Canada Writes

Canadian Writers Celebrate!


Very few countries in the world are offering such a welcoming and generous climate for authors and publishers than Canada.  Benefits for Canadian literature starts already with free ISBN’s in Canada:

The Government of Canada is committed to ensure that readers everywhere have opportunities to connect with a broad range of Canadian-authored books by providing funding and support to the Canadian book industry, professional writers, Canadian periodicals and small publishers (You!).

Grants for Professional Writers: Creative Writing.
The Grants for Professional Writers program covers subsistence, project and travel expenses.  The Creative Writing Grants component gives Canadian authors (emerging, mid-career and established) time to write new literary works, including novels, short stories, poetry, children’s and young adults’ literature, graphic novels, exploratory writing and literary non-fiction.  Deadline October 1, 2016

Emerging Writers:
Grants for emerging writers are intended for writers who have published one literary book with a professional publishing house or the minimum of past literary publications required, as detailed in the eligibility criteria. Grant Amount $3,000 – $12,000

Mid-Career Writers:
Mid-career writers must have published between two and five literary books (all genres included) with a professional publishing house. The grant amounts offered are from $3,000 to $25,000

Established Writers:
Established writers must have published at least six literary books (all genres included) with a professional publishing house. The grant amounts offered are from $3,000 to $25,000

Eligibility: To apply to the Canada Council for the Arts, you must be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status. You must also meet the Canada Council’s definition of a professional artist, which is an artist who:

  • has specialized training in the artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions)
  • is recognized as a professional by his or her peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition), and
  • is committed to devoting more time to artistic activity, if possible financially.

To meet the definition of a professional creative writer, you must also have:

  • at least one literary book published by a professional publishing house, or
  • for fiction, a minimum of four texts of creative literary writing (e.g. short stories, excerpts from a novel) published on two separate occasions in literary magazines, recognized periodicals (including general interest magazines), or anthologies published by professional publishing houses, or
  • for poetry, a minimum of 10 published poems is required, or
    for literary non-fiction, a minimum of 40 pages (10,000 words) of literary articles published in literary magazines, recognized periodicals or anthologies published by professional publishing houses.

Travel Grants for Canadian Writers.
Want to attend a Writing class in Iceland? Or you received an invitation to a writer’s residency in Canada? Apply: Travel Grants for Professional Writers – Grant amount $500 – $2,500
Travel Grants enable writers, translators, literary performers, spoken word artists and storytellers to:

  • respond to invitations to specific international literary events that are important to their artistic development and career or:
  • within Canada, participate in a writer’s residency.
    Deadline is anytime – until Nov 30, 2016 – travelling needs to be before January 31, 2017, as this program ends

Get all the details from the Canadian Council.

Change in Policies: All existing programs will end by March 31, 2017
There is a new Funding Model: A considerable increase in the Canada Council’s financial resources confirmed in the federal budget announced on 22 March 2016, are the good news.

Registering and Validating Eligibility:
Like any individual artist, artistic group or arts organization, the organizations that will be impacted by this assessment will need to register in the Council’s Web portal, which will be accessible as of December 2016.  Deadlines for core funding applications: July 1st 2017.
Literary Publishers (Books and Magazines) will receive 2 years of core funding for the organization’s fiscal years beginning 2017 and 2018
An arts organization that is not currently receiving core funding, but wishes to, can also apply for a project grant under another component. However, if the project grant comes from a component that is not available to core grant recipients, the organization will be required to choose between the core grant or the project grant. Organizations that currently receive core funding can also opt to apply for project grants from now on.
Writer’s Residencies.
“The Canada Council Author Residencies program goes to universities and public libraries, with community-run residencies at writers’ houses receiving proportionally less funding. This difference in funding is reflected in the honoraria paid to writers in residence at various types of residency hosts.  
University-based writer-in-residence appointments are well paid (the author appointed to McMaster University receives a stipend of $20,000 for a four-month term). Public library–based writer-in-residence appointments are also well paid (the author appointed to the Vancouver Public Library in 2008 received a stipend of $16,000 for a four-month term).  Writers in residence at community-run residencies at writers’ houses are somewhat less well paid (the 2010 writer in residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House received an honorarium of $7,500 for a three-month appointment, plus furnished accommodation valued at $1,500 per month, for a total of $12,000 over three months)” informs a web page.
See in detail who get’s what in an article about the Canada Council Author Residencies Grant Awards by the Simon-Fraser-University in Vancouver, BC.
The  (CBF) – Support for Publishers offers:
Publishing Support component strengthens the Canadian book industry by providing financial assistance to publishers for the ongoing production, marketing and distribution of Canadian-authored books. Supplementary funding based on export sales is also available as part of Publishing Support.

Who can apply: To be eligible for the Publishing Support component, a book publisher must be:


  • in operation for at least 12 months at the time of application;
    at least 75% Canadian-owned and -controlled;
  • headquartered in Canada with at least 75% of its employees in Canada;
  • a private-sector firm or university press;
  • financially viable; and
  • in good standing regarding the fulfillment of all contractual obligations with respect to author royalty payments or other method of payment to authors, from the beginning of the reference year through to the end of any contribution agreement.

More details on the Canada Heritage website.

If you want to see who and how much the grants were that Canadian publishers received, check out the Canada Heritage web page.

Foreign Rights Marketing Assistance Program:
Eligible publishers may choose from a diverse range of conferences, industry events, book fairs and sales trips that best meet their export marketing needs. Learn more about this program, including eligibility criteria, check out their Livres Canada Books website.
To help Canadian publishers capitalize on these key networking opportunities, Livres Canada Books organizes collective stands at International book fairs, including the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the London Book Fair, and the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Conclusion: Lots of Support!
The book publishing industry, as well as self-publishing authors in Canada enjoy industrial and cultural assistance directly to individual publishers through federally funded grant programs such as the Canada Book Fund, and through structural support such as copyright or the public lending right.  There is also an indirect support, in the form of financial awards to writers through grants, and in particular through writer-in-residence programs at universities, at public libraries, and at community-run arts organizations.

For sure, Canada, is THE best place
to be as a writer or as publisher!


Canadian Writers and Publishers are Spoiled!

Canada-Writers .

The Canadian government is supporting and fostering literature, writers and publishers – and even ISBN’s are FREE in Canada!  The Federal Government as well as the provinces are offering lots of benefits, there is a huge list of government grants and support for writers and publishers. For example:  
Canadian authors receive approx. $10 Million per year/ in average $600, and up to $3,500.  The Canada Council for the Arts distributes annual payments to Canadian authors through the Public Lending Right (PLR) Program as compensation for the free public access to their books in Canadian public libraries.
The Canada Council for the Arts pays Canadian authors who have books that are available for borrow in Canadian libraries.  The payment is not based on the amount of times your title has been loaned out but on the amount of titles you have available in libraries.
They offer a whole range of benefits for professional Canadian writers, collectives and publishers.  In addition to providing support for the creation, translation, publication and promotion of Canadian literature, the “Writing and Publishing Section” funds among others for example author residencies, literary readings and festivals, as well as new areas of activity such as rap poetry, storytelling and digital literature.

Just one of many provincial benefits for publishers is the Ontario Book Publishing Tax Credit, offering generous tax deductions as well as funding possibilities and grants to publishers, for example:

Book Fund
Export Fund – Book
Industry Development Program
Research Grants
Funding Recipients
Collaboration and Innovation Fund

Funding and Grants, or tax credits listed above are for publishers in the province of Ontario.  Every province in Canada has their own funding program. Visit your province’ websites regularly not to miss the latest application deadlines.  More about grants and funding for writers and publishers can also be found at the Enterprise Canada website.
A study found that 80% of all copies made on copy machines are from books!  As a Writer and first-time publisher, back in Europe in the early 1980′s, I was thrilled to receive a copy-royalty cheque for $180.00 from VG WORT.
Later I found out that the same system works well in Canada under the name ACCESS COPYRIGHT.  One of the many benefits of being a small publisher or trade-published writer in Canada!  However you must have set up a small business in Canada, if you are not with an established (not Vanity!) publisher, explains ACCESS COPYRIGHT on their website.  If you sign up (for free) with Access Copyright – a non-profit organization – you will receive payments if your work is copied or shared.  You only need to register once and if your work is eligible, they will send you a check at the end of the year.
What Every Writer Needs to Know About Copyright.  Register your manuscript or articles online to the Copyright Office, Canadian Intellectual Property Office Website (fee Can $50).

Good news for Canadian authors and publishers: the ISBN application process is simple and free of charge – but only if you are living in Canada and your publishing company is registered in Canada.

Amazon is not the first company, Enthrill, a Canadian book distributer is running a successful in-store e-book sales program.  North of 49 parallel, customers can purchase e-books (cards) in drugstores, WalMarts, SaveWay grocery stores, Sears or Home Outfitters etc. – all in all over 3,000 stores! – since 2012.
Enthrill gift cards are redeemable on any device with no download of an app required.  With distribution to thousands of retail stores, consumers are using Enthrill cards to give the gift of reading. Retailers have the ability to sell $25 or $50 gift cards, which the consumer can redeem instantly for e-books that can be read on any device.

“You must get an agent!” is an advice that aspiring authors hear and read everywhere.  Is it really true?  Not for Canadian writers!   Beacon Literary Services owner Julie Ferguson says: ”Publishing statistics in Canada demonstrate that it is simply a misconception caused by American influence.  In Canada, only ten percent of books / writers are agented.
Aspiring and established authors up there successfully submit the majority (10,000) of the titles published every year directly to editors.” Author Julie Ferguson wrote a great blog post for Canadian writers, explaining in detail how publishing “north of 49th parallel” works, with a link to, featuring listings and contact information in Canada.

Writing for airline magazines, such as Air Canada’s enRoute, or WestJet’s WestJet Magazine, represents a real opportunity for every freelance writer.  Travel pieces are a staple of in-flights, yet airline publications also offer articles on technology, business, sports, and food, as well as lifestyle trends.  Find as much as possible of the articles online.

Authors are smart and able to start their own publishing business, REAL publishing, not POD and not Vanity Publishing: Finding and getting quotes or referrals for an editor, a book lay-out company or book designer, cover artist, e-book formatting company and a printer is not difficult.  Setting up their own company can be done online – in minutes.

English is English! – No! Not at all! Canada and America are two countries separated by a common language – this is how George Bernard Shaw’s statement could be converted.  Many American (and other) readers are surprised to learn that there are huge differences in spelling between English-speaking countries.  A book, written and published in Canada, needs almost to be “translated” into American English and vice versa.

BERTON HOUSE Writers’ Retreat, Dawson City, Yukon Territory
Professional Canadian writers who have one published book and are established in any creative literary discipline(s) — fiction, non-fiction, poetry, playwriting, journalism — are all encouraged to apply for Canada’s most northern Writers’ Retreat.
The Writer’s Retreat offers writers time, and a remote location to pursue their professional projects.  The writer will be housed in the Berton House at no cost in rent or utilities.  Travel costs to and from Dawson will also be covered!  The writer is responsible for a public reading in Whitehorse and Dawson City and a summary of their stay at Berton House.
Applications may be submitted by mail or email to:
Berton House Writers’ Retreat, c/o The Writers’ Trust of Canada
200-90 Richmond St. East, Toronto, ON M5C 1P1

A monthly honorarium is provided to help cover food and other living expenses.  The competition to be a writer-in-residency during the 2016-17 season is now open.  An online application form is available.  Deadline for submissions is in October of every year.
Published authors are being invited to apply for the Haig-Brown House Writer-in-Residence position.  The residency entails spending the mild Vancouver Island winter months (or a portion thereof) living in the Haig-Brown Heritage House, which is under the management of the Museum at Campbell River on Vancouver Island (BC).

The modest four bedroom house reflects the character of writer Roderick Haig-Brown and his wife Ann.  Located in a peaceful setting on the banks of the Campbell River on Vancouver Island, it contains a Heritage library and is surrounded by two acres of garden and 17 acres of public parkland.

The writer’s time will be divided between pursuing personal writing projects and providing literary advice and support to the local community, and participate in Museum winter programming.  Included is a stipend of up to CAN $2,000 per month, depending on funding.

Please include a resume (maximum two pages), a list of publications, a one-page proposal of anticipated community activities, and a sample of work in progress (20 pages); with reasons why the residency would further your work.  Forward your application package to Sandra Parrish, Museum at Campbell River, Box 70 Stn A, Campbell River, BC V9W 4Z9. For further information contact


Writers Guild

Professional Writers Association of Canada

Canadian Writers Union

Canadian Authors Association and Branches

Crime Writers of Canada

Canada is one of twenty-nine countries with an active public lending right payment program. Well, with all these benefits it is not bad at all to be a writer in Canada!


%d bloggers like this: