The University of Winnipeg



Zoe Whittall is the 2023 Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence

Zoe Whittall

Award-winning novelist and television writer Zoe Whittall is UWinnipeg’s 2023 Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence.

Award-winning novelist and television writer Zoe Whittall is The University of Winnipeg’s 2023 Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence. Her online residency runs until Monday, March 27.

Whittall has worked as a writer on the Emmy Award-winning comedy Schitt’s Creek, as well as The Baroness Von Sketch Show, earning her a 2018 Canadian Screen Award for Best Writing, Variety or Sketch Comedy, for which she was again nominated in 2019. Vogue Magazine called The Baroness Von Sketch Show “the best thing out of Canada since Ryan Gosling.”

The New York Times called Whittall’s fourth novel, The Spectacular (Penguin Random House U.S./HarperCollins Canada, published 2021), “a competent and highly readable testament to the strength of the maternal bond,” and The Toronto Star called it “a singularly impressive piece of fiction.”

Whittall was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her third novel, The Best Kind of People, a national bestseller and Indigo’s No. 1 book of 2016.  The Best Kind of People was also listed as one of the best books of 2016 by Walrus Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Life, and The National Post, and is being adapted for a limited series by director Sarah Polley. Whittall’s fifth novel, The Fake, is set to be released in March 2023 by HarperCollins Canada and Penguin Random House US. 

Her debut novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts, won the Writers’ Trust of Canada Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers. She has published three volumes of poetry, most recently an anniversary edition of The Emily Valentine Poems.

UWinnipeg’s Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence program honours the memory of Carol Shields, who was a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and Chancellor of The University of Winnipeg from 1996 to 2000. Shields was known as a generous mentor to emerging writers, and this program reflects her spirit and is a fitting tribute to her.

Past writers in this program include Margaret Sweatman, Sandra Birdsell, John Weier, Maria Campbell, David Bergen, Ivan Coyote, Debbie Paterson, Gregory Scofield, Chandra Mayor, Jennifer Still, Rick Chafe, GMB Chomichuk, Katherena Vermette, Méira Cook, and Garry Thomas Morse.

To book writing consultations, please email Registration is open to attend a reading and Q&A with Whittall on Thursday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. Whittall will also be delivering the Carol Shields Memorial Lecture on Friday, March 17 via Zoom. To register, visit the Carol Shields Memorial Lecture website.

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