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We are pleased to announce Camilla Gibb as the 2018 Edna Staebler Writer-in-Residence.

Photo: Camilla Gibb

Camilla Gibb

When Camilla's debut novel Mouthing the Words was published in 1999, it drew comparisons to the work of Margaret Atwood, Jeanette Winterson, and Sylvia Plath, and won the City of Toronto Book Award. Camilla's third novel, Sweetness in the Belly, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2005, longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Award, and won the Trillium Award. Other novels include The Petty Details of So-and-So's Life and The Beauty of Humanity Movement. Her memoir This Is Happy was shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize and was selected as a best book of the year by the National Post, the Globe and Mail, the CBC, and Quill and Quire magazine.

Camilla has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Oxford University and has been writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto, the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia. She teaches in creative writing programs at the University of Guelph-Humber, the University of Toronto and the Humber School for Writers, and is the June Callwood Professor in Social Justice at Victoria College, University of Toronto.

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Upcoming Events

Writer-in-Residence Launch

Join us at this evening reception as we welcome the 2018 Edna Staebler Writer-in-Residence, Camilla Gibb.

Copies of Camilla Gibb's books will be available for purchase.

Wednesday, March 28 at 7 pm
Central Library

Register to attend this event

Writing Memoir

We live in the most autobiographical moment in history. And yet we rely on the most fallible of sources for our stories - our memories. It is tricky terrain and yet the impulse to tell our stories has never been so much in evidence. What kinds of choices do we make in the writing of memoir? How do we balance ethical considerations with artistic and aesthetic aims?

Wednesday, May 30 at 7 pm
Central Library

Register to attend this event

Where to Begin

You have a story to tell, but where to begin? This question can be overwhelming enough to prevent you from beginning at all. In this workshop we will consider ways of getting into a story and consider what makes a good beginning. We will look at the common problems of running out of steam, floundering for a sense of direction and lack of confidence in what we've written, and talk about strategies for getting us beyond these obstacles and into the heart of the story.

Thursday, June 14 at 6:30 pm
Central Library

Register to attend this event


Manuscript Appraisals

As part of the Edna Staebler Writer-in-Residence program, Camilla Gibb will provide one-on-one critiquing with local unpublished writers to discuss a sample of their writing. There are a limited number of these sessions available - please read the following guidelines to find out how you may qualify.


Authors of any age, living in Southwestern Ontario, who have not been published (with compensation) are welcome to apply. Self-published authors may also apply.

Writer-in-Residence Camilla Gibb will review all applications and select up to 40 authors. If you are selected, the library will invite you to submit a manuscript (details below). Selected authors will be scheduled for a 30 minute appointment with Ms. Gibb.

Completed applications may be dropped off in-person at any Kitchener Public Library location, during open hours, from Monday, March 19 to Friday, March 23. Applications dropped off after the library has closed will not be accepted.

PDF iconManuscript Appraisal Application 

Important Notes:

  • Applications will not be returned. Please print the application - digital copies will not be accepted.
  • Do not include additional pages, or submit a manuscript, with the application form.
  • Only the selected authors will be contacted. If selected, your manuscript must be submitted within 3 days of being contacted.
  • Appointments will be scheduled during late May and early June, based on Ms.Gibb's schedule.
  • The library cannot field inquiries about submissions over the telephone.

Manuscript submissions must meet the following criteria:

  • Maximum 2500 words.
  • Typed, one-sided and double-spaced, with 1-inch margins all-around.
  • 12-point (or larger) Arial or Times New Roman font.
  • Numbered pages that include your last name (e.g. Smith - page 3).
  • Paper copy only. Digital copies will not be accepted.

Kitchener Public Library reserves the right to limit the number of manuscripts accepted. Submissions not adhering to the criteria will not be considered. The library is not responsible for returning manuscripts.



Please email our Events Planner at


About the Writer in Residence Program

Established in 1996 by acclaimed author and library advocate Edna Staebler, the Writer-in-Residence program is intended to provide local writers with the expertise needed to develop their craft, as well as encouragement to "keep at it".

Thanks to Edna Staebler's generous financial endowment, we are able to invite Canadian authors of significance to participate in the program. Each author provides a series of workshops at our libraries that are open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend the Writer-in-Residence events and workshop.

Past Writers-in-Residence at KPL have included:

  • Kelley Armstrong
  • Joy Fielding
  • Kenneth Oppel
  • Nino Ricci
  • Trevor Cole 
  • Elizabeth Ruth    
  • Robert J. Sawyer
  • Wayson Choy     
  • Lyn Hamilton
  • Andrew Pyper
  • Kathy Stinson    
  • John B. Lee
  • Welwyn Wilton Katz
  • Betty Jane Wylie
  • Jack Batten
  • Veronica Ross
  • Janet Lund