Young Willamette Writers – For Writers Ages 13-18

Why join YWW?

  • Monthly workshops with published authors!
  • Discussions & networking with writing industry professionals!
  • 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 in two locations: Portland and Southern Oregon (Central Point).

The cost of becoming a member of Young Willamette Writers is $20.00 per year and monthly meetings are free of charge.

The Latest from Our Blog

What’s New @ Young Willamette Writers? March, 2018

By Stephanie Raffelock

Spring holds in its hand the promise of what is possible. I’ve been watching the news, watching young people find their voice and take a stand. They are the hope of spring– young, new, filled with the ideals of possibility that some adults seem to have forgotten. Tears easily come to my eyes when I…

Young Willamette Writers Meetings

Young Willamette Writers are invited to attend monthly Young Willamette Writers meetings in their area (there are no meetings in July or August. Check your local chapter for any December events).

Meetings are for kids aged  13 to 18 years of age.

Portland Meeting:

Portland has an excellent meeting that is held at the same time and place as the adult Willamette Writers meetings on the first Tuesday of the month from September through June. We meet from 7 – 8 p.m. at The Old Church in downtown Portland at SW 11th and Clay.

Central Point Meeting:

Meets the first Saturday of each month in Central Point.  Meetings are held from 10 a.m. until noon in the Central Point Library - 116 South 3rd Street, Central Point, OR 97520. This meeting serves the region from Grants Pass to Ashland and is for kids aged  13 to 18 years of age.

Upcoming Meetings

Crafting Mysteries With Cat Winters

April 3 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

At our next Young Willamette Writers meeting, young adult author Cat Winters will join us to discuss crafting mysteries. Cat Winters is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of four novels for teens: In the Shadow of Blackbirds, The Cure for Dreaming, The Steep and Thorny Way, and Odd & True. She is also the author of two novels for adults, and she contributed to the young adult horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. She's currently at work on a YA novel about Edgar Allan Poe's teen years, coming Spring 2019. Cat is planning a very fun hands-on session for us. Here is how she describes it: "Mysteries require careful planning and plotting to successfully build suspense and keep readers guessing until the end. Cat Winters will break down the essential parts of mystery writing and offer tips for creating compelling clues and suspects. We'll plot a mystery set in the Old Church as a group, and participants will go home with a mystery planning worksheet." Our Portland Young Willamette Writers meetings are always free. We meet the first Tuesday of the month, September to June. Any writer age 13-18 is welcome to join us from 7-8pm at the Old Church in downtown Portland. Just have a parent sign you in, and you'll be welcomed!

Find out more »

Southern Oregon Young Willamette Writers Present: Mikko Azul

April 7 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Central Point Library
116 South 3rd Street
Central Point, Oregon

Southern Oregon Young Willamette Writers would like to welcome MIKKO AZUL, author of the YA epic fantasy novel, The Staff of Fire and Bone, on April 7th to the Central Point Library for our next guest author workshop, "How to Create a Believable Fantasy World."
Mikko wrote her first book in second grade, proudly scribbling the cover with crayons and binding with yarn. Mikko has always pursued knowledge of magic, secret societies, the occult, science and spirituality. As an adult, Mikko’s tastes broadened to include historical fiction and action-adventure. These influences can be found in her epic fantasy novels. Mikko was raised in the Pacific Northwest. She spent her senior year abroad as an exchange student, exposing herself to various languages and cultures. She then joined the United States Marine Corps, serving our country in the 1980’s. Seeking the next adventure, Mikko traveled to the far reaches of Alaska to work on a catcher/processor boat out of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. Returning home, she took up SCUBA diving, hiking and Kung Fu. Mikko’s debut novel Askari won a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and took first place at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference. She lives on the shores of Puget Sound with her three sons.
Mikko's newest YA fantasy, The Staff of Fire and Bone, takes its readers on an epic journey where Cédron Varkaras, already isolated as the Regent's son, has a Shäeli demon for a mother. Approaching manhood, his demonic powers manifest, proof of his mother's legacy. Cédron is blamed for the devastating ground shakes that have begun tearing the world apart, and he flees. Hunted by those who would kill him and others who want to exploit his powers, he races against time to find the real cause of the destruction. With little hope of redeeming himself or saving his world, Cédron must choose: become the hero that destiny has conspired to make him or join with the great demon and embrace his true heritage.
Join us on Aril 7th, 2018, from 10:00am until noon at the Central Point Library (116 South 3rd Street, Central Point). We're open to all teens (age 13-18). Membership in Young Willamette Writers is $20 per year and includes not only the monthly workshops with published authors, but also: ·  raffle drawings at each workshop for free books from the visiting authors (winners will receive a copy of the author’s current book AND a copy for their SCHOOL LIBRARY, too!), ·   discussions and networking with writing industry professionals (like publishers and agents!), ·   and the opportunity to attend the WW conference in Portland in August!
Register at the workshop or online at We hope to see you there!

Find out more »

The People Who Make Young Willamette Writers Happen

Program Director

Stephanie Raffelock, Youth Programs Director

Stephanie Raffelock is an overly caffeinated, type-A personality, and novelist on the verge. A graduate of Naropa University’s program in Creative Writing and Poetics, Stephanie worked an internship at The Boulder Daily Camera and has penned articles for The Aspen Times, Quilters Magazine, and Nexus Magazine. She currently writes a bi-monthly column for, and is a regular contributor to The Rogue Valley Messenger.

As the Director of Youth Programs for Willamette Writers, Stephanie is committed to creating innovative learning environments that will stimulate and encourage young writers to experiment, express and play as they learn the elements of writing craft.

In addition to her position as the Director of Youth Programs for Willamette Writers, she is also a board member of Southern Oregon University's Friends of the Hannon Library.

A committed a student of story; Stephanie practices community outreach by teaching creative writing to marginalized populations that include incarcerated individuals. She enjoys literary representation by Dystel, Goderich and Bourett in New York City.

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

Photo Credit: Tina Bolling

Contact the Program Director

Do you have questions or comments about the program? Would you like to volunteer with, present to, or support Young Willamette Writers? Please email the program director.

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


Heather Ransom - Southern Oregon Young Willamette Writers Program Leaderd

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.

Young Willamette Writers Blog Posts and Updates

What’s New @ Young Willamette Writers? March, 2018

Spring holds in its hand the promise of what is possible. I’ve been watching the news, watching young people find their voice and take a stand. They are the hope of spring– young, new, filled with the ideals of possibility that some adults seem to have forgotten. Tears easily come to my eyes when I…

Read More

What’s New @ Young Willamette Writers? February, 2018

Happy February. What are your writing this month?  Are you working on a short story or a novel?  Essays or book reports?  Valentine’s Day month is a good time for poetry. Writing takes on many forms, and growing as a writer means trying all of them to see what sparks your passion.  Even though I…

Read More

Young Willamette Writers Prepare for New Year

YWW’s at the Conference The Young Willamette Writers closed out the summer spectacularly when six members spent a day at the Willamette Writers Conference on August 12. They attended four workshops ranging from world-building in science fiction and fantasy, to creating characters with memorable internal conflict. They had informal across-the-table conversations with four fantastic VIP’s…

Read More

Young Willamette Writers Gear Up For Conference

On August 12, seven Young Willamette Writers members will attend the Willamette Writers Conference, ready to hit the ground running. These great young writers took the extra step over the last year to join our membership program. They have attended at least four meetings during the last school year, have worked on their skills with…

Read More

Barnes & Noble Book Fair: Come support Books For Kids and Willamette Writers!

Come join Willamette Writers at Barnes & Noble, Clackamas Town Center for our Holiday Book Fair to support Books for Kids on December 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. You can meet and greet several local authors and help support Willamette Writers and its Book For Kids Program with every book you buy, in the store or online.…

Read More