Pick up a pen, and let’s get started!


A group for all ages, all levels of expertise, and all areas of interest.



Schedule, Fall 2023

  • September 28      Phoenix Winter
  • October 5              Bill Arnott
  • October 12            Betsy Alkanbrack
  • October 19            Heidi Greco
  • October 26             Heart of the City
  • November 2          Heart of the City
  • November 9
  • November 16        Elee Kraljii Gardiner
  • November 23        Jessica McMIllan
  • November 30
  • December 7
  • December 14          Kevin Spenst 

Live from the DTES, our words have been laid down by writers who DEMAND to be heard. Raw. Authentic. Uncompromising.


We write because writing illuminates reality and lays foundations for positive change.

We write because art massages sensibility, shifts perception, and crafts budding vistas.

We write because social justice needs voice and we aspire to be that voice.

We write because a trail of ink on paper pulls us in and creates new worlds to explore.




We meet at the Carnegie Centre every Thursday afternoon, 1:00-3:00pm. At present, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are meeting in the Theatre (next door to the library) on the ground floor. At the moment, we are limited to 12 participants, due to social distancing requirements.

The DTES Writers Collective evolved from the Thursdays Writing Collective, which ran from 2008-2018. TWC published eleven chapbook anthologies with the support of Canada Council, City of Vancouver, Simon Fraser University and Carnegie Community Centre. 

Climate Change Project

Let’s give Greta Thunberg a hand!

Let’s help the kids who will outlive us, have a life, as this dangerous century unfolds. Let’s show them that they aren’t alone and that those of us from older generations, in my case from the sixties stoned ages, do care.

Let’s demonstrate that we are passionate about life on Gaia, all life from bacteria all the way to the entire biosphere, all life from bugs to homo sapiens.


Let’s put our shoulders to the gears and prevent the industrial petro-fueled revolution from demonstrating that so called intelligent beings (apes with big brains) inevitably extinct themselves with hubris their technology empowers.

Let’s work to help build a Green New Deal Greenpeace.

Continnum: An Anthology

The first anthology from the Downtown Eastside Writers Collective is a document of endurance that distills this Vancouver neighbourhood to its brightest intensities. Varied, philosophical, poetic and at times comedic, these texts reflect the generosity of the Collective itself where the common goal is to arrive on the page no matter what conspires against us. The Collective evolved from Thursdays Writing Collective, a non-profit program begun in 2008 in Carnegie Community Centre to hold space for creative self-determination.

On the conclusion of the original Collective a decade later, the writers rallied and organized the DTES Writers Collective. Entirely participant-run and fuelled by a commitment to expression, this new group functions as both writing workshop and receptive stage where emerging writers exchange lines with award-winning authors, each equally expert in their life’s journey to the page.

The creative flex here is playful and difficult even as it pulls the reader forwards, always insisting on full attention.

  • Eleel Kraljii Gardiner, author of Trauma Head, serpentine loop, Against Death: 35 Essays on Living, V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside


1. This is a writing group, not a discussion group; as such, after reading your work please refrain from editorializing

2. Limit discussion to one or two short comments after any reading

3. Follow the direction of whomever is leading the group.

4. Do not interrupt the leader or facilitator. Raise your hand and wait to be acknowledged before speaking.

5. Refrain from side conversations. If you absolutely cannot refrain from talking to your neighbour during a session, take it outside.

6. Above all: listen, listen, listen. And write, write, write.

Contact the DTES Writer's Collective

Get in touch if you’re interested in joining, or if you have any questions about who we are and what we do!