The Ultimate Guide to Canadian Writer’s Groups and Resources (An Ongoing Post)

Writers have been boxed in by popular culture as being solitary creatures. However, some of the best writing comes from that which has been combed over and beta-read by other writers in various stages of their career. Finding a writing critique group can be a challenging process, so we’ve done some of the research for you. This is an ongoing list of Canadian Writer’s Groups and Resources, which has been posted with the intent to be updated regularly.


InScribe Christian Writers Fellowship

InScribe is a volunteer-based organization that was created in order to provide Christian writers with a space to create and discuss their creative work. Membership includes access to opportunities including, but not limited to, access to InScribe’s Facebook group, various writing groups, a writing “buddy” system (where writers commit to meeting with their buddy once a week for two months in order to discuss their craft), contests, conferences, and online workshops.

Memberships are accessible and offer students discounts.

The Word Guild

The Word Guild is a multi-chapter organization that was established in 2002 to provide mentorship, training, and support to Canadian Christian writers. The Word Guild was born out of the ashes of a Christian writer’s conference called God Uses Ink (GUI) and hosted by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. After the conference disbanded in 2001, The Word Guild came into play.

The group currently boasts 325 members and is headed by award-winning authors and teachers. Membership includes newsletters, contests, workshops, multiple online communities (a Members-Only Facebook group, Revision Critique Group, etc), and other events. The Word Guild is also aiming to establish a group insurance plan that will offer Health Insurance benefits suitable to a writer’s budget.

Canadian Authors Association

The Canadian Authors Association is a longstanding and well-known group that was established in 1921 in order to lobby for the protection of Canadian authors’ rights.

Over the years, some 25, 000 members in various stages of their career have had the opportunity to participate in conferences (CanWrite), social media training, webinars, and competitions.

League of Canadian Poets

Founded in 1966, the League of Canadian Poets was established to promote Canadian poetry and nurture a professional and creative environment for poets and other wordsmiths.

The League of Canadian poets establishes these goals by promoting professional achievement through networking events, publications, and awards. The group is also dedicated to diversity and educating the public through literacy initiatives. Popular programs and events include: an annual conference, the Feminist Caucus, Poetry City, and National Poetry Month.


British Columbia

Federation of BC Writers

The purpose of The Federation of BC Writers is to encourage greater recognition of BC writers while working cooperatively with other provincial and federal agencies that are concerned with writing standards and promoting literary arts.

Membership benefits include networking opportunities, a subscription to WordWorks Magazine and the WriteOn Newsletter. Other opportunities (both paid and otherwise) includes access to various writing groups and events as well as contest opportunities, such as The BC Short.


Writer’s Guild of Alberta

Formed in 1980, the Writer’s Guild of Alberta is a vast literary resource for Albertan writers. The mandate on their website reads as such: “Our members write in every genre and at every level of expertise. The WGA helps give Alberta writers a sense of unity and community, and is the largest provincial writers’ organization in Canada.”

Membership includes mentorship programs for emerging writers, an annual conference, a manuscript reading service, writing retreats that include opportunities to share work with writers-in-residence, youth programs, a quarterly magazine (WestWord), and the WGA Edmonton Critiquing group.


The Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild

The Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild was founded in 1966 and is a cultural organization that promotes public awareness through literature. The guild focuses its efforts on providing resources and opportunities for writers at every stage of their career. For more information on their programs and services, check out their website today.


The Manitoba Writer’s Guild

The Manitoba Writer’s Guild offers numerous opportunities for Manitoba-based writers in various stages of their craft, including but not limited to: The Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program, writers-in-residence, and the Burns Family Classroom—a space that is available to rent for workshops, readings, receptions, and other literary events.

Membership options are flexible, with three different options being presented: the regular Annual Membership at $60.00, Students Under 18 at $10.00, and the Student and Low-Income Membership at $30.00.


The Ontario Poetry Society

The Ontario Poetry Society is dedicated to promoted Ontario literary arts and building a community of poets. Their website includes a bookstore and poets are encouraged to submit their work for potential publication within anthologies that the organization produces on the regular. They also host a series of seasonal contests and competitions.

Members receive a subscription to the organization’s newsletter, Verse Afire, which is published three times a year with the opportunity to publish their own work within the publication, networking engagements, invitations to poetry readings, etc. Membership costs are flexible and affordable—$35.00 a per year, or $18.00 for half a year.


Quebec Writer’s Federation

The Quebec Writer’s Federation is an inclusive community that promotes and supports the work of English-based writers in the province of Quebec. The organization has been growing exponentially since its initial birth in the spring of 1998, with new opportunities for members being added including but not limited to: a professional mentorship program, various craft-based workshops, Literary Dinners and QWF Writes (a monthly online essay series for writers), opportunities to share work with writers-in-residence, and contest opportunities for youth.

The Quebec Writer’s Federation is also responsible for the creation of carte blanche, a prominent online literary journal in Canadian writing circles. They are in association with both career-focused writers, as well as those who are new to the craft and have taken a personal interest in it.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland & Labrador (WANL) was established in 1987, and it strives to nurture and inspire writers in all levels of their career and craft, while contributing to the maintaenance of a supportive creative environment in the province. Programs and services offered are: workshops, the WANL Newsletter, a mentorship program for emerging writers, and a manuscript evaluation service.

Three types of membership are available at WANL—a regular membership at $55.00 per with (with the option to pay for a 3-year membership at $135.00 or a five-year membership at $225.00), a Senior/Unemployed/Student Membership at $25.00 per year, and a Youth Membership which is offered to writers under the age of seventeen and is free! All membership application forms ask for writers to list their preferred genres/areas of interest in order to help establish member goals and needs.

New Brunswick

Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick

The Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick (WFNB) is a long-running organization that currently boasts over 260 members—they welcome writers that have made the craft their profession, as well as emerging writers and others who share a love of words. Though the organization is based in New Brunswick, members herald from all Maritime provinces as well as Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.

All genres are welcome, as well as all stages of development. They offer members numerous opportunities including: an annual writing competition, weekend writing festivals, outreach programs, and more. The organization also partners with The Fiddlehead (a Canadian literary magazine) to host the New Brunswick Book Awards.

Nova Scotia

Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia

The Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) offers two types of memberships—the General Membership which is “open to anybody who writes” and the Writers’ Council Membership which is strictly for members who meet professional publication requirements. Annual memberships go for $65.00 or $30.00 for full-time students and those with a limited income.


As readers will note we are currently missing writing groups for our friends in Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Do you have any recommendations for these provinces or for any of the others listed? Comment with your experiences and recommendations below! The CanLit scene is vast and full of potential–let’s share our resources and start a conversation.