Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Call for Applications: Centre A 2024 Art Writing Mentorship


Centre A is delighted to announce our 2024 Art Writing Mentorship Program, “Writing is a Practice, a Vapour, a Many-Toed Thing.” Facilitated by 2024 program mentor Jacquelyn Zong-Li Ross, this 12-week summer intensive aims to introduce art writing and criticism to a small cohort of Vancouver-based Asian youth through weekly writing workshops, peer reviews, guest lectures, one-on-one consultations, field trips to local galleries, and studio visits with artists. 

Over the weeks, five chosen participants will share in reading, discussion, and generative writing exercises led by the mentor and designed to reflect upon the critical and creative stakes of art writing. We will consider art writing as, foremost, an activity of listening and conversation, and explore possibilities for writing alongside and in proximity to the object, the studio process, or the image. We will read works of literature that think through works of art, and experience works of art that think through literature. We will talk about co-creation, reciprocity, and generosity in language; we will journal together and consider how art can be a prompt and a portal. Participants will be expected to workshop each other’s writing and receive feedback, as well as follow a syllabus and complete assigned readings. 

Participants will leave the program with one short-form experimental review (1,000 words) and one longer piece (2,500 words) developed out of the ideas and methodologies explored in the workshops.



  • Open to self-identifying Asian youth or young adults between the ages of 18-30 residing in Metro Vancouver (a maximum of five participants will be chosen for the program)
  • May be a high-school graduate, post-secondary student, or early/emerging arts professional
  • Should have strong English reading and writing comprehension, with the ability to provide ONE writing sample (published or unpublished), i.e. essay, article, review, blog post, or other piece of creative or critical writing
  • Must be able to commit to the entirety of the program’s duration (12 weeks), including weekly in-person sessions every Friday (11am-4pm TBC)
  • Have an interest in contemporary art, critical writing, creative writing, and/or curation, and be passionate about Vancouver’s arts and cultural scenes
  • Be willing to learn, listen, and work alongside a community of Asian Canadian and BIPOC writers, artists, and curators



  • Hands-on experience working alongside established writers, editors, and curators in a professional setting
  • One-on-one mentorship and support from an experienced writer towards the development of one’s writing practice
  • The opportunity to connect and collaborate with other emerging arts practitioners in Vancouver
  • Opportunities for networking and collaboration with local and international publishers, publications, galleries, and arts institutions
  • Exclusive access to online workshops on special topics in art writing (previous guest speakers included Cecily Nicholson, Monika Gagnon, Yaniya Lee, and John Tain)
  • The production of two high-quality, peer reviewed pieces of critical and/or creative writing 
  • A $1000 participant honorarium at the successful completion of the program



Jacquelyn Zong-Li Ross is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh)nations. Her fiction, poetry, essays, and art criticism have appeared in BOMB, C Mag, The Ex-Puritan, Fence, Mousse, and elsewhere, as well as in the chapbooks Mayonnaise and Drawings on Yellow Paper (with Katie Lyle). By day, she works as the Art Editor of The Capilano Review. By night, she drafts suspended scenarios and propositions. The Longest Way to Eat a Melon, her debut collection of fictions, is forthcoming from Sarabande Books in 2025. She holds a BFA in Studio Art from Simon Fraser University (2012) and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph (2018). 



Location: Programming will be conducted both ONLINE (Zoom) and IN-PERSON at Centre A, 205–268 Keefer Street, Vancouver, BC. Accessibility details are listed below in the “About Centre A” section

Dates: May 31–August 16, 2024 (12 weeks), with virtual and/or in-person workshops occurring every Friday (11am–4pm TBC)

Commitment: The program will run once a week for 5 hours each Friday (with 1 hour lunch break), with additional readings and writing assignments to be completed independently in between sessions (totalling approximately 8-10 hours each week)

Remuneration: Participants will receive an honorarium of $1,000 for successful completion of the program (including attendance at a minimum of 10 of 12 sessions)



Deadline to submit: April 30, 2024, 11:59 PM PST

Please submit the documents below in a single PDF file by email to [email protected] with “Mentorship Application” in the subject line.

Your application should include:

  • Your contact information 
  • A letter of intent (500 words maximum) outlining your background and interest in contemporary art, art writing, art criticism, or curation, as well as your goals for participating in the program
  • A curriculum vitae (3 pages maximum)
  • One writing sample (3 pages maximum, double-spaced)
  • Contact details for one reference
  • Any access needs

Successful applicants can expect to hear back by May 13, 2024. Due to the large volume of applications, we are unable to respond to every applicant. 



Established in 1999, Centre A is the only public art gallery in Canada dedicated to contemporary Asian and Asian diasporic perspectives. We are committed to providing a platform for engaging diverse communities through public access to the arts, creating mentorship opportunities for emerging artists and arts professionals, and stimulating critical dialogue through provocative exhibitions and innovative public programs that complicate understandings of migrant experiences and diasporic communities. In addition to our exhibition space, we house a reading room with a collection of books on transnational Asian art, including the Finlayson Collection of Rare Asian Art Books.

Centre A is located in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown, on the second floor of the Sun Wah Centre Mall. The gallery is located on the second floor of a wheelchair-accessible building which has an elevator. Bathrooms are gendered with accessible stalls. Please contact us at [email protected] for full details, including any accommodation requests. 

This program is generously supported by the Sector Innovation Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Regional Cultural Project Grant from Metro Vancouver.