Programs and Services

» Virtual Writer-in-Residence

Welcome fellow writers!
I'm excited to spend time with you over the next few months. Wherever you are on your writing journey, I look forward to hearing from you about the things you're working on, answering your questions about writing craft or literary publishing, or just talking about writing and your own writing goals. Whether you write poetry, fiction, essay, or memoir, you are welcome in this space. I hope to learn and be inspired as well. My father, a professional librarian and family historian, used to say "Everyone has a story and something you can learn from them, you just have to ask the right questions." I believe that as well. Good questions are what drive us as writers. Let's explore the world of writing together, one question at a time.
About the Fall 2020 Virtual Writer-in-Residence Neil Aitken:
Neil Aitken is the author of two books of poetry, Babbage’s Dream (Sundress 2017) and The Lost Country of Sight (Anhinga 2008), winner of the Philip Levine Prize. His poems have appeared in The Adroit Journal, American Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, and many other journals and anthologies. Born in Vancouver, BC, he spent part of his childhood in North Battleford, before moving to Regina for high school. After completing an MFA and Ph.D. in the US, he returned to Regina and now works as a creative writing coach and manuscript consultant. He is currently at work on his first opera libretto, a commissioned piece for Los Angeles Opera. (

Program open between September 1 – November 30, 2020
The Virtual Writer-in-Residence (VWiR) program gives SWG members who live outside of Regina and Saskatoon access to the services of a Writer-in-Residence. The Virtual Writer-in-Residence will meet one-on-one with SWG members through a one-hour video call to talk about the individual’s submitted writing project and questions they have about writing. 
Who Can Access This Service:
You are eligible for this program if you are:
  1. A current SWG member
  2. Living outside of Regina or Saskatoon
This service is open to all members of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild in good standing who do not have access to any other Writer-in-Residence programs. Writers of any genre and level of ability are welcome to access the VWIR. Members who live in Regina or Saskatoon should refer to the Writer-in-Residence programs at their regional library for similar services. 
The Virtual Writer-in-Residence will work with a maximum of twelve writers per month, on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for this Virtual Writer-in-Residence service, please email
What This Service Can Do For You:
The Virtual Writer-in-Residence program provides opportunities for Saskatchewan writers in all levels of development and genres to receive guidance and advice on a specific writing project from an established Saskatchewan writer. 
Members may submit proposals, manuscripts or writing samples up to 15 pages in any genre for consultation. Work must be submitted by email in Word format at least one week in advance of any meeting with the Virtual Writer-in-Residence. The VWiR will read your manuscript and be prepared to discuss your work and answer your questions during your consultation.
Members can access this free service a maximum of one session per month, up to three sessions per residency period.
How to Access the Virtual Writer-in-Residence:
  1. Arrange an online consultation with Virtual Writer-in-Residence by emailing In your email, please include:

    - A declaration that you are a current SWG member and where you live 
    - Preferred times or dates to meet
    - A brief summary (2-3 sentences) of what you would like to discuss with the VWiR
  2. The Virtual Writer-in-Residence will respond to your email and arrange a one-hour meeting. Please submit your manuscript/work (a maximum of 15 pages) by email in Word format to the VWiR at least one week before your meeting. 
  3. You will receive an emailed invitation link from the Writer-in-Residence for your Zoom meeting. Click on the link to join the call. 
This service uses Zoom. For more information how to use this platform, please see
A note about rural internet services:
If you live in an area of Saskatchewan with poor internet service or quality, please discuss other meeting options, like a phone call, when you make your appointment with the Virtual Writer-in-Residence. 
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