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!

New Conference Refund Policy

#wilwrite refund policy changeWillamette Writers wants you to stay happy and healthy! Given the evolving situation, we have changed our 2020 Conference Refund Policy for the coming months, so you don’t have to worry. Here is our new refund policy:

  • Any registering member who purchases a registration in the coming months can transfer that registration to next year – plain and simple. Free of charge.
  • 2020 registrations that have been transferred to 2021 will be non-refundable after August 2, 2020.
  • For cancellations, our regular refund policy applies:
    • Cancellations (as opposed to transfers) before July 1st will be subject to a $50 handling fee.
    • No refunds on cancelled Advance Manuscript Critiques after June 18th (when professionals begin work on manuscripts).
    • No refunds on Banquet/Gala purchases after July 26th (when food is ordered).

We can't wait to see you at the conference! Come write with us!

Our 2020 Conference Keynotes!

Alex Dang
Cheryl Strayed
Zoraida Cordova
Mitchell S Jackson
Rosanne Parry

We are proud to announce the speakers at our 51st Annual Conference on July 31 - August 2, 2020! Our conference theme is SHARE YOUR STORY, and we know these keynotes, authors, and industry professionals will help you share your own story. On the main stage this year, we will be joined by slam poet Alex Dang, New York Times bestselling author Cheryl Strayed, young adult and romance author Zoraida Córdova, New York Times bestselling middle grade author Rosanne Parry, and award-winning author Mitchell S. Jackson. But that's not all! Click here to find out more about who you'll see at #Wilwrite20!

Member News

Big River Mystery on Big Paddle Day

Meet local author J S James from nine to noon on June 6th at Seasons Coffee at The Old Liberty Theater in Ridgefield (115 N. Main Ave). Learn how he concocted River Run: A Delia Chavez Mystery out of several harrowing experiences on the Willamette River. Bring your board and enjoy Ridgefield’s annual Big Paddle…

Debut Novel Release: The Missing Sister

Elle Marr is the author of debut thriller The Missing Sister. In Paris, a young woman’s twin sister has vanished, leaving behind three chilling words: Trust no one. Taking the warning to heart, the woman retraces her sister’s footsteps, and they lead her down into Paris’s underbelly. As she gets closer to the truth—and to…

Virtual launch event: Treasure of the Blue Whale by Steven Mayfield

Steven Mayfield will read from his new novel, Treasure of the Blue Whale, on April 2nd at 7 pm (PST) at a Facebook Live event hosted by Annie Bloom’s Books and Mindbuck Media. Click here to join in.  In Treasure of the Blue Whale, a whimsical, often funny, tale set during the Great Depression, young Connor…

Local Author Puts the Fun Back into Funerals—And Fundraisers with These Hexy Mysteries

Longtime member and local author, Sarina Dorie, creates a fundraiser to produce her bestselling series as audiobooks and to raise awareness about the Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library.  After suffering from a mild traumatic brain injury at work, and experiencing the difficulties of reading and vision impairment, Sarina Dorie talks about the importance of…

Author Duel at Two Rivers Bookstore

April 9, 7:00 pm. Travel “beyond the bridge” to St. John’s Two Rivers Bookstore, where dueling mystery authors thrust and parry over character quirks, plot secrets and action clips from River Run: a Delia Chavez Mystery by J. S. James and Crossroad by W. H. Cameron. All interested in the genre are invited to come…

Last Miracle for Maria available at Woodstock Library

Sherry M. Joiner, the author of Sherry Goes Sane: Living A Life With Schizo-Affective Disorder has penned a second memoir: Last Miracle for Maria: A Story of Suicide, PTSD, and Schizoaffective Bipolar Disorder Type. Her mother, Maria, a Brazilian immigrant and World War II bride comes to the States searching for opportunity. She becomes a…

Jennifer Greer’s book launches in July 2020

Perfect for fans of Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli & Isles and Kathy Reichs, comes A Desperate Place, an explosive debut thriller about a team of two strong women and a crime that will shake you to your core. Three separate homicides. Three unrelated victims. One grisly secret. The book launch for Jennifer Greer’s debut suspense/thriller is…

5 Week Class on The Writer’s Crucible with Philip Kenney

Saturdays, April 11 – May 9, 10am – 12pm This class is designed for students who wish to deepen their understanding of the ideas presented in the “Coming Through the Crucible” workshop. In this five-week class, we will use the text of The Writer’s Crucible as a starting point for an exploration of the emotional…

Editors’ Choice Selection

Maryka Biaggio’s novel, Eden Waits (Sunbury Press, August 2019) was selected as an Editor’s Choice in the February 2020 issue of Historical Novels Review. Eden Waits is based on the true story of a utopian community founded in the 1890s. Author John Smolens calls is a “well-researched novel that examines a lost chapter in our…

A Literary Salon in Cottage Grove

Save the date for “A Literary Salon” at the Opal Center for Arts and Education, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Saturday, March 14th. Presenters will be James Burke (author of the Jake Matthews medical suspense series) and Rod Williams (author of “An Americana Singer for the 21st Century” and “Celestial Springs”). They will read selections of…

Join a Meeting or a Workshop Near You

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

Portland and Salem Online: Agent Do’s and Don’ts with Fiona Kenshole

April 7 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Join us at our Combined Portland and Salem Chapter Meetings, Online! Finding a literary agent is difficult! Are you wondering what to do — and what not to do — in your search for a literary agent? Join us online to find out! This month, we are combining our Portland and Salem chapter meetings online,…

Online: Coffee at your kitchen table

April 11 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Join us for coffee at your kitchen table with Willamette Writers Online! Warm up the coffeepot and get your cup — we’re ready for a coffee date with you online. Join us on Zoom for coffee and conversation. No reason — just connection. We will see you there! Details for joining online You can join…

Online Book Club: Howards End

April 13 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Join us for an online book club! We will be reading Howards End, which is showing at Portland Center Stage. The playwright, Caroline Hewitt, will be joining us to discuss her adaptation. The book club meets online, and is free and open to anyone! You don’t have to finish the book, but be prepared for…

Newport: Monthly Chapter Meeting

April 19 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Just us at the Coast!   Willamette Writers Chapters are local writing communities where writers improve their craft and acquire the career skills required in today’s publishing world. The Coast Chapter offers monthly meetings and occasional workshops. Meetings are normally held on the third Sunday of each month from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Newport Public Library (McEntee Room). No meetings…

Vancouver: Monthly Chapter Meeting

April 20 @ 6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
Willamette Writers Vancouver Our Vancouver Chapter Vancouver Chapter meetings are normally held the third Monday of each month at The Quarry Senior Living Center in Vancouver. No meetings in December, or in August when we head to the Willamette Writers Conference. Monthly meetings are open to all writers 18 and older. Members attend for free.  Read on to learn about…

POSTPONED Salem: Write Here Write Now

April 25 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Join us at Write Here Write Now, a day-long workshop that puts the focus on getting more of your own writing done! Our 10-minute mini-lessons presented by writing pros will provide practical tips on honing your craft. Put these tips into action by applying them to your work in progress during the 45-minute writing blocks…

POSTPONED Willamette Writers Happy Hour at Portland Center Stage

April 26 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED. CHECK BACK IN THE FALL! Join Willamette Writers at Portland Center Stage at the Armory for a happy hour before the showing of Howards End! Full ticket information can be found here (https://www.pcs.org/howardsend) The happy hour is free and open to the public. You must purchase a ticket if you…

Corvallis Online: Tiffany Pitts on Humor

April 27 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Sharpen Your Wit: Building Story With Humor Lighten up your evening with Sharpen Your Wit: Building Story With Humor presented by author Tiffany Pitts. Pitts will discuss different ways humor can be used to deepen storytelling. She will break down comedic timing and how it is used to build or relieve tension within scenes, creating…

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

We are proud to announce the speakers at the 51st Annual Willamette Writers Conference on July 31 – August 2, 2020!

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…

Our News

TV Development and Production with Grant Rosenberg

Grant Rosenberg, an accomplished film creator, will be joining the Willamette Writers Conference this August

We are proud to announce the speakers at the 51st Annual Willamette Writers Conference on July 31 – August 2, 2020!

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,…