We started as 20 writers
Like many writers, our origin story starts with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Back in 2018, MetroWest didn’t have any Municipal Liaisons. Two local writers stepped up to lead.
They revived the region by partnering with local libraries and independent bookstores to host write-ins and other programs for MetroWest WriMos. Their work attracted writers living between Boston and Worcester to join in the fun!
In 2019, after their first successful NaNoWriMo, a group of writers asked for continued write-ins throughout the year. Kyra Cook, our Founding Director, started a Facebook group and 20 writers joined. Soon, a monthly newsletter started, and a Discord server, and over the years, more writers found the group!
In December 2021, after growing to over 200 writers joined the Facebook group, Kyra decided to take a positive risk: to incorporate the Guild as a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging and supporting the writers of MetroWest Massachusetts. Four people joined the Founding Board and over 40 people became Founding Donors. The Guild continues to write its chapters through taking chances, asking questions, and supporting each other.
To support, encourage, and inspire writers in MetroWest Massachusetts and beyond to write, produce, and perform the world’s greatest stories.
The world’s greatest stories will be inspired, written, produced, and performed by writers in MetroWest Massachusetts and beyond.
Meet Our Founder
Kyra Wilson Cook is a mother, entrepreneur and sometimes-preacher. She spends her time gathering community, contemplating the possible, discerning truth, and imagining the future—as much as she can in fiction. A native Marylander who has spent her adult life in Massachusetts, Kyra sets her stories in New England, but writes them with her Southern cadence and Mid-Atlantic worldview. In her fiction, she seeks to write stories featuring children of color who can traverse many worlds with the savvy to code-switch, challenge, and triumph as they go. She writes under multiple pen names, including K. Onley for middle-grade and K. W. Onley for adult fiction.
Kyra is a proud graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She studied Nonprofit Leadership at the University of Maryland, College Park’s Do Good Institute. She is a graduate of Grub Street’s Short Story Incubator and has enjoyed taking many workshops through Grub Street. She’s also attended workshops through One Story and the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Kyra is a member of the We Need Diverse Books Black Revisions Workshop 2022 cohort and the Viable Paradise 2022 Cohort.
Kyra currently serves on the Advisory Board of the upcoming Gertrude Conference in California in 2024. She is also a former board member of The Writers’ Loft, a writing community in Hudson, Massachusetts.
When she is not leading or writing, Kyra knits, quilts, and embroiders.
Photo credit: Jessica Cronin Photography
The Guild by the Numbers
We are new, but we are hungry–just like every writer hoping to “Emerge” and publish. This is a quick look at who we are.
Our Facebook Group currently boasts 240 writers living in MetroWest Massachusetts and beyond.
Our monthly newsletter reaches over 150 writers and has averaged a 61% open rate in 2022.
The Guild offers at least 3 programs a month: A write-in, a workshop, and a class. Often, months offer much more.
Meet Our Board
Cynthia Lin is a native East Coaster, a four-time marathoner, and an outdoors lover. Much of the fodder for her podcast (Taiwanese Diaspora) and writing (ancestral autobiography WIP) is from channeling the bilingual thoughts running through her head and heart about cultural heritage, identity, and breaking expectations. Also a freelance consultant focusing on sustainability, supply chain, and social impact initiatives, Cynthia is thrilled to serve on several nonprofit organizations in the Boston area supporting the arts and AAPI. She’s knitting her first sweater and packing for her next globe-trotting adventure.
Lu Cao reads and writes in both English and Chinese, primarily focusing on literary fiction and genre fiction experimental enough to qualify as literary fiction. Currently residing in Wellesley, she is in the midst of a career transition after spending 7 years programming, 3 years teaching and creating art, and 6 years devoted to the completion of her debut novel.
Shawn P Zimmerman’s D&D character sheet would require at least 6 multi-classes. Husband, father, reader, writer, software tester, cook. He is interested in learning all the things he doesn’t know, so that list will continue to grow.
John Walters is a science fiction writer, part-time sustainability professional, parent, and a writer. When he’s not writing, parenting, or writing, you can find him playing tabletop games, hiking, exercising, or playing pickleball.
Steff Higgins makes media and writes for kids. They directed and produced the documentary The Gay Marriage Thing and are currently working on an LGBTQ themed middle-grade novel. Steff is committed to creating media for and about underrepresented young people. Steff serves as the Guild’s clerk.
Sonia Grace spends a lot of time yelling about injustice. In her spare time she writes novels, goes on adventures, and tries to get kidnapped by faeries. She has never commandeered a Greek fishing boat in the dead of night.
Our Public Documents
As a 501(c)(3), we are responsible for being transparent about our operations. While we are new and small, we take this responsibility seriously.
The Guild is a 501(c)(3) charity registered in the state of Massachusetts.
At the end of our fiscal year (December), we will produce and share our annual report with Guild members and the public.
At the end of our fiscal year (December), we will produce and share our EZ990 filing with Guild members and the public.
Upon Board approval, at the beginning of our fiscal year (December), we will share our annual Strategic Plan with Guild members and the public.
We need your support
Our community is build on the support of our writers and surrounding communities. Within our community, we are teachers, mentors, colleagues, cheerleaders, and friends. To continue to grow and sustain our programming, we need your support. Please consider making a gift to our community of writers today.