FAIRBORN, OH – The Greater Dayton Area Writers Forum was founded in October of 2008 with just two members. Since that time the group has expanded to more than 30 and continues a steady growth in interest. On January 5, 2010, the organization will change its name to the “Western Ohio Writers Guild,” (WOWG) in order to better express its original mission.
The writing group began as an unincorporated, non-profit organization the goal of which was to create a network of writers from the Dayton area while providing them with support, education and professional resources. Professional and amateur writers from every genre from poetry to journalism meet on the first Tuesday of each month to discuss writing and improve their skills through peer feedback and educational presentations. The new name was suggested by member writer Michael Martin following and chosen by the group organizers at the December meeting.
Early in December the group held its first “Beatnik Café” event, where writers took to the stage to read their work aloud. Combining the event with a holiday theme, some writers crafted works specifically for the evening program.
Independent freelance columnist and writer Gery L. Deer is the founder and coordinator for the organization. “The areas of western and central Ohio are rich in writing talent and there has long been need for support and education beyond expensive writing conferences.”
The group’s next session is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday January 5 at the Baymont Inn and Suites, 730 E. Xenia Dr. in Fairborn, just off of I-675 at SR 235. At this point, there is no charge to attend the monthly meetings, but RSVP’s are taken through group’s the Meetup.com website.
Currently, events for WOWG are made possible by the support of local sponsors including the Baymont Inn & Suites, the Greene County Dailies newspapers and GLD Enterprises & Productions Media. Sponsors of the Forum provide facilities, advertising assistance, manpower and technology support.
“As we get the new organization planned out and apply for 501c3 non-profit status, we will develop a paid membership program with benefits like newsletters and special event pricing,” Deer noted. One of the long-term goals of WOWG is to offer a comprehensive, yet affordable, writers conference at least once a year to be held in the Dayton area.
“For now, we really appreciate the support we have received from the writers and sponsors,” Deer continued, particularly Jeff Andrews the general manager of the Baymont Inn who has provided our meeting space for nearly a year.”
“I am especially grateful to the professionals who have come to offer their knowledge and experience over the past year with no compensation,” Deer added, referring to the professional writers, editors and teachers who donate their time as keynote speakers for many of the monthly meetings. “Everyone’s time is valuable and it is hard to do things for free in this economy so we really appreciate it.”
The group organizes monthly events through the Meetup.com website. Participants are encouraged to bring paper and pen along with samples of their work and their own refreshments. No alcohol is permitted on the premises.
For more information or to RSVP for the January 5 meeting, go online to www.meetup.com/Greater-Dayton-Area-Writers-Meetup-Group or email Gery L. Deer at [email protected]