Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Writers Selected for Berton House Writers' Retreat for 2011-12

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From our friends at The Writers' Trust of Canada:

The Writers’ Trust of Canada announces four writers who will take up residency in the Berton House Writers’ Retreat during the 2011-12 year. Each writer will travel to Dawson City, Yukon, to live and work for three months in the childhood home of Pierre Berton.

“The Writers’ Trust is proud to welcome these four talented authors to Dawson City to work on projects that we know will delight and inform Canadian readers in the coming years,” said Peter Kahnert, Writers’ Trust Chair and Senior Vice President, Raymond James Ltd. “Berton House provides writers with a unique sanctuary to enjoy a brief respite in the old homestead of Pierre Berton, where they can re-energize and refocus their efforts to produce more great books.”

The writers selected are:

Jacob McArthur Mooney (July to September 2011)
Mooney’s second collection of poetry, Folk, is forthcoming from McClelland & Stewart in March 2011. A Nova Scotian now living in Toronto, he writes the poetry blog Vox Populism. He intends to work on a new collection of poems and a novel that he has “been chasing for over two years now.”

Manjushree Thapa (October to December 2011)
Manjushree Thapa was born in Nepal and grew up in Canada and the United States. She is the author of six books including a work of literary reportage, Forget Kathmandu: An Elegy for Democracy and the novel Seasons of Flight. Thapa will be working on a novel “with a Canadian protagonist who was adopted, as an infant, from Nepal.”

Hannah Moscovitch (January to March 2012)
Dubbed “the wunderkind of Canadian theatre” by CBC Radio, Moscovitch is a playwright best known for her award-winning plays East of Berlin and The Russian Play. An Ottawa-native, she “will use the Berton House retreat to develop a play that’s not tied to the agenda or timeframe of any particular theatre, and to spend some time reconnecting to why [she is] writing.”

Tim Falconer (April to June 2012)
The author of three non-fiction books, most recently That Good Night: Ethicists, Euthanasia and End-of-Life Care, Falconer is an award-winning magazine writer who teaches at Ryerson University. He intends to “use the time [at Berton House] to work on a book about music — singing, actually.”

About the Selection Process
The program received 62 applications from writers across the country. The applicants were assessed by a three-member committee: Charlotte Gray, a past writer-in-residence and Ottawa-based biographer and historian; Lulu Keating, a Dawson City-based screenwriter; and Carmine Starnino, a past writer-in-residence and Montreal-based poet, essayist, and editor.

About the Berton House Writers’ Retreat
Created in 1996, Berton House provides a three-month residency for writers in a Dawson City home. Writers receive a monthly honorarium, perform public readings, and are encouraged to become involved with the community. Professional Canadian writers who have published at least one book and are established in any creative literary discipline (including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, play/screenwriting, and journalism) are eligible. Funding for the program comes from the Berton House Writers’ Retreat Society, chaired by Elsa Franklin; additional support is provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, Dawson City Community Library, Klondike Visitors Association, Aeroplan, City of Dawson, Random House of Canada, and the Whitehorse Public Library. The Writers’ Trust administers the Berton House Writers’ Retreat program. For further information visit

The house is currently occupied by Sara Tilley, a novelist from St. John’s. Jeanne Randolph, a cultural theorist from Winnipeg, will begin her residency in April.

About the Writers’ Trust of Canada
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that supports Canadian writers and writing through programs, including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and the Berton House Writers’ Retreat. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country. For further information visit

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