Here are some of the notes, letters and testimonials Dorothea has received from students and readers:

My recent publishing successes have transpired as a result of your nurturing, amazing creative writing instruction and magic fairy dust.

Kristen Barrett (Stouffville, Ontario, Canada)

Dorothea Helms is inspiring both in her abilities as a writer and in her tirelessly optimistic attitude. I enjoy a rich, rewarding extra-curricular writing life largely due to her influence. And her seminars are fun, informative, and practical – with an emphasis on fun.

Annette McLeod
Sr. Writer/Editor, The Toronto Sun


I wanted to let you know that something in the last few weeks has switched.

I wanted to let you know that I am a writer, I have accepted it with great excitement and I am off and creating.

I wanted to let you know that I am going to be more successful every day, every week and every year than I ever thought possible.

I wanted to let you know that most of my fears have been replaced with curiosity and my hands won’t type fast enough.

I wanted to let you know that you have been a wonderful teacher and friend and I will always be grateful.

Thanks Dorothea,
Suzanne Caskie (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Dear Dorothea,

I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for the assistance, guidance and mentoring you have provided me over the past two years, as I have watched myself transform from a closet scribe to a published writer. I couldn’t have done it without you, Dorothea.

I first attended your basic writing course at Durham College in 2002. I got lost on my way there and nearly threw in the towel, but I ended up arriving about an hour late. What a mistake turning for home would have been! Both your teaching methods and the incredibly useful material you distribute to your classes makes attending them more than worth the time and monetary investment.

Having attended the basic class, I knew I HAD to attend the advanced class, which I did in the spring of 2003. The advanced class built on the skills that you taught in the basic class, but more than that, it built on the foundation of confidence that you create in each of your students by your constructive and instructive, almost instinctive, rapport with them. As I felt myself become ever more eager to share what I had written, to have it reviewed by my peers, and to go back and write something better, I also looked around me and saw many other people blossoming under your guidance. College students, housewives, entrepreneurs, professionals, seniors, accomplished writers and novices made up the population of your classes, and all of them grew as writers during the time they spent there.

You are sincere in your desire to share your talent and your love of writing with your students. It is obvious that you want each and every one of us to accomplish whatever we desire, within the world of writing. Through your instruction and the invaluable tools that you provided me, I am miles further toward my dream of making a living as a writer, than I was before I met you. On behalf of closet writers everywhere, please keep doing what you are doing.

Jason A. MacRae (Whitby, Ontario, Canada)

When I walked into that Creative Writing course in 1999 I never dreamed my life would go shooting off in a new direction because of the woman standing at the front of the classroom. But that is exactly what Dorothea Helms did for me. She made me believe I could write, encouraged me and transformed my attitude from ‘Maybe someday’ to ‘Why not right now’! Because of Dorothea’s influence and support, I can call myself a successful freelance writer and a published author. She made me believe in myself and helped open doors for me. She’s an amazing coach and mentor for anyone who dreams of someday being a writer.

Aprille Janes (Port Perry, Ontario, Canada)

I am a successful writer, in part, because of what Dorothea has taught me about my craft. Further, I am a successful creative writing teacher because she modelled the best way to teach others.

I call Dorothea my God of Workshops. And I am not being funny. She, on the other hand, is truly funny. Her classes are designed to create the right atmospheric balance of fun, creativity and passion. She is inspirational and completely down to earth. I would drive 4,000 miles both ways, to take a Dorothea Helms workshop.

I first met Dorothea in 1996 as a new and uncertain writer. She has been a wonderful support to me ever since.

Ruth Walker (Whitby, Ontario, Canada)


I wouldn’t be doing those pieces today if I hadn’t taken your course. More importantly, if you hadn’t befriended me and made me think my words were worthy. Know what Dorothea? In my lifetime and the one after mine there will never be sufficient words in the English language to tell you how much of an impression/change you’ve made in my life. For what it’s worth, I hope my humble thank you is sufficient until I can ball up words that are worthy to tell you what an impact you have made on me.

Thank you for being a teacher. Thank you for being a mentor. Most importantly, thank you for being my champion and my friend.

Anna Therien (Dwight, Ontario, Canada)



At a time when I was feeling discouraged with my writing, Dorothea Helms unknowingly lifted my spirits. A simple comment, heartfelt and honest, made me believe in my own possibilities. That’s Dorothea’s gift. She is an individual who sees the potentials rather than inabilities and encourages others to find that within themselves. Her warmth, her humour and her genuine interest in people are her magic.

Andrea Adair-Tippins (Whitby, Ontario, Canada)

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your workshop this past Saturday. I certainly appreciate all the wonderful information you put together in the binder for us to take home. It is an excellent resource! I’m sure everyone who was there appreciated your encouragement. You are truly an inspiration to us all. Thanks so much.

Kathryn Bremner (Whitby, Ontario, Canada)

(September 2, 2002) About half an hour ago I heard your Person Singular story on CBC 1, and I am somewhat overwhelmed with the energy that brought into my life this morning. Congratulations on your 10-year success, your enthusiasm, and the web-site Google helped me find within seconds. I am a visual artist living in Napanee, 35 km east of Belleville, and one of my unfulfilled dreams is to write about art as well. The fear of rejection has made some procrastination quite easy to live with, but enough is enough; your words this morning have given me the proverbial kick in the butt.

Michael Maile (Napanee, Ontario, Canada)

(Sent January 7, 2003 to the Editor of the Facts $ Arguments Page of The Globe and Mail):

I just finished reading Dorothea Helms’s touching essay, “The Gift of Words.” I’d like to thank her for the gift of this wonderful little gem. I’ve taken a few writing courses over the years and have also been in a position to help a young person hone their talent. It was an unexpected treat to read Ms. Helms’s take on the joy of giving badly needed recognition to a deserving young person. It was an exquisite piece of writing. Thanks for publishing it.

MariGayl Kilgour (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)