Welcome to the Historic Joy Kogawa House online application portal. We welcome applications in March and April 2020 for our author residencies to be held later this year and in late 2021 and 2022. To be notified when we are open for applications, please subscribe to our eNews.

Welcome to the guidelines for our 2020-2021 author residency application intake. We are now accepting applications for residencies that take place in late 2020 and early 2021. To access the application form, use the Submit button below. To hide these application guidelines at any time, use the "Hide Guidelines" link in the upper right-hand corner.

Before you apply for a residency, we strongly encourage you to visit our website at kogawahouse.com, especially the Residencies page. If you have any queries about applying, please email us at residency@kogawahouse.com

Residency Period

Historic Joy Kogawa House will host a writer in residence for a two-month period at a time convenient to the successful candidate between November 15, 2020, and February 28, 2021, and again from September 1 to December 31, 2022.

During the interim period, Historic Joy Kogawa House will undergo heritage restoration and accessibility upgrades. We're excited to reopen with three living spaces and full accessibility on all levels of the house. Writers of all physical abilities are welcome to apply for residencies in late 2021 and through 2022.

We are looking for writers to live and work at Historic Joy Kogawa House for residencies that take place next year, in 2020–2021. Most residencies run for two months, although a one-month period is also available:

- November 15 to December 31, 2020

- January and February 2021

- September and October 2021

- November and December 2021

- January and February 2022

- March and April 2022

- May and June 2022

- July and August 2022

- September and October 2022

- November and December 2022

Aims of the Residency

The aims of the residency are to: 

  • foster greater appreciation for literary writing within the Metro Vancouver community
  • offer members of the community an opportunity to interact with the writer in residence 
  • provide space, time, and resources for a candidate author to write. 

The writer in residence is encouraged to engage with and energize the local writing community. As part of your residency application, please propose one community program for each month of your residency period.

Writers of Japanese heritage are given priority consideration.

Writers of children's literature are encouraged to apply for our July and August 2021 residency and to participate in our annual summer neighbourhood reading program.

Emerging writers who have not yet published two titles are welcome to apply for our November and December 2021 residency. 


Writers may apply for remuneration through the Canada Council or other arts council. Through the Canada Council, funding is available predominantly in the program, Explore and Create, through which writers apply for professional development (for activities such as mentorships, internships, apprenticeships, specialized training, workshops…), as well as research and creation projects. Within the Research and Creation component, writers apply for expenses related to writing a book (subsistence, travel, research costs) as well as project development expenses, including residencies. 

Writers are responsible for applying for residencies. All applications are online, and grant proposals for Research and Creation will be evaluated on the weighted criteria indicated in the guidelines (see Canada Council website for details). The maximum grant possible is up to $25,000.  


To be eligible to apply, you must fulfill all of these criteria: 

  • Minimum of two titles published professionally or self-published, including but not limited to literary fiction or nonfiction, poetry, scriptwriting, and playwriting, or a hybrid form of writing, or two professionally produced plays or other performance pieces (emerging writers who are yet unpublished may apply for our November and December 2021 residency)
  • Experience in professional teaching and/or other forms of public presentation related to creative writing
  • Currently working on a full-length writing project that will be the main focus of your proposed residency. This project must be intended for book-length publication or another form of public presentation 
  • Willing to engage with the local writing community

Note: Joint applications from two practitioners are welcome. A single application can be submitted for a collaborative writing project. Where both practitioners intend to pursue separate creative projects, separate applications must be submitted, which will be assessed individually. Please note that the remuneration for a joint residency must be split between both practitioners.

Selection criteria

Your application should address these criteria:

  • Potential of the proposed residency to appeal to the local community
  • Strength of the proposed community engagement activities
  • Artistic merit of the proposed writing project
  • Relevance of the proposal to values that embody the highest principles of Joy Kogawa herself: literary excellence (including innovation, social inclusion, and determination and character in the face of adversity), community pride and engagement, diversity, and social justice (please see kogawahouse.com for more information about the house and its history)
  • Applicant's ability to engage with the local community

Application requirements

Applications must include: 

  • a cover letter 
  • a maximum one-page proposal that outlines your proposed residency activities – your writing project and your community engagement programming
  • an artistic CV that includes: 
    • a history of your literary publications
    • previous experiences in teaching and/or other forms of public presentation related to creative writing
  • a sample of recent writing (published/presented within the last three years). This may take the form of a text document (20-30 pages), an audio file or a video (up to 15 minutes for either) – whichever best suits your writing practice
  • one to three reviews of your work
  • contact information for three references

Applications are due April 30, 2020.

Application fee

We charge a $50 application fee so that we can cover the costs of the application process. However, if you are experiencing financial hardship and you need to ask for an exemption from this fee, please feel free to get in contact.

Application process

Applications are reviewed by a jury of peers in the writing industry. Once a shortlist of candidates has been determined, the selection committee will request three letters of reference from each of these applicants.

Alternative arrangements (writer's retreat)

Writers who wish to work in the inspiring setting of this cultural and historic site are welcome to apply for a one-month writer's retreat use of the house. Please indicate this application preference in your cover letter. The public programming component would be relinquished and a monthly rent of $1,000 paid.

Historic Joy Kogawa House