Project Updates / July 2019

Jaclyn here! I’m writing this post from Vancouver, where I’ll be residency-ing for the next two weeks. Nothing like some time in a cozy chair by the beach to reflect on everything we’ve been up to for the past several months.

First off — Wow. We could not have expected the outpouring of support, interest and kindness we’ve received since we started CITADEL. What began as a shared dream to create an immersive retreat space for writers has blossomed into an honest to goodness real-life community — one based on support, mentorship, and the shared pursuit of excellence. This post will update you on what we’ve been doing over the past few months, and also on what’s to come.

We’ve Got Eleven Founding Members

We’re so delighted that although our official launch isn’t happening until September, we already have eleven founding members. This is a truly incredible group of writers and we’re thrilled to be working with them. Robin and I have spent the past couple of months welcoming new members, holding strategy and goal-setting sessions, and providing feedback on their manuscripts. We’re currently gathering headshots and bios from everyone, so you’ll be hearing more about our members soon.

Robin Won a Trillium!

In June of this year, Robin won the Trillium Poetry Award’s English prize for her third poetry collection, Sit How You Want (Signal Editions, Véhicule Press). So very proud of her — this is a major prize. Past winners include Michael Ondaatje, Timothy Findley and Alice Munro, among many other household names. Robin was also awarded a MacDowell Fellowship (!) and will be spending August writing in New Hampshire.

The Urban Clubhouse is Open & The Workshops Are Rolling

On May 25th, we held our Mimosa Open House to show off our Toronto workshop space. It was awesome to meet new members, drink mimosas, and talk about writing. We’ve held a bunch of workshops in the space since then — several intro, intermediate and advanced poetry workshops, as well as one on the art of body-ful writing.

Things are happening in Hamilton, too. We ran a Painless Publication seminar there in June and livestreamed it for our members, who now have access to the recording. (Scroll down for upcoming events.)

Our First Interview Is Up

One of the most exciting parts of CITADEL for me has been doing long-form interviews with Canadian writers. The first one, a conversation with Miranda Hill, is available now.

Our Community Lending Library is Growing

Reading is a huge part of the writing life, and we’re so delighted that our community lending library has been growing so quickly. Thanks to donors like Jim Johnstone of Anstruther, we now have copies of the latest and greatest in small-press CanLit available for our members to borrow.

This Party is Gonna Be So Party

We’re delighted to have booked Ronley Teper and the Lipliners for our launch party on September 5th. Russell Smith will also be DJing. It’s going to be a great time! Grab your ticket now if you haven’t already.

What’s Next?

Upcoming events:

These events are free for members, but there are also spaces available for non-members and we’d love to have you join. Please register early to save your seat.

Next Steps:

  • More accessibility. We’re continuing to seek donors for our scholarship program, and we’re also in the process of putting together a package of grant application information so potential members can apply for funding in order to join.

  • More events. Our September calendar is packed and we’re excited to be planning even more events for fall, including seminars with editors and agents.

  • More content. We’re working on videos, more streaming seminars, and more online engagement.


If you have any questions about the status of our project or are interested in becoming a member, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line at We’d love to hear from you.