Writer in Residence

2019-2020 Writer in Residence

The Department of English and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences are delighted to announce the appointment of Berni Stapleton as Memorial University’s Writer-in-Residence for 2019-2020. There will be an inaugural reading on Thursday, September 12 in the Suncor Energy Hall, beginning at 7:30 p.m.; all are welcome to attend.

Berni is one of Newfoundland’s most important – and busiest – playwrights and performers. A new musical for which she wrote the script, No Change in the Weather, will be touring across Canada this fall. With Nicole Leona Smith, she’s just completed a summer of work on Mill Girls, a play in development dramatizing the World-War-2 recruitment of Newfoundland women to work in woolen mills in Cambridge, Ontario. Her play Dolly won the 2018 Arts and Letters Award for Best Dramatic Script. Her tragedy Offensive to Some was revived last winter in a stunning new production by Persistence Theatre. Last spring she published transVersing with Breakwater Books: the play, which she assembled in collaboration with Sharon King-Campbell, an MA candidate in the Department of English, is a montage of monologues written by members of the trans community of St. John’s. Berni’s inexhaustible energy and her political and artistic commitment will be priceless gifts to the university community.

Berni will be working on three writing projects over the course of her residency. She’ll be writing a new play, Antidote to Life, that joins Offensive to Some and a third work, Woman in a Monkey Cage, as a loose trilogy on the subject of contemporary womanhood. She’ll also be working on a memoir and a book for young adults, both of which she’ll bring considerably closer to completion.

Activities that will be unfolding during the Residency will be announced at the public reading on Thursday, September 12, then posted here. 

Past Writers in Residence


Department of English

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000