Durham Writing Society (DWS)



Durham Writing Society (DWS)

Meeting Day: 

Usually Mondays

Start Time: 7 pm

End Time: 9 pm (usually later)




Safari Bar & Grill in Ajax is where we are holding the meetings for the time being (may change in Spring 2016)

General format of meetings:

Meetings start with brief introductions, followed by publishing news. After this there will be a writing prompt and members who wish to will share their work.

The second half of the meeting is for critiquing. Each meeting two members will read from work previously distributed to group electronically. Members discuss as if the author were not there for five minutes, then the author and reader/reviewers can engage in conversation about the work. In addition, two others will be able to share something for feedback. All authors should bring sufficient written copies.

We usually have a core group of seven members, with four or five other members who come less regularly. Many more are registered and share through the Facebook group.

Are you open to new members? 

Yes, the meeting is open to new members. They join via our Facebook group, interested parties should search the name on Facebook. It is a closed group, as we share work online.

Contact person for enquiries about group:

Jackie Brown Jackie.brown42@gmail.com

The Bellas



The Bellas


Every two to three months, depending on participants’ schedules


Private Home, usually in North Durham, rotating participants’ residences in Coboconk, Whitby, Port Hope and Bowmanville

General format of meetings:

All day retreat style, consisting of a short greeting early in the day, followed by several hours of quiet, uninterrupted writing time, ending with a pot luck lunch late afternoon, followed by a sharing session and discussion on writing issues from the group

Are you open to new members? 

Not at the present time, but potential members are welcome to approach one of the group members in person for future consideration

Contact person for enquiries about group:

Sharon Overend, wordsharpwritingservices@gmail.com


The Whodunnits: Writing To Kill For

Writing Circle:The Whodunnits: Writing To Kill For
City: Norwood
Location: Second Empire Victorian Home
Contact Name: Rachael Stapleton
Contact Information: raquelle.jackson@gmail.com or text 905 259-7088
Meeting day: Tuesday
Start time: 7:00 PM
End time: 9:00 PM or whenever we finish
Meeting frequency: Bi-weekly (possibly weekly in the future)
Openings: Yes
Format: Format: We currently have 3 members but we’re open to a few more. Looking specifically for more mystery writers (cozies, historical, traditional). We send out a chapter (3500 words or less) for review a week ahead of time. This chapter will need to be printed and toted along for Tuesday nights meeting as we take turns reading aloud and providing feedback/editing. Don’t forget to print your own chapter that you’ll be reading. Laptops and track edits changes are welcome if preferred.

Teen Writers Circle

3rd Thursday of each month 
4-5 p.m.

Ajax Public Library – Main Branch

55 Harwood Ave. S.

If you like writing stories, poems, song lyrics, essays, flash fiction, comics, fan-fic, scripts, blogs, reviews, articles — or want to learn how to — bring along a notebook, a pen and your imagination!

This group will encourage you to keep writing, challenge and stretch your imagination and help you along the road to getting published. 

Come out and share in the fun, drink free coffee and eat delicious cookies! At each meeting members will have the opportunity to share and critique each other’s writing in a positive, safe environment.

This is a free program for grade 9-12 students (ages 13 and up) but space is limited to 12. We’re currently looking for new members, so if you’re interested in joining please email us at libraryinfo@ajaxlibrary.ca.

WIP – Works in Progress

Writing Circle: Works in Progress (WIP)
City: Whitby
Location: Whitby or Ajax
Contact Name: Karen Cole
Contact Information: coletraynor@gmail.com or 905-666-1688
Meeting day: Tuesday
Start time: 7 P.M
End time: 9 P.M
Meeting frequency: Once a month
Openings: No
Format: We currently have 7 members so each month 3 or 4 writers will be critiqued. If you will be critiqued in the following month, you must bring sufficient number of hard copies for all members, typed in proper manuscript forms, approximately 10 pp. Writers read a page or so, and then the rest of us tell them what we’ve come up with. People bring snacks.

Critical Realm




Intermediate to advanced writers focused on all genres of Speculative Fiction.

Meetings held every second Tuesday from 7:00 – 9:30 pm

Pickering – Whitby area.

General format of meetings:
45 min critiques for 3 members followed by open forum for discussions on WIP’s
Critiques are prepared in advance from 20 paged email submissions. All critiques will be honest and constructive with the emphasis on helping members make their work better. No writing or readings will be done at the meetings.

Are you open to new members?
Not at this time.

Contact person for enquiries about group:
Jenny Madore at criticalrealm@gmail.com

Birth Announcement

The WCDR is proud and delighted to announce the birth of twins!

York Region and Simcoe County have both embarked on starting Writers’ Communities of their own .

On March 25th, President James Dewar and Past President Sue Reynolds met with a group of writers in Aurora to talk about the possibility of a Writers’ Community of York Region. A number of current and previous WCDR members were also on hand (Cheryl Andrews, Hyacinthe Miller, Mary McIntyre, Ruth Zaryski Jackson, Sue Iaboni [formerly Sue Eaman], Janis McCallen, Clare Bolton, Christine Barbetta, Heather Anne Lambert) and by the end of the meeting a group of enthusiastic souls had formed a committee to move the new organization forward.

WCDR’s RAW coordinator Noelle Bickle was on hand for that meeting and has approached us about starting a Writers’ Community of Simcoe County in the Barrie/Orillia area. She’s already got a website up, booked a hall and scheduled the first meeting for the evening of May 12th.

If you know of writers to the west of us or to the north of us who have been pining for their own group of dedicated and supportive writing colleagues, please have them contact the appropriate group through the contact forms below, or click on the logos to the right to go to the individual groups’ websites.


BWG Writers’ Circle

Writing Circle: BWG Writers’ Circle
City: Bradford
Location: Bradford Public Library

Contact Name: Patricia Miller
Contact Information: bwgwriterscircle@yahoo.ca or 905-778-9301
Meeting day: Tuesday
Start time: 7:00 PM
End time: 9:00 PM
Meeting frequency: Third Tuesday of the Month
Openings: Yes
Format: A group of adult writers living in Bradford West Gwillimbury who love penning words. We meet monthly to support one another, offer fellowship, hear samples of writing, provide critiques as requested, share news, and welcome guests. Treats are provided. Bring your own beverage.


Newmarket Freeflow Writers

Writing Circle: Newmarket Freeflow Writers’ Circle
City: Newmarket
Location: Taylor Funeral Home, Davis Drive, Newmarket
Contact Name: Lois Hayes
Contact Information: loishayes@rogers.com or 905- 898-7476
Meeting day: Tuesday
Start time: 7pm
End time: 9pm
Meeting frequency: second and fourth Tuesdays, not July and August
Openings: Yes
Format: Spontaneous writing to timed prompts.
No previous writing experience necessary.
Supportive environment.
No cost.
Comments: Contact loishayes@rogers.com to be added to email reminder list re: meetings.

The Brooklin Poetry Society

Writing Circle: The Brooklin Poetry Society
City: Brooklin ON
Location: Brooklin, Coffee Culture
Contact Name: John Di leonardo (President)
Contact information: johndileonardo@rogers.com or 905-655-3568
Meeting day: Sunday
Start time: 11:00 a.m.
End time: 2:00 p.m.
Meeting frequency: 3rd Sunday of each month
Openings: Yes
Format: Poets read their work, positive feedback given by members. Social friendly atmosphere