New on Our Blog for Writers and 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 a variety of clients. In a blog he posted this past December, he shares advice on what to do after you submit your work to an agent: HOW TO WIN THE SUBMISSION WAITING GAME As a memoir and fiction editor, I find most of my clients share a common characteristic: they pour heart and soul into their books. That’s not to mention the commitment of time. Writing a marketable book requires a considerable amount of time. You have probably read…

Experts Weigh In: 10 Crucial Screenwriting Mistakes

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 Screenwriting Career shares how to avoid ten screenwriting mistakes. You can find this post and others at Experts Weigh In: 10 Crucial Screenwriting Mistakes If there is one inarguable truth when it comes to building a screenwriting career, it’s this: The first step to becoming a working screenwriting professional is delivering on the page, which makes the stress of getting it just right all the more intense. In order to figure out what you need to do to get it…

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 craft, and disrespect for our profession. And yet, look around at this digital world so many of us spend our lives in — it’s made of words. The technology to produce digital content exists because we create words worth sharing. Text, video, audio — it all needs great writing if it’s going to be worth spending our time on. If writing is your profession and your passion, you can…

Ten Tips for Writing an Effective Pitch

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 should be one or two lines covering the most exciting thing about your book. However, if you’re struggling to come up with a good hook, it’s better to skip it and jump into the details than to pitch a bad hook. Include essential details up front. Word count, genre, title. Keep this information straightforward and early in the pitch. Use the summary formula. Setting, protagonist, conflict, and stakes. Not all of your story’s plot or characters are going to make…

Willamette Writers Member News

Eric Witchey Wins Award

New Fantasy Genre—the Afterlife Fantasy—Is Born 2018 IPPY Book Awards Silver Medal – Fantasy Fiction 2018 International Book Awards Winner – Visionary Fiction Finalist – Fantasy Fiction Finalist – Cross-Genre Fiction Finalist – Best New Fiction In her quest for respect, a young grim reaper consumed with pride ventures beyond the boundaries of human-based dogma to…

The Family Stone

Before the supermarket boom, there were corner markets that predominated neighborhoods where most people did their grocery shopping. These corner markets sold all of your food staples and much, much more. They were convenient, hospitable, and served as a neighborhood junction for the exchange of ideas, beliefs and gossip in much the same way as…

Join Willamette Writers Meetings and Workshops Near You Online Workshop: Creating Characters for a Web Series

July 21 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Web Series - short-form episodic narratives created solely for the Internet - have become a viable platform for aspiring screenwriters to show off their storytelling talent. This year’s FilmLab contest will be in the web series format.  Get a head start on creating your own dynamic series with this webinar. Creating Characters for a Web…

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Willamette Writers Pitching Workshop with Cynthia Whitcomb

July 28 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tabor Space, Muir Hall, 5441 SE Belmont St,
Portland, OR 97215 US
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Saturday, July  28, 2018 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and the workshop starts promptly at 9 a.m. Location: Tabor Space, Muir Hall Cost $50 For All Types of Writing Cynthia Whitcomb has sold dozens of projects by pitching them. Her students have gone on to sell even more.Whether it’s a novel,…

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Willamette Writers 49th Annual Writers Conference

August 3 - August 5
Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, 8235 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97220 United States
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The 49th Annual Willamette Writers Conference begins on August 3rd at the Portland Airport Sheraton Hotel. This year, we are Celebrating Diverse Voices with keynote speakers Ijeoma Oluo, Sonia Simone, David Ebershoff, Charlie Jane Anders, Gayle Brandeis, Vivek Shraya, Steven Spatz, and Chelsea Cain. Join us for workshops with Hallie Ephron, Bill Kenower, Curtis Chen,…

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