Young Willamette Writers are young people who love to write.
Young Willamette Writers welcomes any students who are in middle or high school. 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 in-person and online!
Young Willamette Writers monthly meetings are free of charge.
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!
Please head to our events calendar to find out about our upcoming meetings (including date, time, location, and Zoom or in-person information): willamettewriters.org/events.
Make sure you register for the YWW email list to find out all the news.
The People Who Make Young Willamette Writers Happen
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.
Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito – Portland Young Willamette Writers Chapter Chair
Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito is a writer, judge, and mother. When she’s not spending time with her family outdoors in the Pacific Northwest, she’s crafting short stories in horror, sci-fi, fantasy, or whatever genre-bending she can get away with.
Her stories have appeared in Nailed Magazine, Buckman Journal’s Issue 006, and will be included in upcoming anthologies. Her work was also featured in the Ooligan Press Writers of Color Showcase 2020 in Portland, Oregon. In her free time, she serves as a first reader for magazines, volunteers for her writing communities, and has a particular interest in mentoring youth and young writers. She’s a member of the Horror Writers Association, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and Northwest Independent Writers Association.
She can be found at www.francesippolito.com.
Debby Dodds – Portland Young Willamette Writers Chapter Chair
Debby Dodds is the author of the novel Amish Guys Don’t Call. Named a BEST YA OF 2017 by Powell’s Books, it was featured in Random House’s Better with Books: Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy. She was awarded a 2021 Fellowship to MVICW.
Debby has had over 25 short stories and essays published in anthologies including the NY Times best-selling My Little Red Book (Twelve/ Hachette) and in The Sun Magazine. She has her BFA from NYU and MFA from Antioch University. She teaches Creative Writing classes and actively volunteers both through the AVID youth program and the Oregon speakers council.
As an actress, she wrote and performed in stage shows at both Disneyland and Disney World and screamed in B-horror films.
Heather Ransom – Southern Oregon Young Willamette Writers Chapter Chair
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.
Niyyah Haqq – Portland Young Willamette Writers Chapter Chair
Niyyah loves to write about Muslim girls who can. She can usually be found with an oat milk latte writing fantasy (usually on the darker side) in the Pacific Northwest. She lives with two creative kids, three strangely personable cats, and a very tolerant man. By day, she works in community health (don’t ask her about poison, emergencies, or infectious disease unless you’re also that kind of nerd), and is a pro soap and candle maker.