At this year’s conference, we have the pleasure of honoring three outstanding Willamette Writers community members who embody the spirit of WW. We begin today by recognizing the incredible work of Elizabeth Lyon.
About Elizabeth Lyon
As an independent book editor for over 35 years, Elizabeth Lyon is most proud of playing a part in helping 100+/- writers reach their goals of publication. With the sale of about 70,000 copies of her books on writing craft, she’d like to think that thousands of writers have benefited from her instruction.
Her private mission as an author, teacher, and editor has been fulfilled many times over. Beginning with publication of Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write (by Oregon’s former Blue Heron Publishing), and with all later books, including best-selling Manuscript Makeover, that mission was to help authors make a difference with their writing, revealing and addressing such themes as racism, greed, homophobia, depression, abuse of power, protection of the environment, care of animals, and more, expressed through nonfiction or novels.
Elizabeth’s involvement in the Oregon writing community is long and deep. She’s aware of poking at Willamette Writers board over the years, advocating for outreach to the whole state and for appreciation of Oregon’s many wonderful teachers who lead workshops at annual conferences and volunteer in local chapters. She was thrilled when the board accepted her plea to open chapters, beginning with the Eugene chapter of Willamette Writers.
It was a great honor to judge the Creative Writing category of the annual Kay Snow Contest for over ten years, and a special honor when one board announced naming each category after its judge. Teachers and editors are behind-the-scenes professionals. The board’s recognition was validation of our contributions. She also served many years as co-judge of nonfiction for the former Surrey International Writers contest and as one of several judges for mainstream fiction entries in Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s contest. Elizabeth was greatly honored as recipient of the 2021 Stuart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award for significant contributions to the Oregon literary community.
Her work continues into the future
She continues writing about craft, now in the form of booklets, including Writing Subtext and Find Your Novel’s Best Title. Over her career, she has trained, in part or fully, a dozen book editors. In the last year, she helped revive and co-lead a Eugene-based group, Western Oregon Editors.
The leading edge of her continued help to writers is as a bridge between writers and literary agents, and writers and indie publishing. She’s been fortunate to form relationships with about 35 literary agents, and owes a special debt to Natasha Kern, who first took her under her wing in 1988 to teach her about editing and the publishing business.
Presently, Elizabeth is writing a future best-seller. Why not?
Congratulations to Elizabeth Lyon
We look forward to celebrating her work at this year’s conference!