The Promise You Made to Yourself

Writers and poets of all genres can obtain lively and helpful critique from members of the Cuenca Writers Collective in the back room of the Sunrise Café.

Writers and poets of all genres can obtain lively and helpful critique from members of the Cuenca Writers Collective in the back room of the Sunrise Café.

Do you know that if you drop a sandwich on the ground, you can still eat it if you pick it up quickly enough? My older brother, Andy, once explained that it takes five seconds for the germs to see your sandwich and crawl over to climb up on it—thus, the Five-Second Rule. Do you also know about the January Grace Period? That you have until the end of the month to get started on your New Year’s resolutions? Well, now you do. You still have time to make good on your resolution to WRITE in 2016.

Where to start? Writers groups can be very helpful, and Cuenca has two that are open to new members. There is no membership fee and writers of all genres are welcome.

The Cuenca Writers Collective (CWC) hosts a weekly writing critique group where one can read several pages of a work in progress and obtain feedback from other writers. The CWC group provides help in preparing work for publication and guidance in areas such as story- and character-building, voice, point of view and clarity.

“The feedback I get allows me to see how my work lands and how I might change it if I intend a different landing. We learn how to be critical in a respectful and honest way,” says member Finn O’Gorman, a poet. “The advice I get is clear, specific and helpful and comes from a wealth of experience. The tone is always kind and encouraging”

CWC meetings are held every Wednesday in the back room of the Sunrise Café at 38 Calle Larga, near Benigno Malo and the Taj Mahal Restaurant. Please arrive at noon: the readings begin at 12:30.

Writing Our World (WOW) is a writers’ support group which meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 1:00 pm at the Magnolia Caffe in Plaza Otorongo. Each meeting focuses on a theme such as writing opening lines, building suspense, handling procrastination, editing, marketing and self-publishing, and writers are invited to share their experiences. WOW also hosts monthly writing workshops.

“WOW opened my eyes to a whole new world of writing, self-publishing and marketing. What a great resource for writers in Cuenca,” says member Wayne Materi. “The important aspect of WOW is support. Not only support in the craft of writing and in the business of writing, but the camaraderie and friendships that inspire us to push forward and keep going.”

For more information, join the Facebook group, Cuenca: Writing Our World or email us at:

Mike Herron at the Spoken Word

Writer Mike Herron presents a chapter at The Spoken Word.

Additionally, writers from all Cuenca writing groups are invited to participate in The Spoken Word, an evening performance of works in progress, held monthly.

So whether you are polishing up something you’ve been writing, or looking for inspiration, keep the promise you made to yourself. Cuenca’s writing groups have much to offer!



Frances A. Hogg is a writer, writing instructor, editor and event organizer, who has lived in Cuenca for four years. She is the founder of the Cuenca Writers Collective, which provides support for writers, book designers and marketers, and is a founding organizer of the Cuenca International Writers Conference. In addition she hosts The Spoken Word, a monthly performance of readings by writers, and moderates a weekly writers’ critique group. She is also a volunteer teacher at a rural Ecuadorian school and fundraiser for several charitable foundations. “My life is driven by a desire to help others and to shine a light on people who are helping others. The written word is a powerful tool and weapon for social change, and I want to help people learn how to wield it.” She is the author of several books, including a mystery series set in inner-city Detroit, a cooking guide for Gringos in Cuenca, and collections of short stories. She is managing editor of La Revista Zéro, and Zero Book Publishing.

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