Ten Years of Community & Growth – WCDR

It’s official. I’ve been taking writing seriously now for TEN WHOLE YEARS! I found it extremely hard to believe this fact. During the WRITERS’ COMMUNITY OF DURHAM REGION January Breakfast Meeting, I was presented with a certificate of appreciation for being a member in good standing for 10 years. I was shocked when they called my name. I had no idea ten years had gone by since I first found the courage to admit to myself (and others) that I was a writer. When I mailed in my membership form to the WCDR I thought for sure they would send it back to me with a gruff little note on it stating something about them only allowing REAL writers to join their exclusive club. I was CERTAIN of it, in fact.

I stayed away from the organization’s events for the first few months. I was too afraid of being turned away at the door. What is it about some writers who just can’t seem to accept the fact that ANYONE can write. All you need is the desire to do so. I didn’t believe that was true. I imagined myself infiltrating this writing organization. I had to sneak into one of their events…unnoticed and unassuming. So…after several months of seeing their Breakfast Meetings being promoted in the local newspaper, I finally gained the courage to register. I would show up and if they grilled me too badly and discovered that I wasn’t a REAL writer, I would just quietly slither away and disappear into the dark crevice from which I had come.

It didn’t happen. I was immediately accepted. I was sat down with some newbies and some veterans. Everybody was so nice and inviting. I FOUND MY COMMUNITY!

When I returned to my seat last month with my certificate, I first experienced a bit of sadness. 10 years. On the trip back from the front of the room I kind of took an inventory of the accomplishments I made in those 10 years. It was a bit of a mood crusher at first.

Then I thought, “Shut the hell up!” I no longer want to listen to that negative voice that makes me miss out in the good things. Had I listened to that voice 10 years ago, I would not have found the friends I made through the WCDR. I would not have had the awesome experiences I had through WCDR events and networking. My life is RICHER because of this organization. I’m proud to be a member. They have helped me as a writer and as a person. I couldn’t imagine not being a member.

A community is as good as its people. There are so many beautiful people in the WRITERS’ COMMUNITY OF DURHAM REGION. I encourage anybody in the area to take the plunge. You will thank me. I thank myself all the time for finally gaining the courage to take those first steps. Walking into this writing community was one of the best things I’ve ever done. So, at this 10th anniversary of my membership, I say to myself, “many happy returns!”


They have sister organizations too! If you’re in YORK REGION or SIMCOE COUNTY, check them out at WCYR or WCSC

By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.


  1. Ain’t that the truth? Community makes all the difference. The WDCR is as welcoming, generous and supportive a group as anyone could ask for. I approached my first breakfast meeting with the same trepidation. Why did I not make it a priority sooner?

  2. It’s funny, I felt exactly the same way when I first joined and I would imagine most new writers do as well.
    Five years later I still feel like at any moment someone will see through my disguise.
    Dorothea pushed me to join and I have found a home. The people are so welcoming, so accepting and a great source of information. I’ve had those moments where my inner editor wants to flail me for not being published yet, I have written and that, afterall is the real goal. Just to write and I love writing.
    Plus one Saturday a month I get to rub elbows with some of Durham’s celebrities like Kevin Craig.

  3. And the WCDR is incredibly lucky to have you! You’ve contributed so much over the years Kevin.

    And that little annoying voice that lists your inventory of accomplishments and then spits on them? (I hate that voice!) You could politely point out to the voice that if it looks back 10 years ago and where you were at as a writer and compares that to now, you’ve done VERY nicely, thank you!!!

  4. It’s a bit comforting to hear that others approached the group with trepidation too. (-; But, seriously, it was INSTANT welcoming. If anyone out there in the Durham Region is thinking about trying out the WCDR, but is nervous…COME. The welcome will put you at ease immediately.

    Sue…After joining the group by snail mail, I was glad to discover a free memoir workshop you were putting on at the Whitby Library. That was my very first contact with the group. The first thing I braved! And what a whirlwind it was from that point onward. (-: Thanks all!

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