2013 – Guest Speakers


January – Sam Hiyate
February – Lena Coakley
March – Daniel Scott Tysdal
April – Erin Balser
May – Andrew Pyper
June – Kristen Den Hartog (AGM)
July – 4th Annual SUMMER SLAM! – Valentino Assenza
September – Robert McGill
October – Sandra Kasturi
November – Guy Gavriel Kay
December – Tony Jenkins

2012 – Guest Speakers


January – Hilary McMahon
February – Vikki Vansickle
March – Suzanne Desrochers, RAW book club author
April – Dave Bidini
May – Catherine Sword
June – Ariel A. Thomas (AGM)
July – 3rd Annual WCDR Slam!
September – Alissa York
October – C.S. Richardson
November – Cordelia Strube
December – Deborah Kimmet

2011 – Guest Speakers


January – Barbara Turner Vesselago
February – Sandy Naiman
March – Charles Foran, our RAW Author for March
April – James Harbeck
May – Bill Humber
June – Camilla Gibb, RAW author (AGM)
July – 2nd Annual WCDR Slam!
September – Ian Brown
October – Craig Pyette
November – Jessica Westhead
December – Wayson Choy, RAW book club author

2010 – Guest Speakers


January – Cynthia Good, Editor
February – Bill Howell, Writer for CBC radio AND poet
March – Anne Carter, Author
April – Gil Adamson, Book Club Author
May – Katherine Govier
June – Lisa Moore, RAW Book Club Author (AGM)
July – WCDR Member SLAM!
September – Neil Crone
October – Kelley Armstrong, RAW Book Club Author
November – Ted Barris
December – Rabindranath Maharaj, RAW Book Club Author

2015 Grants & Scholarships Application

2015 Grants & Scholarships Application

The mission of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR) is to encourage writers at all levels of their development by offering opportunities for support, education and networking and promoting the value of writers and writing.

As part of this mandate, in 2015, the WCDR will continue a Grant and Scholarship program, for its members, partially funded in past years through donations by the Mark Cullen family, contributing members of the WCDR and the Pay It Forward program.

This program has two goals:

  1. to allow writers to further the development of their craft by assisting in the payment of costs related to the advancement of their education, fulfillment of publishing aims or other appropriate writing related activities.
  2. to support writers who might not otherwise have the financial resources to pursue these endeavours.

Grant/Scholarship Application criteria


  • Each applicant must be a member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region.
  • Grants will be awarded from $100.00 to $500.00 (Approx. $3,000.00 will be dispersed to selected applicants who successfully complete the application process.)

Deadline and Application Policies

  • We will not accept applications that have been faxed or surface mailed.
  • Check to ensure your application is complete, accurate, legible, and submitted correctly. Making sure your submission meets these requirements is your responsibility – we will not contact you if they are not met.
  • We will notify you when we have received your application package.
  • Applications are not read until after all applications are received on the deadline date.
  • The two part application (sample + interview questions) must be submitted at one time, via the online Grant and Scholarship Application form on this page, located below. Deadline for this submission is 23:59 p.m., February 28th, 2015.
  • Incomplete and late applications are ineligible.
  • Recipients of a WCDR grant or scholarship retain all rights to their application and submission, but agree to allow a photo, excerpt of their application, and/or excerpt of the letter of appreciation, to be posted via social media for the purpose of WCDR promotion/education and/or for the promotion of our sponsors.

What must you submit to the WCDR?

  • A completed Grant and Scholarship Application (found at the bottom of this page)
  • A 5 page, prompt based sample of writing, formatted, polished, proofread, and uploaded into the Support Material section of the application submission form at the top of this page. Note: the sample must be based in some way on the prompt, “As the sharks circle.”

Who makes the decisions about the grants?

  • The WCDR screening committee will be moderated by WCDR President, Sally Moore and composed of four WCDR Board members and four WCDR writing professionals.

The WCDR screening committee will be comprised of members who:

  • have strong knowledge and experience of writing, publishing and related issues;
  • have knowledge of the various kinds of educational experiences for writers that exist;
  • will provide fair and objective opinions and
  • are able to articulate their opinions and to work in a group decision-making environment.

What are the decisions based on?

The decisions will be based on how well applicants:

  • articulate their writing goals
  • demonstrate a commitment to their craft
  • show promise in the execution of their craft through their submitted writing sample
  • show thoughtfulness in their applicant plan and careful crafting of their submission

How does the screening process work?

Each application will be received by administration and divided into two categories. One will contain the completed on-line Grant Application sheet detailing each member’s personal needs, plans and goals. The second will contain the writing sample, separated from the personal information of the application sheet and given a reference number for anonymity. Both the Grant Application sheets and the ‘blind’ samples will be sent to each of the nine members of the screening committee along with criteria checklists for judging.

Once all applications have been scored, the screening committee will submit their checklists and the administration will tally the results and determine which applications received the highest scores.

When do you find out whether you will receive a grant?

You will be notified of results in writing by the April, 2015 RoundTable.

How often can you apply?

  • You may apply for only one grant per deadline.
  • You may receive only one grant for a particular educational project.
  • You may receive only one WCDR grant or scholarship in a 24-month period. Note: Members may only be awarded a WCDR Grant or Scholarship twice in a lifetime.

Are there any conditions if you are awarded a grant or scholarship?

Upon completion of the educational opportunity that you attend as a result of receiving a grant or scholarship, we ask that you write a brief letter to the WCDR detailing the benefits that you received. If your writing is published or you receive an award or other form of acknowledgement that can be attributed back to the development of your writing arising from the educational opportunity, we would be thrilled to hear about that as well.

Please note: these letters of appreciation must be submitted no later than September 1st. If your goal on which to spend the money is dated after September 1st, please inform us and we’ll make other arrangements. The WCDR wants to ensure our sponsors receive their due thanks, for it is only through their generous support that the WCDR grants and scholarships are possible.


Application Format

Grant Application Sheets must be completed via the application submission form at the bottom of this page. The submission is a two part process. The 5 page prompt-based, blind sample is entered at the top of the page and then your personal information is entered into the application below. (Note: Members with unique needs may be considered for email applications on an individual basis. Contact: scholarship@wcdr.org.)

All 5 page samples must be uploaded via the application submission form in a standard industry format: .doc or .docx, 8.5″ x 11″ pages, 1 inch margins all around, double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font.

Any sample which does not arrive in the correct format will be rejected.

Before you send it, please read over your submission and ensure you have completed it carefully and in its entirety. Things that may get you eliminated from the process are:

  • Vague answers – not conveying a clear goal or how grant money will further those goals
  • Grammatical and/or spelling errors
  • Your sample not being based on the prompt provided
  • Not conveying your commitment to your craft or your goals


** IMPORTANT ** You must have your 5 page sample ready to submit before continuing with application


This is a two step process:

1. Submit Writing Sample

2. Complete Application Form


2015 Grants & Scholarships are now closed. Good luck to everyone who applied!

WCDR Grants & Scholarships: Ask Your Questions!

The 2016 WCDR Grants & Scholarships application deadlines are coming up at the end of February, 2016. Each year, approximately $3000 is awarded to successful applicants in divided sums. The program is part of our organization’s mandate to encourage writers and provide them with opportunities for support, education, and networking.

We want all members to consider applying for a grant or scholarship. If you’re eligible, go for it!

You might be thinking about a writing course or retreat that’s a little pricey. You might be looking to attend a conference out of the country. Maybe you want to hire an editor for your manuscript. These are all great reasons to apply! Some of you might be new to the world of writing. Maybe you don’t even consider yourself a “real” writer yet (we’ve all been there). Don’t let that stop you from applying. There are many excellent beginner courses and workshops available. If you’re serious about developing your skills as a writer, then why not see if you can get a little financial support to help you get there?

Still hesitating? Got questions about the process?

We recognize the the process of applying can be intimidating, especially if this is your first time filling out a grant or scholarship application. We’d like to give you the opportunity to ask your questions. Board member Jenny Madore has been working diligently (along with the rest of the committee) to prepare this year’s grants & scholarships program. She is ready to address your inquiries about this year’s program. Contact her at: scholarship@wcdr.org

Also, the WCDR will be hosting a half-day, free workshop to go through the process of applying in February and would love to see you there. More information to follow.

For more information, and to read testimonials from some of the 2014 recipients, visit the WCDR Grants & Scholarships – 2014 Testimonials page.

Not a member yet? Learn about the benefits of joining the Writers’ Community of Durham Region, and join today!