Reflections: Past WCDR board members say time on board secured long-term friendships, increased credibility, network opportunities…and it was fun!
Did you know that WCDR is administered by a board of volunteers who guide the group’s activities according to the members’ needs and interests?
The Board meets monthly and organizes events such as Bookapalooza, the Grants and Scholarships program, Words of the Season, RoundTable, Master Classes, Mini-Workshops and a host of writing contests—not an exhaustive list. Behind the scenes, they’re creating the magic, as it were. And as it happens, the WCDR board is seeking to fill five positions in 2017. Intrigued? Awesome! Learn more about available positions and how to nominate a candidate
What past board members are saying about the experience…
I have been a member of WCDR since Marjorie Green first formed the organization. During the years that I served on the board of directors, I became keenly aware of the uniqueness of this group and the substantial amount of time required to make the magic happen. As a board member, I reached out beyond the membership to writers, editors, publishers and the like to help us through speaking, teaching and sponsorship opportunities, thereby widening my own industry network. From day one, WCDR has stood for valuing what writers do, and in addition to offering opportunities for members to benefit from workshops and courses, we also made sure (and still do) that people presenting these events were paid. As a freelancer and one of those presenters, I always appreciated that, especially in a world where what we do is so often taken for granted. Board membership enhanced my credibility, and the social and bonding aspects of interacting with like-minded individuals forged friendships that will last a lifetime. Brainstorm sessions, discussion-enriched meetings, the sharing of ideas to better the lives and passions of writers at all levels … these are what being on the board is all about. I encourage anyone who has not yet served to consider it. Oh, and did I mention it’s fun? ~ Dorothea Helms
For several years Marjorie Green asked me to join her group but I would reply I was an accountant, not a writer. Then I started to write. Joined the group. Joined the board within months and have never regretted it. Those years on the board brought me mentors, friends and work opportunities—as a writer. Everyone on that initial board is still in my life in a wonderful way and they have created opportunities to meet a wider circle of people in the writing community. Last month I submitted a book proposal, by request, to an agent I met at Ruth Walker’s Writescape in November, used Phil Dyer’s template to refine mine and rewrote Chapter 1 after clear feedback from Annette McLeod on what didn’t work. WCDR has provided a warm and supportive environment for me to grow as a writer by introducing me to those who generously share their knowledge and expertise, from Dorothea Helms (best Writing Fairy around) to Sherry Hinman (master editor) Sue Reynolds (with my best writing coming out of Sanctuary) my Nettie (who makes my words sparkle) and so many more. ~ Rosalyn Cronin
At one of my last breakfasts as president, I opened the announcements by asking everyone in the crowd who had ever been on the board to please stand up. Several people stood. Then I asked everyone who had ever volunteered in another capacity for WCDR (being a first-time reader for a contest, organizing a contest, writing for/editing the Word Weaver, running the WCDR library, etc.) to also stand up. Several more stood. Finally, I asked for anyone who had helped in even a small way—welcoming first-time attendees at the breakfast, handing out flyers, etc., to also stand, and they did. By that point, there were as many people standing as sitting, and I said to the crowd, look around. This is what makes this organization work. This is what makes speakers and attendees from Toronto and elsewhere envious of what we’ve got – a vibrant group of active volunteers who make it all happen. Then I asked for volunteers to run for the board, and they did. But before I became president—before it even occurred to me to put my name forward to be on the board—someone (Ruth Walker) told me I should. At first, I said no—I barely knew the organization, I didn’t think I had anything to contribute, and I’d had only a few pieces published, so I didn’t feel I was qualified. But she said none of that mattered and that I had a lot to contribute. Just do it (she said). We all bring different gifts to the table, whether it’s knowledge from work or a hobby, connections to others, or simply a crazy dose of excitement about writing. And I did it—I submitted my name, I was accepted onto the board, and I didn’t leave for five years. So if you’ve been thinking about running for the board—or even if you haven’t—just do it! ~ Sherry Hinman, former WCDR President
Board Opportunities in 2017
- RoundTable Coordinator
- Speaker Coordinator
- PR/Social Media
Writing doesn’t have to be a solitary act!
We want you! Whether you’re ready to call yourself a writer, or if your career as a writer is already established, you can benefit from being part of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR). We have plenty to offer those who live in the Durham Region, but if you don’t, hang on before clicking away! While we are known for our RoundTable meetings (in Whitby, Ontario), there are many other benefits to being a member of our writing community.
Check out this 4-minute video of a RoundTable meeting!
Every month, we celebrate with a RoundTable meeting at the Centre For Food (Durham College) Whitby, and we love everything that encompasses: writing, books, sales, contests, raffles, workshops, announcements, speakers, celebrations, networking, workshops, blue pencils…and breakfast.
Got a pricy retreat or workshop you’d like to take to develop your craft? Members can apply for our yearly grants & scholarships, with substantial sums awarded to a variety of writers, from beginner to advanced!
Looking to develop your craft? We sponsor quality one-day workshops on a variety of topics, and every month, RoundTable attendees can also register for one of our mini-workshops. We organize one-on-one and pitch sessions with some of the best industry professionals (editors and agents). Of course, these are at a discount to members! Browse our events/workshops calendar to take advantage of what else is available to you.
Attend one of our events, such as Words of the Season, where you can go up to the mic and read your work aloud, or simply be part of the audience to enjoy the show. Participate in literary events, like the Word on the Street, where we have a booth every year. Check out our events/workshops calendar to see what else is going on.
Keep up to date with our literary newsletter, The Word Weaver. Members receive their copies directly to their inboxes and can pitch to contribute articles—whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned writer, your voice can find a spot in our newsletter!
If you’re looking to keep up to date with what’s going on with the organization, to find out about writing-related events going on, or to get news updates about our members, sign up for our informational newsletter The Buzz! (Enter your email at the top of the sidebar to sign up for this free WCDR newsletter.)
Obtain feedback on your work: Meet critique partners and/or beta readers at meetings or online in the forums; register for blue-pencil sessions at the RoundTable meetings; find a writing circle; register for a pitch session or one-on-one with industry professionals; read your work at Words of the Season; find quality, reputable editors.
These are just a few of our membership benefits. To find out more, please visit our membership page.
We want you to know we do welcome writers in all stages of their craft. If you’re looking to get motivated to take your writing more seriously, give us a try! If you’ve published before and you’d like opportunities to network with fellow authors, give us a try! If you’re a freelance writer, a nonfiction writer, or a blogger, give us a try!
Meet the board of directors of the WCDR. After all, they all started out as members–some even as quite recent members of the organization. The Writers’ Community of Durham Region encourages writers at all levels; offers opportunities for support, education and networking; and promotes the value of writers and writing. And that just happens to be our mission statement.
Questions? All are welcome! Contact email@example.com