Application details

We welcome students with diverse backgrounds, ages and lived experience. Each year our cohort will include writers of different writing sensibilities, as well as educational, cultural and racial backgrounds.

Being published is not a requirement of the program. While each writer will have their own personal goals for entering the program, we regularly see:

  • Students who do not have a specific project in mind but would like to improve their writing
  • Students who want to work on one project
  • Students who start on one project but change midway through the year

Over the years, we’ve seen all three types of students succeed in our program and beyond. 

How to apply

As part of the online application process, you will be asked to include the following:

Cover Letter (1 page)

  • State why the Writer’s Studio is right for you. To learn what each mentor looks for in an application, visit the individual mentors’ pages
  • Please list two genre groups for which you would like to be considered (i.e., fiction, non-fiction, poetry, speculative/YA fiction). 
  • To be considered for a scholarship, please add a second page to your letter. 

Writing Résumé (1 page)

A profile or résumé detailing all your writing-related activities. Please include any of the following:

  • previous writing training (programs, courses, workshops)
  • publication experience if applicable, but not required (books, articles, blog entries, etc.)
  • community involvement (book clubs, writing groups, readings you've attended, etc.)

Writing Sample (20 pages)

A sample of writing that shows us your range (in topics and genres) as a writer.

Your writing sample can be a single piece or multiple pieces of writing, in one or multiple genres, as long as the total does not exceed 20 pages.

Formatting guidelines:

  • Title of your work(s), if it has one, at top centre of page
  • Your name on top right of page
  • Page numbers on bottom right of page
  • Double-spaced (for poetry, use 1.15 line spacing)
  • 12-point font

Selection process

We typically invite between 60 and 70 percent of applicants to join the Writer's Studio. All mentors review the applications and then select nine students for their genre group.

Mentors will consider each applicant’s writing level, topic, eagerness to learn and fit for the group. Strong writing alone does not guarantee you a spot in the program. 

Genre choices

We will do our best to place you in one of your two preferred genre groups. If you are not selected for either group, we will place you on a waitlist for one of your two preferred groups. Prior to the program start, if a spot opens up in that group, we will offer the spot to the first person on the waitlist. 

Deferring and reapplying

If you are offered a spot in the program but cannot join at the time of application, you will not be able to defer your acceptance to another year. We ask that you apply again during the next application period.

You’re welcome to try a manuscript consultation or standalone creative writing courses to strengthen your writing for the next time you apply. Some past students have applied multiple times before being accepted into the program.