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Writers' Trust Announces Next Berton House Residents

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The Writers Trust of Canada has announced that Billeh Nickerson, Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, Sara Tilley and Jeanne Randolph have been selected as the 2010-11 writers-in-residence for the Berton House Writers' Retreat in Dawson City, Yukon.

From our friends at The Writers' Trust:

The Writers’ Trust of Canada has announced the four writers-in-residence at the Berton House Writers’ Retreat during the 2010-11 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 selected are:

Billeh Nickerson (July to September 2010)
A long-time resident of Vancouver, Nickerson now lives in Toronto. An editor, performer, and arts advocate, his publications include two poetry collections — The Asthmatic Glassblower and, most recently, McPoems — and a collection of humorous essays. He is working on a cycle of poems about the Titanic.

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail (October to December 2010)
Originally from Ottawa, Metcalfe-Chenail is a researcher and writer, and the author of For the Love of Flying: The Story of Laurentian Services. She is working on a comprehensive history of aviation in Canada’s north. Metcalf-Chenail moves from Green River, Wyoming to Edmonton next month.

Sara Tilley (January to March 2011)
A writer, theatre artist, and clown, Tilley lives and works in St. John’s. Her novel The Skin Room was a finalist for the Winterset Award and Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize. She is currently completing a novel based on her great-grandfather’s journals and letters, which relate, among other things, his experience working on a Yukon River steamer.

Jeanne Randolph (April to June 2011)
One of Canada’s foremost cultural theorists, Randolph has been writing, publishing, and lecturing for more than thirty years. She is the author of Ethics of Luxury: Materials and Imagination and, most recently, The Critical Object. She lives in Winnipeg and is working on her sixth book, Art and the Godliness of Goods.

About the Selection Process
The program received 64 applications from writers across the country. The applicants were assessed by a three-member committee: Lance Blomgren, a Dawson City-based writer and director at the Klondike Institute for Arts and Culture; Elin Kelsey, a past writer-in-residence and author of non-fiction books about science and the environment; and Lisa Pasold, a past writer-in-residence, novelist, and journalist.

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 get involved with the community. To be eligible, applicants must be 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). 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, the 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 Mylène Gilbert-Dumas, a writer of historical and science fiction novels for young adult readers. Jeramy Dodds, recent recipient of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, will begin his 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 that include literary awards, financial grants, workshops, scholarships, and the Berton House Writers’ Retreat. For further information visit

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