The Literary Journalism Program
This month-long residency in one of the Leighton Artists Studios enables writers to work on their manuscripts, receive individual consultations with faculty, and participate in round-table discussions. A preeminent space for long form journalism, this residency emphasizes the strengths of thorough and articulate reporting, distinctive storytelling, literary devices, and—as always—captivating writing.
Work created in this program has been published in many outlets including The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, and The Atlantic, and pieces have gone on to win National Magazine and National Newspaper Awards.
What does the program offer?
This program encourages the exploration of new ideas in journalism and experimentation in writing. By placing participants in a setting designed to challenge and stimulate, this program aims to inspire creative pieces of writing, which might otherwise be difficult to complete. During this four-week residency, a series of outstanding guest writers and editors will be on-hand for public talks and informal discussions.
Successful applicants will receive 100% scholarship to cover the program fee, a $2,000 commission award for work produced during the residency, and a travel allowance.
Who should apply?
This program is designed for writers seeking a professional development opportunity in a community of peers with the guidance of an experienced writer/editor, as each participant prepares a long form piece (5,000-10,000+ words).
Participants should be experienced professionals, active in the diversified fields of writing, including print or electronic media. This program is open to fiction and non-fiction writers, journalists, freelance critics or curators, artists, and academics, with an emphasis on those who can write for a lay audience with logic, vigour, and charm—and those who have a portfolio to prove it.
- Your program fee includes a single bedroom on the Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.
- The Regular Flex meal plan
- The program includes a commission of a $2,000 award for participants. To qualify for the award, you are required to arrive with a fully reported and typed first draft of your project, and must complete a final, publishable draft of between 5,000 and 7,500 words by the time you leave.
- The program includes a $750 CAD grant towards your travel costs to and from Banff. This will be paid when you provide your travel receipts to us after you've arrived at Banff Centre.
- Write in the privacy of one of specialized studios in the Leighton Artists Studios.
- This program offers opportunities to showcase your work-in-progress in one of performance venues.
- Access a wide range of publications, books, music and films in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, open six days a week.
- Your program fee includes free access to the swimming pool, climbing gym, and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.
- A series of outstanding guest artists and curators will give public talks and hold informal discussions.
- Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.
- Enrich your experience and get to know other artists on campus by taking advantage of the activities and support provided by our Participant Resources team.
How to Apply
- Completing the application form
- Upload your materials
- Be sure to complete the Financial Aid section to be eligible for financial assistance.
- An outline of three to five pages describing the project the applicant proposes to work on in Banff, detailing both the reporting that has been done and the textual approach the applicant plans to take. The project is usually a deeply reported piece of narrative-driven non-fiction of approximately 5,000 to 7,500 words. General subject matter varies widely from one project to another, and can be concerned with art, science, music, politics, medicine, culture, style, sports, history, personal history, geography, business, or biography, to list a few possibilities.
- A one-page resume or C.V. describing academic, professional, and other relevant experience.
- Applicants should also include the name(s) of the publication(s), national or international, in which the project could or will be published.
- Up to three samples of relevant recent artistic work not exceeding 25 pages in total.
You are required to arrive with a fully reported and typed first draft of your project, and must complete a final, publishable draft of between 5,000 and 7,500 words by the time you leave in order to qualify for the $2,000 commission award.
The time between acceptance to the program and the draft deadline should be used for research and manuscript development in consultation with one of two faculty editors. For this first draft, writers are paid — shortly after their arrival in Banff — an advance on the commission award. In order to receive the full commission award writers must complete and submit their final manuscript by the end of the residency.
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity buys and exercises second serial rights to the material in order to fulfill the program's aim of making the work produced during this intensive editorial process available to the public.
The writers retain first serial rights to their essays, which means the author may publish the pieces wherever they like for whatever fee. A large number of articles that have come out of this program have appeared in national and international magazines, newspapers, and journals, as well as becoming sections of books and the basis for radio and television features. With the commission fee, Banff Centre acquires second serial rights to the essays written during the program.
Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. The eight successful candidates will be selected from the field of applicants on the basis of writing skill, literary merit, and the relevance and originality of their project idea. Projects can be risk-taking endeavours both stylistically and intellectually. Consideration will also be given to the likelihood that the writer’s work will benefit from the program.
Applicants will be notified as soon as adjudication is complete, approximately three to five weeks following the application deadline.
Applicants are usually accomplished journalists and writers who have been published in national or international magazines, newspapers, anthologies, or literary journals. However, writers with less experience have also been accepted to the program based on merit, the proposed project and writing skill.
The essays published in the Banff Centre Press anthologies may help applicants determine whether their level of writing and area of interest are appropriate.
For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.