About Us

About

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Willamette Writers was founded by Portland writer Kay Snow a half century ago with the goal of bringing published and unpublished writers together for mutual help and support.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, 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.

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Join Willamette Writers Today

Join us today to take advantage of membership benefits

Willamette Writers Conference Photography by  Russell J Young

Support Willamette Writers

Support us to support writers in the Pacific Northwest

Willamette Writers Conference Photography by  Russell J Young

Bylaws, Minutes, and More

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

Orit Ofri SM

Orit Ofri

President and Board Chairperson

A software engineer and an MBA, Orit coaches and consults small businesses, nonprofits, and creative professionals.

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DSC_0190 - Gail Pasternack (Willamette Writers Board Secretary)

Gail Pasternack

VP and Membership & Chapters Director

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

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John Miller

John Miller

Board Secretary

John Miller is the founder/facilitator of Portland Ars Poetica, an ongoing literary poetry workshop.

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Heather R

Heather Ransom

Board Treasurer

A science teacher for 25 years, Heather writes Young Adult science fiction.

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John Dover head shot - John Dover (WilWrite Conference Lit Coordinator)

John Dover

Visual Media Programs Director

John Dover is the writer and creator of Johnny Scotch, a comic book series and series of novellas.

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CVP avatar - Jill Kelly

Jill Kelly

Literary Programs Director

Jill Kelly is a writer, painter, editor, and coach. Her eighth book is currently in production.

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MattSwihart_9 - Matthew Swihart (Willamette Writers Development Director)

Matthew Swihart

Director, Editor in Chief of The Timberline Review

Matthew is author of Christianity Simplified: The Basics of the Christian Faith for New Believers and Curious Nonbelievers.

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Debby Dodds

Debby Dodds

Outreach Programs Director

Debby Dodds is the author of the novel Amish Guys Don’t Call (Blue Moon, 2017) and has stories in many anthologies.

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Our Office

KateRistau - Kate Ristau (Willamette Writers Business Manager)

Kate Ristau

Business Manager & Conference Chair

Kate Ristau is an author and folklorist who writes young adult and middle grade fiction.

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Meg Currell

Office Manager

From crop circles in Meg Currell's garden to circles of fifths on the piano, her life turns persistently around the hub of writing.

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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