Willamette Writers in Eugene

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

The Eugene Willamette Writers offers monthly meetings and occasional workshops. Meetings are normally held at Tsunami Books on the first Thursday of the month (unless it conflicts with a holiday, usually Sept. and/or Jan.) from September-May. No meetings in December, July, or August. In August we head to Portland for the Willamette Writers Conference.

Monthly meetings are open to all writers 18 and older. Members attend for free.  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 (like free meetings) and to support our community of writers.

Upcoming Meeting

Q & A with Novelist and Playwright Victor Lodato

December 14 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Online
Portland, OR United States

Have you ever considered applying your storytelling skills to writing a play? Do you have burning questions to put to a published author? Then this your opportunity to get answers. Playwright and author Victor Lodato joins us for an evening of questions and answers. Join us for an interview with Victor before we open up to take audience questions about the worlds of novel writing, playwrighting and where they overlap. Our online meeting takes place over Zoom on Monday December 14th from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. Registration is required beforehand. This is a free event hosted by the Southern Oregon and Eugene chapters of Willamette Writers. 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 December 14 Southern Oregon/Eugene Chapter meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvdeCsrDsvEtTJulj-GCByK-CBoby1R8Dg After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. About the speaker: Victor Lodato is a playwright and the author of two critically acclaimed novels. EDGAR AND LUCY, published in 2017, was called “a riveting and exuberant ride” by the New York Times, and “Magisterial … pushes the boundaries of beauty” by the Chicago Tribune. His novel MATHILDA SAVITCH, winner of the PEN USA Award, was hailed as “a Salingeresque wonder of a first novel” and deemed a “Best Book of the Year” by The Christian Science Monitor, Booklist, and The Globe and Mail. Victor’s stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta, and Best American Short Stories. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. For his theatre work, he has received the Weissberger Award for his play Motherhouse, and the PEN USA Award for Arlington (a collaboration with composer Polly Pen). His work has been produced and developed at venues such as Vineyard Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Guthrie Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, American Conservatory Theatre, and Primary Stages. Born and raised in New Jersey, Victor currently divides his time between Ashland, Oregon, and Tucson, Arizona.

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About the Meetings

The Portland and Southern Oregon Young Willamette Writers meetings will be combined and held via Zoom through the end of 2020. Except for September, they will be on the first Saturday of each month from 10:00-11:30 am. 

The great news is that we now have a way for visitors to join our virtual writers’ meetings. Any student age 13-18 may join us by having a parent request the Zoom link via email. Send a message to yww@willamettewriters.org and let us know the name to be watching for in our “waiting room.”

We’ll let you in if we have your name on our list. There’s no cost, and no registration aside from letting us know to expect you.

The Deets:

  • First Saturday of each month, 10:00-11:30 am (starting in October)
  • For students age 13-18

How to attend:

  • Have a parent request the Zoom link and let us know the student's name via email: yww@willamettewriters.org
  • If your name is on the list, we'll let you in!

See you there!

Upcoming events:

Young Willamette Writers: The Power of Point of View (POV)

December 5 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Online
Portland, OR United States

There is great power in choosing who tells your story. Come explore the strengths and limitations of different points of view. Have a notebook, a story or story idea you want to work on, and a few of your favorite books available, and get ready to re-imagine your own story in a more powerful way.

How to join the meeting.

If you are age 13-18 and plan to attend the meeting, please have a parent email yww@willamettewriters.org and ask for the Zoom link.
    About the Speaker: Rosanne Parry is the author of seven middle grade novels. Her most recent are Last of the Name an Irish immigration story set during the American Civil War, and a wildlife adventure story, A Wolf Called Wander which is a New York Times best seller, and the newly released A Whale of the Wild. She is a part-time book seller at Annie Blooms Books. She lives with her family in Portland and writes in a treehouse in her back yard.

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The Chapter Co-Chairs

Valerie Ihsan
JoannaBartlettHeadshot

Valerie Ihsan, Author Business Strategist is the author of The Scent of Apple Tea and Smell the Blue Sky: young, pregnant, and widowed, winner of a B.R.A.G. Medallion for Top Indie-Published Books. She co-chairs the Eugene Chapter of Willamette Writers, teaches workshops on writing and indie-publishing, and helps authors get clear about their goals so they can find success. She’s an editor and proofreader, loves dogs, and wants to live in Costa Rica and run writing retreats. She lives in Oregon with her husband, teenage son, and four dogs.

Joanna Bartlett is the author of multiple books on intuition and mediumship development and an award-winning writer. They co-chair the Eugene Chapter of Willamette Writers, provide grief recovery coaching and education to folks wanting to heal from loss, and teach online classes. Joanna has 2 cats and 3 teenagers and enjoys reading, spinning yarn, knitting, hiking, and doing puzzles.

Connect with the Chapter

We think writers are awesome!

  • Join our meetings and workshops if you’re a writing enthusiast from the 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.
  • Join our chapter's mailing list to receive updates by email.
  • 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 Eugene Willamette Writers? Volunteer!

Here are some ways volunteers help us:

  • Pick up snacks for monthly meetings
  • Prep Member Announcements for publishing on website
  • Organize events, workshops and meetings

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.

Chapter Blog Posts and Updates

Oregon Poetry Association 2016 Conference in Eugene!

The Oregon Poetry Association and Lane Literary Guild present OPA’s Annual Conference 2016 Eugene, OR September 30th – October 2nd Come join keynote speaker John Witte, Oregon poet laureate Liz Woody, Oregon Book Award winners Willa Schneberg and Penelope Scambly Schott, and Stewart Holbrook Award winner George Venn, among many others. Celebrate the re-opening of the Oregon Poetry Collection at its new home in the Knight Library; attend stimulating workshops, readings, and panels; browse the book room; participate in open mics; or just hang out with fellow poets and enjoy. NOTE: the following events are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: Oregon Poetry Collection – Opening University of Oregon, Knight Library 1501 Kincaid St, Eugene OR 97403 September 30th, 2:00 PM Oregon Poet Laureate Liz Woody reads, followed by open mic Valley River Inn, McKenzie Room 1000 Valley River Way, Eugene OR 97401 September 30th, 7:00 PM Open mic Tsunami Books 2585 Willamette St, Eugene OR 97405 October 1st, 7:00 PM HOTEL REGISTRATION: To reserve your room, contact the Valley River Inn at 1-800-543-8266 before September 9th to get the group rate: $99.00 for a deluxe single or double. Additional people may be added to a room for $20.00 apiece. Advance deposit required. Be sure to mention the Oregon Poetry Association. CONFERENCE REGISTRATION: Registration includes admission to the workshops of your choice, plus lunch on Saturday October 1st. OPA Members please note: The annual General Membership Meeting follows lunch on Saturday October 1st. Members, early bird (postmark deadline September 15th): $65.00 Non-members or after September 15th: $75.00 Student rate (K-12 or college, with student ID): $40.00 Download the conference registration form and book table form here.

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Wordcrafters Presents New Memoir Classes with Melissa Hart!

Wordcrafters Presents New Memoir Classes with Melissa Hart! Ready to start writing your memoir? Memoirist Melissa Hart teaches participants how to choose a theme and/or era around which to shape your book. She’ll help you deepen your understanding of setting, characterization, dialogue, narrative arc, and theme. Using examples from published memoir, she’ll discuss chapter and overall book structure and teach basic skills in crafting setting, characterization, dialogue, narrative arc, and theme. Participants will come away with a solid sense of how to begin their memoir and sustain its creation from the first to the final page. Part 1: Finding Your Story 4 Tuesdays: July 5, 12, 19, and August 2 from 6:00-8:00 pm (no class July 26) Wordcrafters Workshop, 438 Charnelton, Suite 102 $165 Part 2: Building and Deepening Your Story 4 Tuesdays: August 9, 16, 23, 30 from 6:00-8:00 pm Wordcrafters Workshop, 438 Charnelton, Suite 102 $165 Register for both classes and save $30. Register and learn more at Wordcrafters in Eugene.   Melissa Hart is the author of two book-length memoirs–Wild Within (Lyons, 2015) and Gringa (Seal, 2009). Her short essays have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Mothering, Hemispheres, The Advocate, Woman’s Day, Horizon Air Magazine, Oregon Quarterly, and numerous other publications. www.melissahart.com

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3 July: Poets’ Corner at Art & the Vineyard

Check out the Poets’ Corner, part of the Oregon Authors at Art & The Vineyard. Stop by and meet the authors: Catherine McGuire, Katharine Valentino, C. Steven Blue, Janice D. Rubin, Charles R. Castle Jr., Adam Levon Brown. Art & the Vineyard: the annual Eugene summer event benefiting Maude Kerns Art Center: http://www.artandthevineyard.org

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SUMMER BREAK! See You in September!

What a fun year we had with the 2015-2016 Speakers Series! Eugene/MidValley Willamette Writers Chapter is on break until September. Check back soon for our 2016-2017 speakers!   Our 2016 Authors Gala Celebration Readers Julie Dawn, Bill Cameron, Sarina Dorie, Valerie Brooks, Janet Fisher

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Tues, 10 May: An Evening with NYT Bestselling Author Ben Fountain

An evening with NY Times bestselling author Ben Fountain Writer and best-selling author Ben Fountain will visit Eugene as the Oregon Humanities Center’s Kritikos Lecturer in the Humanities. Fountain is the author of an award-winning collection of short stories titled Brief Encounters with Che Guevara (2007), as well as a powerful and highly acclaimed debut novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2012). He will speak in Eugene on Tuesday, May 10th, at 7:30 p.m. in 182 Lillis Hall on the UO campus. In Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (a film adaptation of which will be released on Veterans Day, November 11, 2016, directed by Ang Lee), Fountain explores the lives of eight fictional soldiers known as the Bravo Squad, who, after defeating an elite force of enemy insurgents, come home on leave from Iraq to find themselves national heroes. The Bush administration sends them on a two-week “Victory Tour,” (accompanied by a military minder, a corporate escort, and a Hollywood film producer who wants to capitalize on their exploits) which culminates with their appearance as part of a live broadcast at the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game. Things inevitably go awry. Though laced with humor, the story is far from being a cheery depiction of America; rather it is a critical portrait of a society with seriously misplaced priorities and values. The novel sheds light on our modern culture’s fascination with wealth, politics, celebrity, and militarism, and the national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad. Ben Fountain captivates his readers and audiences with stories of fictional and nonfictional characters encountering the real-world issues that plague us all. His most recent book, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, was a New York Times best-seller, a National Book Award finalist, and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, and the inaugural PEN New England/Cerulli Award for Excellence in Sports Fiction. In his public presentations, Fountain discusses the political and cultural environments that have inspired his stories. The lecture is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book sale and signing. For more information, or for disability accommodations (which must be made by May 3rd) visit ohc.uoregon.edu or call (541) 346-3934.

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28 April Deadline for Authors Gala Celebration Readers

Reading Submission Guidelines Readers must have a current Willamette Writers membership in good standing. The goal is to feature our members’ awards and publishing successes. How to tell if your work qualifies: It has an ISBN (novel, non-fiction, poetry, short story collections); or was published in a journal or magazine of note. Your self-published or e-book-only publication is permissible if it has an ISBN and is sold on major online publishing venues. It is not a blog post or forum post (especially fan fiction). Many ezines, chapbooks, and online venues also do not qualify as officially published. Your story/book/essay won an award (local/regional/national) (these stories do not need to be published, but must have received the award) Have a question or unsure whether your work qualifies? Don’t hesitate to ask. As we hope to make this an annual event that celebrates our members’ most recent achievements, we ask that works submitted have been published in the past three years. This is an event open to the public of all ages, so please ensure pieces for submission are appropriate for ages 12 and up (that is, approximately PG-13). Submission pieces must be no more than 7-minutes worth of reading. (Estimate approximately 2 minutes per page for prose.) Please submit the following via email as pdf attachments to midvalley@willamettewriters.com : Your name, email, and phone number A short author bio Your submission piece of approximately 3-4 pages, double-spaced, 12 PT Times New Roman (or equivalent) Submissions are due by 28 April 2015. Readers will be announced at the May meeting.

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Calling All Poets!

The Poets’ Corner at Art & The Vineyard and Authors & Artists fair was created by Quinton Hallett & Nancy Carol Moody, in an effort to help bring visibility to local poets of Lane County at these two annual fundraisers created by Bill Sullivan. After many years of hosting and coordinating these events, having brought numerous poets to the attention of the general public, Nancy & Quinton have decided to step down and turn the reins over to someone new. We can’t thank them enough for what they have done for our poetry community, but we will always be grateful for their hard work and endeavors in making these events fun, meaningful and memorable. Local poets C. Steven Blue and Janice D. Rubin have taken on coordinating the events this year. Their first job is to find Lane County poets who would like to showcase their work at each of The Poets’ Corner tables in 2016. Download the flyer:The Poets Corner 2016 If you know of anyone or are a local (Lane County) poet who has recently been published in an anthology or have a new book out, or if you will be published in 2016, we would like to hear from you to consider presenting your work at one or both events this year. It is a great opportunity to get exposure for your new work and display and sell all your work. The deadline is quickly approaching to get our author information to Bill Sullivan for the July 3rd event at Art & The Vineyard, so please get in touch as soon as possible with either Steven or Janice. Steven Blue:cstevenblue@wordsongs.com  Janice Rubin: rubinjand@yahoo.com  

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Vote for the Ursa Major Awards by 15 April!

Willamette Writers member Mary Lowd has 4–count ’em–4 works nominated for this year’s Ursa Major Awards! In a Dog’s World, is a coming-of-age/romance story about a young cat, graduating from high school and heading off to a mostly-dog college.  A free e-book of it can be downloaded from Smashwords with the coupon code: CJ98M Her short story, “Lunar Cavity,” is about a bat-like alien trying to save his home world with the help of a human scientist.  It can be read for free on the web-zine Deep Sky Anchor. Her collection of short stories, The Necromouser and Other Magical Cats, features six stories about her popular character Shreddy, the cantankerous tabby cat, and his techno-mystical adventures; then there are seven stories about other magical felines.  A free e-book of it can be downloaded from Smashwords with the coupon code:  JW97Y Finally, ROAR Volume 6 is a collection of short fiction that Mary edited for FurPlanet. It features a wide range of furry stories — sci-fi, fantasy, slice of life, detective, adventure, humor, fable — about all different kinds of animals. It’s also her first nomination as an editor. The Ursa Major Awards are designed to recognize excellence in anthropomorphic arts and literature — basically, art and fiction that features talking (or otherwise anthropomorphized) animals. They’re based on a popular vote, and anyone can participate. Voting is open through April 15th.

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May 6-8: 2016 CSWS Northwest Women Writers Symposium

2016 CSWS Northwest Women Writers Symposium 5th annual CSWS Northwest Women Writers Symposium “Crossing Borders: Women’s Stories of Immigration, Migration, and Transition,” May 6 – 8, 2016 The fifth annual CSWS Northwest Women Writers Symposium will be held Friday, May 6, 2016, through Sunday, May 8, 2016. American Book Award winner Reyna Grande is the keynote author. She will be joined by the inimitable Ariel Gore, founding editor/publisher of Hip Mama; Dominican-American poet and novelist Ana-Maurine Lara; novelist Miriam Gershow; novelist Chris Scofield; travel and food magazine writer Jennifer Burns Bright; documentary filmmaker and anthropology professor Lynn Stephen; Zapotec hip-hop artist Mare Advertencia Lirika; and others. Keynote, Conversations, Panels, Free Writing Workshops, and More! Find out more here.

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Sat, 30 April: Workshop with Sarina Dorie

The Nuts and Bolts of Writing and Selling Short Stories Thinking about writing short stories but don’t know where to start? Here is a great place to get the basics from someone with experience in this field. Presented by the Willamette Writers on the River chapter Workshop date: 30 April, 10 am – 5 pm Comfort Suites in Corvallis Registration closes 22 April. Go here to sign up! Why write short stories, flash fiction and novellas? Come to this fast paced workshop to find out. Learn how to sell short fiction, where to find markets, what you need to include in a cover letter for short stories and more. We will practice dissecting markets and magazines to find the right ones for you. Bring a pencil and paper to experiment with short story techniques. Sarina Dorie has sold over 100 short stories to magazines and anthologies in the last six years and has several novels published as well. She will share the secrets to her success so that you can write short stories and make money selling them.   About Sarina Sarina Dorie has over 100 short stories published in the genres of fantasy, sci-fi, romance, humor, and non-fiction, has won numerous awards and has several published novels. Sarina has worked as an English, art and dance teacher, a copy editor at an advertising agency, and a writer. She joined her first critique group when she was sixteen, and has given workshops at the Willamette Writers, Romance Writers of America, Wordcrafters and various science fiction conventions like Worldcon and Gearcon. www.sarinadorie.com    

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