Annual Awards

The following awards are decided on by the Willamette Writers Board and are awarded during the Gala Awards Banquet during the Willamette Writers Conference:

Winners are not shown in all years. In some instances, no award was given. In others, we have not been able to find records of awards for those years. If you have information about a missing year, please contact Bill Johnson or Lizzy Shannon at awards[at]willamettewriters[dot]com. Thank you!


The Up and Coming Award (est. 2014) is Willamette Writers’ newest award. It recognizes emerging writers who, in their initial work, have already demonstrated mastery in their craft. This award was established partly in the hopes of acknowledging talented authors at every stage of their career:

2014 Kelly Williams Brown


The Distinguished Northwest Writer Award (est. 1988) recognizes noteworthy Northwest authors who have distinguished him or her self with exceptional literary or other writing:

1988 Walt Morey

1989 Dayton Hyde

1990 Ursula K. LeGuin

1994 Craig Lesley

1995 Jean Auel

1996 MK Wren

1997 Ken Kesey

1998 Terence O’Donnell

1999 Ursula Hegi

2000 Molly Gloss

2001 Tom Robbins

2002 Whitney Otto

2003 Susan Fletcher and Sherman Alexie

2004 Diana Abu-Jaber

2005 Jane Kirkpatrick

2006 Chuck Palahniuk

2007 Mike Rich

2008 Virginia Euwer Wolff

2009 Phil Margolin

2010 Karen Karbo

2011 Gus Van Sant

2012 David Guterson

2013 Paulann Petersen

2014 Jess Walter


The Lifetime Achievement Award (est. 1989) honors a writer or person in the publishing industry who has demonstrated exceptional achievement in his or her work during a life-time.

1989 Katharine McCanna

1990 Don James

1991 William E. Stafford

1996 Ellis Lucia

1998 Eloise McGraw

1999 Peg Bracken

2000 Beverly Cleary

2001 Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm

2002 Ursula K. LeGuin

2004 MK Wren

2005 Steve Perry

2006 Lawson Fusao Inada

2007 Ann Rule

2008 Margie Boule

2009 Irene Radford

2010 Roland Smith

2011 Barry Lopez

2012 Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch

2013 William F. Nolan

2014 Ivan Doig


The Humanitarian Award (est. 1996) honors a person and/or organization in the writing or publishing fields who have demonstrated exceptional philanthropy in their work.

1996 Dr. Jean Louise Brindamour (Strawberry Hill Press)

1998 Michael Henderson (past board member; peace activist)

1999 Dennis Stovall and Linny Stoval (Blue Heron Publishing)

2000 Rich Wandschneider (Fishtrap founder)

2003 Marlene Howard (Oregon Writers Colony founder)

2004 Jerry Isom (Books for Kids)

2005 WRAP – Write Around Portland

2006 Soapstone

2007 Larry Colton (Community of Writers)

2008 Peter Sears (Oregon Literacy Coalition; Friends of William Stafford)

2009 Kohel Haver (NW Lawyers & Artists)

2010 Linda Christensen (Oregon Writing Project)

2011 Bruce Livingston (PlayWrite)

2012 Mary Margaret Maitland (Willamette Writers and more)

2013 Cynthia Whitcomb (Willamette Writers and more)

2014 Justin Hocking (Independent Publishing Resource Center)

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