About Us

Willamette Writers is the largest writers organization in the Pacific NorthWest. Writers of all genres and at all stages of their careers come to our meetings, annual conference, and workshops to connect with their community, hone their craft, and advance their careers. Across the state of Oregon, you will find a tightly knit community of writers who love working together to tell our stories and build our scenes: on paper, on the screen, and in front of the mic.

Need help writing a novel or short story, memoir or screenplay? Sharing expertise? Meeting other writers? Join us today. Be a Willamette Writer.

A successful screenplay discussion

Members discuss the art of screenwriting

Willamette Writers was founded by Portland writer Kay Snow a half century ago with the goal of bringing published and unpublished writers together for mutual help and support. Our mission is to provide and encourage a creative environment and support system for professional and aspiring writers.


Willamette Writers has chapters in Portland, Southern Oregon, Mid-Valley, Salem, Corvallis, and the Oregon Coast. Willamette Writers’ programming includes an annual writers conference and workshops year round. Membership provides a number of benefits.

Our History

Founder Kay Snow, who had active Multiple Sclerosis when she founded the “Willamette Writers Club” in 1965, called upon her love of writing and help from her friends Leila Hasmann and Kate Herzog.

They served as president, membership chair and bookkeeper during the early years as the club became an incorporated non-profit.

By the time the organization grew to holding member meetings at the Imperial Hotel in downtown Portland (on the first Tuesday of every month – the same schedule the Portland meetings follow to this day), Kay Snow was confined to a wheelchair. However, she remained vitally involved until her death in 1976, also helping to establish the popular Willamette Writers Conference. Her friend, co-founder, and active member Kate Herzog died in 2010.

Since those early days with Kay Snow, Willamette Writers has provided meeting places for the exchange of ideas and information, and has initiated programs designed to help writers increase skills related to the craft of writing, including a writing contest named in honor of Ms. Snow.

FYI: Bylaws, Minutes, and More

Willamette Writers is 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to increasing transparency in its operations and management. Please find our most recent bylaws as well as other documents in this folder. EIN: 93-0758252.

To receive a copy of the minutes or other legal documents, please contact the Board Secretary via this link.

Board Members 2017

  • Orit Ofri (President)
  • Gail Pasternack (Vice President & Secretary)
  • Kathy Saviers (Treasurer)
  • Ken Holt (Literary Programming Director)
  • Teresa Klepinger (Youth Programming Director)
  • Debby Dodds (Community Outreach Director)