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!

Thank You for a Great Conference! 2019 Registration Now Open!

Join the Willamette Writers Conference - August 2-4, 2019

Our 50th annual conference (50!!!) will be a BLAST! Three full days of classes, workshops, keynotes, critiques, and events. We invite you to join us for a weekend of community as you develop your craft and expand your career on August 2nd-4th, 2019 in Portland, Oregon at the Airport Sheraton Hotel.

After a successful launch of Master Classes Day with industry professionals at our 2018 conference, we are doing it again in 2019. So stay tuned for details about opportunities to learn from top instructors in a small group setting.

We'll also be offering many options for one on one critique, including On the Spot Critiques and Advance Manuscript Critique. As always, we'll have a roster of agents, editors and film executives ready to hear about your project. Plus, we'll have our amazing community of PNW writers that you just can't find anywhere else. Join us!

2018 Award Winners

Congratulations Willamette Writers 2018 Annual Award Winners! We Loved Hearing from You at the 2018 Conference!

We are pleased to congratulate our esteemed Willamette Writers 2018 Award winners:

Chelsea Cain: Distinguished Northwest Writer

Gayle Brandeis: Multi-Genre Maverick

Ellen Urbani: New and Notable

Congratulations, Chelsea Cain, Gayle Brandeis, and Ellen Urbani! Please join us at the 2018 Willamette Writers Conference to celebrate these amazing writers -- for their work, their wisdom, and their contributions to the craft.

wilwrite18 Award Winners

Member News

Eric Witchey Wins Award

New Fantasy Genre—the Afterlife Fantasy—Is Born 2018 IPPY Book Awards Silver Medal – Fantasy Fiction 2018 International Book Awards Winner – Visionary Fiction Finalist – Fantasy Fiction Finalist – Cross-Genre Fiction Finalist – Best New Fiction In her quest for respect, a young grim reaper consumed with pride ventures beyond the boundaries of human-based dogma to…

The Family Stone

Before the supermarket boom, there were corner markets that predominated neighborhoods where most people did their grocery shopping. These corner markets sold all of your food staples and much, much more. They were convenient, hospitable, and served as a neighborhood junction for the exchange of ideas, beliefs and gossip in much the same way as…

Loving Lindsey: Raising a Daughter with Special Needs Wins International Book Award

“Loving Lindsey: Raising a Daughter with Special Needs,” by Linda Atwell, was selected as a Finalist in the 2018 International Best Book Awards in the category of Parenting & Family. This is the 5th award for “Loving Lindsey.” Find out more

Finding the Source: Research Strategies for Historical and Literary Fiction

“Finding the Source: Research Strategies for Historical and Literary Fiction” with Jennifer Springsteen, Kim Taylor Blakemore, and Joe Springsteen Sunday, June 10 from 3pm to 5pm at TaborSpace’s Muir Hall Research creates authenticity in your manuscript. It insures your heroine doesn’t go riding down the cobblestone streets when the streets in that part of the city were…

Member News: Shaun Radecki Wins Award

Willamette Writers member and FilmLab alum, Shaun Radecki, won Best Genre Short in the Academy Award-qualifying Nashville Film Festival’s Screenwriting Competition for his short screenplay Sergio: A Scorpion’s Tale. 

Member News: Jacqueline Lindenfeld’s novel published

This contemporary novel by Jacqueline Lindenfeld (a Willamette Writers member) has just been released bythe publisher. It is a work of fiction with historical flashbacks on the French Canadians who were the first permanent settlers in northwestern Oregon in the early 19th century. The author, a French American writer, published a first novel in France.…

Member News: Paul Fattig Published MADSTONE

“Madstone,” a true tale about two World War I and conscientious objectors who retreated to the southwest Oregon mountains to avoid the military draft, has just been published by Hellgate Press of Ashland. Written by Paul Fattig, a retired journalist, the book captures the trials and tribulations faced by the two men and brings to…

Member News: Cynthia Pappas Published homespun

Cynthia Pappas has published “homespun”, a collection of essays about the simple fabric of life, including gardening, parenting, sewing, empty-nesting, friendship and learning to farm. “Pappas’ stories will warm your heart… make you laugh and cry, and leave you wondering how one person can have the zest and courage to delve so deeply into so…

Member News: Sharleen Nelson Published THE TIME TOURISTS 

The Time Tourists, a new novel by Sharleen Nelson, is a rollicking adventure featuring a strong female heroine with a very special ability–she can travel into photos from the past! Follow her as she bops around time solving hippie-era mysteries, flirts in the button-up turn-of-the-century (not the recent one), and juggles a boyfriend, cat, and…

Member News: Crooked Grow the Trees by Carmel Hanes

Carmel Hanes announces the release of Crooked Grow the Trees. Congratulations, Carmel! Here is the announcement: • Mass shootings • Prisons and detention centers at capacity • Students expelled in elementary school • Adults polarized in contentious ideological debates How did we get here? As a school psychologist I worked for over thirty years in…

On Writing from Willamette Writers

Revision strategies

Revision Strategies with Maren Anderson

By Maren Anderson

Revision Strategies with Maren Anderson I just wrote “The End” on the first draft of a manuscript I’ve been picking at for months. My normal M.O. is to write a very fast, very bad first draft. But my revision strategies…

4 obstacles keeping you from your manuscript

4 Obstacles Keeping You from Finishing Your Manuscript

By Benjamin Gorman

4 Obstacles Keeping You from Finishing Your Manuscript Disclaimer – Before I can be slapped with the charge of hypocrisy, let me be the first to say that I have succumbed to all four of the manuscript impediments listed below. I…

Jill Kelly

Revise with Jill Kelly | Writing Tips and Tricks

By Kate Ristau

Willamette Writer member and writing instructor Jill Kelly knows how to revise. An award-winning author and editor and a former professor of grammar and literature, she’s helped hundreds of writers move their work to excellence. This month, she’ll be leading two…

How to Submit to Literary Journals

By Kate Ristau

At Poets and Writers Live in Portland, several literary journal editors offered their perspectives on how to submit to literary journals. Travis Meyer of the journal Poor Claudia got right down to business: “Put your name in the top right…

Ellen Urbani, author and speaker, talks about preparing your book to launch

Pre-Launch Machinations

By Willamette Writers

You wrote a book. It’s been acquired! Now what in the world do you do with yourself?
Every writer has heard the axiom that penning a book is only the first in a long run of hurdles, and if we’re honest with ourselves every last one of us has believed that must be a mendacious proposition. Writing is hard work.

Agent Chip MacGregor

Ten Words To Keep In Mind For A Writer’s Conference

By Willamette Writers

by Chip MacGregor As you begin preparing for this year’s Willamette Writers Conference, I’d like to suggest you keep ten words in mind… • READ. Don’t just show up and wonder who the speakers are. Read the blog of the…

Join a Meeting or a Workshop Near You

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

Fall Screenwriting Class with Cynthia Whitcomb

September 22
Screenwriting Class with Cynthia Whitcomb Go from idea to completed script! Join Cynthia Whitcomb for a small, intensive screenwriting class. Over the course of six Saturdays, you will learn how to ch...

The Willamette Writers Conference

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…

Hone Your Craft: The 2017 Conference Offers Opportunity for Advanced & Beginning Writers

As we’ve mentioned before, our schedule of educational programming includes 9 tracks of themed content from across the spectrum of what writers need to know and want to celebrate. Our Genre offerings for this year take up two of those tracks: one for beginners and novices, the other for intermediate and professional writers. And the…

Our News

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…

Share your Thanksgiving stories with us!

Happy Thanksgiving, Willamette Writers! Every year, we gather around the dining room table to eat delicious food and share stories with our family and friends. These stories matter; they sustain us when we are apart and connect us to each other across the miles. Today, let’s share our stories of joy and thankfulness. Let’s move…

FiLMLaB Adds Showrunner for its Web Series Project: FiLMLaB.tv

Willamette Writers and FiLMLaB are thrilled to announce that veteran network television writer and producer F.J. Pratt has agreed to helm this year’s program, an Episodic Storytelling LaB: FiLMLaB.tv! About FiLMLaB.tv Showrunner F.J. Pratt F.J. Pratt has been a television comedy writer for twenty-five years, starting on the writing staff for network shows including “Frasier,”…

Willamette Writers at Wordstock this weekend with David D. Levine

Willamette Writers Celebrate Wordstock with David D. Levine! Thousands of book lovers are expected to fill Portland’s park blocks for this year’s Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival on November 11th at the Portland Art Museum. They will revel in seeing the more than 100 authors who have come to present workshops, give readings and sign books.…