About Us

Our Mission Statement

The Haliburton Highlands Writers' and Editors' Network (HHWEN) is an umbrella organization dedicated to encouraging and promoting the art and skill of writing, fostering literacy, and providing moral support to writers and editors through education and networking, both independently and in cooperation with existing organizations.

The Umbrella Organization

Kay Millard, Ted Staunton (children's writer and HHWEN speaker), and Gina Stanley at an HHWEN breakfast meeting
  • hosts occasional meetings, during which guest speakers address such topics as their personal experiences as writers, their works, the business of writing, motivational influences and getting published
  • sends out email notices of writing opportunities, workshops, special events, contests, and websites for writers
  • organizes and promotes workshops and events for writers
  • supplies guidelines for contests and advice for running events (upon request)
  • provides support for special events such as poetry evenings and workshops on topics relevant to writers, and book launches (upon request)
  • provides support and resources for writing circles (upon request)

Affiliations

  • Muskoka INK
  • The Writers' Community of Durham Region (WCDR)
  • The Writers' and Editors' Network (WEN) of West Toronto

We also exchange information with the Canadian Authors Association, Brampton Writers' Guild and The Word Guild (for Christian writers).

History of the Haliburton Highlands Writers' and Editors' Network

HHWEN was conceived in June of 2003 at the end of a writing class given by Marjorie Ludlow Green of Minden. The Minden Writers' Circle was the result of the connection that the writers had formed in the class. Part of the group wanted merely to belong to a small writers' circle. Others decided to form, in addition, an umbrella organization which would distribute news releases, invite speakers, organize events and set up workshops to draw writers together from across the county. It also hoped to link Haliburton writers with others around the province.

The Haliburton Highlands Writers' and Editors' Network has hosted many breakfast meetings and lunches since its inception, welcoming such speakers as Steve Galea, local columnist and freelance writer; Jack Brezina, former editor and publisher of The Minden Times; Toronto Star humourist and author Linwood Barclay; Lea Harper, acclaimed poet and Juno Award winning songwriter; Reg Holloway, globetrotting journalist and member of the British foreign service; Jim Poling Sr., retired general manager of Canadian Press and author of Tom Thomson and His Mysterious Death; Edo Van Belkom, famed horror writer; Paul Woods of Canadian Press; Dorothea Helms, The Writing Fairy; Ted Barris, author and broadcaster; Margot Van Sluytman, talented poet and publisher of Palabras Press in Calgary; Shirley Roe of All Books Review; Sharon Lawrence, wife of naturalist and author R.D. Lawrence and many more informed and talented writers.

The organization offers support to local writers' circles or individual members who hold events such as A Writers' Christmas (initiated by The Algonquin Highlands Writers' Circle) or who organize personal book launches.

Workshops for writers on topics such as writing a family history; secrets to writing a page-turner; digital photography; the business of writing; self publishing and marketing; travel writing; outlining a novel; poetry for the page and poetry for the stage, just to name a few, have been well received by members of HHWEN and writers from regions as far away as Toronto, Ottawa and Barrie.

Our showcase event, "Books Alive", presented each year at the R.D. Lawrence Place in Minden, is one way in which HHWEN supports our local published authors. Held in autumn, on the first Saturday of the annual Studio Tour, this special literary celebration provides an unusual opportunity for members to read aloud, meet the public, and sell their published works.

HHWEN works with many community partners such as The Minden Hills Cultural Centre where, in partnership with Friends of the Library, it ran a Writer in Residence Program from 2005 - 2007, providing programming for people of all ages. One aspect of the programming focused on developing students' sense of identity as life-long writers. In conjunction with the Minden Hills Cultural Centre, HHWEN members served on the committee, Friends of R.D. Lawrence Place, a new building in memory of a prolific naturalist, journalist and author. It is an interactive learning facility, a writers' centre and a gathering place. HHWEN members were instrumental in bringing the project to Minden Hills and helping to make it a reality. Programming for writers will be promoted at R.D. Lawrence Place which will liaise with the Leacock Museum and other literary heritage homes in Canada. HHWEN welcomes other organizations such as The Word Guild to Haliburton to co-sponsor events like Write! Haliburton.

Focusing on opportunities for writers and advocating for respect for writing skills is an important service HHWEN provides for writers and editors of all ages. We appreciate the support and encouragement that many professionals in the organization give to emerging writers in the community.

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