Are you passionate about writing? Join us!

Columbia Chapter of Missouri Writers Guild Logo

Do you work with words from home? Do you enjoy spinning tales and weaving words into poetry? Perhaps your friends and family say you should really do something with all that talent you have. Maybe you have been longing to tell your story for future generations of your family. If this sounds like you, we invite you to join us.

Here’s our story

We are a Chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild, a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose purpose is to support, encourage, and promote writers and their craft in our community. Our Columbia Chapter has served the writers of Central Missouri since 1959. Our membership is diverse, representing many literary genres and levels of both ambition and accomplishment. Writers who want merely to write for their own enjoyment and self-expression are as welcome as those who regularly find publishers for their work. We enjoy synergistic relationships with many literary and cultural groups and that keeps us energized and involved in our community.

Our modest funding comes from generous donors, membership dues, and paid events. 100% of it goes to support writers like you and our craft. We are grateful for our hard working volunteers and board members who generously give of themselves to serve our guild.

Our goal is to offer support for every skill level from the “wannabe” just starting out to the accomplished, published author. You do not have to be published or have any experience in joining us and learning alongside us.

Besides participating in many local events, such as Unbound Book Festival and Art In The Park, among others, we produce a couple of major events annually. They include:

  • Well Versed, an anthology of prose and poetry wherein we receive submissions from both members and non-members, which are reviewed and judged and, if accepted, published. (See guidelines in the Members Section) We offer a modest payment for every published submission and we give prize money to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. If your submission is accepted and published, you qualify as a “published author”, making you eligible to join the That’s the statewide “Mother” organization.
  • In the summer, we host a flash fiction writing contest for guild members. Each month, members receive a prompt and have five days to complete a flash piece of writing based on that prompt. Guild members and winners judge anonymously the pieces eligible for publication in Well Versed.
  • Our regular monthly meetings feature guest speakers, mini workshops, networking, and more!
  • Other Member Benefits include:
  • Curated list of resources for writers
  • Opportunities to sell your books, both online and in person at events
  • Members only writing contests
  • Blogging (Article submission) on our website which can link to your own site

There are sub-groups within the broad membership that meet separately. These are special interest groups, such as non-fiction, fiction, and poetry.


Normally, we meet on the 1st Sunday of the month, 2:00 to 4:00PM. For months with holidays surrounding that weekend, we will meet on the 2nd Sunday.

Typical meeting format includes a brief business meeting followed by announcements and introductions, then a speaker, workshop, critique group, or other special event.

Meetings are open to the public. Exceptions: Non members may not take part in mini-classes or have their work critiqued.


Debbie Cutler is doing the quarterly newsletter. She would like all submissions sent to her by December 10th. This is earlier than normal but this is her first newsletter, and she’d like to have plenty of time to put it together. Submissions to the newsletter can be sent to Debbie at this email: Please put Newsletter in the subject line so it’s easy to search for.

NEW: Spoken Word Series at Café Berlin
Celebrating Written & Spoken Word

The Columbia Writers Guild and Columbia’s Cafe Berlin present the 4th Thursday Spoken Word Series beginning Jan. 25, 2024, 6-8 p.m. We will also feature an open mic for the remainder of the evening. Book sales & signings by our featured readers, too! Come by, have a drink or dinner, listen to amusing, thought-provoking, & serious poetry, buy a book, enjoy. This will be a monthly event and replaces our Quarterly Reading Series. More spoken word, a bigger audience, more variety and wine!

Next Event: February 22, 2024, 6-8 p.m.
Featured poet Justin Hamm plus open mic, hosted by Sharon SingingMoon

Cafe Berlin, 220 N 10Th St., Columbia

UPDATE: Open Mic and Slam Bake

Since we have Café Berlin, we will no longer meet for the Poetry Open Mic on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. We will now have the Zoom Poetry Critique Group on the 2nd Wednesday from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm CST. Each participant should have one poem ready to put up on screen share. This critique group is open to both Guild and Non-Guild members. Hosted by Barbara Leonhard.

Also, every 4th Wednesday of the month, we do a Zoom Poetry Critique Group


Membership in the Guild is $25 per year. For students, membership is $15. Checks can be mailed to the Guild at CCMWG P.O. Box 7795 Columbia, MO 65205-7795. We are unable to process electronic payments at this time but are working to rectify this as soon as possible.

Dues are collected every January but will by prorated if you join after January.