The Writers’ Trust of Canada is relaunching the Berton House residency, with the next occupant to take up residence in Pierre Berton’s childhood home this fall.
The program invites selected writers to spend two months in Berton’s cabin in Dawson City, Yukon, on the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. The residency provides a monthly honorarium and travel to and from Dawson City.
The Writers’ Trust is relaunching the program with a special call for applications from Indigenous writers who have published at least one book or have a contract with a publishing house. The selected author will stay at Berton House in October and November – the traditional storytelling time of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. The deadline for applications is August 2. The selection will be made by Marilyn Dumont, David A. Robertson, and Jackie Olson of Dawson City.
A general call for applications open to all Canadian writers will follow later this year. Starting in 2023, four writers each year will have the opportunity to live and work at Berton House for two months.
The program was paused in March 2020 because of pandemic-related travel restrictions to Yukon. Writers’ Trust executive director Charlie Foran visited the house in October 2021, once the territory was open to visitors, and along with community partners it was decided that the home required a renovation. The century-old bungalow will be undergoing renovations this summer.
Berton House has operated as a writers’ residency since 1996. The Writers’ Trust has administered the residency since 2007 and has partnered with the Dawson City Public Library on the program.