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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Ottawa Writer's Circle?

The OWC is a community of writers founded in September 2013. We're one of the largest and most active writing groups in Ottawa. We regularly host a number of events including: write ins, shop talks, critique circles, workshops, story development groups, and more! Our main goal is to make this relatively solitary activity less lonely. All types and levels of writers are welcome!

Do I have to be in Ottawa to take part?

Well, kind of? Since the OWC is meant to facilitate IRL writer interactions, being in the same physical space is sometimes necessary. However, there's no barrier to participating in the forum, reading the blog, or being part of our Discord. Go nuts!

Why aren't you doing [this thing that I want]?

We might be working on it! We have grand plans, but they're not all ready yet, including more writing workshops. If there's something you'd like to see, feel free to send us a note! The group runs on volunteers, so if there's something you'd like to see done, we can talk. (If you'd like to volunteer to get it running, all the better!)

What's a critique circle?

A critique circle is where a bunch of writers get together and share a piece of work for critique. About a week before the meeting, writers post their submission, usually a piece of about 3,000 words, in the Dropbox of the circle and take the week to critique the other pieces. Then, they all get together and chat about their comments. Usually, these are themed circles (short fiction, fantasy, YA, etc.) that meet about once a month with about five or six writers. All writers are welcome!

How do I become a member?

On most pages of the website, there's a "Log In" button on the top right hand corner. Click there, and when taken to that page, click "New to this page? Sign up" under the Log In header. Then, you have a few choices to choose from and you can sign in via email, Facebook, or Google. After entering your information, you should be a newly-minted member of the OWC!

I signed up. Why am I not showing up in the Member Area?

Your profile might be set to private! If you log into the site and have a drop down menu in the upper right corner, you can navigate to "My Account" from there. At the page it brings you to, on the left hand side, there is your picture/place for your picture and your name. Under that should be a button that says "Make my Profile Public". If you click that, you should no longer be private and be able to find yourself in the member list on the Member page. If your profile is public, your profile may not have your name. Instead it may be your email, e.g. dutchygirl instead of Averill Frankes. Similar to above, you can change this in "My Account". Instead of "Make my Profile Public", you'll see an "Edit" button where you can change the name your profile displays to the rest of the members.

Why can't I see one of the pages?

Some of the pages are protected so only members can see them, such as the Critique Partner Database. Make sure you're either a site member or you're signed in!

I'm looking for [an editor/beta reader/critique partner/other professional]. Can you recommend someone or help me find someone?

Sorry, no. The OWC Leadership team can't make personal recommendations. However, feel free to check out our Critique Partner Database. You'll find members of the OWC who are willing to trade work for critique and feedback, usually for free. There are also freelance editors in the database who will edit your work for a fee. Alternatively, Editors Canada has a database of editors willing to take a look at your manuscript for a fee. Be prepared to pay the going rate for a professional manuscript edit. Also, feel free to leave a message on our Forums or our Discord. Our members might know someone! Good luck!