MetroWest Writers’ Guild

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.

Our Mission

To support, encourage, and inspire writers in MetroWest Massachusetts and beyond to write, produce, and perform the world’s greatest stories.

Our Vision

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 is studying 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 board of The Writers’ Loft, a writing community in Hudson, Massachusetts, which was the fiscal sponsor for the Guild in early 2022.

When she is not leading or writing, Kyra knits, quilts, and embroiders.

Photo credit: Jessica Cronin Photography

[The Guild has] made me think more critically about what I’m writing, plus provided a spur to get me to actually put words on page.

-Guild Member, 2022

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

Heather Gerry Kelly wears many hats, but her favorite is a tiara. You’ll find her managing the Writers’ Loft, Little Book Locker (getting books into the hands of vulnerable children), Pocket Moon Press, and Rocky Point Press. She writes everything from Picture Books to Romance and mentors authors along the way. Discover the Writers’ Loft illustrated anthologies for children and her workbook, Jumpstart Your Writing in 30 Days. Remember, writing, and publishing are too hard to do alone! Find your community. 

Danni Foley is an avid gamer and writer with a background in accounting (of the non-spicy variety). She has recently added the title of “student” as she pursues her MFA in Creative Writing at UMass Boston. Her current passion project is a Dungeons & Dragons campaign based on Greek mythology. Danni serves as the Guild’s treasurer.

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.

[I’m] realizing I’m a writer with a capital W even if I never publish.

–Guild member, 2022

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.

Read our 2022 Annual Report here.

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.