About Us


Willamette Writers

Community. Craft. Career. For Writers.

Writers at all levels come to Willamette Writers to connect with their communities, develop their craft, and advance their careers.

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, develop their craft, and advance their career.

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.

Our Programs

Willamette Writers was founded by Portland writer Kay Snow a half century ago with the goal of bringing published and unpublished writers together for mutual help and support.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 make available opportunities, tools, information, and resources for writers and aspiring writers in the Pacific Northwest to connect with their writing community, to improve their craft, and to advance their writing career.

Willamette Writers has chapters offering year-round programming in Portland, Southern Oregon (Central Point), Eugene,  Salem, Corvallis, Vancouver, and the Newport (Oregon Coast). Additional programming includes an annual writers conference, Kay Snow writing contest, FiLMLaB, Young Willamette Writers, workshops, and The Timberline Review. Membership provides a number of benefits.


Join us today to take advantage of membership benefits

Willamette Writers Conference Photography by  Russell J Young

Support us to support writers in the Pacific Northwest

Willamette Writers Conference Photography by  Russell J Young

We're a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. EIN: 93-0758252.

Join us today to take advantage of membership benefits and to support writers in the Pacific Northwest!

Our Board and Officers

DSC_0190 - Gail Pasternack (Willamette Writers Board Secretary)

Gail Pasternack

Board President

Gail Pasternack is a writer and professional photographer. She's served on the board since 2015.

Jodie Fish

Jodie Fish

Board Treasurer

Jodie Fish is an Oregon CPA and manager in the Portland office of a national public accounting firm.

Kathleen Colvin Portrait

Kathleen Colvin

Board Member

Kathleen Colvin has been a writer for over twenty years and started the WW Vancouver chapter.


Kathy Saviers

Board Member

Kathy Saviers is a long-time volunteer with our Salem Chapter and a retired forensic examiner.

Lenni Treat

Lenni Treat

Board Member

Lenni Treat is an Inside Sales and Accounts Receivable manager at a Portland area re-distributor. 


Jalyn Gilmore

Board Secretary

Jalyn Gilmore is a storyteller, and loves connecting people to the Willamette Writers community.

Our Staff

Jack Burgess

Jack Burgess (he/him)

Executive Director

Jack Burgess is an arts administrator and songwriter.

Helen Simpson Photo

Helen Simpson

Administrative Assistant

Helen Simpson is an author, board member to several Oregon non-profits, and full time student at Portland Community College where she is pursuing her Associate ParaEducator Degree.

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 find their community, develop their craft, and expand their careers.

We look forward to many more years serving the writing community.