Willamette Writers on the River in Corvallis

Willamette Writers Chapters are local writing communities where writers improve their craft and acquire the career skills required in today’s publishing world.

Willamette Writers Chapters are local writing communities where writers improve their craft and acquire the career skills required in today’s publishing world. They also provide opportunities for local writers to hone their leadership, presentation, and teaching skills.

Willamette Writers on the River serves writers in Corvallis, Albany, and Linn-Benton County. We welcome members from other chapters and all writers aged 18 and older (unless otherwise stated).

Read on to learn about our chapter, and join our mailing list to keep in touch.

Become a Willamette Writers Member today to enjoy membership benefits such as free meetings for all WW chapters and reduced conference registration fees.

Upcoming Meeting

Mining Your Life for Laughter with Bob Balmer

May 24 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Portland, OR United States

Examine your life, using the good, the bad, the embarrassing and the odd as the genesis for humor. Or as James Thurber once said: Humor is chaos remembered in tranquility. Participants will learn techniques to enliven their prose with humor. Snippets from short stories and essays from both humorists and fiction and nonfiction writers will be used as examples--i.e suggested pre-readings. Seven conveyors of humor will be taught, explored and practiced. There will also be discussions about the structure and placement of humor. For more information go to discoveringlaughter.weebly.com. By May 1, there will be a tab dedicated to this workshop with any pre-readings included.

Click the registration link below, enter your name and email address, and you will receive the meeting link immediately. You will also be able to add the meeting to your calendar. Register in advance for the May 24 Corvallis/Cost Chapter meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAtduuqrTIjHNKpgQmoNtGPQCvJGzq-3hYl
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Willamette Writers chapter meetings are free for members to attend, and we ask for a $5 donation from guests: https://willamettewriters.org/donations/. For information on how to become a Willamette Writers member, click here: https://willamettewriters.org/register/individual/
About the Speaker:
Bob Balmer's first humorous essay was published in the Oregonian in 1992. His work has appeared in The Smithsonian, The Oregonian, The Seattle Times, The Seattle Weekly, Golf Illustrated, ZYZZYVA, Oregon Coast Magazine, Golf Weekly, The Eugene Weekly and Willamette Week. It has aired on the radio shows The Savvy Traveler and MarketPlace as well as on Oregon Public Radio and Television. He has an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University, and he attended the Iowa Summer Writing Workshop and the Tin House Summer Writing Workshop at Reed College. He recently returned from taking Improv and sketch writing classes at Second City Comedy in Chicago. He has led humor writing workshops at the BARN (Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network) Write in the Harbor, Portland Storytellers Guild, The Oregon Writers Colony, Sitka Center for the Arts and Ecology, The Write on the Sound Writers Conference, The Hoffman Center for the Arts, Mary's Woods Retirement Center, The Oregon Council Teachers of English student writing Festival, and is slated to lead a workshop for Fishtrap.

Find out more »

About the Meetings

Willamette Writers on the River offers monthly meetings normally held on the fourth Monday of each month at the First Presbyterian Church (Allison Room) in Corvallis. No meeting in August when we head to Portland for the Willamette Writers Conference. No meeting in December due to proximity of holidays.

In March, June, and September, we use our meetings for open mic readings.

Meeting Time

6:30-8-30 p.m., Fourth Monday of each month

Meeting Location

First Presbyterian Church in Corvallis—114 SW 8th Street

Use the parking lot entrance at 9th & Monroe as other doors are locked. We will be in the Allison Room. Watch for the sign in the hall to point you in the right direction.

Our programs are not endorsed or sponsored by First Presbyterian Church.

Meeting Format

Open-Mic Readings in March, June, and September  give writers the opportunity to test their work on an audience of their peers. The readings are free and open to the public.

Meeting Format:

  • 6:15-6:30 — Sign-up for a 7 minute slot.
  • 6:30-8:30 — News and Announcements followed by Readings

Programmed Meetings in which WWotR presents a speaker/workshop/panel discussion to help writers learn more about writing.

Meeting Format:

  • 6:30-6:45 – Networking & social time
  • 6:45-8:15 – WWotR News and Announcements followed by the Program
  • 8:15-8:30 – Q & A, Networking, and Speaker’s Book Sales

Meeting Cost

Monthly meetings at all the chapters are free for members of Willamette Writers. The three open mic readings are free and open to the public. Fees for Nonmembers to attend programmed meetings (suggested donation):

  • Nonmember guests of members pay $5.
  • Nonmember full-time students with student ID pay $5.
  • All other nonmembers pay $10.

Thank you for your support!

Would you like to be a speaker?

We are always looking for new speakers from around the region and around the country. Do you have a topic of interest to present to writers in our region?

Please contact us for scheduling and details. 

The Chapter Co-Chairs

The Willamette Writers on the River Chapter is run by co-chairs who create a program to fit the needs and interests of the Willamette Writers members around  Corvallis.

Nancy Ballard

Nancy Ballard is a retired emergency manager with a previous life in natural resources management. She now writes poetry and science-fiction cowboy stories after years of environmental assessments and operations manuals. She has written and collaborated on adaptations of several plays for community theater including a wild west Taming of the Shrew, a murder mystery for dinner theater, and an historical drama on the Modoc Indian War. As Nan C. Ballard, she self-published her novel, Carico Trails, in 2014. The sequel, Carico Canyons, is scheduled for release by Not a Pipe Publishing in 2021. Her poetry has been published in Willawaw Journal, the anthology Mount Shasta Reflections, and The Modoc Independent newspaper. She joined Willamette Writers in 2014 after moving from far northern California and was on the support team for Willamette Writers on the River before accepting the Co-Chair position in 2020

Follow Nancy on Facebook

Connect with the Chapter

  • Join our meetings and workshops if you’re a writing enthusiasts from the Corvallis area, if you happen to be in the area, or if you are interested in a specific topic/speaker. All writers 18 and older welcome. Join us!
  • Follow our Facebook Page and subscribe to our events to keep in touch.
  • Find a local critique group or announce your group.
  • Visit our contact page if you have a specific inquiry or something you’d like to share with the chapter co-chairs.

Volunteer with the Chapter

Are you a local writer and want to be more involved with the Mid-Valley Chapter? Volunteer!

How would you like to be involved? Get in touch and let us know how you’d like help.

Click here for other volunteer opportunities at Willamette Writers.

2019 Year-at-a- Glance

January 28th

Louise Cary Barden

Writing to Sell:  Commercial Non-Fiction

February 17th, 2-4

Kim Stafford

Newport Public Library

February 25th

Maren Anderson

Alternate Writing Tools

March 25th


April 22nd

Terri Thomas

Reading your work as performance

May 11th

Write Here Write Now with Eric Witchey

Join us at our writing conference

May 18th

Stafford/Sears Memorial Rdg.

Co-sponsored by WWotR and Library

May 27th

Phillip Kenney

The Writer’s Crucible

June 24th


July 22nd

Hazel Denhart

The Grammar of Story


Willamette Writer’s Conference

September 23rd


October 28th

Brenna Crotty (Calyx)

Notes from the Editor

November 25th

John S. Williams

December (no meeting)