Young Willamette Writers – For Writers Ages 13-18

Why join YWW?

  • Monthly workshops with published authors!
  • Submissions to the Young Willamette Writers yearly journal!
  • Opportunity to attend the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland in August!

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."  - Groucho Marx


Young Willamette Writers are young people who love to write.

Young Willamette Writers welcomes any students from 13 to 18 years old. Some of our YWW  have entered and won contests such as the Kay Snow Writing Award and a National Scholastic Writing Award. Some have been published in magazines such as American Girl and Stone Soup. Some are taking their first steps in writing. 

Young Willamette Writers currently offers programming online, via Zoom.

Young Willamette Writers monthly meetings are free of charge.

Young Willamette Writers Meetings

The Portland and Southern Oregon Young Willamette Writers meetings will be combined and held via Zoom through the end of 2020. Except for September, they will be on the first Saturday of each month from 10:00-11:30 am. 

The great news is that we now have a way for visitors to join our virtual writers’ meetings. Any student age 13-18 may join us by having a parent request the Zoom link via email. Send a message to and let us know the name to be watching for in our “waiting room.”

We’ll let you in if we have your name on our list. There’s no cost, and no registration aside from letting us know to expect you.

The Deets:

  • First Saturday of each month, 10:00-11:30 am (starting in October)
  • For students age 13-18

How to attend:

  • Have a parent request the Zoom link and let us know the student's name via email:
  • If your name is on the list, we'll let you in!

See you there!

Upcoming events:

The Author’s Journey with Alethea Kontis

October 3 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Portland, OR United States

We hear about the “Hero’s Journey” in literature. Well, in real life, authors are heroes too! And we want to hear about those journeys! On Saturday, October 3, the Young Willamette Writers will welcome guest author Alethea Kontis at our Zoom meeting. Alethea will share with the YWW’s her journey as an author. Our group of teen writers often listen to authors say that they wrote a book, got an agent, and got published – Ta da! But how does that happen? When did they start writing? How long did it take to get that first book written? What were the steps along the way? How did they learn what they needed to know? Alethea will tell us her story, and answer all of our questions as well. If you are age 13-18 and plan to attend the meeting, please have a parent email and ask for the Zoom link. We also need to know what name to watch for in the waiting room. We hope to see you there!   About the speaker: New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, storm chaser, and Saturday Songwriter. Author of over 20 books and 40 short stories, Alethea is the recipient of the Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grant, the Scribe Award, the Garden State Teen Book Award, and two-time winner of the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award. She has been twice nominated for both the Andre Norton Nebula and the Dragon Award. She was an active contributor to The Fireside Sessions, a benefit EP created by Snow Patrol and her fellow Saturday Songwriters during lockdown 2020. Alethea also narrates stories for multiple award-winning online magazines, contributes regular YA book reviews to NPR, and hosts Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow every year at Dragon Con. Born in Vermont, she currently resides on the Space Coast of Florida with her teddy bear, Charlie. Find out more about Princess Alethea and her wonderful world at

Find out more »

The People Who Make Young Willamette Writers Happen

Young Willamette Writers Program Leaders

Each group of Young Willamette Writers is lead by a program leader who is in charge of building the program, publicizing events, communicating with the program members to help them make the most of their program membership.

Teresa Klepinger - Portland Young Willamette Writers Program Leader

Teresa KlepingerTeresa Klepinger believes a dose of imagination can improve just about anything. Her love of storytelling began with “Genie” bedtime stories told by her father, continued through years of teaching elementary school, and stays close to her heart today. She has published Cliffhanger Writing Prompts, and Story-Writing Sandwich Prompts with Scholastic Teaching Resources, and writes picture books, all with the imagination at the heart of the story.

Teresa first connected with the Portland Young Willamette writers when she brought her daughter and a car-load of friends to meetings. Eventually she took over the program and has served as its leader for over five years. She never gets tired of witnessing the students’ imaginations soar, whether they’re writing a scene, a story, or a script.

Teresa lives in Sherwood where she enjoys the company of a creative husband, two imaginative daughters, and one, um, dog.

You can find out more about Teresa Klepinger on Facebook here.

Heather Ransom - Southern Oregon Young Willamette Writers Program Leader

A science teacher for twenty-five years, Heather has worked with thousands of young adults. In class, studying current innovations, they imagine together what their futures might hold, telling stories about world-changing advances in science and technology. This has been the birthplace for Heather’s YA science fiction novels, Going Green (3/2017), Greener (7/2018), and Back to Green (2019).

But Heather’s love of storytelling began much earlier with her mother describing incredible, fanciful adventures. Here, Heather became the character. She fell in love with being immersed in a world feeling so real she never wanted to leave. This is what Heather hopes to bring to her readers.

Besides teaching and writing, Heather enjoys spending time with her dream man, Marv, and their two amazing kids, Danielle and Marvin. Living in Grants Pass, Oregon, she loves playing in the beautiful outdoors and helping at their local businesses, a pizza pub and cigar shop.

Find out more: on her website; on Facebook @heathersransom; on Twitter: @heathersransom.