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2023/24 Season Events


Members Exclusive

Poetry Page

Celebrating Poetry Month

For the entire month of April, OIW showcased the best of the best of members' poetry. 

More than 255 lines of poetry were submitted from 15 members.


  1. Keep it short

  2. 30 lines max

  3. Any theme

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Guest Speaker - via zoom

Sarah Hegger

Tuesday April 16
Up, Close, and Personal

OIW was tickled to welcome best-selling romance author, Sarah Hegger, to take us through writing character driven stories in genre fiction. Sarah explored how to connect readers to the characters and keep them turning the page. Characters are the life blood of any story. We've all faced the challenge of creating compelling and believable characters, whether in fiction, short stories, or even non-fiction.

In-Person workshop

Poetry Workshop

Online Event

Sunday, April 28

Silvia Fiorita-Smith
Poetry for All

Silvia Fiorita Smith is a freelance writer from Embrun, Ontario who is a lover and writer of poetry. She has published two books of poetry, Figs Beneath the Snow in 2021 and This Strange New Path in 2022. She won second prize for one of her poems in a contest sponsored by the Association of Italian Canadian Writers in 2008. Silvia has been invited to read from her works at coffeehouses in Montreal and Morrisburg, Ontario. She enjoys sharing her love for this literary genre with others and facilitated a poetry club for teens when she worked at a Montreal high school. She has just recently facilitated a poetry workshop for the winter session at the Russell, Ontario library. She is a retired teacher of ESL and is working on a third book of poetry. She is very happy to combine her two passions, teaching and poetry.



In-person Workshop

The Craft of Description

Sunday, March 3


This workshop conducted by the Writers Collective of Canada was ethusiastically received by all attendees. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning!

Guest Speaker - via zoom

Brett Popplewell

Online Event

Tuesday, March 19

The Unreliable Narrator

When truth and fact collide

BRETT POPPLEWELL tackled the tricky world of negotiating an unrelable narrator to get to the story. Brett is a bestselling author and associate professor of journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa. He has written for Bloomberg Businessweek, Mother Jones, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Sportsnet, Maclean's and The Walrus, among other publications. A winner of multiple National Magazine Awards in Canada, his work has also appeared in The Best American Sports Writing and The Best Canadian Essays

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Online Event

Annual General Meeting

February 27
Calling All Members!

What a fantastic AGM it was. Thank you for all those who turned out to participate and vote on the 2024 Board. OIW elected some new names and faces. Check out the Board of Directors in the ABOUT section

Reading Aloud in Classroom

Online Event

Reading Night

February 27
Thank you OIW Readers!

Eight OIW members read excerpts from short stories, poems and novels in progress. It was a inspiring evening of poetry and prose. Well done to all the Readers!



Guest Speaker

Kate Beaton

Tuesday, January 23
Canada Reads Winner

Kate Beaton was born and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. The collections of her landmark strip Hark! A Vagrant and Step Aside Pops each spent several months on the New York Times graphic novel bestseller list, as well as appearing on best of the year lists from Time, The Washington Post, Vulture, NPR Books, and winning the Eisner, Ignatz, Harvey, and Doug Wright Awards. She has also published the picture books King Baby and The Princess and the Pony. Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is her first full length graphic narrative.



2023 Holiday Party

We had a blast at the party with mountains of food, exceptional poetry, BINGO, and piles of prizes! 

See you all in January!

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In Person Workshop

Tim Wynne-Jones

November 25, 2023
A Man Walks into a Predicament

Characters are primarily revealed to us by what they say and do. No amount of description will bring them to life as vividly as a scene in which they have to respond in some telling way. In this half-day workshop, award-winning novelist and receipient of the Governor-General award for literature, Tim Wynne-Jones explored ways that writers can put characters in revealing situations, before unleashing them on to the reading public. OIW was thrilled to have TIm back for another soldout workshop.

Guest Speaker

Sarah Everts

November 21, 2023
Weaving Fact into Fiction

Sarah Everts (she/her), science journalist and associate professor at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication shared some of the secrets and technique to writing engaging non-fiction. Sarah is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Joy of Sweat: The Strange Science of Perspiration (2021), which the New York Times called “crisp and lively… an entertaining and illuminating guide to the necessity and virtues of perspiration.” Her writing has also appeared in Scientific American, New Scientist, Smithsonian, the Guardian and the Wall Street Journal. She spent over a decade reporting from Berlin, Germany before returning to Ottawa in 2019.


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In Person Event

Anthology Launch

October 15, 2023

OIW's 2023 Anthology, entitled Connections, was celebrated at a launch at the Marconi Center. This is the biggest Anthology yet with 49 contributing authors. Members not only picked up their free copy, we heard readings from some of the authors. Copies still available. Email us to learn more.

Guest Speaker

Drew Hayden Taylor

October 17, 2023
Going Native

Award-winning novelist, playwright, documentarian and host of APTN's Going Native, Drew spread the boundaries of what is considered Indigenous literature and led us through a fascinating discussion on the history of Indegenous literature in Canada. An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario, his exploration of the story-telling tradition has explored many boundaries. This Fall, the third season of 'Going Native' will be visiting locales in the Yucatan, New Zealand, Australia and the Arctic. There are many facets to Drew Hayden Taylor which we are sure you will find fascinating-- although what makes his mother most proud was his ability (finally) to make spaghetti from scratch!

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In Person Workshop

Lawrence Scanlan

October 21, 2023
The Art of the Interview

No matter what you write- fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry- research is critical. Invariably you must interview a subject. During this half-day interactive workshop at the Nepean Library, veteran journalist Lawrence Scanlan worked with participants to hone their skills as interviewers. As Peter Gzowski, legendary host of CBC Radio Morningside used to say of his guest, "We're both in a canoe. I steer, they paddle." Done well, the interview leads to interesting and unexpected places.



Guest Speaker

Peter Carter

September 19, 2023
Why Writing is Righting

Peter's journalism career spans more than 40 years and counting. It has taken him around the globe with stops at a guru's Himalayan hut, the Burning Man festival, and a seedy Night Flight brothel in Moscow. Peter talked about the power of words especially when the timing is unexpected and the big impact. He regaled us with plenty of examples from his storied career how you can breathe life, humour and mindfulness into not only your serious upper-case W Writing projecys but- just as importantly- all those everyday jottings, texts, x posts, fridge notes, interpersonal communication, and yes, even business correspondence. It was an amazing kick-off to our season. Thank you Peter!

Rooftop Party

Ottawa Independent Writers is the Capital's premier community for those looking to sharpen their writing skills and grow as successful independent writers.


Guest speakers, workshops, member events, and book launches are just some of the activities we organize to help both emerging and seasoned writers stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry while also honing their craft in a supportive and collaborative environment.

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