... a group of writers sat down to name the organization they had just established. Saskatoon's newest organization for creative writers would offer support and stimulation to writers working in creative or literary genres, such as fiction and poetry, non-fiction and drama. It would offer workshops in craft development and business skills, and it would be dedicated to strengthening Saskatoon's community of writers and to fostering a sense of excitement about writers and writing.
The venture was clearly a cooperative enterprise. What else could they call it but the Saskatoon Writers’ Co-op? Confident that legalities were merely a formality, they sent the paperwork in to the Province...
Suddenly the sky was falling. Another writers’ group had the name Saskatoon locked up, so that was off-limits. Worse, they discovered they were not allowed to call themselves a Co-op, because that would put them under the Co-operatives Act, with a whole new set of rules and regulations. "Oh, cluck!" they said. "Who will help us hatch this egg?"
Hearing no reply, they said, “Then we will do it ourselves.” And they did. "What's one tiny punctuation mark?" they reasoned. "Nobody uses it correctly anyway, and it stands between us and legitimacy."
They dumped the problematic hyphen, and became The Writers’ Coop. And then they riffed and, within moments, the chicken emerged (unsurprisingly) as the coop’s first occupant. Soon a whole identity grew around that cheerful fowl and its abode. A board member agreed to design a logo, and the yellow-and-orange Coop Chicken was hatched.
Five years after we crossed that road, we were able to incorporate “Saskatoon” into our name. The Coop has established itself as a significant base for Saskatoon-and-area writers. Despite our fowl reputation, we are proud to have no pecking order, and we shun the phrase “chick-lit”. Our flock is stable at over a hundred. Our classes and workshops are well-received, and our parties are a cackle.
Our chicken has matured. He shed his coat of juvenile yellow and now favours feathers in understated tones of taupe. "Hector" the chicken was the winning entry in our fifth anniversary "design a new logo" contest. He, along with the inkbottle, was created by long-time Coop member A. E. Matheson and unveiled at the Coop's Fifth Birthday Party on October 12, 2006.