Monique Polak Reflects Back on Being the Inaugural CBC/QWF Writer in Residence

Deadline to apply for the 2017 position is Thursday, October 13


Monique Polak, the 2016 CBC/QWF Writer in Residence

I don’t know about you, but when I’m in a rough spot or running out of steam, looking back at a joyful moment helps.

For me, one of those moments happened last November, when I learned I’d been selected to be the CBC/QWF’s first writer-in-residence. I still grin when  I remember jumping up from my chair when my name was called during the QWF Literary Awards Gala.

In a time when freelance journalism opportunities have been drying up, it was great to have a home for my stories. I was delighted to have the chance to write five columns that were featured on CBC Montreal’s website. I also enjoyed working closely with CBC’s editorial team. They helped me fine-tune my ideas for the columns, as well as the columns themselves. At the same time, CBC encouraged me to follow my own instincts. In every column I wrote, I started with a personal story, but then moved on to interview other Montrealers about subjects that moved me — the role of objects in our lives, finding love later in life, juggling two careers, telling lies, and the stories we tell ourselves.

For me, stories are a way of making sense of our lives, and connecting with others. I connected with the Montrealers I interviewed by listening to their stories, and by sharing those stories through CBC Montreal, I like to think that I connected with readers across the province.

If you’re thinking about applying for the 2017 CBC/QWF writer-in-residence gig, go for it! I look forward to seeing where the next writer-in-residence takes the column.

All applications for the 2017 CBC/QWF Writer-in-Residence program must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on October 13, 2016.

For more information, and to submit your application, visit the QWF Submittable page.