Welcome to Willamette Writers

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Writers at all levels come to Willamette Writers to connect with their communities, develop their craft, and advance their careers.
Join us today to take advantage of membership benefits and to support writers in the Pacific Northwest!

Our 50th Willamette Writers Conference was a success!

What an amazing conference!

Our 50th annual conference (50!!!) was a BLAST! Three full days of classes, workshops, keynotes, critiques, and events. We met New York Times Bestsellers, pitched our books to agents, and learned from screenwriters and poets.

We made new friends over breakfast, and sat down with colleagues at lunch. And that's not all! We learned from masters of the craft, including Larry Brooks, Hallie Ephron, Kate Elliott, DongWon Song, Donald Maass and more!

It was quite the celebration!

Now we've sent our office staff away to work on their own writing. We're giving them rest and rejuvenation so they are ready to kick off our next year of programming, starting September 1st!

You'll meet Oregon Book Award winner Leni Zumas, talk contracts in Salem, and find your community in Vancouver. There is so much to do at your chapter meetings in September!

Plus, don't forget -- our 51st annual conference will be July 31 - August 2, 2020! Put the date in your calendar, then get back to your own words. We'll see you in September!

Conference workshop - photo by Gail Pasternack
Photos Courtesy Gail Pasternack

Member News

Writers self-help group: book sales

New group meeting on Oct. 13 at 5 PM at Starbucks on Powell (2424 SE Powell) to swap notes on how to sell your books — for writers with books out (not on how to sell a manuscript to a publisher). For more info contact Deni97202@yahoo.com

Member News: This Particular Happiness by Jackie Shannon Hollis

This Particular Happiness explores our most intimate conflicts and desires—about relationships, parenthood, and what makes life meaningful. Raised in rural Oregon in the 1960s, Jackie Shannon Hollis grew up playing “house” with baby dolls, riding horses, and tending to kittens and lambs on her family’s ranch. Other than her Aunt Lena, all of the women…

Member News: WW Member is featured author at the Fall Festival of the Arts!

Willamette Writers member Franklin Posner will be one of the featured authors at the Fall Festival of the Arts in Troutdale, Oregon, from Saturday, September 21st to Sunday, September 22nd. The Fall Festival of the Arts is sponsored by the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce and is a celebration of the thriving arts community…

Member News: Literary Seminar on Capitalism and Consumerism

Do you miss college English classes? Do you wish you were in a book club? Are you interested in examining and discussing how capitalism and consumerism operate in our society? If you said yes to the above, check out this literary seminar offered through Literary Arts. For six weeks we will be delving into themes…

Member News: Sparks by Maren Anderson

Rosie wants to tear down the ancient cowshed on her ranch to make room for more horses, but it is unlucky to knock down a barn. Rosie thinks this is superstitious hogwash. That’s why she and her handsome new … friend … Patrick gets drunk one night and knocks the shed down with the tractor,…

Member News: Cooper’s Loot by Rick E. George

Rick E. George’s historical thriller, Cooper’s Loot, was published this month by The Wild Rose Press. Set in 1972, Cooper’s Loot portrays a young reporter seeking professional respect in an era when female journalists were often relegated to the Women’s Pages. She joins an odd group of characters searching for the buried loot of the…

Member News: Coaching with Suzy Vitello

Do you have a project you want to bring to the finish line? Just pushing through a first draft? Need some coaching with a seasoned editorial pro? Suzy Vitello is offering 2 10-wk workshops beginning early Oct. where you’ll have the opportunity to engage your writing muscle in targeted and constructive discussion of participants’ work…

Member News: Hotel San Blas by Stephen John Walker

This is a story about a primitive three-room hotel resting atop a coral island on the north coast of Panama—no electricity, no running water, no telephone, and guests must bring their own food. Everyone who comes to the hotel has life-changing experiences including Dr. Roger Feldman. At the height of the war in Vietnam, Feldman’s…

Cooper’s Loot by Rick E. George

It’s 1972, but the Neanderthal editors of Bev Wikowski’s newspaper don’t have a clue. They’ve assigned her to the Women’s Pages. They put her desk near the door so she can greet newsroom visitors. It’s a wonder they haven’t asked her to make coffee. So when Bev receives an offer to help find the buried…

Author Event in McMinnville

McMinnville Center for the Arts (MECA) is inviting Romance writers to attend “An Evening with Oregon Writers” for Romance Awareness month on Saturday, August 10, 2019 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to display and sell your books, meet other authors and artists, and enjoy an evening surrounded by beautiful art. If…

Join a Meeting or a Workshop Near You

All Writers Welcome! Members & Full-Time Students Attend for Free!

Newport: Maren Bradley Anderson

October 20 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Alternative Writing Tools When we think about writing, we usually think about pens and keyboards, but both present challenges for people with different abilities, including those suffering from repetitive strain injuries or arthritis, who have visual differences, or who cannot sit for long periods of time. At the Oct. 20 meeting of Willamette Writers’ coast…

Vancouver: How to Make Self-publishing Work for You with Carolyn L. Dean

October 21 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
How to Make Self-publishing Work for You There are many paths up the mountain to becoming a successful author, just as there are many definitions of success. Carolyn will be addressing several facets of self-publishing, including feasibility and profitability, individual goals and how to achieve them, how to avoid common pitfalls and scams, and more.…

Eugene: Using Video to Connect with Your Audience with Joanna Bartlett

October 26 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Using Video to Connect with Your Audience This is our Fall Workshop. Video is a great way to connect with your audience and create relationships with your readers. When readers see you on video, something magical happens: you become a real person they connect with. That emotional engagement turns them into super fans. But video…

Corvallis: Brenna Crotty

October 28 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Publishing for Social Justice CALYX Press is a non-profit publication dedicated to providing a platform to women and non-binary writers. Our goal is to highlight diversity in a variety of demographics by selecting materials from a wide range of authors, which changes the way we approach the slush pile. Our editorial collective is not only…

YWW Portland: Emily Suvada

November 2 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Twists and bombshells and cliffhangers, oh my! New, permanent time and place for Young Willamette Writers! Saturday, November 2, at 1:00 at the Bridgeport Village Barnes & Noble bookstore. Join me for a workshop on story structure that dives beyond beats and focuses on pacing and tension to find ways to make your story compelling…

Corvallis: Poetry of Place, and Handling Submissions with John Sibley Williams

November 25 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Poetry of Place, and Handling Submissions In the first part of the program, Williams will address poetry of place with a discussion of how natural and constructed landscapes affect our identities and shape our writing. This workshop will include the study of diverse poems that successfully employ place as a metaphor for the human condition.…

On Writing from Willamette Writers

What Agents Want – Tips from Meeting with Literary Agent Laura Bradford

By Jennifer Zaczek

At the April 4 Willamette Writers meeting, attendees got to hear from Laura Bradford, founder of Bradford Literary Agency, about what agents look for in writers. Here are some key takeaways from the presentation. Are You Someone Agents Want to…

Turn Bad Writing Days into Good Ones

Turn Bad Writing Days into Good Ones

By Amy Foster Myer

The November 7th meeting of Willamette Writers brought William Kenower, teacher of the Fearless Writing Series, to the Old Church to share his perspectives for building up a strong writing life while keeping the topics that interest and engage us…

C. Lill Ahrens Tightens Writing

C. Lill Ahrens’ Tighty Writey Game

By Willamette Writers

by C. Lill Ahrens The old saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees” can be a metaphor for wordy writing. Too many extra words obscure the view of your story. In contrast to “cutting,” (the deletion of an entire…

Author Marketing – Notes from WW Portland Meeting with Tex Thompson

By Amy Foster Myer

The June 6th Willamette Writers meeting was a wonderful time to be in community with one of my very favorite presenters from last year’s conference, Tex Thompson. The presentation focused on how writers can promote and market themselves, a topic…

Jessica Morrell Meeting Notes 2017 04 Willamette Writers PDX

Why Characters Do What They Do – Notes from WW Portland Meeting with Jessica Morrell

By Amy Foster Myer

This contributed piece brings notes from Willamette Writers Portland’s April 4th, 2017 Meeting with author and editor Jessica Morrell by member Amy Foster Myer. Enjoy! Having seen Jessica Morell present at the 2016 Willamette Writers Conference, I can tell you she…

Ellen Urbani’s Tips for a Successful Author Reading

By Willamette Writers

Today, we’re bringing you a post from Ellen Urbani who was our closing keynote at the 2016 Willamette Writers Conference. In 2015, Ellen Urbani toured the South with her novel Landfall (Forest Avenue Press, 2015). The tour brought in overflow crowds and pushed Landfall up on…

The Willamette Writers Conference

2019 Willamette Writers Conference Pitch Professionals We are proud to announce the industry professionals accepting pitches this year at our 50th annual Willamette Writers Conference. You will find a list of all our current industry professionals here. We are welcoming a fantastic group of agents, editors, manager, and producers, and the list will continue to…

Julie Whipple Book Signing at Powells

Julie Whipple will be reading and signing copies of her new book, Crash Course Join Julie Whipple at Powell’s downtown flagship store on West Burnside on Monday, August 20 at 7:30 (http://www.powells.com/book/-9780692070406#product_details) and award-winning audiobook narrator Heather Henderson for a special performance of excerpts from the book. Long-time Portland residents vividly recall the crash of…

HOW TO WIN THE SUBMISSION WAITING GAME

We’re excited that Erick Mertz is a member of the faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writers Conference. Erick is a Portland-based ghostwriter and fiction/memoir manuscript consultant. Over the last five years as a full-time freelancer he has written manuscripts for a variety of clients. In a blog he posted this past December, he shares advice…

The 7 Things Writers Need to Make a Living by Sonia Simone

Written by SONIA SIMONE Reprinted with permission from Copyblogger.  If you’re a writer, you might have heard this most of your life: People don’t make a living writing. You should find something practical to do with your life. Smart, capable writers grimly pass around war stories on Facebook. Penny-a-word assignments, clients who don’t pay, disdain for our…

Open Mic Night at the Willamette Writers Conference

Open Mic night started at the Willamette Writers Conference in 2013, when I mentioned to the conference chair that I attended a really fun Open Mic Night at another writing conference. This launched us into a talk about how we could make one for Willamette Writers and how we could make it even better than…

What’s New at the Willamette Writers Conference

Welcome to our 2018 Conference! This year, our theme for The Best Three Days in Writing is “Celebrating Diverse Voices in Writing.” The whole team is really looking forward to what we’ve got in store for you all this August 3rd -5th. As you know, the conference has grown and changed much over its 49-year…

Experiences at The Willamette Writers Conference

“A writers conference can be an empowering and uplifting experience,” according to Scott Myers, a producer, writer, and assistant director. Myers presented at the Willamette Writers Conference this year, and said it was a “special experience.” He explains on his website about his conference experience that he met so many writers and old friends, and his classes were packed. His…

Writing Through the Tough Times by Julie Fast

All writers come to a point where it feels impossible to write another word. This happened to me with one month left before I had to turn in the manuscript for my first book. I felt overwhelmed with the idea of making the book perfect. All of it had to flow. It had to be…

New Conference Opportunity for Members: Sell Your Books at the Consignment Booth

Thanks for checking out this opportunity. We are finalizing the details and should have them for you this week. In the meantime, please let us know you’re interested by completing the short form below or via this link (same form, use whatever works better for you). We will let you know when we have more…

New Opportunity at Conference: Author Headshots

For the first time ever, the 2017 Willamette Writers Conference will have a professional photographer at the conference to take author headshots. A limited number of slots will be offered Friday and Saturday afternoon, so book your slot before they are all taken. Why Do Author’s Need Headshots? Last year’s conference keynote speaker Jane Friedman…

Our News

FiLMLaBtv 2019 Writer’s Room The 2019 winning script is “Stripes,” written by Alexandra Keister. Keister, an executive assistant and screenwriter, has written two feature-length screenplays, both romantic comedies, and a handful of short screenplays that range from dark sci-fi to the classically uplifting my-dog-is-dead story. She graduated from Oregon State University in 2012 with a BA…

Willamette Writers Authors Sign Books at The Portland Book Festival

by Ari Mathae Willamette Writers, the Portland literary community, and book lovers near and far will meet again Saturday 10, 2018, for the largest celebration of books in the Pacific Northwest: The Portland Book Festival. The event starts at 9 A.M. at the Portland Art Museum and continues there and at other neighboring venues in the…

Member News: Mary Andonian & David Poulshock launch ISA Third Thursdays

Mary Andonian & David Poulshock launch ISA Third Thursdays Members Mary and David are launching the local chapter of the International Screenwriters Association(ISA). It’s a monthly mixer for screenwriters on Third Thursdays, where you can mingle with fellow screenwriters, meet film and television industry professionals, and win door prizes — including a free Willamette Writer’s…

How To Happily Write A Query Letter

We’re excited that Bill Kenower is a member of the faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writers Conference. Bill is the author of Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence and Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion. In a blog he posted this past June, he shares his perspective on how he learned…

HOW TO WIN THE SUBMISSION WAITING GAME

We’re excited that Erick Mertz is a member of the faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writers Conference. Erick is a Portland-based ghostwriter and fiction/memoir manuscript consultant. Over the last five years as a full-time freelancer he has written manuscripts for a variety of clients. In a blog he posted this past December, he shares advice…

Attend FiLMLaB.tv workshops and get all the value without even attending!

Attend FiLMLaB.tv workshops and get all the value without even attending! Well, not really. Eventually you’ll have to “attend.” But thanks to space-age technology, Willamette Writers is presenting two valuable workshops online that you will be able to access 24/7 AND multiple times right up until the conference. That means that even if you’re not…

Ten Tips for Writing an Effective Pitch

By Alyssa Schaffer and Joanna Szabo Pitching your manuscript can be one of the more intimidating aspects of the writing process, so we’ve collected a few essential tips to help you prepare your next pitch. Start with a hook. This should be one or two lines covering the most exciting thing about your book. However,…

Willamette Writers is Sponsoring Write to Publish

We are delighted to contribute to this year’s Write to Publish conference with Ooligan Press to help writers, agents, and publishers alike get more familiar the ins and outs of the industry! What: A one-day conference demystifying the publishing industry When: April 21, 2018 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Where: George C. Hoffmann Hall 1833…

Randall Jahnson and FiLMLaB Screenwriting Workshop

Screenwriting Workshop Willamette Writers and FiLMLaB invite you to join us for an online screenwriting workshop with Randall Jahnson. Details Date: Saturday, April 21st Time: 12-2PM Cost: Free Open to the public This is an online workshop Click here to register. About Randall Jahnson Randall Jahnson has written more than 20 feature-length screenplays. Not all…

Help Support Young Writers

What a wonderful year. We started out with our chapter meetings across the state, joined together at our annual conference, and finished the year with a closer — and much larger — community of support and friendship. Every day, Willamette Writers members are developing their craft and expanding their careers. Today, we ask you to…