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 50th Willamette Writers Conference was a success!

What an amazing conference!

Our 50th annual conference (50!!!) was a BLAST! Three full days of classes, workshops, keynotes, critiques, and events. We met New York Times Bestsellers, pitched our books to agents, and learned from screenwriters and poets.

We made new friends over breakfast, and sat down with colleagues at lunch. And that's not all! We learned from masters of the craft, including Larry Brooks, Hallie Ephron, Kate Elliott, DongWon Song, Donald Maass and more!

It was quite the celebration!

Now we've sent our office staff away to work on their own writing. We're giving them rest and rejuvenation so they are ready to kick off our next year of programming, starting September 1st!

You'll meet Oregon Book Award winner Leni Zumas, talk contracts in Salem, and find your community in Vancouver. There is so much to do at your chapter meetings in September!

Plus, don't forget -- our 51st annual conference will be July 31 - August 2, 2020! Put the date in your calendar, then get back to your own words. We'll see you in September!

Conference workshop - photo by Gail Pasternack
Photos Courtesy Gail Pasternack

Member News

Author Event in McMinnville

McMinnville Center for the Arts (MECA) is inviting Romance writers to attend “An Evening with Oregon Writers” for Romance Awareness month on Saturday, August 10, 2019 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to display and sell your books, meet other authors and artists, and enjoy an evening surrounded by beautiful art. If…

Susan DuMond Publishes “Another Place Called Home”

Susan DuMond’s memoir, Another Place Called Home: Surviving Foster Care, revisits six teenage years in a group foster care home. Told in the young girl’s voice, the story reveals what any foster child would want to be known: how their futures seem to be made from sadness and thin air. And how mentoring can save…

Member News: Lake Oswego author at Barnes & Noble Bridgeport

Riley Costello will be signing copies of her novel, Waiting at Hayden’s, and modeling some of its shoppable fashions at the Bridgeport Barnes & Noble in Tigard on Saturday, July 6 at 12:00 noon. She Reads recently named Waiting at Hayden’s a “best beach read”. Fox News says it is “flipping the script on traditional…

Member News: Portland Author Launches New Mystery Series

Portland author Kay Jennings is so excited to announce the publication of her debut mystery novel, Shallow Waters. Her story is set on the southern coast of Oregon, and while it is a stand-alone book, Jennings is planning a 3-part series. Shallow Waters is available at Ingram and Amazon, and at bookstores and libraries throughout…

Waking The Dead by Kerry Blaisdell

Five stars from The Paranormal Romance Guild and others! Hyacinth always assumed dying would simplify her life. But when her new boss Archangel Michael sends her to Germany to retrieve a relic coveted by Satan, all Hell breaks loose. Literally. Waking the Dead by Kerry Blaisdell, the sequel to RITA®-, Booksellers Best- and Royal Palm-nominated…

New Book: Oregon’s African American Loggers

“But Not Jim Crow: Family Memories of African American Loggers in Maxville, Oregon,” by Pearl Alice Marsh, PhD, is an original work about African American loggers and their families, who between 1923 -1945 came to a railroad logging town in Oregon named Maxville to escape the harrowing reality of southern racism and for better wages.…

The Bob Sterry School of Burglary

A successful kickstart campaign helped the publication of my collection of essays, poetry and short stories, ‘The Bob Sterry School of Burglary’. It represents a selection of my work over the last fifteen or so years and I cannot understand why I had not done it before. The content ranges from somber to hilarity and…

Kate Ristau Releases Clockbreakers Two

Willamette Writers member Kate Ristau is proud to announce the release of the second book in her Clockbreakers series, “Morrigan’s Revenge.” Charlie’s dad is gone, and she’s on a magic adventure to get him back! But first – fifth grade. She rolls her wheelchair into her classroom and then straight into an Ancient Irish battle. But this is…

Member News: Use your Writing Super-Powers to Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

Each year, the Alzheimer’s Association hosts a fundraiser on the longest day of the year. People raise funds by walking, running, etc., and asking friends for donations. We’ve started a team of writers who will write from dawn to dusk (with lots of breaks for snacks and social media posting) on June 21st. Please consider…

Free Publishing Seminars From Caroline Miller

Are you a writer who wants to become more skilled at using Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? A writer who wants to glide through the maze of self-publishing, while avoiding its pitfalls? Or, do you desire a heart-to-heart with an attorney who can cut through the gobbledygook of contract language? Then Caroline Miller’s third season of…

Join a Meeting or a Workshop Near You

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

Portland Meeting: Leni Zumas

September 3 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Portland Meeting: Leni Zumas Leni Zumas won the 2019 Oregon Book Award for her national bestselling novel RED CLOCKS, which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and the Neukom Prize for Speculative Fiction. Red Clocks was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and was named a Best Book of 2018…

YWW Portland: Writing For Radio with Ben Coleman

September 3 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Writing For Radio with Ben Coleman There’s more to writing for radio than banging a script together and finding a microphone (although having a microphone helps). First, you have to pitch a bunch of ideas, workshop the good ones with other writers, and then craft a script that suits both your actors and the audience…

Salem: Contracts, Copyrights, and Taxes. Oh My! With David Paul Williams

September 18 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Contracts, Copyrights, and Taxes. Oh My! With David Paul Williams This presentation covers writing as a business. It reviews the basic magazine and book publishing contract terms, what terms are negotiable, what terms to avoid and more. It discusses copyright issues from the post-1978 perspective–what is copyright, when does it attach, registration, and licensing of…

Corvallis: September Open Mic

September 23 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
September Open Mic   Reading your work or work-in-progress gives you the opportunity to hear and to be heard. Does the audience sigh? Do they gasp? Do they laugh outright? Does the page read smoothly for you? In other words, does your writing bring the audience into your experience successfully? Come read for applause and…

On Writing from Willamette Writers

Get The Most Out of Your Book Event

By Willamette Writers

Authors sometimes don’t do all they can do to get the most out of their book events. A small turnout can feel discouraging, but in fact, small readings are a great opportunity to connect personally to convert readers into loyal…

Screenwriting Tips

By Ruth Witteried

Willamette Writers encourages writers of all genres to enter the FiLMLaB Competition–even those who have never written a screenplay before. Screenwriting has generally accepted conventions and guidelines. Below are some valuable resources as well as links and screenwriting tips to make…

What Can You Learn From Oscar Shorts?

By Ruth Witteried

by Ruth Witteried It is not easy to find the Oscar Nominated Shorts on Comcast Pay Per View. I found them once, then they seemed to disappear from cable and the internet. In fact, they had been pulled from the…

Script to Screen Tips and Trips

By Ruth Witteried

by Ruth Witteried As the Willamette Writers kick off their second Script to Screen short screenplay competition, several writers have requested tips for creating successful entries, or at the very least that we share the ‘trips’ of previous submissions; the…

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

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…

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…