Welcome to Willamette Writers

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Writers at all levels come to Willamette Writers to connect with their communities, develop their craft, and advance their careers.
Join us today to take advantage of membership benefits and to support writers in the Pacific Northwest!

Our 2020 Conference is Going Entirely Online!

This year, you can SHARE YOUR STORY and LAUNCH YOUR CAREER, all from the comfort of your own home! We will be meeting entirely online this year. Here is what you can expect:

  • Wilwrite20 will be live-streamed. We will have workshops, pitches, critiques, and networking -- all from the comfort of your own home.
  • You will be able to connect one-on-one with agents, producers, managers, and industry professionals -- and the slate will be growing in the coming weeks.
  • There will be film roundtables where you can meet and talk shop, as well as virtual happy hours where you can relax and make new friends.
  • You will also connect with colleagues in virtual hallways, readings, open mics, and evening events.
  • Plus, you will enjoy some special opportunities online that we couldn't before, so expect some REALLY BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS in the coming weeks.

Wilwrite20 will be HALF THE PRICE. We want you to join us, and we think it's important to make the conference accessible during this challenging time. Many of our faculty are even donating their time so you can come. We are a community, and we are here to help each other.

We are so excited to share this conference with you -- our keynotes include Cheryl Strayed, Mitchell S. Jackson, Rosanne Parry, Zoraida Córdova, Alex Dang, and oh boy, a really big one coming up soon!

So sign up now! Join your friends online and launch your career this July 31 - August 2, 2020.

Our 2020 Conference Keynotes!

Alex Dang
Cheryl Strayed
Zoraida Cordova
Mitchell S Jackson
Rosanne Parry

We are proud to announce the speakers at our 51st Annual Conference on July 31 - August 2, 2020! Our conference theme is SHARE YOUR STORY, and we know these keynotes, authors, and industry professionals will help you share your own story. On the main stage this year, we will be joined by slam poet Alex Dang, New York Times bestselling author Cheryl Strayed, young adult and romance author Zoraida Córdova, New York Times bestselling middle grade author Rosanne Parry, and award-winning author Mitchell S. Jackson. But that's not all! Click here to find out more about who you'll see at #Wilwrite20!

Member News

Member News: Have Chapters — Will Critique

I’m an active novelist who’s new to the Greater Portland area and looking for a small group of serious writers to share scene and chapter critiques—online now and meeting regularly later. Either preread or orally delivered material is fine with me. My style is aimed at offering friendly and helpful critiques from a fiction lover’s…

Member News: McMinnville Short Film Festival Call for Submissions

The McMinnville Short Film Festival is celebrating its 10th year, and submissions are now open for all categories. The festival takes place February 19-21, 2021, presenting 80-85 films of 20 minutes or less from around the world across 3 days. The MSFF is proud to highlight its new Shawash Ilihi Award for films by Native…

Member News: Someone to Watch Over Book Release

Award-winning screenwriter William Schreiber’s debut novel, Someone to Watch Over, adapted from his original screenplay, has been released by indie Oregon publisher Not a Pipe Publishing. The release follows his screenplay’s placing second in the 2019 Kay Snow screenwriting competition and the novel earning the Rising Star Award from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Schreiber…

Member News: Book Launch — Back Story: A Novel

All authors put words to the page. Few, if any, also put music to the printed page. Local independent author, Marshall Welch, has done just that in his new novel, Back Story. He has imbedded QR codes within the narrative that can be scanned by the reader on their mobile devices to hear original songs…

Member News: New Mystery Novel by Deni Starr

While BJ McKay is incarcerated, her sister Cindy is murdered near her home in a small town on the Oregon coast. When BJ is finally released from prison nine months later, she heads to the beach for answers. She finds the sheriff has made no arrests and has no suspects or leads. He’s also hostile…

Member News: Debut Novel Release – But for the Mountains

Erin Riha is the author of the debut young adult novel, But for the Mountains. Arden Thatcher wasn’t meant to be chosen, but chosen she was, and she will now receive Nordania’s highest honor: studying with other elite candidates to become leaders, diplomats, and ambassadors on the world stage. But as she’s paraded around in…

Member News: My Cemetery Friends Release

My Cemetery Friends: A Garden of Encounters at Mount Saint Mary in Queens, New York.  My Cemetery Friends is timeless. Walk with renowned author, poet Vincent J. Tomeo through garden pathways of life. Along the way, encounter other travelers, trekking a similar trail, embrace new acquaintances, and this will make all the difference. My Cemetery…

Member News: Marilyn Sewell reading

Marilyn Sewell will do a virtual reading from her new book, In Time’s Shadow: Stories About Impermanence, on June 2 at 7:00 PM. Minister, author, and activist Marilyn Sewell reflects on the everyday, the places we live and work, the thoughts we all have but hardly ever share, though they may carry the most profound…

Member News: New Memoir on the Power of Women in Midlife

How I Made a Huge Mess of My Life (or Couples Therapy with a Dead Man) is the new memoir by Portland resident, Billie Best, just released in paperback and ebook by Widowspeak Publishing, and available at libraries and wherever books are sold. Known for her weekly blog, Beyond 60—Loving Life, Staying Relevant at billiebest.com,…

Catherine A. Hamilton’s Debut Novel Victoria’s War Launches June 2, 2020

Victoria’s War book launch and reading at Annie Bloom’s Books on Saturday, June 6, at 6pm.  In Victoria’s War, Hamilton gives voice to the courageous Polish Catholic women who were kidnapped into the real-life Nazi slave labor operation during WWII. Inspired by true stories, this lost chapter of history won’t soon be forgotten. POLAND, 1939: Nineteen-year-old…

Join a Meeting or a Workshop Near You

All Writers Welcome! Members & Full-Time Students Attend for Free!

Online: Coffee at Your Kitchen Table

July 7 @ 8:00 am - 8:30 am
Join us for coffee at your kitchen table with Willamette Writers Online! Warm up the coffeepot and get your cup — we’re ready for a coffee date with you online. Join us on Zoom for coffee and conversation. No reason — just connection. We will see you there! Details for joining online You can join…

Portland: Monthly Chapter Meeting

July 7 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Join us at our Portland Chapter Meeting Portland Chapter monthly meetings have 70 to 100 attendees. Meetings are normally held the first Tuesday of each month at the First Congregational Church at 1126 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205. No meetings in August when we head to the Willamette Writers Conference. Monthly meetings are open to all writers 18…

Online: Self-Publishing Bootcamp Redux

July 7 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Self-publishing Bootcamp! Join us for a talk that will go over the basics of what you'll want to have prepared in order to publish your work on Amazon.

The Write Place: An Online Meeting for Productivity

July 9 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Join us at the Write Place each week, online. Discuss goal setting and productivity while encouraging, supporting, and connecting with other writers.

Online: Coffee at your kitchen table

July 11 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Join us for coffee at your kitchen table with Willamette Writers Online! Warm up the coffeepot and get your cup — we’re ready for a coffee date with you online. Join us on Zoom for coffee and conversation. No reason — just connection. We will see you there! Details for joining online You can join…

Willamette Writers Conference 2020!

July 30 - August 2
Willamette Writers Conference – All online this year! Share your story and launch your career at the 51st Annual Willamette Writers Conference, featuring keynote speakers Cheryl Strayed, Pete Souza, Mitchell S. Jackson, Zoraida Córdova, Rosanne Parry, and more! Pitch agents. Sit down with producers. Sharpen your manuscript with industry pros. You can do this all…

On Writing from Willamette Writers

creating characters

Creating Characters

By Kate Ristau

Happy Fall! Have you got your sweater? Your scarf? Your pumpkin-spiced whatever?Then sit down and talk with us about character.  Hemingway said, “When writing a novel, a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.”…

How to Happily write your query

How To Happily Write A Query Letter

By Willamette Writers

We’re excited that Bill Kenower is a member of the faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writers Conference. Bill is the author of Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence and Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion. In…

HOW TO WIN THE SUBMISSION WAITING GAME

By Willamette Writers

We’re excited that Erick Mertz is a member of the faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writers Conference. Erick is a Portland-based ghostwriter and fiction/memoir manuscript consultant. Over the last five years as a full-time freelancer he has written manuscripts for…

Experts Weigh In: 10 Crucial Screenwriting Mistakes

By Willamette Writers

Experts Weigh In: 10 Crucial Screenwriting Mistakes Lee Jessup, a member of our screenwriting faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writer’s Conference and the author of Breaking In: Tales from the Screenwriting Trenches and Getting It Write: An Insider’s Guide To A…

The 7 Things Writers Need to Make a Living by Sonia Simone

By Willamette Writers

Written by SONIA SIMONE Reprinted with permission from Copyblogger.  If you’re a writer, you might have heard this most of your life: People don’t make a living writing. You should find something practical to do with your life. Smart, capable writers grimly…

Ten Tips for Writing an Effective Pitch

By Willamette Writers

By Alyssa Schaffer and Joanna Szabo Pitching your manuscript can be one of the more intimidating aspects of the writing process, so we’ve collected a few essential tips to help you prepare your next pitch. Start with a hook. This…

The Willamette Writers Conference

We are proud to announce the speakers at the 51st Annual Willamette Writers Conference on July 31 – August 2, 2020!

2019 Willamette Writers Conference Pitch Professionals We are proud to announce the industry professionals accepting pitches this year at our 50th annual Willamette Writers Conference. You will find a list of all our current industry professionals here. We are welcoming a fantastic group of agents, editors, manager, and producers, and the list will continue to…

Julie Whipple Book Signing at Powells

Julie Whipple will be reading and signing copies of her new book, Crash Course Join Julie Whipple at Powell’s downtown flagship store on West Burnside on Monday, August 20 at 7:30 (http://www.powells.com/book/-9780692070406#product_details) and award-winning audiobook narrator Heather Henderson for a special performance of excerpts from the book. Long-time Portland residents vividly recall the crash of…

HOW TO WIN THE SUBMISSION WAITING GAME

We’re excited that Erick Mertz is a member of the faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writers Conference. Erick is a Portland-based ghostwriter and fiction/memoir manuscript consultant. Over the last five years as a full-time freelancer he has written manuscripts for a variety of clients. In a blog he posted this past December, he shares advice…

The 7 Things Writers Need to Make a Living by Sonia Simone

Written by SONIA SIMONE Reprinted with permission from Copyblogger.  If you’re a writer, you might have heard this most of your life: People don’t make a living writing. You should find something practical to do with your life. Smart, capable writers grimly pass around war stories on Facebook. Penny-a-word assignments, clients who don’t pay, disdain for our…

Open Mic Night at the Willamette Writers Conference

Open Mic night started at the Willamette Writers Conference in 2013, when I mentioned to the conference chair that I attended a really fun Open Mic Night at another writing conference. This launched us into a talk about how we could make one for Willamette Writers and how we could make it even better than…

What’s New at the Willamette Writers Conference

Welcome to our 2018 Conference! This year, our theme for The Best Three Days in Writing is “Celebrating Diverse Voices in Writing.” The whole team is really looking forward to what we’ve got in store for you all this August 3rd -5th. As you know, the conference has grown and changed much over its 49-year…

Experiences at The Willamette Writers Conference

“A writers conference can be an empowering and uplifting experience,” according to Scott Myers, a producer, writer, and assistant director. Myers presented at the Willamette Writers Conference this year, and said it was a “special experience.” He explains on his website about his conference experience that he met so many writers and old friends, and his classes were packed. His…

Writing Through the Tough Times by Julie Fast

All writers come to a point where it feels impossible to write another word. This happened to me with one month left before I had to turn in the manuscript for my first book. I felt overwhelmed with the idea of making the book perfect. All of it had to flow. It had to be…

New Conference Opportunity for Members: Sell Your Books at the Consignment Booth

Thanks for checking out this opportunity. We are finalizing the details and should have them for you this week. In the meantime, please let us know you’re interested by completing the short form below or via this link (same form, use whatever works better for you). We will let you know when we have more…

Our News

C.C. Humphreys, Best-Selling Author of Historical Fiction, Joins the Willamette Writers Conference

Chris “CC” Humphreys, author of ten historical novels, is joining the 2020 Willamette Writers Conference.

TV Development and Production with Grant Rosenberg

Grant Rosenberg, an accomplished film creator, will be joining the Willamette Writers Conference this August

We are proud to announce the speakers at the 51st Annual Willamette Writers Conference on July 31 – August 2, 2020!

Willamette Writers Authors at the Portland Book Festival

We are proud to be supporting these Willamette Writers member authors at this year’s Portland Book Festival on November 9th!   9AM-9:30AM  Dede Montgomery  Sue Fagalde Lick  Sharleen Nelson  Tasche Laine  9:30AM-10AM  Kerry Blaisdell  Kay Jennings  Phillip Kenney  Deni Starr  10AM-11AM  Paula Butterfield  Charley  Descoteaux  Marilyn McDonald  Holly Manno  11AM-12PM  Mazarine Treyz  Marilynne Eichinger  Rick George  Jo Sparkes  12PM-1PM  Ruby Lee Cornelius  Holly Manno  Bob Ferguson  Kim Hester  1PM-2PM  Anne Hendren  Jeff Stookey  R. Gregory Noakes  Heather Ames  2PM-3PM  Dawn Prochovnic  Julie  Dawn…

FiLMLaBtv 2019 Writer’s Room The 2019 winning script is “Stripes,” written by Alexandra Keister. Keister, an executive assistant and screenwriter, has written two feature-length screenplays, both romantic comedies, and a handful of short screenplays that range from dark sci-fi to the classically uplifting my-dog-is-dead story. She graduated from Oregon State University in 2012 with a BA…

Willamette Writers Authors Sign Books at The Portland Book Festival

by Ari Mathae Willamette Writers, the Portland literary community, and book lovers near and far will meet again Saturday 10, 2018, for the largest celebration of books in the Pacific Northwest: The Portland Book Festival. The event starts at 9 A.M. at the Portland Art Museum and continues there and at other neighboring venues in the…

Member News: Mary Andonian & David Poulshock launch ISA Third Thursdays

Mary Andonian & David Poulshock launch ISA Third Thursdays Members Mary and David are launching the local chapter of the International Screenwriters Association(ISA). It’s a monthly mixer for screenwriters on Third Thursdays, where you can mingle with fellow screenwriters, meet film and television industry professionals, and win door prizes — including a free Willamette Writer’s…

How To Happily Write A Query Letter

We’re excited that Bill Kenower is a member of the faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writers Conference. Bill is the author of Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence and Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion. In a blog he posted this past June, he shares his perspective on how he learned…

HOW TO WIN THE SUBMISSION WAITING GAME

We’re excited that Erick Mertz is a member of the faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writers Conference. Erick is a Portland-based ghostwriter and fiction/memoir manuscript consultant. Over the last five years as a full-time freelancer he has written manuscripts for a variety of clients. In a blog he posted this past December, he shares advice…

Attend FiLMLaB.tv workshops and get all the value without even attending!

Attend FiLMLaB.tv workshops and get all the value without even attending! Well, not really. Eventually you’ll have to “attend.” But thanks to space-age technology, Willamette Writers is presenting two valuable workshops online that you will be able to access 24/7 AND multiple times right up until the conference. That means that even if you’re not…