Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

The Writing Life According to Willy Vlautin

November 3, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

On Tuesday, November 3rd, at the Old Church in downtown Portland, Portland author and musician, Willy Vlautin, joins the Willamette Writers meeting to talk about the relationship of music and writing, the writing life according to WV, the struggles of working and trying to write, songwriting… and any other topics that come up.

Willy suggests “…a craft talk, if that’s what you guys prefer. I’m better with Q&A, so maybe if you hear me bombing you could ask a question.”

Here are a few questions I’d like to ask:

On writing fiction

What are the themes in your work? What are the big issues you want to look at? Are those personal questions that become large? Or the other way around?

Writing a song

When you’re writing a song, do you write the lyrics first? Or the music? Or both at the same time? Is a song like a story only shorter? Or, how is a song its own unique form of a story?

The writing life

What are your routines? What is the key to getting into your story? Is it an image? A musical phrase? A piece of dialogue? Do you read it aloud?

Willy Vlautin was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. He started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and quickly became immersed in music. It was a Paul Kelly song, based on Raymond Carver’s “Too Much Water So Close to Home” that inspired him to start writing stories.

Vlautin has published four novels: The Motel Life (2007–NYT Editor’s choice and notable book, made into a major motion picture starring Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsh, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson), Northline (2008), Lean on Pete (2010-Winner of the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction, short-listed for the IMPAC award), and The Free (2014-Winner of the Oregon People’s Choice Award).

Vlautin founded the band Richmond Fontaine in 1994. The band has produced nine studio albums to date, plus a handful of live recordings and EPs. Driven by Vlautin’s dark, story-like songwriting, the band has achieved critical acclaim at home and across Europe. 2014 saw the debut of Vlautin’s new band, The Delines, featuring vocalist Amy Boone (The Damnations). Their album, Colfax received rave reviews across Europe and the United States.

Vlautin currently resides in Scappoose, Oregon. To learn more about Willy Vlautin, please visit willyvlautin.com, and be sure to join us November 2nd at the Old Church.

The doors open at 6:30 and the meeting begins at 7:00 pm.


November 3, 2015
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:


The Old Church, Portland
1422 SW 11th
Portland, OR 97201
+ Google Map
(503) 222-2031