Open Call

Mountain and Wilderness Writing | Literary Arts

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

No Funding
Banff, Canada


Writers in all genres — fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essay, history, biography, and memoir — are encouraged to apply. We welcome all writers (emerging and established), from all backgrounds, as well as gender identities and expressions. Prior to the start of the residency, writers will submit 5,000 to 10,000 words from their projects. Intensive editing, both conceptual and detailed, of these or other passages forms the foundation of the program, although longer texts can be discussed. During the program, participants will take part in twice-weekly, two-hour workshops under the guidance of the editors, where participants will critique and support each other’s work with detailed attention to texts of 20 pages or less per workshop. Writers will also have access to the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival, which attracts accomplished filmmakers and authors from around the world.

Number of Participants

Participants will work in the peace and isolation of Banff Centre’s Leighton Artists Studios and consult on an individual basis with three faculty editors: Marni Jackson, an award-winning journalist, author, and editor; Harley Rustad, an editor at The Walrus magazine and fellow of the Royal Geographical Society; and Tony Whittome, for many years an Editorial Director of Random House U.K.


Selection Results (Announcement Dates)


October 25, 2019 - November 16, 2019


  • CA$65.00 application fee
  • CA$3,853.00 program fee (one-time)


Individual Studio, Library


Private Room


Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

Public Programs

Discussion, Mentors, Readings, Visiting Professionals, Workshops


Fiction, Literature, Nonfiction, Poetry



Program Description

Mountain and Wilderness Writing is a three-week residency for nine writers working in any genre (fiction, nonfiction, journalism, or poetry), on mountain narratives, environmental journalism, stories of wilderness adventure, or projects with an environmental theme. The interior journey of exploration and the psychology of extreme endeavours are as much a focus as the physical accomplishments involved, and there is a strong emphasis on literary quality. Writers will enjoy dedicated, uninterrupted writing time in a spectacular mountain setting, and the communality of a small group of peers from around the world under the guidance of three experienced editors. This program overlaps with the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival, and guest artists of the MWW program (visiting authors, editors, or agents) offer further enrichment and inspiration. Many projects developed in the MWW program have gone on to publication, and several books by alumni have won international awards.

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