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Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

Winter 2018 Writer in Residence

Emily Urquhart has been named the Wilfrid Laurier University’s Edna Staebler Writer in Residence (WIR) for winter 2018.

Urquhart is a Kitchener-based author of creative non-fiction and narrative journalism, and her work tackles issues including disability, gender, parenting, creativity, aging and ecology. Her first book, Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family, and the History of our Hidden Genes (HarperCollins, 2015), was a The Globe and Mail Best Book and a finalist for the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the Kobo First Book Award and the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize.

Urquhart will be at Laurier for three months, from Jan. 17 to March 23, 2018, and will participate in events at both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses.

Featured Events and Opportunities

  • A public talk, "True stories: Narrative non-fiction from cave painting to podcasting," on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7:15 p.m. in the Hawk's Nest.
  • Office hours on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (and by appointment) during her residency.
  • One-on-one writing consultations for Laurier students about their creative writing, by appointment.

To make an appointment, email Urquhart at

About the Program

The Edna Staebler Laurier Writer-in-Residence program is a residency for Canadian writers. We offer both shorter, "intensive" residency opportunities and longer residencies, depending on available funds and local planning initiatives from year to year. All Canadian writers of established literary reputation in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction or drama are encouraged to apply.

The compensation rate per week is commensurate with Canada Council funding (e.g. approximately $2,000 per week). If accommodation is needed, the successful applicant will either live in Lucinda House, a century home close to Laurier's Waterloo campus (depending on availability) or in other arranged accommodation in Kitchener-Waterloo.

The full-time position (40 hours per week) requires 40% of the author’s time to be spent on community programs or projects on Laurier's three campuses, leaving 60% of the work week available for the writer’s own creative projects. Community programs and projects include:

  • reading manuscripts and consulting with students and the public,
  • visiting classrooms,
  • giving readings and lectures,
  • leading workshops or
  • participating in similar community programming in Brantford, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Toronto.

Contact Us:

Award for Creative Non-Fiction

T: 519.884.1970 x3361

Writer-in-Residence Program

T: 519.884.0710 x4669


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