Writers: Call for applications- Vancouver Public Library Writers-in-Residence

Vancouver, B.C.

Writer in Residence

Our writer in residence program promotes Canadian writing and literature to Vancouver citizens. During the four-month residency, the writer spends 50% of their time working on their own project and 50% of their time mentoring emerging writers, conducting workshops and participating in other activities and programs to share their experience with the community.

Call for Applications

The Vancouver Public Library is seeking two Writers in Residence in order to highlight the importance of Canadian writing and creativity. In 2021 the library will host a Summer Residency and a Fall Residency. We are seeking to fill one of the residencies with a fantasy genre author, and are issuing an open call to all published Canadian writers of any form, style and content to fill the other residency.

The Writer plays a creative and valuable role at the Library, using their experience to foster a greater public appreciation for Canadian writing. They provide the community with opportunities to interact with and learn from a published writer, especially communities not typically exposed to Canadian writing.

The Writer in Residence will develop and lead exciting public events that promote a love of writing and reading. They will support and provide advice to community members and aspiring writers through one-on-one consultations and group workshops.

This full-time position (35 hours/week) requires 50 percent of the Writer’s time be spent on library programs or projects, leaving 50 percent of the residency time available for working on their writing projects.

The Library would like to hear from you if you are:

  • A published Canadian writer with professional instruction and public speaking experience
  • Enthusiastic about developing, presenting, and sharing your knowledge and craft through events with Vancouver Public Library. These events will be held online to meet public health requirements
  • Committed to participating in Vancouver Public Library and City of Vancouver events
  • In the early working stage of a writing project
  • Available on a full-time basis for one of these timelines:

Summer Residency – May 10 through August 27, 2021

Fall Residency – September 7 through December 23, 2021

In addition to your writing and public speaking experience you must also be able to:

  • Work independently and as part of a team with library staff, working remotely through online environments, such as Zoom
  • Comfortably interact with members of Vancouver’s diverse public, including youth and seniors
  • Deliver programs and consultations online, as events will be held digitally to meet public health requirements. VPL staff will be available to provide support for delivery of online programs
  • Participate in media opportunities to promote the residency, the library and Canadian writing
  • Prepare for and meet deadlines

The Writer in Residence will have three main responsibilities:

  • Spend time developing their own writing project
  • Lead online literary events and other relevant programs to share their writing with the general public of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland
  • Support and assist new writers through online one-on-one meetings and group workshops

Contract terms: $17,000 for four months full-time activity ($4,250 per month on a self-employed basis).

Contract dates:

  • Summer Residency: May 10 through August 27, 2021
  • Fall Residency: September 7 through December 23, 2021

Please send us:

  • A resume outlining your relevant qualifications, publications and experience
  • A cover letter which expands on your experience, your vision for your residency, and which community not typically familiar with Canadian writing you would like to engage
  • A brief description of the writing project you intend to pursue – explain how a residency at the Vancouver Public Library and access to its resources will benefit your project
  • A brief outline of the public events you will offer during your residency, including your plans for engaging community members and aspiring writers. Keep in mind these events will be held online to meet public health requirements
  • Your preference for the Summer Residency or the Fall Residency
  • A 10 to 20 page sample of recent writing
  • Reviews of published work
  • Contact information for three references

Expressions of interest may be emailed in PDF format to programs@vpl.ca.

Completed applications must be received by 5 p.m. (PST) on Thursday October 29, 2020.

If you have questions, contact Amber Ritchie at amber.ritchie@vpl.ca.

Vancouver Public Library’s Writer in Residence program started in 2005 and the successful candidates will serve as VPL’s 16th and 17th Writers in Residence.

Hiromi Goto

2007 Writer in Residence

Hiromi Goto won the 1995 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for her first novel, Chorus of Mushrooms.

Hiromi Goto was born in Chiba-ken, Japan, near Tokyo. In 1969, when she was three years old, her family immigrated to Canada. They lived on the west coast of British Columbia for eight years before moving to Nanton, Alberta, where her father fulfilled a dream of starting a mushroom farm. Hiromi attended the University of Calgary, and graduated in 1989 with a B.A. in Humanities (English and Art). Her eighty-year old grandmother did tell her Japanese stories when she was growing up. Her work is also influenced by her father’s stories of life in Japan. These stories often featured ghosts and folk creatures such as the kappa — a small creature with a frog’s body, a turtle’s shell and a bowl-shaped head that holds water.

Her novel, A Chorus of Mushrooms (1994), received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in the Caribbean and Canadian Region and was co-winner of the Canada-Japan Book Award. Her short stories and poetry have been widely published in literary journals. Her second novel, The Kappa Child (2001) was nominated for the Sunburst Award for Literature of the Fantastic and for the Commonwealth Prize for Best Regional Book. The Kappa Child was awarded the James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award. Her first children’s novel, The Water of Possibility was also published in 2001. Hiromi is an active member of the literary community, a writing instructor and editor. She is also the mother of two children and lives in Burnaby, B.C.


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