Toronto Writers – There is LIFE East of the City!

I’m quite sure that the little city west of Durham Region has a vibrant writing community. I mean, with a population of roughly 2.5 million…you would think that there were enough writers to form a circle of some sort. Maybe a cozy table of 4 at the local Starbucks? Or perhaps they meet en masse on a downtown street corner and belt out poetry & prose to the throngs of passersby on a Saturday afternoon? Who knows? I’m far too busy with the dynamic writing community here in Durham Region to find out what the little city to the west of us is doing as a writing community (this is not entirely true! Us Durham Region writers often travel in groups to Toronto for writing events of interest!). I’m sure they’re having a blast though.

I wonder if they know what’s happening here? I wonder if they realize that the Durham Region is attracting some of Canada’s biggest writers to their stages and writing events? I wonder if they know how close Durham Region is to their city? It seems a shame that more Torontonian writers don’t get in their cars and make that long mysterious vortex of a trip to the nether regions of EAST OF THE CITY!

In Durham Region, we have the WRITERS’ COMMUNITY OF DURHAM REGION, which is a wonderfully supportive writing community for writers.

I wonder if any of the TORONTO writers who stumbled upon this post are brave enough to click on the above logo? I wonder if they are ready to discover an entire writing universe that lingers just EAST of their metropolis? Because if they were to do that (click on the above logo), they would find out that they can attend monthly WCDR breakfast meetings at the posh AJAX CONVENTION CENTRE, which is JUST off the 401 and minutes from Toronto. There is a guest speaker from the Canadian writing community at each of these meetings. And tons of opportunities to network with fellow writers, editors, publishers, etc. They would probably be amazed that the WCDR is able to collect over 100 writers together in the same room once a month at 8:30 on a Saturday morning!

After discovering these monthly breakfast meetings, I’m sure Torontonian writers will wonder how they too can take part in such a vibrant Saturday morning activity. They might even want to find out how to JOIN THE WCDR FOR BREAKFAST! (<that’s a link!)

But the WCDR breakfasts are really just the tip of the iceberg. The Durham Region has BOOKS & BEVVIES, a lively night out with fine food and readings. This event gives writers another fine opportunity to mingle, network, enjoy each other’s words and company.

A growing component of the writing community EAST OF THE CITY is the annual ONTARIO WRITERS’ CONFERENCE This event takes place in Ajax…again just off the 401 and minutes from Toronto.

Toronto writers can even watch past Ontario Writers’ Conference speakers on the OWC Youtube channel. That way, they can see what they missed… and plan ahead so they won’t have to miss another conference ever again!

Yes…if they click on the above logo they will most definitely be taken to the OWC Youtube page. And once there, they can watch such writers as Robert J. Wiersema, Wayson Choy, Andrew Pyper…and a slew of others…give talks at past conferences.

I wonder if Torontonian writers realize they won’t fall off the end of the world if they travel east of Scarborough? I wonder if they realize they would be fully welcomed and embraced by the vibrant writing community that is BUZZING with electric energy and sitting here right in their own backyard?

These are some of the bigger events in Durham Region, but they are by far not the only events for writers. The Whitby Library is always able to attract big name writers to their downtown branch. It’s always worth the drive to Whitby to hear authors such as Robert J. Wiersema and Susanna Kearsley reading from their newest releases!

I wonder if the Toronto writers who have not yet ventured EAST OF THE CITY know of all the remarkable world class writing workshops being led by Durham writers?

What’s that above these words? Why, another link to fabulous Durham Region writing opportunities, of course! I bet there are Toronto writers clicking on that logo right now to discover what Inkslingers is all about!

But there are other busy Durham Region workshop facilitators too! Just click on this link and you’ll discover Durham also has an amazing WRITESCAPE in its playground. I know Toronto writers just clicked on that link. They’d be crazy not to! With all the wonderful retreats being hosted by Writescape, they would want to know exactly what it’s all about!

I wonder if there are any more Toronto writers out there who are willing to take the plunge off the edge of the world and make that worthwhile trek EAST OF THE CITY? If they were to do so, they would surely enrich their writing lives beyond belief. Notice how I said MORE. The Durham Region already attracts a number of Toronto writers to its vibrant community. Some have already discovered the secret of the abundant writing world we have here (lucky them!).

Durham also has a vibrant theatre community…and it’s growing all the time. Don’t miss out on the annual DRIFTWOOD THEATRE’S TRAFALGAR24 PLAY CREATION FESTIVAL. It’s only in DURHAM REGION!

Click on the castle pic above to find out how you can find yourself on the inside, having the time of your life! But only if you brave the drive to WHITBY!

We also have a theatre festival in Durham. The annual Durham Theatre Festival is region wide…and offers a wide variety of plays to choose from. Some written by Durham Region playwrights! I wonder if any of the Toronto writers are going to click on the logo below?

SO, TORONTO…what are you waiting for? The Durham Region Writing community is here. And it’s ALWAYS ready to embrace more writers! Take that leap…make the trip EAST OF THE CITY! It will change your life!

You can Twitter follow some of those mentioned here: @ONTWritersConf @WCDR1 @HotSauced @Inkslingersca @Piquant_Pr @Writescape_ @DriftwoodTheatr

11 thoughts on “Toronto Writers – There is LIFE East of the City!”

  1. Kevin, great post. Makes me proud to call myself a Durhamite, and even prouder to be a member of our region’s dynamic writing community.

    Maybe we should get Nick Boothman — a fellow Durhamite — to pen a new book? We’ll ask him to entitle it, “How to Make People Love Durham Region in 90 Seconds or Less.”

  2. Oh, yeah, Kevin! Great post. It’s worth the drive to Durham.

    Reminds me of a conversation I had with Collette Yvonne when I heard she was moving to Ottawa. Her biggest concern? “I have to leave WCDR.”

    “No problem,” I said. “Just join the WCDR-equivalent in Ottawa.”

    Little did I know. She looked at me like I had three heads and informed me of the sad truth.

    “There’s nothing like WCDR. Not anywhere. This huge writing community, the meetings, the mentors, the educational opportunities, the support, the resources–it’s unique. I’ll never find it in anywhere else.”

    It’s what I tell myself every time I look longingly at Ottawa’s biking and walking trails or Stratford’s rich theatre offerings. I weigh the price of a move to those beautiful places against WCDR and realize I’m never moving from Durham. Never.

  3. Thanks so much for the read, Heather! And for the shining Durham Region testimonial! There is no writing community like it! So true.

  4. Fantastic article Kevin! On behalf of the whole 400 strong membership of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region, and the many great workshop presenters, conferences and good times, I thank you

  5. Thanks much, Mr. President! I thought it was time to let those who don’t already know how wonderful the writing life East of the city really is!

  6. I am proud to say I am a member of WCDR. Although I seldom attend meetings (my life keeps getting in the way) I read the newsletter and scroll through the website often. The interaction I have with fellow members through various social media is invaluable. This community is generous, supportive and inspirational.

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