Intensive retreat for writers, artists, and arts connoisseurs



CITADEL offers all the mentorship and resources of an MFA at a fraction of the cost. With your annual membership you’ll receive rolling editorial feedback on your creative projects, publication and career guidance, workshops, creative seminars, and direct access to Canadian publishers and agents.

Our Approach

Seeing a need for innovative and forward-thinking creative organizations, we have created a space where writers and artists receive the tools and resources gained in an MFA program at a fraction of the price. Pulling on the expertise of founders Robin Richardson and Jaclyn Desforges, along with that of guest mentors and lecturers, CITADEL provides not only individualized feedback and career guidance, but also a space for play, exploration, learning, and networking.

The creative community in Canada is stifled in its own established systems, many of which are outdated and lacking the freedom required for experimental innovation. CITADEL is not government funded, and so is not beholden to traditional modes of operation. It is our singular goal to create and foster a space that is uniquely intense and original, sparking the creative flame that so many creators feel devoid of in an otherwise homogenized support system.




  • Top-notch workshops and editorial feedback

  • One-on-one consultations with award-winning writers

  • Time and space to work in our Toronto clubhouse

  • Tailored immersive experiences emphasizing play and creative exploration

  • Intensive accessing the unconscious seminars

  • dedicated GUIDANCE from the conception of your project to its publication

Career development

  • Unique Networking Opportunities

  • High-profile events and arts experiences

  • Publication resources and guidance

  • Cross-pollination of arts disciplines

  • Access to publishers and agents in the form of meet-and-greets and Q&As

  • Coming Soon: certification upon completion of our creative writing program

Creative Community

  • Events will take place at least twice weekly

  • weekly Open writing hours to fight isolation

  • Make deep connections with members, facilitators, and patrons

  • attend lectures and events with diverse writers, publishers, editors, and agents

  • Parties

  • Parties

  • Parties

The Founders


Jaclyn Desforges

Jaclyn Desforges is a Pushcart-nominated writer, editor and workshop facilitator whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fiddlehead, Contemporary Verse 2, Minola Review and others. Her first poetry chapbook, Hello Nice Man, was published by Anstruther Press in early 2019. Her first picture book, tentatively titled Why Are You So Quiet?, will be published by Annick Press and released in 2020. She's the winner of the 2018 RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award. She Lives in Hamilton, Ontario and is an MFA Candidate at the University of British Columbia.

Robin Richardson

Robin Richardson is the author of three collections of poetry, including Sit How You Want (winner of the Trillium Book Award / named one of the best books of the year by CBC), and is Editor-in-Chief at Minola Review. Her work has appeared in Salon, POETRY, The American Poetry Review, The Walrus, Hazlitt, Best Canadian Poetry, and Tin House, among others. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, has won the Fortnight Poetry Prize in the U.K., The John B. Santorini Award, The Joan T. Baldwin Award, and has been shortlisted for the CBC, Walrus, and ARC Poetry Prizes, among others.


Membership Options


Urban MembershiP (Toronto + GTHA)

Invest in your creative excellence now. This membership will provide all the education, connections and inspiration you need to energize your creative practice and further your literary career over the next twelve months. Supplement — or supplant — the MFA.

Distance Membership (ANYWHERE)

A CITADEL membership isn’t just for those who live in the GTHA. Connect from afar with strategic and goal-setting sessions, reading recommendations, substantive edits and seasonal check-ins with award-winning facilitators.



The transparent Robin Hood approach to accessibility

Accessibility matters to us. We’re currently seeking corporate and individual sponsors for our scholarship program. If you have the means and want to make a difference in the arts in Canada, you can fund one or more writers at $2400 + HST, or contribute a partial scholarship from $500, $800, or $1200. The scholarship will be given in the donor’s name, and the donor will have input on the requirements of their scholarship, as well as updates on the progress of the recipient. Contact us for more details or purchase your scholarship below.

Additional Accessibility

We are committed to making CITADEL accessible to everyone. Not only will we be providing scholarships for those who need assistance, but we will also be recording and live-streaming our events for distance members, and now, thanks to our 1st member, Susan Zimmerman, are offering an accessible space for events upon request, located near the subway in Toronto. Bathroom may not be wheelchair accessible on the same floor, but there is one in the building.


How You Can Support This Project

Membership isn’t the only way

2. Spread The Word

Follow us on Instagram and write about us on Facebook, Twitter and your other social channels. Mention us at dinner parties. Call our name in bed. Every conversation counts


3. Come to Our Party

Join us for a preemptive fundraising event as we set into motion our launch. This is an all-out evening of schmoozing, boozing and fundraising

Enjoy live music, unique performances, and beautiful people with beautiful hearts

$100 + HST

When: Sept 5th 2019 @ 8 p.m

Location: A secret loft location at King & Bathurst

Live music, performances, raffles, and more. Intoxicatingly good time guaranteed

Members get a free ticket!

4. Buy An Urban Offering

Our urban offerings include art prints and distance tarot readings.

5. Attend a Workshop Or Event

Members have first dibs on seats, but we often have spaces available in our workshops and events for the public.

upcoming events in Toronto