Port Moody’s Writers’ Groups: An Astonishing Record of Success

Port Moody Writers Groups

Guest article by Julie H. Ferguson.

port moody writers groupsWay back before computers, a handful of writers gathered once a week for discussion, support, and critique of their work in Port Moody. They wrote on yellow pads or typewriters, and frequented the city’s library to gather facts. “How do I get published?” was a popular question, closely followed by, “How do I write this piece better?” Today the questions haven’t changed.

Yes, writers still meet in Port Moody thirty-five years on, but now write on computers and use the Internet for basic research. Demand has grown steadily as the group’s reputation spread, so by 2010 two groups were necessary. Members meet on Thursday mornings and Monday evenings from September to June, as well as during July and August every year as an amalgamated group.

“Why do you still come after twenty years?”

“I learn something new every time—not just from critique of my work, but from others’ too. My writing continues to improve in a way it could never do without other writers reading it and commenting.”

Port Moody Writers GroupsTogether, the Port Moody Writers’ Groups are one of the longest continually-running public groups in BC. The City of Port Moody’s recreation department has been the impetus behind their longevity and success, providing the location and encouragement to keep attracting new members keen to hone their craft. The library also supports local writers by running writing workshops every year.

Emerging and experienced writers are welcome to join the groups, whether they write fiction, nonfiction, poetry, magazine articles and any genre in between. Some members have been attending for a quarter century and others are newcomers; some are published, most are not; and one group has a professional editor. Both groups are led by facilitators with substantial publishing success behind them.

The groups are also highly successful at guiding members towards publication, though not all members seek this out. In the summer of 2008, five writers were published in various genres, an all-time record for one month.

port moody writers groupsSince 1989 members have had twenty-three books and numerous articles and short stories published, some of which were award-winners; prior to that, no one can remember the stats. It’s an astonishing record for the fiction, nonfiction and poetry writers who belong. More books are under consideration by Canadian publishers ….

If you want to join the Port Moody Writers’ Groups:

  • Monday evenings: 7:00-9:30pm (facilitator – Julie H. Ferguson).
  • Thursday mornings: 9:30am-12:00pm (facilitator – Eileen Kernaghan).
  • Location:  Kyle Centre, behind the old City Hall on St. John’s Street, Port Moody.
  • Cost: Varies between $95.00-$110.00 per semester, depending on the number of sessions.
  • Registration: Opens for January 2013 sessions on Tuesday, November 13, 2012. Easiest method is to call Kyle Centre at 604.469.456 and ask for the “Creative Writing” program. Or go online at https://payments.portmoody.ca/internetregistration/Activities/ActivitiesAdvSearch.asp and click on “Adult Programs,” then “General.”

Author and freelance writer, Julie H. Ferguson was a member of this writers’ group from 1988 to 2010 and credits the publication of her first book to their assistance. In 2010 she began to facilitate the Monday group. Dundurn has published four of Julie’s Canadian history titles and she has self-published six books for writers. She is also a freelance travel writer and photographer, and invites you to visit her website at www.beaconlit.com and her Beacon Blog for Writers at beaconlit.blogspot.com.

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