Young Willamette Writers

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 are invited to attend YWW meetings in their area. 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 pm at The Old Church in downtown Portland at SW 11th and Clay.

Big news!  Willamette Writers is proud to announce a brand new Young Willamette Writers meeting in Southern Oregon. Beginning in February of 2018, YWW meetings will run the first Saturday of every month from 10:00am until noon at 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 from 13 to 18 years of age. The cost of becoming a member of Young Willamette Writers is $20.00 per year and monthly meetings are free of charge. (There are no meetings in July, August or December.)

We are honored to have author and middle school science teacher, Heather Ransom, join the Young Willamette Writers family as Southern Oregon’s YWW chairperson. An educator for over twenty-five years, Ms. Ransom helps her students find inspiration and imagine a future where they can make a difference. Though she’s a science teacher, Heather makes sure that of her classes read. And then, they are able to imagine together what their futures might hold, sharing stories about advances in technology that could change the world.

When not teaching or writing books, Heather enjoys spending time with her husband Marv, and their two adult kids in Grants Pass, where her life includes outdoor activities and helping out at their family businesses, a pizza pub and cigar shop.

“Every day brings a new adventure,” says Heather. “Dream the dream you want, then find the way to make it happen.” She sure is helping our dreams come true here in Southern Oregon by overseeing our Young Willamette Writers meeting. If you are a young writer, we hope you’ll join us for these hands on, fun, innovative meetings.

Heather Ransom is the author of Going Green, a young adult science fiction novel to be released in July of 2018 by Not a Pipe Publishing.


if you have questions about our new YWW Southern Oregon meeting.

This month in Portland

Every December, the Young Willamette Writers take some time to get to know each other better. We kick back, eat snacks, sometimes share our work and sometimes write to fun prompts. It’s a great opportunity to bring a friend and make a friend. After all, how often do writers get a chance to hang out together? Well this is it!

If you’re in middle school and up, there’s no need to pre-register and no cost. Just show up (December 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm) and have your parent sign you in. We always meet at the same time and place as the adult meeting – the first Tuesday of the month from 7-8 pm at the Old Church (SW 11th and Clay) in downtown Portland.

Please come! You’ll be glad you did!

Young Willamette Writers PDX meetings are open to any student from ages 13 through 18. Meetings are free – no need to register – just show up! We’re glad to have you! We’re at the Old Church on SW 11th and Clay from 7-8 pm on the first Tuesday of the month, September to June. Hope to see you there!

~~~Young Willamette Writers write fiction, poetry, nonfiction, plays and screenplays. They love getting together to hear from professional writers and practice what they learn. They want to be with other passionate writers like themselves.

Some of them 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.

YWW’s  welcome any students from 13 to 18 years old.

What’s New? December – 2017 –

December Holidays

I hope that all of you get a nice break from school, a break from work, a cozy and peaceful place in which to connect with your beliefs, intentions and dreams. And have some fun! Enjoy your families, your friends and this beautiful state in which we live.

Fun Stuff for December!

Author Quote of the Month: Writing is the practice of asserting yourself. ~Natalie Goldberg~

Writing Prompt of the Month: Write about the first holiday program that you remember being a part of. For me it was dancing in The Nutcracker Ballet when I was in grade school. What’s your memory?

Writing Advice for December: This month’s writing advice comes from a young woman who will graduate from high school next year and move on from Young Willamette Writers.  Here’s some good writing advice from Jay Consla:

Would you ever get into the car and have no idea where you wanted to go? Not unless you are trying to soothe a fussy baby, because it’s a waste of time and money (gas). Similarly to getting into a car with no destination, why would you write a story if you have no idea how it is going to end? You can have the best plot, the best characters, and the best world building, but honey if you don’t have an ending, you don’t have a story. There is no lesson learned, no damsel saved, no dragon slain or no mystery solved. Without an ending your story is just a run-on sentence, a forever dripping faucet, or a broken clock. Your story is nothing without a real ending. Now I know it seems harsh, but think about this: endings are the last impression your story has on the reader. It is what the readers remember and it is what they are most excited to read. The ending is the most satisfying part of a book because it is where everything comes together. That is why it is vital to write with the end in mind.

My very strong suggestion is to write your ending after you write your first chapter. Now you don’t need to marry this ending after you write it, but you have to at least draft it. Have an idea where you want to go and write away.  Writing the end is like putting together the edges of a puzzle, or having bread to a sandwich, once you have it in place you can fill in the rest.

If you need more convincing, I’ll tell you my sob story. Imagine me, a struggling little teenage writer, sitting at my computer, typing away. Imagine what is on my screen: without writing an ending, I had about twenty chapters that were kinda going absolutely nowhere. After I wrote my ending, I finished my manuscript (45 chapters in total) in half the time it had taken me so far. Writing your ending fast tracks your story.  It gives you a goal so you know how far to kick the soccer ball in each chapter in order to make it to the end.

I don’t know how many metaphors I can make to really emphasize how important this is. I guess you’ll just have to trust me. Writing with the end in mind — a.k.a. writing your end and then filling in the rest — is something I learned from my very wise mentor and it’s helped me a huge bit. So, if you’re struggling with writing a story — any story — short or long — try writing your ending if you haven’t already done so and then go back to where you began and try to bridge the gap. I’m 99.3% positive it’ll help you out of a writing rut or just help get the story done.


Submissions Wanted: Each year, YWW puts out a journal of writing from its members. Do you have a short article, essay or poem that you’d like to see in print? Publish your piece in our yearly Young Willamette Writers Journal. Please submit your work to: All submissions must contain your name and an email address where we can reach back to you,

Until next time, write on . . .