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!

Be the Light this Giving Tuesday

Give your time, your goods, and your voice to help writers!

This December 3rd is Giving Tuesday. After a weekend of shopping, family, and friends, Giving Tuesday is a great time to help others through the gift of your time, donations, goods or your voice.

As a non-profit, we could really use your help! We have so many ways you can chip in to make this organization stronger, and help us continue to help writers throughout the holiday season. Here’s just a few things you can do this GivingTuesday:

1. Make a donation at willamettewriters.org/donations. Your donation will go to support our Young Willamette Writers programming this year. We can’t wait to see these students at our annual conference, and read their work in their journal. You can help make that happen with your support.

2. Give your time at willamettewriters.org/volunteer. We need help with Kay Snow, our auction, and especially in the office. Take a moment to commit your time and help us support writers.

3. Join us for baked goods at the Book and Bake Sale! We invite you to our Book and Bake Sale on December 3rd, from 7-8PM! Bring a cake, and leave with cookies! You’ll find books by our member authors, as well as pies and goodies to help you celebrate the holidays. It’s sure to be a sweet event!

4. Raise your voice! This December 3rd, share your love for Willamette Writers. Talk about the friends you’ve found, the connections you’ve made, and the support you’ve received. Help our community grow by sharing your own story.

This December 3rd, raise your voice, donate your goods, give your time, and share your donation. You support will make our community stronger.

We are an organization built by writers, supported by writers, and helping writers.

We are Willamette Writers.

Member News

Willamette Writers Author Signing: Holly Manno

Holly Manno will be signing books at booth 64 at the Portland Book Festival on November 9th. As Holly says: The worlds between pages have long been a respite for me. After a long career in technology, I lost my job and decided to follow my passion. I imagined writing a book and completed my…

Willamette Writers Author Signing: Laura Lee Scott

Laura Lee Scott will be signing books at booth 64 at the Portland Book Festival on November 9th. Laura Lee Scott has worked as a pro writer, ghostwriter, editor, publisher, and graphic designer for over 25 years, and has authored three empowering, award-winning picture books: THE SANTA SWITCH, A TRIP FOR MRS. CLAUS, and ONE…

Willamette Writers Author Signing: Dede Montgomery

Dede Montgomery will be signing books at booth 64 at the Portland Book Festival on November 9th. Dede Montgomery is a 6th generation who actively blogs in “Musings about Life in Oregon.” Dede was a 2019 Oregon State Capitol Foundation Speaker Series presenter, sharing her 2017 memoir, MY MUSIC MAN stories on Oregon’s February 14…

Willamette Writers Author Signing: Kerry Blaisdell

Kerry Blaisdell will be signing books at booth 64 at the Portland Book Festival on November 9th. Kerry Blaisdell is the author of The Dead Series, including DEBRIEFING THE DEAD—2019 Royal Palm Literary Award for Best Published Fantasy, RONE Award for Best Long Paranormal, HOLT Medallion Literary Award for Best Paranormal & Best First Book,…

Willamette Writers Author Signing: Tasche Laine

Tasche Laine will be signing books at booth 64 at the Portland Book Festival on November 9th. Tasche Laine has worked as a journalist, teacher, and book editor. She is the author of the 2018 International Book Award winner for Readers’ Favorite, Closure: based on a true story, and its sequel, Chameleon. She grew up…

Willamette Writers Author Signing: Marilynne Eichinger

Marilynne Eichinger will be signing books at booth 64 at the Portland Book Festival on November 9th. Marilynne Eichinger, entrepreneur, and director of hands-on science museums graduated Magna Cum Laude in Anthropology from Boston University and with an MA in psychology from Michigan State University. She founded Impression Five Science Museum in Michigan served as…

Willamette Writers Author Signing: Steven Mayfield

Steven Mayfield will be signing books at booth 64 at the Portland Book Festival on November 9th. Steven Mayfield is a past recipient of the Mari Sandoz Prize for Fiction and author of the upcoming novel, Treasure of the Blue Whale (Regal House Publishing, Spring 2020). His short fiction has appeared in Event, The Black…

Willamette Writers Author Signing: Heather Ames

Heather Ames will be signing books at booth 64 at the Portland Book Festival on November 9th. A Miami detective unjustly accused of accepting bribes takes his half-brother’s socialite girlfriend as an unlikely partner when his brother is found beaten to death in the Everglades. A trail of convoluted clues leads him on a journey…

Willamette Writers Author Signing: Donnie with Walter W Cole/Darcelle

Donnie Horn with Walter W Cole/Darcelle will be signing books at booth 64 at the Portland Book Festival on November 9th. Donald l Horn aka Donnie is a playwright, author, director, historian, producer and founder of triangle productions! a theatre company. He has written twelve books including his autobiography Crumbs of Love; the sequel, Pinch…

Willamette Writers Author Signing: Marilyn Catherine McDonald, ma

Marilyn Catherine McDonald will be signing books at booth 64 at the Portland Book Festival on November 9th. Marilyn has been a professional writer since 1967. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees while freelancing and raising eight children. Then, as a single parent she returned to the work force or the first time in…

Join a Meeting or a Workshop Near You

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

YWW Portland: A Young Willamette Writers Gathering

December 7 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
A Young Willamette Writers Gathering This is our new location and time! In December, the YWW’s gather to enjoy the friendships that have formed around a love of writing. We bring our latest work-in-progress to read aloud if we want. We listen and encourage and celebrate. If we have time, we do a writing exercise…

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

Willamette Writers Authors at the Portland Book Festival

We are proud to be supporting these Willamette Writers member authors at this year’s Portland Book Festival on November 9th!   9AM-9:30AM  Dede Montgomery  Sue Fagalde Lick  Sharleen Nelson  Tasche Laine  9:30AM-10AM  Kerry Blaisdell  Kay Jennings  Phillip Kenney  Deni Starr  10AM-11AM  Paula Butterfield  Charley  Descoteaux  Marilyn McDonald  Holly Manno  11AM-12PM  Mazarine Treyz  Marilynne Eichinger  Rick George  Jo Sparkes  12PM-1PM  Ruby Lee Cornelius  Holly Manno  Bob Ferguson  Kim Hester  1PM-2PM  Anne Hendren  Jeff Stookey  R. Gregory Noakes  Heather Ames  2PM-3PM  Dawn Prochovnic  Julie  Dawn…

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…