Come and enjoy our company. Our meetings are open to everyone.

The CAA–NCR holds monthly meetings September through November and February through June. In December we hold a Winter Social, and in January we take a break from wintry commutes.

We meet at the McNabb Recreation Centre, 180 Percy Street at Gladstone, Ottawa, (see map below) except for the NCWC awards night, which is held at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

Our meetings are FREE to Canadian Authors Association members or $10 for non-members.

Each meeting has a different theme with a well-known guest speaker from the industry or from a specialty field relevant to writers. We gather at 7:15 p.m. and begin with a reading and a writing challenge.2014-09-09 18.01.48

2017-2018 Meeting Dates

Tuesday, September 19
Tuesday, October 10
Tuesday, November 14
December Winter Social
Tuesday, February 13
Tuesday, March 13
Tuesday, April 10
Tuesday, May 8 – NCWC Awards Night – at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, 120 Metcalfe Street
Tuesday, June 12


Tuesday, October 10, 2017
TOPIC: Historical Writing: Where to look for what you want
Speaker: L.D. Cross

For the writer looking for historical information, we live in a resource rich environment. Here in Ottawa we benefit from facilities supported by taxpayers across the country. Some sources are obvious, others not so. Then there is the online search – a bounty of data both factual and fictional which you need to sort out.
Research never stops. You can always learn something new about an old subject. And it is not just writers who are sleuthing out the past. Everybody is in the hunt for what happened when — financial analysts, car buyers and even scientists. But as writers we get to weave our discoveries about the past into entertaining stories that will captivate readers into the future.
Research is what I am doing when I don’t know what I am doing — Wernher von Braun, aerospace engineer.
BIO: L.D.Cross (Dyan) is an Ottawa writer of business and lifestyle articles as well as books about unique aspects of Canadian history. Her creative non-fiction articles have received awards of excellence for features and editorial writing as well as writing for seniors.
She won the inaugural Ontario Historical Society (OHS) 2010 Huguenot Society of Canada Award honouring “the best book published in Ontario in the past three years which has brought public awareness to the principles of freedom of conscience and freedom of thought” for The Underground Railroad: the long journey to freedom in Canada in the Amazing Stories series.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017
TOPIC: Writing Historical Novels for Young Adults:
SPEAKER: Ruth Latta

Ruth Latta, who reviews young adult historical novels for Canadian Materials magazine, and has published three young adult novels set in the past, will talk about approaches to writing this genre, with reference to some outstanding works in this field including her latest novel, Grace and the Secret Vault.
BIO: Ruth Latta’s most recent book is Grace and the Secret Vault, an historical novel set in 1919, for readers ages ten and up. It was shortlisted for this year’s Northern Lit award for literature in English, presented annually by Ontario Library Services North. Ruth won this award in 2011 for her collection of short stories, Winter Moon. She is at work on another novel about Grace Woodsworth, set in the 1920s/ early 1930s. Ruth often reviews young adult historical novels for the online magazine, Canadian Materials. For more information about her books, which include two other young adult novels set in the past, visit her blogs and, or Google her name. Ruth lives in Ottawa with her husband and her cat.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018
TOPIC: The Examined Life: Understanding Ourselves Through Memoir
SPEAKER: Lee Ann Eckhardt Smith

Far beyond the celebrity “tell-all,” a well-written memoir offers much to both the writer and the readers. A memoir can transform the pain of the past into clarity, and also provide an insightful exploration into an aspect of life, a time of life, or a certain place in time. Lee Ann will present some options for themes and structures within this genre, as well as tips for how writers can use specific techniques to keep the reader reading.

Bio: Lee Ann Eckhardt Smith’s workshop series for writers of family history and memoir, “Write It So They’ll Read It” has been running in Ottawa, Perth, and other locations across Ontario since 2007. She is the author of two acclaimed non-fiction books, as well as numerous magazine and newspaper articles. Her website is

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018
TOPIC: Playwriting
SPEAKER: Laurie Fyffe

What makes a play different from other forms of writing? How do you get the characters to tell your story? What
exactly is ‘dramatic action’? And how does the playwright craft dialogue to serve both characters and plot?
It’s all about wants and desires.
BIO: Laurie Fyffe is a playwright, dramaturge, actor, arts administrator and Artistic Director of Evolution Theatre, Ottawa. She is a member of CAEA, ACTRA, and the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018
TOPIC: From Print to Film – Every writer’s dream
SPEAKER: Ian Prattis

Dr. Ian Prattis will discuss the surprising manner in which the opportunity to turn one of his books into a movie came to him.

BIO: Dr. Ian Prattis is Professor Emeritus at Carleton University in Ottawa, Zen teacher, peace and environmental activist. Born in the UK, he has spent much of his life living and teaching in Canada. He is an award winning author of fifteen books. Recent awards include Gold for fiction at the 2015 Florida Book Festival (Redemption), 2015 Quill Award from Focus on Women Magazine (Trailing Sky Six Feathers) and Silver for Conservation from the 2014 Living Now Literary Awards (Failsafe: Saving the Earth From Ourselves). His book Redemption is being made into a movie. His poetry, memoirs, fiction, articles, blogs and podcasts appear in a wide range of venues. A Poet, Global Traveler, Founder of Friends for Peace, Guru in India, and Spiritual Warrior for planetary care, peace and social justice, he offers public talks and retreats all over the world. Ian encourages people to find their true nature, so that humanity and the planet may be renewed.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018
The 2018 National Capital Writing Contest Awards
At the Main Branch, Ottawa Public Library

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The McNabb Recreation Centre is at 180 Percy Street, Ottawa, ON. Percy Street is one-way going south, so take the Bronson Exit and travel north to Gilmour Street, turn left and then left again on Percy.

There is free parking, but it is a busy lot. You might have to be patient. On-street parking is available.
The McNabb Recreation Centre is an accessible building. Read more about their accessibility features: McNabb Recreation Centre


2017 NCWC Results

First Place: “Gunda” by Ruth Latta
Second Place: "Anne from Toronto” by Ruth Latta
Third Place: “Sunset (for Gwen)” by Gill Foss

Honourable Mentions:

“Too Long a Winter” by Lee Ann Smith
"Relay” by Lee Ann Smith
“A Small Grief” by Bev Chambers

First Place: “The Flower Seller of Agra" Shiela Jane
Second Place: “California Pure" Elle Wild
Third Place: “Extra Innings" Jeff Shiau

Honourable Mentions:

"Unexpected" by Barbara Wackerle Baker
"Night Swim" by Di Golding
"Distant Connections" by Julio Heleno Gomes