Young Willamette Writers

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”  – Groucho Marx

Young Willamette Writers are young people who love to write.

Young Willamette Writers are invited to attend any meetings in their area. Portland has an excellent meeting, specifically for YWW.  No need to pay, just register at the door with your parent  and check it out. The Portland meetings are held at the same time and place as the adult Willamette Writers meetings on the first Tuesday of the month from September through June. We meet from 7 – 8 pm at The Old Church in downtown Portland at SW 11th and Clay.

This year we are launching our new membership program to include more young people from different parts of our state.! Find out more about what it means to become a member.

This month in Portland

In November, the Young Willamette Writers will take their writing in a new direction and even experiment with a little acting! Marian Scadden will share her script-writing skills with us, showing how both fiction writing and script writing have techniques in common.

Marian Scadden is the author of White Fire, a ya fantasy; The Other Art: Theater Skills to Help Every Child; Short Scripts for 2-3 Kids; and numerous plays. Her works are published as e-books. Many of her scripts are performed during the summer at Children’s Educational Theatre in Salem. She graduated in Children’s Theatre from Brigham Young University decades ago and has been teaching and performing ever since.

Regarding our hour together, her workshop promises to be unlike anything we’ve done before:

“Bring your pencils, paper, a description of a character or two from your writings (scripts, novels, short stories, or outlines), a description of a scene those characters are in, and your brain. We’ll be talking about scripts, working on dialogue as it applies to playwriting and fiction writing, and doing a bit of improvisation with your characters. What an intense hour we’ll have!”

Young Willamette Writers PDX meetings are open to any student in 5th-10th grades. Meetings are free – no need to register – just show up! We’re glad to have you! We’re at the Old Church on SW 11th and Clay from 7-8 pm on the first Tuesday of the month, September to June. Hope to see you there!


Young Willamette Writers write fiction, poetry, nonfiction, plays and screenplays. They love getting together to hear from professional writers and practice what they learn. They want to be with other passionate writers like themselves.

Some of them have entered and won contests such as the Kay Snow Writing Award and a National Scholastic Writing Award. Some have been published in magazines such as American Girl and Stone Soup.

YWW’s  welcome any students from 13 to 18 years old.

What’s New? November – 2017 –

Thanksgiving Gratitude

The last of the Sweet Williams peek into the languishing days of autumn. I am grateful for the coming change.

I’ve pulled this morning close to me, gently placing it my heart. Take the day off. Take the day to be grateful. This is what I tell myself as I sit tapping the keys on my computer, drinking hot tea.

Jeter, my faithful Labrador, is next to my chair. His nose and ears don’t stop moving as he takes in the day. I love that dog. He reminds me not just to be happy, but to be joyful. Grateful for you, buddy. Just saying his name aloud makes him wag.

My husband says “Let’s hike up Park.” I am grateful for all of the hiking trails that surround our little valley. Grateful for strong legs and a good heart.

There is food in the fridge and in the cupboards and I’m grateful. I know that people go hungry every day. On Friday I did laundry, so my clothes are clean, folded and put away. I’m so grateful for clean clothes, clean towels and clean sheets.

My only task today is to be grateful and to hike with my husband and my dog. Gratitude fills me. It is a practice that soothes me. It is a path that assures me that in this universe exists an unfathomable love. The things that I am grateful for are too many for a list. May the arms of gratitude surround you this month of November. Happy Thanksgiving.

Fun Stuff for November!

Author Quote of the Month: I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose. ~Stephen King~

Writing Prompt of the Month: Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.

Writing Advice for November: Four Tips From Professional Writers: 

  1. Enthusiasm, dedication, perseverance, objectivity, generosity, professionalism.
    ~Karen Miller (Kingmaker duology, Stargate SG-1)
  2. You’ve got to love it, because it’s too hard to handle if you don’t.
    ~David Seidman (Hercules, Disney, others)
  3. Perseverance. A thick skin. The ability to multitask. Without those three things, you’re screwed. Seriously. ~Keith R.A. DeCandido (Star Trek, Supernatural, Doctor Who)
  4. The most important trait, in my view, is the ability to respond well to criticism. Editors will have strong opinions (most likely different from yours) about your work—usually backed up by lots of experience—and they often won’t have the time to break it to you gently when changes to a manuscript are needed. Having a vision for your work is good and necessary, and you may be able to find some type of compromise if you disagree strongly with a particular editing decision, but it’s essential to be flexible and find a way to adapt quickly. After all, the company is taking a business risk to print and market your work, so they have the final say. Another important trait to have is perseverance, because a deadline doesn’t care whether or not you’re motivated to write on any given day; the work has to get done.—~Elizabeth Christensen (Stargate Atlantis)

Submissions Wanted: Each year, YWW puts out a journal of writing from its members. Do you have a short article, essay or poem that you’d like to see in print? Publish your piece in our yearly Young Willamette Writers Journal. Please submit your work to: All submissions must contain your name and an email address where we can reach back to you,

Until next time, write on . . .