Register for workshops and consultations with 2024 Non-Fiction Writer in Residence Chelene Knight

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About SFU Library's Non-Fiction Writer in Residence program

The SFU Library Non-Fiction Writer in Residence program emphasizes the power of non-fiction writing to share knowledge beyond academia, enhancing the SFU community's capacity to tell compelling research and scholarship stories. This complements the Library's growing activities in the area of knowledge mobilization.

The Non-Fiction Writer in Residence will:

  • Deliver workshops on non-fiction writing for public audiences
  • Showcase non-fiction writing that brings scholarship to a public audience through public events
  • Offer opportunities for SFU graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff to receive feedback and support on their own public writing projects

About Chelene Knight

Chelene Knight is SFU Library's Non-Fiction Writer in Residence for January - April 2024.

Photo credit: Jon McRae

Chelene Knight is the author of the Braided Skin (Mother Tongue 2015) and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award, and long-listed for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. Her novel, Junie (Book*hug 2022) is winner of the 2023 Vancouver Book Award, long-listed for the inaugural Carol Shields Fiction Prize and a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Prize for LGBTQ fiction. Her book of narrative nonfiction, Let It Go is forthcoming with HarperCollins Canada January 2024, and her guided journal for writers is forthcoming with House of Anansi January 2025.

Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, and the Toronto Star. 

Her work is anthologized in Making Room, Love Me True, Sustenance, The Summer Book, and Black Writers Matter, winner of the 2020 Saskatchewan Book Award. Her poem, “Welwitschia” won the 2020 CV2 Editor's Choice award. She was shortlisted for PRISM's 2021 short forms contest. 

Knight was the previous managing editor at Room magazine, and the previous festival director for the Growing Room Festival in Vancouver and previously worked as a literary agent with the Transatlantic Agency. She has also worked as a professor of poetry at the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. Chelene is now founder of her own literary studio, Breathing Space Creative through which she’s launched The Forever Writers Club, a membership for writers focused on creative sustainability, and the Thrive Coaching Program. 


Get to know Chelene, and the ideas, experience, and expertise she brings to the residency, in this short Q&A!

Manuscript Coffee Chats with Chelene Knight

Chelene Knight is offering 30-minute coffee chats to discuss your writerly goals and to answer a few of your questions related to your nonfiction project (creative nonfiction, memoir, narrative nonfiction, or personal essays). Upon confirmation of your booking, you’ll receive an automated email explaining how to format and send in your writing sample.  

Sharing early drafts of a project can be anxiety-inducing, but Chelene promises to make the call helpful and fun so that you can walk away feeling inspired with a clear set of next best steps, so bring your questions, a coffee, and be welcomed into a safe and supportive space for writerly discussion. 

All of the available time slots have been booked, so the coffee chat requests are now closed.

Workshops with Chelene Knight

Join Chelene for a series of free online workshops.

Next semester's workshops will be posted soon.

Event: Meet Chelene Knight (January 30)

Meet our new Non-Fiction Writer in Residence and celebrate the beginning of her residency! Join Chelene Knight, along with past Writers-in-Residence Angela Sterritt (2023) and Eternity Martis (2022), for a casual and candid chat as they share their insights into the art of writing and the joy of living their creative lives to the fullest. 
Thank you to our amazing event partners, SFU Public Square!
More about our guests, Angela Sterritt and Eternity Martis

Angela Sterritt is an award-winning investigative journalist and national bestselling author from the Wilp Wiik’aax (we-GAK) of the Gitanmaax (GIT-in-max) community within the Gitxsan (GICK-san) Nation on her dad’s side and from Bell Island Newfoundland on her maternal side. Sterritt worked as a television, radio, and digital journalist at CBC for more than a decade. She hosted the award-winning CBC original podcast Land Back.

Her book Unbroken, a work that is part memoir and part investigation into the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls, published by Greystone Books became an instant national bestseller in May of 2023. Unbroken was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Awards, one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious literary prizes. It is also nominated for the prestigious Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust award for best non-fiction book in Canada. 

Angela was the 2023 SFU Library Non-Fiction Writer in Residence.

Eternity Martis (she/her) is a multi award–winning journalist and editor and an assistant professor of Journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University. She was the senior editor and health editor at Xtra magazine and helped to lead the publication into an award-winning, digital magazine following the closure of its print edition. Eternity's writing on race and gender has appeared in over 30 publications including Vice, the Huffington Post, The Walrus, Hazlitt, The Fader, Complex, Chatelaine, Maclean’s and Salon, where her essay on race and belonging was selected by Bad Feminist author Roxane Gay to be part of her series. Eternity has influenced media style guides around Canada to capitalize "Black" and "Indigenous" including, the Toronto Star, Xtra and the Review of Journalism, where she also co-founded the Review’s first podcast, Offleash. Her bestselling memoir They Said This Would Be Fun: Race, Campus Life, and Growing Up won the 2021 Kobo Emerging Writer prize and was a finalist for the Evergreen Award.  Eternity was the Journalist in Residence (2021) and Asper Visiting Professor (2021) at UBC, and the 2022 Non-Fiction Writer in Residence at Simon Fraser University.

Spring semester
Contact for further information
Any questions about our residency program? Please contact Chloe Riley at