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 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

Bill Johnson Play Performed in Dubai

Bill Johnson’s play Heavenly Birth Insurance will be presented by Emotive Artz at Short + Sweet Dubai, Feb 21st & 22nd, 2020 at 7:30pm. At the Junction on AlSerkal Avenue. Directed by Nikhil Mittal. Find out more.

Write 30 poems in 30 days: online class in April

The Write a Poem a Day Adventure from author Sage Cohen invites you to write 30 poems in 30 days during National Poetry Writing Month! Get fresh tips, inspiration, and insight April 1-30 Experiment with language, image, sound, voice, and narrative Read 30+ poems that become launchpads for your own Explore practices that help you…

Published: Building Community by Neal Lemery

Building Community: Rural Voices for Hope and Change: An Oregon Perspective. How are rural American communities working to build a better world? These are the stories of building a stronger rural America. These are the stories of a resurgence in diverse talents and work in progress to improve community services, relationships, and to further collective…

Kelly Garrett’s Grounds for Murder acquired by Kensington Books

Kelly Garrett’s Grounds for Murder was sold as part of a three-book deal to John Scognamiglio at Kensington Books, by Joshua Bilmes at JABberwocky Literary Agency (world English). In this, the first in the Ground Rules series, a young woman’s budding coffee cart business in a gentrifying Portland neighborhood is threatened when one of her…

Long-time Board Leader Featured in New Anthology

Herbert W. Piekow, who served on the board of Willamette Writers for many years, is among the contributors to the newly released anthology of personal essays and poetry exploring contemporary funeral and mourning rituals and practices, What Remains: The Many Ways We Say Goodbye. Piekow, who now lives in Guadalajara, Mexico, notes that he began his…

Writers Crucible Workshop and Class with Philip Kenney

At The Attic Institute, with Philip Kenney, author of The Writers Crucible: on Emotion, Being and Creativity. Workshop: Coming through The Crucible: Using poetry to illuminate our way. Saturday, January 18 from 12-5. Even the most successful writers are subject to troubling insecurity, episodes of self-doubt and the persistent narrative that insists, “I am not…

“A Ghost in the Machine” featured in DUST: Horizons podcast

Ed Bartlett’s short story, “A Ghost in the Machine” has been released on the DUST: Horizons podcast. A short story that spawned a novella, which then gave birth to a sequel (in progress), “A Ghost in the Machine” is the tale of Allie, the first ever Artificial Intelligence. But is Humanity ready for what she…

The Inn at Argenteuil

In December, 1922, the theft of Ernest Hemingway’s unpublished works from a railway carriage in Paris affects the lives of three men and a woman during the next four decades. War, love, natural disaster, lost treasures, and chance twist their fates along unexpected paths. From Europe to French Polynesia, their fortunes rise and fall, but…

Scott Branchfield Book Signing, Jan 11, 2020

Scott Branchfield will be signing copies of his novel Star Liner at the 3rd annual Author’s Fair at the Newport, Oregon public library, Saturday, January 11th from 1:00 to 4:00 Find out more.

Shaun Radecki Awarded Fellowship from Bigfoot Script Challenge

FilmLab alum, Shaun Radecki, was awarded the Digital Fellowship with DreamWorks Animation and the Seattle Seahawks from the Bigfoot Script Challenge for his animated short script, SQUISHED. Shaun is extremely thankful for such an exciting opportunity from the wonderful and creative teams at Bigfoot and the Seattle Film Summit. Find out more.

Join a Meeting or a Workshop Near You

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

Corvallis: Feng Shui for Writers with Emily Grosvenor

February 24 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Is it you? Or is it your space? Sometimes it’s you. Sometimes it’s your space. Let’s start the New Year by setting yourself up for success using scientifically-backed principles of design psychology and a little bit of ancient Feng Shui Magic. Willamette Writers on the River presents Emily Grosvenor speaking on Feng Shui for Writers…

Portland: Television Production and Development with Grant Rosenberg

March 3 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Join us for a look behind the scenes with leading entertainment industry professional, Grant Rosenberg, on March 3rd. Doors open at 6:30PM.   Grant Rosenberg has been involved in television and feature film development and production for the past forty years. The first part of his career was spent as an executive at NBC, Paramount…

Eugene: Podcasting Basics with James Stegall

March 5 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Join us at the Eugene Chapter this month! Join us this month as we discuss podcasting! Podcasting Basics is all about the “why” someone would want to podcast. Personal voices are important and podcasting is a great way to reach an audience. Included will be information about set-up, equipment, interviewing Dos and Don’ts, and–on the…

Southern: Get that Page Turning Quality with Maisey Yates

March 7 @ 10:00 am
Get them hooked! It’s a challenge to get someone to pick up your novel, but it’s an even bigger challenge to keep them turning pages to get to the end. You don’t just have to hook them in the beginning, you have to keep them hooked. It’s not just about suspense or plot twists, but…

YWW Portland: Taking a Break, A Chance to Share our Work

March 7 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Join us at our Young Willamette Writers meeting in Portland! From September to June, the Young Willamette Writers meet to learn from great authors. Every few months we take a break to hear from each other. What have you been writing? What would you like some help on? Plus, it’s fun just to get to…

Newport: Monthly Chapter Meeting

March 15 @ 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…

The Harry Potter Effect – Crafting a story that sells

March 16 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
What do successful authors use to cultivate those first thousand fans who will read anything they give them? It has to do with symbolism. Come as you are or get even more out of this presentation by bringing a list of the tangible parts of your stories (maps, clothing descriptions, notable trinkets, or anything else…

Corvallis: Monthly Chapter Meeting

March 23 @ 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

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,…

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…