Who do we think we are, anyway?

Welcome to Ottawa Independent Writers. We are the largest writers association in the National Capital Region. Our mandate is to assist all writers at all stages of their writing careers through informative monthly presentations, networking, writers retreats and organizing literary events. We are a fun and inclusive group.

Where to meet us:

Currently hosting virtual meetings on Zoom. To participate, simply register for a membership and details on the next meeting will be provided over email.

When safe to do so once again, OIW gathers every third Tuesday of the month at the Hintonburg Community Center, 1064 Wellington St., Ottawa. Meetings begin at 6:30 pm, with presentations starting at 7 pm, lasting until 9 pm. Complimentary coffee and snacks are always at the party.


There is ample parking at the back of the building.

Between now and September 2021, all new memberships are free! There has never been a better time to join and connect with fellow writers. Check us out and learn about all that OIW has to offer.



2020 OIW Members Anthology

Is Here

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live" - Joan Didion

Stories and poems have a way of transporting our minds to another place, making us feel something we have never felt, while informing and entertaining.


OIW is proud to release the 2020 anthology, Short Stories for A Long Year: An Anthology of Prose and Poetry.


This year's anthology contains twenty-nine stories and poems, and creates a diverse offering to suit every literary taste. As headline-grabbing events continue to unfold around us during this period of dynamic change, there has never been a better time to enjoy the power of words.

Available now on amazon:

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Join us on Tuesday, January 19 at 7 p.m. as award winning author and lapsed librarian, Mary Jane Maffini, examines the use and value of suspense in fiction. Mary Jane will explore tips and techniques to keep your readers firmly on the edge of their seats and to keep you, the writer, equally engaged.  We may also have fun.


The former co-owner of Prime Crime Mystery Bookstore, Mary Jane Maffini is the author of eighteen mysteries, in three and a half series.  All five of her Charlotte Adams professional organizer mysteries have recently been optioned for television. The series is being reissued by Beyond the Page Publishing in 2021. A sixth Charlotte book, Death Plans a Perfect Trip is taking shape.


Next Meeting

To Be Continued... Using Suspense to Engage your Readers

The six Camilla MacPhee mysteries are set in Ottawa and two Fiona Silk capers take place in a quirky village in West Quebec.


MJ has published two-dozen crime short stories in major mystery and consumer magazines, such as Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Chatelaine and several anthologies. Her stories have been reissued in The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories, 3rd ed (Forge), Best Canadian Christmas Stories (Quarry Press) and The Penguin Book of Crime Stories.  She is a charter member of The Ladies Killing Circle and has stories in all seven of the group’s anthologies.


As Victoria Abbott, she collaborated on the five collector mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime) with her daughter, Victoria.  Book Four, The Marsh Madness, won the 2015 Bony Blithe for mysteries that make us smile.


MJ lives and plots in Manotick, Ontario with three miniature dachshunds at her feet.  Her husband sleeps with one eye open. 

Please note: due to the ongoing public health measures, OIW will continue meeting virtually in 2021 until further notice. Members will be sent a Zoom link prior to the meeting. 

There are boards...   

... and then there are Boards!

Ever wondered how the sausages are made?  Want to know what's behind the curtain?  Now's your chance to find out!


OIW is looking for a few good Board members.  Nominations will be held at the December OIW meeting. There at least 7 positions to fill.  If you’d like more information, please feel free to email communicationsoiw@gmail.com.  We’ll be happy to fill you in on all the details.  

Meet a few of them here...
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Click here for details.

Mike Young
Kirk's Landing

Patricia McCarthy

The Crimson Man

Mike was born and raised in Kirkland Lake, a small northern mining town with a nearby First Nations reserve. He grew up with a love of the north, even in the midst of winter, exploring the surrounding woods with his friends, and his grandfather. Kirk's Landing, a crime novel, was his first book. In 2016, he published a sequel, Return to Kirk's Landing.

Author of the wildly imaginative Crimson vampire series, currently consisting of (6) novels: The Crimson Man, The Crimson Boy, The Crimson Woman, The Crimson Time, The Crimson Crimes, and her latest in the series The Crimson Dream. The Crimson vampire series takes place in Ottawa, Canada.


    OIW holds eight monthly program meetings each year on a wide variety of writing related topics, normally with a speaker and plenty of opportunity for questions, They are free for members. Click here to see what's on at our next OIW meeting.

    Craig Munro

    Bones of the Past

    Melissa Yuan-Innes

    Human Remains



    Craig has spent his life traveling and moving from one field of work to another. A voracious fan of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, it was only a matter of time before he turned his mind to creating a world of his own. The Bones of the Past is the first installment in the epic fantasy series - The Books of Dust and Bone.

    Melissa Yuan-Innes (Melissa Yi) is an emergency room physician. Her newest Hope Sze crime novel is HUMAN REMAINS. THE STOCKHOLM SYNDROME, a previous Hope Sze novel, was selected by CBC Radio as a best crime novel of the season.

    OIW in partnership with other writers groups and community associations in Ottawa organizes the largest book fair and outdoors literary festival in the National Capital Region. The most recent Prose in the Park Literary Festival and Book Fair was held on June 10, 2017 in the Parkdale Park in Ottawa. Stay tuned for details on future festivals. In the meantime, click here to visit the 2017 Prose in the Park website.


    Click here for more OIW Authors and their books.

    IN THE


    Then you need our handy-dandy STYLE GUIDE!

    OIW organizes an annual Spring Writers Retreat & Workshop. The most recent retreat was from May 25 to 27, 2018 at the Cove Inn in Westport, Ontario. Acclaimed novelist and poet Steve Heighton was our facilitator. Stay tuned for more details on the 2019 retreat.



    Want to see what the membership's been up to? Click the YOUTUBE link to see meetings and readings!

    The PEN AND PAPER WRITING WORKSHOP meets at the Rideau Branch of the Ottawa Public Library 377 Rideau (across from Rideau Bakery, next door to Loblaws) every Tuesday evening 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Get feedback on your writing (any genre) and ideas from the group. Hear the work of other writers and offer your feedback. Discuss issues about writing and publishing. Share your triumphs, trials and tribulations with a supportive, informal group. Open to OIW members and non-members.


    For more information contact: the_moo37@hotmail.com or call (613) 746-3077 or just show up and we’ll welcome you. Contact: tel: (613) 746-3077 email: the_moo37@hotmail.com



    Ottawa Independent Writers

    Postal Box 39016

    Ottawa, ON  K1H 1A1


    Email: oiwmailbox@gmail.com



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