space, time, and resources for an author to write
  • offer members of the local community an opportunity to interact with the writer-in-residence
  • offer a voice and space for representatives from groups that may experience barriers or feel marginalized within mainstream society
  • reflect and build upon Joy Kogawa’s legacy as a writer and as a formerly interned Canadian of Japanese heritage

Writers whose work resonates with these aims are strongly encouraged to apply.

This is the only residency application intake for 2021 and 2022.

Applications are open now – and are due by 12:00 midnight (Pacific Time), Monday, August 31, 2020.

Find out more about the residency program and submit your application soon!

Thank you for sharing this information with writers you think may be interested.