Meetings

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 in the auditorium of the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

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.


Our 2018-19 Program

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

First Page Challenge

CAA- NCR Annual General Meeting

Seven writers submitted first pages from their novels and short stories to be evaluated by expert eyes. Join us to learn how to capture the attention of readers from the first page. Stacey D. Atkinson, editor, and Cyril Dabydeen, author and creative writing instructor, will give their feedback about the work.

BIO: Stacey D. Atkinson has worked as a freelance editor, editing fiction and non-fiction manuscripts, and she has written and self-published two novels. She completed an editing certificate program at Simon Fraser University, and now works full-time as an editor for Global Affairs Canada.

BIO: Cyril Dabydeen teaches creative writing at the University of Ottawa, and is a former Poet Laureate of Ottawa (1984-87). His work has appeared in more than 60 literary magazines and anthologies world-wide. He has done more than 300 readings internationally and was twice adjudicated for the Governor General Award (Poetry) and the USA Neustadt Prize for Literature (UOklahoma) in 2000.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Short Story Writing, with Jean Van Loon

In preparation for the National Capital Writing Contest, Jean Van Loon will share the fundamentals of spectacular short story writing. Make your work stand out in the crowd.

BIO: Jean Van Loon has published short prose, poetry, and reviews in Canadian literary magazines across the country. Her first poetry collection, Building on River, was published by Cormorant Books this year. Her stories have appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, The Queen’s Quarterly, Event, Room, Ottawa Magazine and Journey Prize Stories 19.  She holds a graduate diploma in creative writing from the Humber School of Writing and an MFA from the University of British Columbia.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Marketing 101: Marketing for Writers, with Sarah Sambles

Whether traditionally or self-published, aspiring or established, every writer needs to know how to market themselves. This can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. In this interactive workshop, Sarah Sambles will demystify the marketing process, explore how to approach marketing as a writer, and introduce key components to an effective marketing plan. You will come away with the right tools to kickstart your own marketing plan.

If you have a question about marketing, send it to NCRadmin@canadianauthors.org in advance of the meeting so Sarah can prepare to address your area of interest.

BIO: Sarah Sambles is a local children’s fiction writer and communications coach with nearly 20 years’ experience as a marketing consultant. Her goal is to help fellow writers overcome their fear of marketing and gain the skills to successfully engage their target audience. Connect with her at www.sarahsambles.com on Twitter or via her Facebook page.


Sunday, December 2, 2018, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Winter Social: A Warm Celebration of the Cold

At the home of Arlene Smith

An afternoon of feasting on the food and words you bring to share. As the afternoon progresses, we’ll create a collaborative writing project. What will that be? It will be whatever those in attendance shape it to be. Come and add your presence.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019 – (Snow day!) Rescheduled to the March meeting

Step by Step to Completion, with Jennifer Mulligan

Are you mired in a mound of half-completed manuscripts or stuck in the middle of a novel you can’t quite finish? Are your notes scattered and all over the place? Accomplished screenwriter, Jennifer Mulligan, leads us in steps she follows to complete her works—steps that adapt to all kinds of writing. http://jennifermulligan.com/


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Step by Step to Completion, with Jennifer Mulligan

Are you mired in a mound of half-completed manuscripts or stuck in the middle of a novel you can’t quite finish? Are your notes scattered and all over the place? Accomplished screenwriter, Jennifer Mulligan, leads us in steps she follows to complete her works—steps that adapt to all kinds of writing. http://jennifermulligan.com/

(NOTE: Nerys Parry has rescheduled her presentation that was to happen on this night to a later date.)


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Not Your Parents’ Poetry Workshop, with Pearl Pirie

April is Poetry Month. Pearl Pirie will lead us in creative ways to come up with poetic ideas. This feeds all kinds of writing. Together we will celebrate and create poetry.

BIO: Pirie is on the organizing committee for VERSeFest and the board of Friends of Wakefield Library. She was president of regional haiku group KaDo (2015-2018) and now stands as treasurer. She is the former director of the Tree Reading Series (Mar 2016-Mar 2018).  he was a host of Literary Landscape on CKCUfm.com from 2013-2018. She ran phafours press (2007-2017) which  released over 2 dozen titles.Pearl Pirie’s 3rd full collection,  the pet radish, shrunken  (BookThug, 2015)  won  the  Lampman Award . Her 2nd collection,  Thirsts (Snare, 2011) won the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

2019 National Capital Writing Contest Awards Evening

7:00 P.M. We celebrate the finalists in the 2019 National Capital Writing Contest.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Summer Social


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

June Social

Tuesday, June 11
6:30 p.m.
McNabb Rec. Centre,
Meeting Room C
Pizza, Drinks, Munchies
Book Exchange
Flash Fiction (less than 500 words) based on:
"She recognized the unmistakable gait of the man walking toward her on the beach."