30 YEARS SERVING OTTAWA More than 140 Members
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:
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. Entry is free to members, and a nominal fee of $10 for non-members, applicable toward a membership if they should choose to join.
Next Meeting: Click, if you dare
Ouch! Ever wondered how best to write that graphic scene? Or struggled plotting that fantasy novel you've been working on? Then have we got the evening for you!
Join us on Tuesday, January 21, at the Hintonburg Community Center, 1064 Wellington St. for an exploration of fantasy fiction with Patricia K. McCarthy, Ottawa’s fang queen. The meeting starts with coffee and networking at 6:30 p.m., with the presentation set for 7 p.m.
Ms. McCarthy's Crimson Fantasies of urban paranormal vampire novels tell the unconventional story of Samuel and Magdalene Crimson, set in the city of Ottawa. Part blood bath and part bubble bath, her writing teases readers to make it to the end of each chapter alive. She was riding the vampire wave before there was one, which accounts for her flirtation with the dark art of satire. Read her Crimson Fantasies and you may never feel the same again as you walk the streets of Ottawa when the sun goes down.
In what is sure to be a fantastical evening, Ms. McCarthy will explore sub-genres of fantasy fiction, where creative ideas come from, the ten universal myths and much more. Come hear from a knowledgeable and experienced writer with more than fifteen years of experience in the indie publishing business.
2020 OIW Members Anthology
PRELIMINARY NOTICE: The deadline for submissions for the 2020 OIW Members Anthology is Saturday, February 29.
(Due to scheduling requirements, manuscripts cannot be accepted after this date).
More details are coming in January, but we are looking for submissions of original prose fiction/non-fiction, poetry, and scripts for stage, screen or radio. The word limit for all genres is 3,000 words.
Please note that this is a members' only activity, and that members must be in good standing to have their manuscripts considered for publication.
Writers' Union of Canada Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers
The Writers' Union of Canada invites submissions to its 27th annual Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers. Unpublished works of fiction and nonfiction up to 2,500 words in English are eligible, and writers may submit multiple entries. A $2,500 prize will be awarded to the winner, and the entries of the winner and finalists will be submitted to three Canadian magazines for consideration. The deadline for entries is February 14, 2020.
The Competition aims to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of short prose. "Over its twenty-seven-year history, the Short Prose Competition has always delivered an eclectic array of entries," says Executive Director John Degen. "It is quite exciting to discover promising new writers each year." Past finalists and winners have included such future luminaries as Amy Stuart, Alexander MacLeod, Shauna Singh Baldwin, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, and Lewis DeSoto.
The Union is proud to announce an esteemed group of jurors for the Competition:
Janet Barkhouse's poems and stories have been published across Canada in journals and anthologies, and read on CBC Radio. Her debut collection of poems, Salt Fires, (Pottersfield Press) follows on two chapbooks, Silence and Sable Island Fieldnotes (with photographs by Zoe Lucas); a docupoem short screened at Lunenburg Doc Fest 2017; and three children's books. In 2013/14 she was artist-in-residence at Dalhousie Medical School through their Humanities-HEALS program.
Jacqueline Guest has written twenty novels for readers of all ages and has over twenty-five years of experience presenting in classrooms, libraries, and at conferences. For many years, Jacqueline has mentored new writers and championed literacy. Jacqueline is the proud recipient of the Indspire Award for the Arts and was awarded the Order of Canada in 2017.
Naben Ruthnum is a Journey Prize winner and the author of Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race (Coach House Press). As Nathan Ripley, his most recent thriller is Your Life Is Mine (Simon & Schuster).
The Competition is open to Canadian citizens and residents who have had no more than one book published and are not currently under contract for a second book. Authors not published in book format are also eligible. The entry fee is $29 per submission, and submissions are accepted online until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on February 14, 2020. The winner will be announced in late spring 2020.
For complete rules and regulations, and to submit, visit writersunion.ca/short-prose-competition.
The Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC) is the national organization of professionally published writers. TWUC was founded in 1973 to work with governments, publishers, booksellers, and readers to improve the conditions of Canadian writers. Now over 2,100 members strong, TWUC promotes the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers. TWUC believes a lively and diverse literary culture is essential in defining Canada and its people. Learn more at writersunion.ca.
For additional information:
Valerie Laws, Office Administrator
The Writers' Union of Canada
416-703-8982 ext. 224
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 February OIW meeting. We have 5 returning nominees, but there at least 7 positions to fill. If you’d like more information, please feel free to email or better yet, come chat with any of the Board members at the Holiday Feast or January OIW meeting. We’ll be happy to fill you in on all the details.
A Two-four of Tales has arrived
Ottawa Independent Writers is proud to announce the launch of our latest anthology, A Two-four of Tales: Twenty-four Stories from Ottawa Independent Writers.
Running the gamut of fiction and non-fiction, delving into speculation and introspection, and exploring the future, past and the present, A Two-four of Tales has something for all tastes. These stories provide a fine illustration of the diversity of talent among local writers. With wit, poignant moments and grand sweeps of imagination, these stories will offer an enjoyable escape into prose.
So dip in and see where the story takes you!
Copies available for $5 at all OIW Meetings. OIW-members receive one free copy as part of their membership.
Tied first place: Meghan Negrijn, Pirates in the Pantry
Tied first place: Bobbi Florio-Graham, Plan B
Third place: Maggie Taylor, Making it Right
Honorable Mention: Susan Taylor-Meehan, PTSD Africa
OUR WRITERS, THEIR STORIES
Meet a few of them here...
LEARN ABOUT THE OIW
WITH US ON FACEBOOK
FRANK HEGYI AWARD
FOR EMERGING AUTHORS
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.
MONTHLY PROGRAM MEETINGS
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.
Bones of the Past
PROSE IN THE PARK LITERARY FESTIVAL AND BOOK FAIR
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.
OIW ANNUAL SPRING
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.
OIW VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE
PEN AND PAPER
WRITING GROUP WEEKLY WORKSHOPS
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: or call (613) 746-3077 or just show up and we’ll welcome you. Contact: tel: (613) 746-3077 email: firstname.lastname@example.org