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. 

To contact Berni please email her at writerinresidence@mun.ca

Berni's reading group Ophelia Swims will have its first meeting on Thursday, September 26, and will meet regularly thereafter. 

Berni will host a series of pop-up readings in the Queen Elizabeth II Library's Flexable (sic) Room starting on Thursday, September 26, at 1:15 p.m. with guest Prajwala Dixit. Future pop-up events with guests to be announced will be held on the following dates: 

Wednesday,  October 2

Wednesday, October 16

Wednesday, November 13

Wednesday, December 10

Check back here for guests and times.

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. 

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