Mid-Valley Chapter – 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 Mid-Valley Chapter 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

There are no upcoming events at this time.

About the Meetings

Young Willamette Writers are invited to attend monthly Young Willamette Writers meetings in their area (there are no meetings in July or August. Check your local chapter for any December events).

Meetings are for kids aged  13 to 18 years of age.

Portland Meeting:

Portland has an excellent meeting that is held at the same time and place as the adult Willamette Writers meetings on the first Tuesday of the month from September through June. We meet from 7 – 8 p.m. at The Old Church in downtown Portland at SW 11th and Clay.

Central Point Meeting:

Meets the first Saturday of each month in Central Point.  Meetings are held from 10 a.m. until noon in the Central Point Library - 116 South 3rd Street, Central Point, OR 97520. This meeting serves the region from Grants Pass to Ashland and is for kids aged  13 to 18 years of age.

The Chapter Co-Chairs

The Mid-Valley Chapter is run by two co-chairs who together create a program to fit the needs and interests of the Willamette Writers members from the Eugene-Springfield area.

Sarina Dorie

Sarina Dorie has sold over 150 short stories to markets like Analog, Daily Science Fiction, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card’s IGMS, Cosmos, and Abyss and Apex. Her stories and published novels have won humor and Romance Writer of America awards. She has sold three novels to publishers. Her steampunk romance series, The Memory Thief and her collections, Fairies, Robots and Unicorns—Oh My! and Ghosts, Werewolves and Zombies—Oh My! are available on Amazon, along with a dozen other novels she has written.By day, Sarina is a public school art teacher, artist, belly dance performer and instructor, copy editor, fashion designer, event organizer and probably a few other things. By night, she writes. As you might imagine, this leaves little time for sleep.

You can find info about her short stories and novels on her website:
www.sarinadorie.com, on Facebook, on Twitter @sarinadorie, and on  Google+ +SarinaDorie.

Rebecca Amodeo

Rebecca Amodeo lives in Oregon. She writes and speaks on long-term survivorship and ending the stigma against victims and survivors of abuse. Rebecca volunteers, teaches yoga, and practices martial arts as part of her own continued healing. Rebecca can also be found roaming the coast in Henry, her 1969 VW campmobile, with a mug of tea and a chocolate bar or two.Find out more on her website, on Facbook, on Twitter @BeccaAmodeo, and on Instagram @dancebeccadance.

Past Chairs of the Mid-Valley Chapter

Connect with the Chapter

We think writers are awesome!

Volunteer with the Chapter

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

17 Sept: Lunch with Author Leigh Anne Jasheway at Book Nest

Thurs., Sept. 18, noon: Leigh Anne Jasheway, local comedian, instructor, and author of How’d All These Ping Pong Balls Get in my Bag!? and other volumes on humor and stress management. http://www.accidentalcomic.com Directions to Indulge! Antiques: From 105, take the Mohawk exit. Pass Bi-mart and Dutch Bros. and turn left at the next light. In the parking lot, take a jog to the left, then go straight back (away from Mohawk), between the two large buildings.  Indulge is on the back side of the building on the left, with the entrance facing 18th St.   Fall Author Lunches ØThurs., Sept. 25, noon: Jeannie St. John-Taylor, Portland artist and author of How to Be a Praying Mom and many other books for kids and adults in a variety of genres. http://www.jeanniestjohntaylor.com/ Thurs., Oct. 2, noon: Janet Fisher, author of A Place of Her Own, the story of her great-grandmother, who homesteaded the land on which Janet now lives. http://janetfisherbooks.wordpress.com/ Fri., Oct. 10, 11 a.m.: Kim Cooley Reeder, author of the picture book Runaway Tomato. Kim’s sons, ages seven and nine, will join us for this kid-friendly event, with writing activities for young and old. Recommended for ages seven and up. http://www.kimcooleyreeder.com/ Thurs., Oct. 16, noon: Susan Fletcher, Portland-area author of award-winning young adult novels, including Alphabet of Dreams, Shadow Spinner, and the Dragon Chronicles. http://www.susanfletcher.com/ Thurs., Oct. 23, noon: Steve McQuiddy, author of Here on the Edge, a historical look at a group of WWII conscientious objectors housed at a Civilian Public Service Camp in Waldport. http://hereontheedge.com/ Thurs., Oct. 30, noon: Dorothy Velasco, local writer, historian, playwright, and author of Springfield: Between Two Rivers, a beautifully illustrated and thoroughly researched history of our town. Co-written with her daughter Mara Velasco. Thurs., Nov. 6, noon: Jaye Bennett, local educator and author of Girl at Arms, young adult historical fiction about Joan of Arc. http://www.rfwp.com/book/girl-at-arms Fri., Nov. 14, noon: Arwen Spicer, Portland-area writing instructor and author of the science fiction novel The Hour before Morning. Thurs., Nov. 20, noon: Martha Magee, author of Twenty-Five Days around the Manger and Ebenezer and Ninety-Eight Friends. With her ninety-nine-year-old mother, Georgia Lou Aker, author of Grandma’s Almanac. Thurs., Dec. 4, noon: Michael Pungercar, author of The Promise Kept, the story of a man who served with a WWII bomb group. Michael is the son of a B-17 radio operator and founder of the local Honor Flight chapter for WWII veterans. http://outskirtspress.com/webpage.php?ISBN=9781432764395 Thurs., Dec. 11, noon: Kathleen Ruckman, essayist, author of Who is God? and other picture books, and contributor to two Christmas in my Heart story collections.  http://kathleenruckman.com/

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Workshop: Ghost Story Weekend with Eric Witchey

Wordcrafters in Eugene presents Ghost Story Weekend October 24-26, 2014 Everybody loves a good ghost story! What better place to craft a spooky story than deep in the woods with fourteen other writers at a beautiful Cascades mountain resort? Learning the basics of short story structure, enjoy group speculation on what scares us, and let your imagination run wild at a beautiful Cascades mountain resort. Everyone will write a complete short story by the end of the weekend and read them in a dark, hopefully haunted place. Don’t be scared—well, you can be scared, but don’t be intimidated. All writers are welcome, from the beginner to the accomplished short story writer or novelist. The instructor will help anyone with plot, story structure, or character development. This is a fun way to get started in short story writing, and a good way to meet other writers working in the same genre. Tuition includes all instruction, meals as indicated, and sleeping accommodations. We will get together Friday night after dinner to talk about ghosts and other spooky things and the structure of short stories. And then. . . ready, set, write! The point is to write a complete ghost story (romantic, scary, humorous, sentimental—all ghosts are welcome!) by 7 pm on Saturday, when we will gather together to read our stories. The instructor is available to help you with your stories, and to talk privately about your writing. We hold very casual class time during meals. Sunday morning we give light feedback/critiques on the stories we heard Saturday night. (Don’t be nervous—everything is first draft.) Find out more at Wordcrafters in Eugene.

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Workshop – The Art of the Pitch: Presenting Your Writing to Publishers and Artist Residencies

The Art of the Pitch: Presenting Your Writing to Publishers and Artist Residencies TIME: Sunday, November 30, 2014, from 2-4pm LOCATION: Daedalus Books, 2074 NW Flanders St, Portland, OR 97209 * To take advantage of the early bird discount, please email. COST: $50 at door/$40 early bird special by November 16 to register and pre-pay. Award-winning poets and editors Jill McCabe Johnson and John Sibley Williams will guide you through an interactive two-part workshop that provides both hands-on experience and conceptual strategies to help you succeed in finding and pitching your work to the book publishers and artist residencies that match your vision and aesthetics. In the residency portion, participants will: • Learn what reviewers look for in residency applications • See examples of successful applications • Gain tips and practical advice for crafting a compelling application package • Find out how to target residencies that are a good fit for your work • Draft the “story” of your creative work for application purposes In the book publisher portion, participants will: • Learn how to craft comprehensive publisher pitches • Find out how to tailor your approach to specific publishers • See examples of successful cover letters, marketing plans, and CVs • Discover how to research and judge which publishers best suit your work and goals • Draft the pitch cover letter for your book For further information, please contact Daedalus Books or check out their Facebook event page. Jill McCabe Johnson is the founding director of Artsmith, an arts organization providing artist residencies in the San Juan Islands. Her first poetry collection, Diary of the One Swelling Sea (MoonPath Press, 2013), was awarded a 2014 Nautilus Book Award in Poetry. She is the series editor for the Being What Makes You anthology series from the University of Nebraska Gender Programs, including Becoming: What Makes a Woman (2012), and Being: What Makes a Man (2014). Jill earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University and her PhD in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she was the 2013-2014 Louise Van Sickle Fellow in Poetry. John Sibley Williams is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently Controlled Hallucinations (FutureCycle Press, 2013) and has edited to Northwest poetry anthologies. He is the winner of the HEART Poetry Award and has been nominated for the Pushcart, Rumi, and The Pinch Poetry Prizes. John serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and Board Member of the Friends of William Stafford. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Rivier College and an MA in Book Publishing from Portland State University, and he works both as a literary agent and as Marketing Director of Inkwater Press. A few previous publishing credits include: American Literary Review, Third Coast, Nimrod International Journal, Inkwell, Cider Press Review, Bryant Literary Review, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Eugene Poet C. Steven Blue to be Interviewed on “Authors Forum”

Poet C. Steven Blue will be interviewed tomorrow in Portland, by Dr. Veronica Esagui, on the tv show, “Authors Forum,” for broadcast on cable television.   It will be broadcast on TVCTV,   Channel 21, which is seen in Portland, Tigard, Tualatin,  Hillsboro, West Linn, Beaverton, Oregon City,  Lake Oswego, Damascus, Milwaukie and Forest Grove. Channel 21 is seen on Comcast Cable and Frontier (formerly Verizon) FiOS systems.   Look for an announcement on Blue’s blog when it airs (www.wordsongs.com/blog). More about the show: Dr. Veronica Esagui’s, TV talk show  “The Author’s Forum”,  introduces professional and successful authors, publishers, editors, publish contract lawyers,  book cover designers, and artists who when combined, make up a  crucial aspect of the book industry. She is a member of the National Writers Union and the North West Association of Book Publishers, www.nwabp.org .

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October 2014 – book-lover and writerly events at Eugene Public Library

All events FREE.   Author Kim Cooley Reeder at Sheldon and Bethel Branch Family Storytimes Friday, October 3, 10:15 a.m., Sheldon Branch of Eugene Public Library, 1566 Coburg Road Friday, October 17, 10:15 a.m., Bethel Branch of Eugene Public Library, 1990 Echo Hollow Road Author Kim Cooley Reeder visits Family Storytimes to read from her new children’s book, “Runaway Tomato.” Free. Information: 541-682-8316 or www.eugene-or.gov/library.   Poetry Writing Workshop Saturday, October 11, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive Adults are invited to a fun-filled poetry writing workshop led by local poets C. Steven Blue, Michele Graf, and Rachel Rich. Beginners welcome! Brought to you by Eugene Public Library, Lane Literary Guild, Willamette Writers, and Groundwaters Magazine. Plus, a week later: Poetry Showcase & Open Mic on Saturday, October 18, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Free. Information: 541-682-5450 or www.eugene-or.gov/library.   Free eBooks & Audiobooks for Tablets & Smartphones Wednesday, October 15, 2:30p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive Bring your device to learn how to borrow free eBooks and audiobooks from the huge selection in Eugene Public Library’s online service, Library2Go. This two-hour class is for users of Kindle Fire, Nook HD, Apple, and Android tablets and smartphones. Required: basic computer and Internet skills, basic knowledge of your device. Free. Information: 541-682-5450 or www.eugene-or.gov/library.   Blogging: Next Steps Thursday, October 16, 1:30 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive For those with some blogging experience: get advanced tips on topics including RSS feeds, Google AdSense, the differences between professional and personal blogs, and ways to make your blog easier for potential readers to find. Required: Eugene Public Library’s Intro to Blogging class or experience writing a basic blog. Free. Information: 541-682-5450 or www.eugene-or.gov/library. Poetry Showcase & Open Mic Saturday, October 18, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive Keynote readers Laura LeHew, Quinton Hallett, Nancy Carol Moody, and C. Steven Blue will highlight apoetry showcase featuring a diverse variety of readings and performance, followed by an open mic reading. Everyone is welcome to read; sign up starting at 1:00. Brought to you by Eugene Public Library, Lane Literary Guild, Willamette Writers, and Groundwaters Magazine. Free. Information: 541-682-5450 or www.eugene-or.gov/library.   Windfall Reading: Allan Peterson and Mel Wells Tuesday, October 21, 5:30 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive This month’s Windfall Reading features poet Allan Peterson and essayist Mel Wells.   Allan Peterson is a celebrated poet whose “Fragile Acts” was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award and the Oregon Book Award. A frequent award-winner, his works include the books “Precarious,” “As Much As,”  “All the Lavish in Common,”  and “Anonymous Or,” as well as seven chapbooks, most recently “Other Than They Seem.” Peterson has also been honored with Pushcart Prize nomination and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.   Mel Wells has been published in a number of literary journals. She has essays forthcoming in the anthologies “Spent” and “Untangling the Knot.”…

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17 Sept: Sophia Bennett at Wordcrafters & Wine on Wednesdays

WWW: Wordcrafters & Wine on Wednesdays 3rd Wednesday of every month 7-9 at Territorial Vineyards Tasting Room, 907 W 3rd Ave, Eugene Join us the 3rd Wednesday of the month for stimulating conversation and wine! Each month will feature a different professional writer, agent, or editor to talk about the business and craft of writing. Get yourself a glass of vino and pull up a seat! WWWs are free to the public (21 and over), donations to Wordcrafters Young Writers Program appreciated. Join us for Sophia Bennett on 17 September! Sophia Bennett: Social Media for Writers (Fiction, Non-fiction, and Freelance) Facebook: love it or leave it? Twitter: best news source ever, or leading indicator of the downfall of civilization? Whatever your feelings about social media, it’s here to stay, and learning to use it can be a great way to boost your career. Local communications professional and freelance writer Sophia Bennett will share the ins and outs of social media for writers of all kinds. Besides clearing up the differences between oddly-named services like Pinterest and Tumblr, she will share case studies of writers making good use of their presence on social media. She will also discuss do’s and don’ts of social media and how to keep sites like YouTube from sucking up all your time. Sophia Bennett spent five years as social media manager for a large local nonprofit. She now offers social media management services, as well as freelance writing and communications support, to businesses and nonprofits.

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Melissa Hart

Thurs. 21 August: Lunch with Author Melissa Hart at Book Nest

Summer vacation is drawing to a close, and so is Book Nest’s summer series of author lunches. But we are going out on a high note with: Melissa Hart, author of Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family Thursday, 21 August at Noon at Book Nest (located inside Indulge! Antiques) Hart’s future husband, Jonathan, was already a raptor enthusiast when they met. She writes: “Though talons terrified me, I began scrubbing mews alongside him and ended up committing several years to caring for birds threatened by poison and gunshot and habitat loss—work that reversed our decision to live child-free and plunged us into the world of international and domestic adoption.” Hart is a nature and travel writer, memoirist, and University of Oregon writing instructor. Visit http://www.melissahart.com/ for more information. R.S.V.P. by e-mail (or phone) if possible, but don’t be afraid to drop in at the last minute. Directions to Indulge! Antiques: From 105, take the Mohawk exit. Pass Bi-mart and Dutch Bros. and turn left at the next light. In the parking lot, take a jog to the left, then go straight back (away from Mohawk), between the two large buildings.  Indulge is on the back side of the building on the left, with the entrance facing 18th St. Coming Soon: Fall Author Lunches We have a full slate of authors lined up for the fall—local history, historical fiction, kid lit, young adult, science fiction. Watch your inbox for the schedule and consider adding a few books to your reading list. Look for the fall lineup in just a few weeks!

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September Events at Eugene Public Library

September 2014  – book-lover and writerly events at Eugene Public Library   All events FREE.   Physics for Rock Stars Saturday, September 13, 3:00 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive Ever wonder why nature abhors a vacuum, what causes magnetic attraction, how to jump off a moving train, or do a perfect stage dive? Find answers and laughs at this talk by Christine McKinley based on her book “Physics for Rock Stars.” She will demonstrate how physics can help you perform fancy microphone throws, escape a sinking car, discover your true identity, stop spinning your wheels, handle chaos, and keep secrets No equations, numbers, or tricky concepts — just an inspiring and comical romp through the basics of physics and the beauty of the organized universe. Christine McKinley is a licensed mechanical engineer and hosts the History channel’s series “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded.” Free. Information: 541-682-5450 or www.eugene-or.gov/library.   Windfall Reading: David Axelrod and Jodi Varon Tuesday, September 16, 5:30 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive This month’s Windfall Reading features David Axelrod and Jodi Varon, who co-direct the MFA in Creative Writing program at Eastern Oregon University and co-edit the literary arts journal “basalt.”   David Axelrod is the author of six poetry collections, including “The Cartographer’s Melancholy,” a finalist for the 2006 Oregon Book Award, and his most recent, “What Next, Old Knife?” His book of essays about the interior Northwest is titled Troubled Intimacies. Jodi Varon wrote the non-fiction “Drawing to an Inside Straight: The Legacy of an Absent Father.” She also translates poetry from the Chinese, including “The Rock’s Cold Breath: Selected Poems of Li He.”   The Windfall Reading Series is sponsored by Eugene Public Library, Lane Literary Guild, Friends of Eugene Public Library, Eugene Public Library Foundation, and Cultural Services Division of Lane Arts Council. Refreshments served at intermission. Free. Information: 541-682-5450 or www.eugene-or.gov/library.   Print Your Book Wednesday, September 17, 2:30 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive This two-hour class offers an introduction to the many self-publishing resources available online. Whether you have written a book you want to print and sell widely, or you want to print just a few copies of a family history or recipe collection, self-publishing is now easier and more affordable than ever. Intermediate computer and Internet skills required. Free. Information: 541-682-5450 or www.eugene-or.gov/library.   Intro to Blogging Thursday, September 18, 1:30 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive Create your own blog with the free website Blogger. Plus an introduction to RSS and Google Reader, tools that deliver automatic updates from your preferred online sources for news, opinion, entertainment, and more. Internet experience and e-mail account required. Free. Information: 541-682-5450 or www.eugene-or.gov/library.   Banned Books Read-Outs at Eugene and Springfield Public Libraries Springfield Public Library: Saturday, September 20, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Eugene Public Library: Saturday, September 27, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. To celebrate free speech and honor defenders of First Amendment rights, local public libraries and the Lane County…

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20 Aug: Peter Brown Hoffmeister at Wordcrafters & Wine on Wednesdays

Join us for Peter Brown Hoffmeister on Wednesday, 20 August! Peter Brown Hoffmeister presents “The Art Of Failure” How do we – as artists –  prepare, practice, and execute? Why should we anticipate and champion failure? Why do we fear failure, and how is failure essential to the creation of quality art? Peter Brown Hoffmeister  is the author of the memoir The End Of Boys, the nonfiction text Let Them Be Eaten By Bears – A Fearless Guide To Taking Our Kids Into The Great Outdoors, and the novel Graphic The Valley. His books were selected for multiple “Best Of 2013″ lists, earned starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, and featured reviews by The Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly. He is a former recipient of the Oregon Literary Arts fellowship in fiction, has written for The Huffington Post and Writer’s Digest, and currently writes Op-Ed columns for VICE Magazine. He has appeared on NPR, CBS, ABC, and Fox Radio programs. To learn more about Peter, go here. WWW: Wordcrafters & Wine on Wednesdays 3rd Wednesday of every month 7-9 at Territorial Vineyards Tasting Room, 907 W 3rd Ave, Eugene Join us the 3rd Wednesday of the month for stimulating conversation and wine! Each month will feature a different professional writer, agent, or editor to talk about the business and craft of writing. Get yourself a glass of vino and pull up a seat! WWWs are free to the public (21 and over), donations to Wordcrafters Young Writers Program appreciated.

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Eugene Member Sandor Lau wins 2nd Place in Kay Snow Writing Contest

Sándor Lau of Eugene, Ore. has won second prize in the nonfiction category of the Kay Snow Writing Contest held by Willamette Writers. Lau and other winners were announced at the annual Willamette Writers Conference banquet, Saturday Aug. 2 at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Portland. Lau’s winning piece, “Sándor’s Oregon Trail,” is an excerpt from his upcoming book, Sándor’s Oregon Trail, which will also be accompanied by a documentary series and is currently seeking a publisher. The piece was also a finalist in the San Francisco Writing Contest. Lau is an award-winning filmmaker and writer who walked across northern New Zealand to make his film Sándor’s New Zealand Trail. Find out more here about Sándor including video clips from Sándor’s Oregon Trail.  

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