The Ottawa community has benefited greatly from the creation of the Ottawa Writers’ Guild which a group of writers, poets and members who love literary works and the written word. Local author, Dave Burns, brought life to the Ottawa Writer’s Guild when he began organizing a group in March of this year that met twice a month at the Ottawa Library. The group inspires each other, bounces ideas off one another and is led by Dave Burns in writing instruction. The group wanted to publish their work online so they formed a guild and created a website blog. We put up a sign up sheet during summer reading for library patrons interested in learning to write or attending specific writing instruction or workshops, almost immediately 10 patrons signed up and each month the number doubles in interest. The response was so strong that Burns started up a second group that meets on Wednesdays at the Carnegie Cultural Center in Ottawa.  The Saturday Library group continues to meet twice a week and has an average of 8-10 participants each time.

Dave Burns has plans to increase his writing workshops and lessons and spread the love of writing more in the community. He wishes to lead more classes based in the Carnegie Cultural Center building, because of a lack of available funding the Ottawa Library wasn’t able to accommodate Burns in comprehensive writing instruction even though we realize there is a need and a hunger for this type of workshop in our community. We feel strongly that Burns’ writing classes are beneficial and we know they are well attended. His program would be a good thing to invest in it reaches many individuals in the community that may not be able to afford college writing classes or to travel far to neighboring cities.

Lisa Slavin, Adult Programming at the Ottawa Library


I first met Dave Burns at an Ottawa Writers’ Guild meeting in Ottawa, Kansas. One of Dave’s greatest skills is in creating a positive, safe environment for writers of all experience and skill levels. While some of us who attend are veteran writers, others are trying the craft for the first time. The positive energy Dave fosters empowers newcomers to explore their creativity. He is also doing a great job building relationships with community entities such as the library and the Arts Council.

Diana Staresinic-Deane, author of Shadow on the Hill: The True Story of a 1925 Kansas Murder