Bookstore residency for writers


November 21 2021




Are you a writer living in Montréal? Do you want to carry out a cultural mediation project in a neighbourhood bookstore? You could receive a grant to carry out one of two writing residences—one at Saga Bookstore in NDG and the other at La Livrerie in Centre-Sud.

Bookstore residency for writers


Who is eligible to apply?

The program is intended for professional writers (including comic book artists) who have published at least two books. The Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM) has partnered with the Association des libraires du Québec (ALQ) to offer—this year only—two residencies in bookstores to writers of literature intended for adults, starting in winter 2022. The residences will run concurrently in the following bookstores:

  • Saga Bookstore, located in the NDG borough
  • La Livrerie, a cooperative community bookstore located in the Centre-Sud borough
What are the program objectives?

Each of the creative writing residencies is combined with a cultural mediation project. The program was developed with the following objectives:

  • help a writer develop a personal creative writing project
  • carry out a cultural mediation project to support this creative endeavour through meetings with the public and the community
  • get the local bookstore’s customers acquainted with the writer’s creative process and with their perspective
  • offer an opportunity for a writer to be available to the public
  • strengthen the role bookstores play in their communities as conveyors of culture


What type of assistance is provided?

In addition to a $7,000 grant from the Conseil des arts, recipients will receive promotional assistance and logistical support from the Association des libraires du Québec and the host bookstores.

What is the duration of the support?

The residence will take place over a three-month period from March to May 2022.

More details about the program

The writer must be available eight hours per week, and some of that time must be spent at the host bookstore. Their activities may vary based on their areas of expertise and interests. At the same time, they must develop a cultural mediation project in the community. As such, this residency aims to allow the writer to draw inspiration from the community while also giving back. The writer’s project can also involve artists from other disciplines, depending on their inclinations.

With the support and expertise of bookstore staff and based on the types of activities already in place, the writer could also propose readings or talks intended for various audiences and covering all aspects of their creative work, depending on their interests. The writer could offer coaching, or literary mentorship, by putting their writing skills toward helping the community directly.

Depending on the health situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the residency may have to be carried out in hybrid mode or may be entirely virtual. Artists are asked to propose two possibilities for their cultural mediation project: one outlining a project carried out in person at the bookstore, and the other outlining a project that would be carried out virtually.

The following themes are proposed by the bookstores:

  • Saga Bookstore

Saga Bookstore has proposed the theme “Supernatural NDG.” It invites the writer in residence to express the richness of NDG and its communities through literature of the imagination (science fiction, fantasy, magical or fantastic realism).

  • La Livrerie – Cooperative community bookstore

La Livrerie – cooperative community bookstore is offering writers the chance to submit a cultural mediation project on the theme « The Far North » to put into perspective and stimulate—under a literary lens—their imagination, reality and many identities.

Professional artists who are interested must submit a cultural mediation project to be carried out in one of the two bookstores. Applicants will be selected based on the connection between their creative work and the cultural mediation project, and based on the quality of the cultural mediation project they propose.

What do the partners provide?

This residency is a partnership between the Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM) and the Association des libraires du Québec (ALQ), in charge of administering the program.


What are the general eligibility conditions?

Writers of literature intended for adults, including comic book artists, wishing to apply for one of the residencies must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • be a professional writer who has published at least two literary books with recognized and established publishers
  • reside on the Island of Montréal
  • have not been granted a writing residency in this program in the past three years
When must the project be carried out?

The residences will run from March to May 2022.

How many applications will be approved?

Two projects will be accepted.

Questions about certain terms?

Consult our glossary


How can I submit an application?

Visit the Association des libraires du Québec website to learn more and submit your application (French only).


How are applications evaluated?

The ALQ, in collaboration with the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the two participating bookstores, will evaluate the applications.

What are the evaluation criteria?
  • previous publications by the writer
  • the artistic and educational quality of the proposed cultural mediation project and its relevance to the proposed theme
  • contribution to the community and the bookstore
  • the writer’s ability to complete their project
What is the response time?

Applicants will receive the decision no later than December 2021.


How will the artist grant be paid?

The grant offered by the Conseil will be paid through the ALQ.



Accepting payment of the grant constitutes, for the writer, an undertaking to complete the activities covered by the grant and to comply with the accompanying conditions, which will be communicated upon selection of the application.

The writer agrees to:

  • carry out the project as planned
  • notify the Conseil as soon as possible if unable to carry out the project in the fiscal year for which the grant was awarded. Depending on the situation, a full or partial refund may be requested
  • write a report outlining the cultural mediation project at the bookstore (process and results), the host library team’s involvement and the host library’s contribution to the writer’s individual creative process. The report must be submitted by August 2022. Those responsible for the project will also ask the writer to assist in evaluating the experience.
  • if applicable, include in the report photographs, videos or any other relevant, royalty-free visuals that the Conseil may use for promotional or archival purposes

Visibility Standards and Logos

Arts organizations, collectives or individual receiving grant from the Conseil must mention this funding in their information, promotional, or advertising material.

Need more information?
Katherine Fafard
Executive Director — Association des libraires du Québec

514 526-3349 #21