7000 College Way
Vernon, BC, V1B 2N5

General Inquiries:

Editor in Chief:

Kevin McPherson


Jason Dewinetz


Joan Smeyers

Caitani Cultural Centre

Kalamalka Press Writer-in-Residence Program
at the Caetani Cultural Centre



Dates: October 2016             
Application Deadline: March 15th 2016


“Literature is dialogue; responsiveness. Literature might be described as the history of human responsiveness to what is alive and what is moribund as cultures evolve and interact with one another.” ~ Susan Sontag


Kalamalka Press and Okanagan College are thrilled to partner again with the Caetani Cultural Centre to offer a Writer-in-Residence program. This collaboration is intended to serve as a conduit between regional and national literary cultures by welcoming authors of any genre from across Canada to the North Okanagan to live and write and commune.   

The KP@C3 includes four weeks of accommodation and studio space at the Caetani Cultural Centre, with the possibility of extended stay, as well as a $1000 honorarium. Writers are responsible for their own transportation, food, and supplies.



Writers-in-Residence are encouraged to participate in one or more community events, such as a public reading, a visit to creative writing classes, or a writing workshop at the local library. The Caetani Cultural Centre and Kalamalka Press will help organize these events. Writers-in-Residence are also encouraged to contribute a book or text to the Caetani Cultural Centre’s community library.


Application Process

Open to emerging and established writers in any genre: poetry, fiction, drama, nonfiction, new media, hybrid works, etc. The residency is scheduled for the month of October. Applicants are asked to provide a cover letter, literary curriculum vitae, and brief proposal of work to be completed during the residency, as well as the competed application form available online from or linked below:

WIR Application Form (the actual form is at the end of this document).

Send completed packages, including all of the above, to our editor Kevin McPherson.



Applications for this season should be submitted no later than March 15, 2016. The successful applicant will be announced no later than April 15, 2016.


Selection of Applicants

Candidates will be reviewed by the Kalamalka Press editorial board, while the selection process will consider equally the applicant’s curriculum vitae, the merit of the work to be conducted during the residency, and general suitability for the program.



The successful applicant is required to submit a reservation/cancellation deposit of $200. The deposit will be invoiced online via Paypal in Canadian funds and will be refunded via Paypal upon the arrival of the writer at the Centre for the specified program.



In the event of cancellation by the writer after committing to the accepted program, the Caetani Cultural Centre reserves the right to retain up to and including the full amount on deposit. The Centre will make every effort to find a substitute writer to take the place of the accepted writer in the event of cancellation. A minimum $50 processing fee will be retained if another writer agrees to take your place.



Writers are responsible for their own food requirements and are encouraged to arrange their own transportation.

  1. The residency does not include travel expenses, food, health insurance, writing supplies, shipping, or other personal expenses.
  2. Most participants apply for grants to institutions, foundations, universities, government agencies, etc. in their country/province of origin to assist with funding their stay.
  3. The Caetani Centre does not provide daily cleaning or meals. Residents are expected to maintain their studio spaces and rooms, shared common areas of the kitchen, bathroom and other common areas in a clean, tidy and orderly manner, with respect for the other residents using the space.


Residential Accommodation
Sermoneta Room – approx. 10’ x 12’ (3m x 4m)

  1. Private one bedroom (queen-sized bed, clothes storage, desk with chair).
  2. Double occupancy may be considered. Please indicate on your application form.
  3. Shared 4-piece full bathroom
  4. Shared kitchen/eating area
  5. Shared communal gathering space in the Library
  6. Parking for one vehicle onsite
  7. Bed linens, towels, and cleaning supplies are provided by the Centre
  8. Coin-operated laundry onsite
  9. Access to Internet and Library
  10. The Caetani Centre residential accommodation is within walking distance to most downtown shopping amenities and bus routes, while taxi service is available to the site. If you plan to rent a car for the entire 4-week period, expect to budget a minimum of $1000. Arrangements for transportation may be made through staff and volunteers whenever possible, but cannot be guaranteed. A complementary bicycle and helmet are also available for the resident’s use (at their own risk).


Location, location, location…

The Caetani House is located two blocks from downtown Vernon, and is within walking distance or public transportation to shopping, as well as most public facilities and amenities. Bike trails and bus service are available to larger centres. Kalamlka Press and Okanagan College are located 5 minutes south of the city of Vernon at the top of a hill, approximately a 5-10 minute drive from the Caetani Centre.

The Greater Vernon community offers hiking trails, nature centres, a public art gallery and arts centre, performing arts centre, recreation centre, Vernon Community Music School, commercial galleries, library, science centre, and shopping. We are located between three lakes: Kalamalka Lake, Okanagan Lake and Swan Lake, and 25 minutes from world class cross country and downhill skiing, and mountain biking at Silver Star Mountain. 30 minutes from Kelowna International Airport. 5 hours from Vancouver by car. Vernon has a small airport with limited access.



For over ten years, Kalamalka Press and Okanagan College operated a writer-in-residency plan in coordination with the Mackie Lake House Society. This program brought to the region numerous talented poets, essayists, and novelists, including Dennis Cooley, Robert Kroetsch, Mona Fertig, Brenda Schmidt, Gary Geddes, Peter Midgley, Leona Theis, and Kathleen Brown. Several of these authors have published notable creative and critical works that were composed or conceived of during their Mackie Lake House residencies. In 2015, the program was moved to the more centrally-located Caetani Cultural Centre, in part, to accommodate longer tenancies for visiting writers.



“I arrived in the Okanagan expecting the gorgeous mountains and keen students, but what disarmed me and made the Kalamalka Press Writer-in-Residence position unique were the flourishes: the comedic sound of horse chestnuts falling on daydreaming cars, the casual sublime of the Enderby cliffs, the open hearts of the many writers living in the valley, the stories I heard in my favourite Vernon bar, the extravagance of Caravan Farm Theatre’s Halloween party, the visiting artist from Saskatchewan who knelt for a week in the front yard rearranging those fallen chestnuts into a more human pattern and, through it all, day and night, the courteous ghost of Sveva Caetani, my taciturn and moody companion, who roamed the Caetani House and helped with my negligence by gently shutting cupboard doors I absentmindedly left open behind me.”

~ Moez Surani, 2015 Writer-in-Residence




Previous Residents

For details on Mackie Residency Publications, see here.


Writer in Residence for Autumn 2013:

September 2013 – Leona Theis

Leona Theis

Leona Theis writes novels, short stories and creative nonfiction. She likes prose that is funny, serious and absorbing all in the same package, and that’s what she tries to write. Her story collection Sightlines (from Coteau Books) won two Saskatchewan Book Awards. Excerpts from her novel The Art of Salvage were shortlisted for awards on both the east and west coasts of Canada. Leona won the CBC Literary Award for creative nonfiction in 2006, and her work has been shortlisted three additional times for the CBC award. Her anti-memoir “Unsupervised Swimming” won second place in the John V. Hicks long manuscript competition in 2011. Recently, her short fiction was longlisted for the Exile/Vanderbilt Short Fiction Award. If she isn’t at her writing desk, she might be hiking, cycling, or paddling a kayak. You can find her blog, written in the voice of a character from her novel-in-progress, at Or visit her website here:



Writers in Residence for 2012-2013:

September 2012 – Terry Jordan

Terry Jordan

Terry Jordan is an award-winning fiction writer, essayist and dramatist whose stage plays have been produced across the country. His book of stories It's a Hard Cow won a Saskatchewan Book Award and was nominated for the Commonwealth Book Prize. His first novel, Beneath That Starry Place was published internationally and was nominated for two Saskatchewan Book Awards, and the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel award. The Toronto Globe & Mail called it "an achingly beautiful book." Jordan received the first fellowship to live and write in the Wallace Stegner House in Eastend, SK and was the first Margaret Laurence Fellow at Trent University. Recently, he facilitated the Fiction workshop at Sage Hill Writing Experience. This past year he served as Writer in Residence at the Winnipeg Public Library.


January 2013 – Kath McLean

Kath McLean

Kath McLean is a multi media artist living in Edmonton. She writes poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, reviews, performance poetry & drama. Since the publication of her award winning first book, For a Cappuccino on Bloor, Kath MacLean’s writing has been generating critical acclaim across Canada, United States, & recently, Europe where she toured this spring. An instructor of creative writing much of the time & previous high school teacher, MacLean has also been WIR for the CAA in Edmonton. Earning the first & only Ph.D. in creative writing at the U of A, her recent work includes: Seed Bone & Hammer, (performance poetry with Lane Arndt (2009), There Was A Young Man (2009/2010), Kat Among the Tigers (2011), poetry based on the journals & correspondence of Katherine Mansfield, & Doo-Da-Doo-Da, a videopoem from Kat which won her the “Best of Fest” at its first national & international screening last fall. Inspired by the writing of Robert Kroetsch, this year MacLean’s poetry was short-listed for the Robert Kroetsch Innovative Poetry Award. In October she received the Anne Green Award for her excellence & innovation in film, poetry, & performance. Fascinated by modernism, she returns to visit its early years in her manuscript in progress -- poems on H.D`s sessions with Freud (1933-1934) & in her longer work of nonfiction on the Spanish flu of 1918, both of which she hopes to be working on during her residency.


Kath McLean
January 2013

Kath McLean


Brenda Schmidt

Brenda Schmidt


Mona Fertig

Mona Fertig



Dawne McCance



David Pitt-Brooke & Christine McPhee



Ronald Ayling


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Terry Jordan
September 2012

Terry Jordan


Peter Midgley

Peter Midgley


Gary Geddes

Gary Geddes


Robert Kroetsch

Robert Kroetsch


Dennis Cooley

Dennis Cooley