25th Trillium Award

Writers' Trust Names Future Berton House Writers-in-Residence

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From our friends at the Writers' Trust of Canada

The Writers’ Trust of Canada is pleased to announce the next four writers to attend the Berton House Writers’ Retreat, Canada’s most sought after residency program. Each writer travels to Dawson City, Yukon, to live and work for three months in the childhood home of noted Canadian author Pierre Berton. Past writers-in-residence include Lawrence Hill, Pasha Malla and Charlotte Gray.

The writers selected are:

  • Colleen Murphy (July to September 2013)
    Murphy received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama in 2007 for The December Man. While in Dawson City, the Toronto-based playwright intends to focus on a new work “that dramatizes how patriotism, fuelled by religious ardour, inspires and devastates a family living on a potato farm in Prince Edward Island.”
  • James FitzGerald (October to December 2013)
    FitzGerald is a Toronto-based writer of creative non-fiction whose second book, What Disturbs Our Blood: A Son’s Quest to Redeem the Past, won the 2010 Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize. His current work-in-progress is Dreaming Sally, “a true story of first love, sudden death, and ESP set in the summer of 1968.”
  • Clem Martini (January to March 2014)
    Martini writes for adults and young people, as well as for the theatre, film and television. He currently serves as the Head of the Department of Drama at the University of Calgary. Martini is researching how the ancient Greek and Roman comic playwrights shaped comedic literature, and is writing a trilogy for young adults entitled Year of the Dog.
  • Alan Cumyn (April to June 2014)
    Cumyn is the award-winning author of eleven wide-ranging novels, including the Giller Prize-nominated Burridge Unbound and the Owen Skye series for young readers. At Berton House the Ottawa-based writer intends to “work on the strange young adult novel that I have started, called Pterodactyl.”
  • Applications to the retreat were assessed by a three-member committee: Ken McGoogan, a past writer-in-residence and Toronto-based non-fiction writer; Sara Tilley, a past writer-in-residence and St. John’s-based writer, theatre artist and clown; and Helen Winton, a retired English instructor at Yukon College, interpretive guide at the Jack London Museum and long-time Dawson City resident.

    The current writer-in-residence is Chris Turner, a non-fiction writer from Calgary working on his first novel. In April, Victoria-based poet Melanie Siebert begins her residency.

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