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Winnipeg Public Library

Writer-in-Residence

Lauren Carter

Lauren Carter is our Writer-in-Residence for 2020-2021, and will be available for consultations starting October 1, 2020.

Carter is a multi-genre writer of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. She has published four books, two poetry collections, and two novels, including This Has Nothing to Do With You, which won the 2020 Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction at the Manitoba Book Awards. Her debut novel, Swarm, was included on the CBC Canada Reads long-list, while her poetry collection, Lichen Bright, was long-listed for the ReLit Award. She has taught multiple online writing courses and mentored writers both in-person and remotely.

"The work of helping writers navigate towards creative discoveries, make breakthroughs, and embrace the call to write is hugely meaningful to me."

Writer-In-Residence Poster 2020-2021 - Lauren Carter
Writer-In-Residence Write-In Online Progran in November 2020

The Writer-in-Residence provides online consultation with emerging and established writers of all genres from an office located in Millennium Library. Consultations are open to writers in Manitoba only.

Submit your Manuscript

Include a cover letter with a brief description of your writing background and any specific feedback you would like, as well as all contact information including an email address.

Manuscripts must follow strict submission guidelines:

  • typed in 12-point font;
  • prose: double-spaced, no more than 15 pages;
  • poetry: single-spaced, no more than six poems.

From October 1, 2020 to March 15, 2021, manuscripts for review can be emailed to wpl.writerinres@gmail.com or a copy can be dropped off at the Reader Services desk at the Millennium Library or mailed to: Writer-in-Residence, Reader Services, 251 Donald Street, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3P5

* Printed submissions must be copies as they will not be returned. Lauren will contact writers directly to follow up.

The Writer-in-Residence service is free.

History of the Program

The Winnipeg Public Library launched its Writer-in-Residence program in 1985 by appointing Sandra Birdsell for a short term. She was followed in 1986 by Carol Matas for another short term residency.

With the program well underway, the Library applied for a grant from the Canada Council to provide 50% of the funding for the program. Under Canada Council rules, the Library was obliged to choose a writer who did not live in the province. Over the next few years, the Library hosted several Canadian writers including Anne Szumigalski, Geoffrey Ursell, and Merna Summers.

During the mid 90s, the Library was unable to continue to fund its portion of the program and so it was suspended. In 1997, the Manitoba Writers' Guild decided to initiate its own program and offered the services of a writer-in-residence at the University of Winnipeg. Although the program was a success, the Guild recognized that the Library setting was more accessible to the general public.

In 1998, the Guild approached the Library to begin the program again as a partnership. The next residency was a short term one at the St. Boniface Library with Marcien Ferland working in French. The Guild and the Library successfully applied for a grant from the Manitoba Arts Council for a 9-month term and in the fall of 1999 Linda Holeman began her term as the Writer-in-Residence.

The next year, the Library took over the financial responsibility for the program and was successful in applying for funds from a variety of sources including the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Advisory Council, Friends of Winnipeg Public Library and the Winnipeg Public Library Board. With the assistance of the Manitoba Writers' Guild, George Amabile was chosen for a 6-month term beginning in the fall of 2000.

Since then, the Winnipeg Public Library has hosted poets (John Weier, Maurice Mierau, Di Brandt, Jennifer Still), short fiction writers (Chandra Mayor, Melissa Steele, Patricia Robertson), young adult writers (Duncan Thornton), genre authors (Doug Whiteway), and award-winning literary novelists (David Bergen, Miriam Toews, Terry Jordan). In 2008 the program chose its first playwright, Bruce McManus. In 2016, the program saw its first duo with the song writing, poetry and publishing team of Christine Fellows and John K. Samson.

List of Writers-in-Residence

Each writer's term began in the fall of the starting year and ended in the spring or summer of the following year. Writers who served a shorter term due to funding shortfalls are marked with an asterisk. If a year is omitted, the program was on hiatus during that time.

1985 - Sandra Birdsell
1986 - Carol Matas
1987 - Anne Szumigalski
1989 - Geoffry Ursell
1990 - Merner Summers
1991 - Kate Bitney *
1993 - Fraser Sutherland *
1993 - Larry Krotz
1998 - Marcien Ferland *
1999 - Linda Holeman
2000 - George Amabile
2001 - Margaret Sweatman
2002 - David Bergen
2003 - Miriam Toews
2004 - Duncan Thornton
2005 - John Weier
2006 - Chandra Mayor
2007 - Doug Whiteway
2008 - Bruce McManus
2009 - Maurice Mierau
2010 - Melissa Steele
2011 - Terry Jordan
2012 - Joan Thomas
2013 - Méira Cook
2014 - Di Brandt
2015 - Patricia Robertson
2016 - Christine Fellows and John K. Samson
2017 - Jennifer Still
2018 - Jordan Wheeler
2019 - Carolyn Gray
2020 - Lauren Carter

Sponsors

The Writer-in-Residence position is funded by the City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Public Library Board, the Friends of the Winnipeg Public Library, and Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage.

For more information on the Writer-in-Residence program, please call Danielle Pilon at 204-986-2802 or email dpilon@winnipeg.ca.


Last October 20, 2020

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Was this information helpful?

How can we make this web page better?

Information collected will be used to improve our website. Do not use this form to submit a request for service or information because it will not be forwarded to departments for response. To submit a request for service or information, contact 311.

This form is not intended to collect personal information; however, any personal information you choose to include in your comments is collected by the City of Winnipeg under the authority of section 36(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purpose of improving our website and will not be used or disclosed for any other purposes, except as authorized by law. Contact the Corporate Access and Privacy Officer by mail (City Clerk’s Department, Susan A. Thompson Building, 510 Main Street, Winnipeg MB, R3B 1B9) or by telephone (311) if you have any questions about the collection of this information.

Ces renseignements sont-ils utiles?

Comment pourrait-on améliorer cette page Web?

Les renseignements recueillis serviront à l’amélioration de notre site Web. Prière de ne pas se servir de ce formulaire pour soumettre une demande de service ou de renseignements, car la demande ne sera pas transmise au service en question. Pour soumettre une demande de service ou de renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec le 311.

Le présent formulaire ne vise pas à recueillir des renseignements personnels. Cependant, les renseignements personnels que vous choisissez d’inclure dans vos commentaires sont recueillis par la Ville de Winnipeg en conformité avec l’alinéa 36(1)b) de la Loi sur l’accès à l’information et la protection de la vie privée dans le but d’améliorer son site Web et ne seront ni utilisés ni divulgués pour d’autres raisons, sauf dans les cas où cela est autorisé par la loi. Communiquez avec l’agent de l’accès à l’information et de la protection de la vie privée de la Ville par courrier au Bureau du greffier, immeuble Susan-A.-Thompson, 510, rue Main, Winnipeg (Manitoba) R3B 1B9, ou par téléphone au 311 si vous avez des questions sur la collecte de ces renseignements.