Department of English

University of Toronto


 The Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence

Shani MootooOn behalf of the Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence Committee and the Chair of the Department of English at St. George, we are pleased to announce that the University of Toronto's Jack McClelland Writer in Residence for 2015 is Shani Mootoo

Shani's first novel, Cereus Blooms at Night (1996), took the Canadian literary scene by storm. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Giller Prize, among other awards, it has already attracted a lot of critical attention. Her subsequent novels enjoyed similar success: He Drown She in the Sea (2005) was longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Award, and Valmiki's Daughter (2008) for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize. Her fourth novel, Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, has just been released from Doubleday. 


Shani's first fiction book was a collection of short stories, Out on Main Street (1992), and she has also published a poetry book, The Predicament of Or (2002). Beyond being a wonderful writer--she was the recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Literature in 2012--Shani is also a multimedia visual artist.


Born in Dublin, Ireland, to Trinidadian parents, she grew up in Trinidad and relocated to Vancouver when she was in her twenties. She currently lives in Prince Edward County. 

 Shani will be conducting a non-credit creative writing seminar on fiction in the "S" term on Wednesdays, 6-8 pm, at Massey College. The course is by application and can accomodate no more than 15 students. The seminar is open to everyone who is currently part of the University of  Toronto community --faculty, students and staff.

Jack McClelland Writers-in-Residence

2014-15            Shani Mootoo
2013-14            David Bezmozgis
2012-13            Joy Kogawa
2011-12            Michael Winter

2010-11            Barbara Gowdy

2009-10            Michael Redhill

2008-09            Christopher Dewdney

2007-08            David Gilmour

2006-07            Don McKay

2005-06            Camilla Gibb

2004-05            George Fetherling

2003-04            Steven Heighton

2002-03            Albert F. Moritz

2001-02            Kildare Dobbs

2000-01            Austin Clarke

1999-00            Erin Mouré

1998-99            Sarah Ellis

1997-98            Roo Borson

1996-97            Jane Urquhart

1995-96            Tom Wayman

1994-95            Susan Musgrave

1993-94            Tomson Highway

Spring 1993       Audrey Thomas

1991-92            Judith Merril

1990-91            Patrick Lane

1989-90            Lorna Crozier

1988-89            Erika Ritter

1987-88            Al Purdy

1986-87            Gwendolyn MacEwen

1985-86            Mary di Michele

1984-85            Leon Rooke

1983-84            Mavis Gallant

Spring 1983       Dorothy Livesay

Fall 1982           Brian Moore

1981-82            Irving Layton

1980-81            Marian Engel

1979-80            Timothy Findley

1978-79            Dennis Lee

1977-78            Carol Bolt

1976-77            John Newlove

1975-76            Adele Wiseman

1974-75            Fletcher Markle

1973-74            W.O. Mitchell

1972-73            Margaret Atwood

Spring 1971       Josef Škvorecký

Fall 1970           R.D.C. Finch

1969-70            Margaret Laurence

1968-69            Jack Ludwig

1965-68            Earle Birney


Those interested in taking this seminar, please submit directly to me a two-page sample of fiction in digital format (MS word or PDF) with a return UTORmail address. No cover letter is necessary.
NB: attachments should be saved under the applicant's and the prize's names (e.g., Smith _Jack-McClelland_writing-sample) and the submission email should include the following subject heading: "Jack McClelland Writer in Residence Seminar." The deadline for submission is Monday, December 1st.

If absolutely necessary, I will accept hard copies; to submit a hard copy, please mail it to my address below, or drop it off during office hours at the Drop Box located across from the elevators on the 6th floor of the Jackman Humanities Building (170 St George St.). Please keep in mind that all doors to the Jackman  Humanities Building are locked after 6:00 p.m. Hard copies of writing samples should include the applicant's name and a University of Toronto email address, and list my name on the envelope.


The screening results will be announced by the end of December.

Smaro Kamboureli

Chair, The Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence Committee

Smaro Kamboureli
Professor, Avie Bennett Chair in  Canadian Literature
Department of English
University of Toronto
170 St George Street
Toronto, ON, Canada
M5R 2M8






John Gordon "Jack" McClelland (1922 - 2004)

 John Gordon "Jack" McClelland (1922 - 2004)

Each year the University of Toronto appoints a Canadian writer to work with students, faculty and staff interested in creative writing. (The appointment process is internal; no external applications are considered.)   From January to April, the Writer-in-Residence offers a seminar on creative writing and holds office hours for consultations on writing. The Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence Program is housed at Massey College and is jointly sponsored by Massey and the Department of English.


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