A Saskatchewan-born author was selected as the recipient of this year's Wallace Stegner Grant for the Arts and stayed in the coveted house in Eastend for the month of June.

Famous Pulitzer prize-winning writer, Wallace Stegner, grew up in the Town of Eastend where his house is now rented out to artists and writers from all across the world.

Elinor Florence, a historical fiction author, was esteemed to have finally had the chance to stay in the house after visiting around a decade ago.

"I love the house, it's a beautiful yard and the views are stunning," she said. "Reading the guest book, I see that other writers and artists feel the same way, they've all raved about the landscape and being inspired by this part of the world."

Florence noted how the house seems to still carry the essence of the Stegner family, and that Wallace had once mentioned that he would come back to haunt his childhood home.

The seasoned writer now lives in British Columbia but grew up on a farm near North Battleford. Florence has worked for newspapers in all four of the Western provinces and has published two novels, Birds Eye View and Wildwood

During her time in Eastend, Florence has worked on finishing up editing her new novel and experiencing what the southwest had to offer, including a local gallery, unique bookstore, and nearby coffee shop.

"In the publishing world there are 'the big five publishers', Simon and Schuster is one of 'the big five'," she added. "So, authors always talk about getting a contract with 'the big five' and I've actually done it so I'm thrilled." 

"My new novel is called Finding Flora, is about a group of women who homestead together on the Canadian prairies, and it will be coming out next March."

Florence is set to appear at the Grand Coteau Heritage and Cultural Centre in Shaunavon at 1 p.m. on June 26 for an hour-long presentation and on June 27 at 2 p.m. at the Climax Community Museum where she'll speak about Birds Eye View.

"I think every author needs time and space to reflect and this is a wonderful opportunity to escape from your everyday responsibilities," said Florence. "The best writing advice I have for anyone is that it's just sheer self-discipline for the most part."

Anyone interested in more information about Elinor Florence can check out her Facebook page or stop by the open house in Eastend on Friday, June 28 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

"I talked to a number of people around town who hadn't been inside the house for some years, so I wanted to give them the opportunity to admire this wonderful heritage home which has been such an asset to the community," Florence concluded. "Everyone is welcome to drop in and tour the house, it would be my pleasure to show it off."

The Wallace Stegner Grant for the Arts is given out by the Eastend Arts Council, which has owned and operated the Stegner house since 1990.

The grant includes a free month's stay at the house during any month the recipient chooses and a $500 bursary. For more information or to apply, visit the Arts Council's website.