PEN Canada Writer-in-Residence at George Brown College

PEN Canada invites applications from creative writers in our Writers in Exile group for the position of Writer-in-Residence at George Brown College for the fall semester (August to December 2022) with the possibility of renewal for the winter semester (January to April 2023).

George Brown College, Department of English and Communications, Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies, Toronto, Canada.

Get to Know Us

George Brown College is very proud to be named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2022 – the sixth straight year we’ve made the list. One of the many reasons noted in the Greater Toronto Top Employers 2022 Report, published in the Globe and Mail, is George Brown’s focus on improving community inclusivity and outcomes for racialized students and employees through our anti-racism strategy.

Culture and Background

At George Brown, our success is powered by people and education. Our culture is what makes us a dynamic and rewarding place to work. We champion diversity, and provide educational opportunities for students to widen perspectives, gain knowledge and build critical thinking skills. 

For fifteen years, George Brown has partnered with PEN Canada to invite exiled writers into the College to discuss freedom of expression, human rights and the importance of democracy. By sharing their stories, the Writer-in-Residence will engage in rich discussions with the community and contribute to the College goals of inclusion and support for Canadian newcomers.


Successful candidates will devote approximately half of their time to students and staff, as a guest speaker in classes and at other College events and initiatives. The remaining time will be designated for the writer to advance their own work. Opportunities also include:

  • The chance to network and engage with other writers and creative professionals at the College
  • A bridge to other opportunities – many go on to complete further degrees, gain employment elsewhere, publish in Canada, and take on residencies at other institutions
  • The opportunity to share personal and professional stories with students
  • Remuneration: 25 hours/week @ $50/hr 

What we are looking for

An enthusiastic, open-minded individual who loves working with students and faculty and in a post-secondary academic institution; has a passion for freedom of expression, democracy, and open dialogue; is willing to share personal experiences relevant to the role; and champions the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion.  

Summary of Role

GBC’s PEN Writer-in-Residence will be an active member of the GBC community, engaging in public speaking at events and through classroom visits, both within the college and in the local community, and engaging with teaching faculty and students through projects and initiatives.

  • In consultation with the GBC team, develop a targeted plan for interacting with students, faculty, and staff throughout the semester, including face-to-face (on campus) and virtual (remote) engagement
  • Help to conceptualize innovative presentation themes for addressing critical thinking and freedom of expression in the College environment  
  • Create and deliver presentations, workshops, collaborative sessions and other innovative ways of connecting with students, faculty, and staff 
  • Participate in academic/cultural College events, and present in staff meetings 
  • Maintain an active online presence at George Brown College to promote the program to College employees and students

Candidates must:

  • be a member of PEN Canada’s Writer in Exile Program
  • be actively engaged in writing projects
  • be fluent enough in English to participate effectively in the work described above
  • be willing to travel to the George Brown Campus to engage with faculty and students
  • be willing to engage with faculty and students virtually through online platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom; be comfortable using the College’s Learning Management System
  • agree to have classroom visits and events recorded for educational purposes

Candidates must include:

    • a résumé indicating publication history in journalism, fiction, literary non-fiction, poetry, historical or ethnographic literature, or drama; awards received for literary work; and any professional experience in teaching, consulting, mentoring, residencies, and publishing
    • a portfolio of writing  (5-10 pp.) 
    • Remuneration: $50/ hr @ 25 hrs/week – contract on semester basis

Application Procedure:

  • Please send a letter of interest, your résumé, a short writing sample and a 2-3 minute video introducing yourself and sharing ideas for how you will engage students and others in the College community to create positive learning experiences.  
  • Your letter of interest must indicate how you meet the criteria listed above and must state your availability for the dates of the program.
  • Please send your application to The Writers in Exile Network, PEN Canada by email,, by the deadline of Friday, June 3, 2022

NOTE: No applications will be accepted after the deadline. Please ensure your application is completed as requested and that it is received on time. PEN Canada will not be responsible for incomplete or late applications.

PEN Canada will send applicants an email confirmation receipt after June 3, 2022. All applications will be sent to an independent selection committee as they are received. Selected applicants will be asked to participate in a virtual interview, after which a selection will be made with the goal of the Writer-in-Residence starting at GBC in August (start date negotiable).