Banff Fellowship

The Banff Centre - inspiring creativity

The Banff Centre for the Arts and the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute are pleased to announce a fully funded fellowship for students in, and alumni of, the Literary Reportage concentration.

The fellowship offers an opportunity to develop a major essay, memoir, or feature piece during a month-long residency. Writers will work on their manuscript during weekly consultations with faculty editors, and round-table discussions with the other participants. By placing writers in a situation designed to challenge and stimulate their creativity, the program encourages the exploration of new ideas in journalism and experimentation with writing a piece that might otherwise be difficult to complete. The fellowship covers round trip airfare to Banff, and food and lodging during the month at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

After acceptance to the program, writers are commissioned to produce and submit a first draft of the accepted project (recommended length: 8,000 to 10,000 words). The time between acceptance to the program and the draft deadline should be used for research and manuscript development in consultation with one of two faculty editors. For this first draft, writers are paid — on arrival in Banff — an advance on a commission fee; the deadline must be met, however, for failure to do so can mean disqualification from the program. With the successful completion and submission of the manuscript by the end of the residency, writers are paid the balance of the $2,000 commission fee. The program requires completion of the manuscript by the end of the residency.

The writers retain first serial rights to their work, which means they can publish it wherever they like for whatever fee. A large number of articles that have come out of the program have appeared in national and international magazines, newspapers, and journals, as well as becoming sections of books and the basis for radio and television features. With the commission fee, The Banff Centre acquires second serial rights to the essays written during the program.

Faculty for 2018

Susan Orlean – Rogers Communication Chair
Carol Shaben – Faculty Editor
Tim Falconer – Faculty Editor

Application deadline: February 28, 2018
Arrive: July 1, 2018
Depart: July 29, 2018

All applicants must submit:
1 Online application form and $60 processing fee
2 Supporting material:

  • Project description – An outline of 3 to 5 pages describing the project the applicant proposes to work on in Banff. (Normally the project is an essay or article of approximately 8,000 – 10,000 words on a broadly interpreted topic in the areas of arts and culture);
  • Resume – A resume, CV, or a short description of your previous writing activities i.e., include a list of publication credits, if applicable, and previous writing programs or workshops taken; and
  • Publications names – The name(s) of the publication(s), national or international, in which the project could or will be published;
  • Work sample – Three samples of recent work not exceeding 25 pages in total.

Electronic Submissions
Along with the basic application form that can be submitted electronically, all other text-based support materials should be sent as an email attachment to

Attachments should be sent in a recognized word processing format. Microsoft Word is preferred. Rich Text Format is another option, if you do not have Microsoft Word. Please indicate clearly which program the support materials are for. Pages should be numbered with your name clearly indicated on each page. Audio files, images, recordings, or other multi-media support materials cannot be sent by email. 

Adjudication and Notification
Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. The successful candidate will be selected from the field of applicants on the basis of writing skill, literary merit, and the relevance and originality of their project idea. Consideration will also be given to the likelihood that the writer’s work will benefit from the program. Applicants will be notified as soon as adjudication is complete. The approximate notification date is mid-April.

Please contact the Office of the Registrar:
Email: or
Phone: 403.762.6180 or 1.800.565.9989
Fax: 403.762.6345

To learn more about Literary Journalism at the Banff Centre for the Arts:

Read More >

Congratulations to Cody Upton for receiving the NYU/Banff Fellowship in 2012.

My time at the Banff Centre was incredible, and I feel remarkably lucky to have participated in the Literary Journalism Program. This fellowship provided me with the necessary structure, freedom, and support to create a piece that I might not have completed otherwise­—in my case, a piece of challenging, personal writing. Besides room and board, the Centre gives each writer a private cabin in the forested Leighton Artists’ Colony, and plenty of time to write… I did not want to leave.”

– Cody Upton, recipient of the NYU/Banff Fellowship, Lit Rep ’13


At Banff, I was free from the daily distractions, quotidian obligations and chores that make devoting long hours to deep thinking and writing difficult. I was encouraged to kick it to incredible, and in the presence good, smart, funny, engaged, compassionate people who care and really read, how could I not? My writing changed and my heart opened in ways I did not think possible.”

– Amanda Waldroupe, Lit Rep ’15


My experiences at the Banff Centre, were, in a word, transformative. Not only did my time at the centre change the way I approach writing and editing, it also contributed to my personal growth in a way I hadn’t anticipated. My editors were focused, encouraging and unafraid to push me into new territory. I feel I will never again be treated so well as a writer, nor will I have such a formative experience as an artist.”

– Kelsey Kudak, Lit Rep ’14