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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 2020 Conference is Going Entirely Online!

This year, you can SHARE YOUR STORY and LAUNCH YOUR CAREER, all from the comfort of your own home! We will be meeting entirely online this year. Here is what you can expect:

  • Wilwrite20 will be live-streamed. We will have workshops, pitches, critiques, and networking -- all from the comfort of your own home.
  • You will be able to connect one-on-one with agents, producers, managers, and industry professionals -- and the slate will be growing in the coming weeks.
  • There will be film roundtables where you can meet and talk shop, as well as virtual happy hours where you can relax and make new friends.
  • You will also connect with colleagues in virtual hallways, readings, open mics, and evening events.
  • Plus, you will enjoy some special opportunities online that we couldn't before, so expect some REALLY BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS in the coming weeks.

Wilwrite20 will be HALF THE PRICE. We want you to join us, and we think it's important to make the conference accessible during this challenging time. Many of our faculty are even donating their time so you can come. We are a community, and we are here to help each other.

We are so excited to share this conference with you -- our keynotes include Cheryl Strayed, Mitchell S. Jackson, Rosanne Parry, Zoraida Córdova, Alex Dang, and oh boy, a really big one coming up soon!

So sign up now! Join your friends online and launch your career this July 31 - August 2, 2020.

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

Member News: Marilyn Sewell reading

Marilyn Sewell will do a virtual reading from her new book, In Time’s Shadow: Stories About Impermanence, on June 2 at 7:00 PM. Minister, author, and activist Marilyn Sewell reflects on the everyday, the places we live and work, the thoughts we all have but hardly ever share, though they may carry the most profound…

Member News: New Memoir on the Power of Women in Midlife

How I Made a Huge Mess of My Life (or Couples Therapy with a Dead Man) is the new memoir by Portland resident, Billie Best, just released in paperback and ebook by Widowspeak Publishing, and available at libraries and wherever books are sold. Known for her weekly blog, Beyond 60—Loving Life, Staying Relevant at billiebest.com,…

Catherine A. Hamilton’s Debut Novel Victoria’s War Launches June 2, 2020

Victoria’s War book launch and reading at Annie Bloom’s Books on Saturday, June 6, at 6pm.  In Victoria’s War, Hamilton gives voice to the courageous Polish Catholic women who were kidnapped into the real-life Nazi slave labor operation during WWII. Inspired by true stories, this lost chapter of history won’t soon be forgotten. POLAND, 1939: Nineteen-year-old…

Member News: Book Release — Day Trips to the Oregon Coast

Book Release: Day Trips to the Oregon Coast: Getaway Ideas for the Local Traveler, 1st Edition By Kim Cooper Findling “Some kids dream of leaving home and never looking back; others spend a lifetime trying to return home. I’m in the second category, and this book is my homecoming.”  So reads the dedication in Kim…

Member News: Online Member Critique Groups

Members are forming online critique groups limited to 8 people, where everyone must read a least once every 6-8 weeks or leave the group. The online group will be long term, even after the quarantine is lifted, with writers actively participating at each session. The groups will be divided by skill level/experience. Please note, these…

Member News: Book Launch — Mary Keliikoa’s Derailed

Perfect for fans of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone series comes Derailed, featuring single mom PI Kelly Pruett.  “Keliikoa’s debut novel is an important addition to the PI genre – strong with voice, a compelling protagonist, and unforgettable family secrets. Derailed was hard to put down. I can’t wait to read the next book in this…

When Heroes Flew release April 28, 2020

When Heroes Flew, a novel by H. W. “Buzz” Bernard, will be released April 28. Dispatched to Benghazi, Libya, on mysterious orders in WWII, bomber pilot Al Lycoming, a young officer from Oregon, finds nearly 200 other bombers being assembled…and a top secret assignment that will catapult them all into seemingly impenetrable Nazi defenses. But…

Sherry M. Joiner Interview

Portland author and artist Sherry M. Joiner is interviewed by the Clackamas Review’s Ellen Spitaleri (March 25, 2020), about her book, Last Miracle for Maria: A Story of Suicide, PTSD, and Schizoaffective Bipolar Disorder. From Sherry M. Joiner: “It will help lots of people during these times when life is so serious and there is…

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…

Join a Meeting or a Workshop Near You

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

Online: Coffee at your kitchen table

May 30 @ 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: Coffee at Your Kitchen Table

June 2 @ 8:00 am - 8:30 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…

Portland and Salem Online: Writing in Quarantine with Dana Haynes

June 2 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
“Writing in Quarantine — How to Keep Your Fiction Moving, Even When the Damn Coronavirus Means You Can’t!” Dana Haynes, author of eight published murder mysteries and thrillers (the sequel to St. Nicolas Salvage & Wrecking, a Finnigan and Fiero thriller, will be out this winter) will discuss tricks of the trade to overcome writers…

The Write Place: An Online Meeting for Productivity

June 4 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Join us at the Write Place each week, online. Discuss goal setting and productivity while encouraging, supporting, and connecting with other writers.

Southern: Monthly Chapter Meeting – Pitch Practice

June 6 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Perfect Your Pitch with David Poulshock and Willamette Writers Southern Oregon “Pitching is part writing, part strategy, part performance … but above all, it’s storytelling.” Curious what goes into a great pitch? Want to know how to grab the attention of agents and publishers? Struggling to convey a novel’s worth of information into one pithy…

The Seven Layers of Scene Analysis with Daryll Lynne Evans

June 15 @ 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
About the Meeting Scenes, be they large or small, are greater than the sum of their parts. At their core, scenes are a pile of disparate pieces like characters, dialogue, and setting. Yet all these elements somehow work together to make us laugh, cry, and keep us turning the page. But how do scenes do…

Newport: Monthly Chapter Meeting

June 21 @ 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…

Corvallis: Monthly Chapter Meeting

June 22 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Join us at Willamette Writers on the River Willamette Writers on the River offers monthly meetings normally held on the fourth Monday of each month at the First Presbyterian Church (Allison Room) in Corvallis. No meeting in August when we head to Portland for the Willamette Writers Conference. No meeting in December due to proximity of holidays. In March, June,…

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

C.C. Humphreys, Best-Selling Author of Historical Fiction, Joins the Willamette Writers Conference

Chris “CC” Humphreys, author of ten historical novels, is joining the 2020 Willamette Writers Conference.

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…