James FitzGerald is currently
writer-in-residence at Berton House.
Berton House is both a destination and an opportunity to leave behind the familiar and avoid the distractions that intrude on a writer’s day. Dawson City, Yukon provides a historically impressive setting where a writer can concentrate on her or his work or just get away to think.
Professional Canadian writers who have published at least one book and are established in any creative literary discipline (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, play/screenwriting, journalism) may apply for residency.
The program was inspired by author Pierre Berton and carried on by the Berton House Writers’ Retreat Society. It is now owned and operated by the Writers' Trust of Canada. Additional operational support is provided by the Dawson City Community Library Board and the Klondike Visitors Association.
More than 50 writers have been able to enjoy and experience Berton House since its inception in 1996.Read more about the Program
The mandate of the Berton House Writers’ Retreat is:
- to promote the arts in the Yukon and Canada
- to manage and operate the Berton House Writers' Retreat
- to fundraise for the purpose of supporting the Berton House Writers' Retreat in particular and the literary arts in general.
"My stay at Berton House was like stepping into another dimension. I was satisfyingly productive in a house that welcomes each newcomer and allows us to focus on our work. But I also felt the pull that Dawson City, and the North, has always exerted on people: the excitement of Spring Break-up, the magnificence of the landscape, the adrenalin of endless light at midsummer. I met extraordinary people, relished my new friends’ eccentricity and creativity, and cannot wait to return."
“I came to Dawson City expecting to do a lot of typing; what I wasn't prepared for was how relentlessly fascinating a place it is. Here you're confronted with history at every corner, and the past looms large in a way you don't find most places in Canada. I had a great summer, and would recommend the Berton House residency to any writer interested in getting work done — and some thinking, too.”
“The three months have flown by and been very productive. I leave with a mystery edited and 38,000 words of a non-fiction book on disk. It’s a remarkable opportunity and one I hope continues for many years to come.”
“Dawson (I’ve been here twice before, briefly) strikes me as a marvel – such a small place with such a big heart.”
“This is a wonderful and inspiring place and we both have achieved a great deal of writing. We loved the sense of community in Dawson.”