Local resources for writers

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
What do writers need? Virginia Woolf famously said that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction” (in the essay A Room of One’s Own). Writers need time, and space to pursue their craft. Writers need support, which can take the form of opportunities to read aloud, or to hear other writers talking about writing, or a community of supportive critical readers.

There are lots of organizations in the Portland area that offer resources for writers! Some are free, others are cheap (though not all). They involve various commitments of time. Here are some local organizations, roughly grouped  - but you’ll see that they are hard to categorize… 

Writing groups, workshops, and classes

The Attic Institute presents workshops, classes, and individual consultation about writing projects.

Lewis and Clark Northwest Writing Institute offers classes for community members.

The Mountain Writers Series presents monthly readings and writing workshops. The links section of their webpage connects to a huge number of other local organizations!

The Multnomah Arts Center offers some wonderful literary arts classes.

Portland State University has a few different academic programs in creative writing.

VoiceCatcher is a nonprofit connecting and empowering women writers in Portland.

Write Around Portland offers free creative writing workshops in social service settings, and creates publication and reading opportunities for workshop participants.

Cultivate Writing and Meditation Retreats for women. Twice annually, Hood River.

Membership organizations

The Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) offers resources and workshops related to printing and book-making. They also have certificate programs in creative nonfiction/fiction, poetry, and comics/graphic novels.

Oregon Poetry Association, Oregon’s oldest and largest literary organization, offers community, contests, and conferences.

Oregon Writers Colony offers community, conferences and workshops, and the use of a beach house writing retreat!

Rose City Romance Writers, the Portland, Oregon chapter of Romance Writers of America, educates, supports, and mentors published and unpublished romance writers.

Willamette Writers hosts regular meetings for the exchange of ideas related to writing and craft.

Reading series

Literary Arts’ programs include Portland Arts and Lectures, Writers in the Schools, the Oregon Book Awards and Fellowships, and Delve Readers Seminars.

There are many different reading series in Portland! You could head out to hear writers read their work at the Free Range Poetry series at the Northwest Library,  Mountain Writers series, the Spare Room series,  the submission reading series, Burnt Tongue, Unchaste Readers, or The Switch... you could catch a reading when the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (FWWA) Pacific Northwest Reading Series has a Portland event...  or you could see one of the many readings at Powell's Books! The Notable Portland column on The Rumpus lists select awesome events, mostly literary oriented.

Local Publishers

The Northwest is home to a vibrant publishing world. Here are just a few:

  • Ooligan Press -  is a student-run trade press dedicated to cultivating the next generation of publishing professionals. Ooligan works with the library to publish selections from The Library Writers Project.
  • Microcosm Publishing - Microcosm specializes in nonfiction DIY (Do-It-Yourself) books, zines, and decks that focus on the reader and teach self-empowerment.
  • Forest Avenue Press - publishes literary fiction on a joyride and the occasional memoir. Our titles are infused with a fresh, complex, sometimes nutty, and often-wondrous approach to storytelling.
  • Sasquatch Books - publishes books by the most gifted writers, artists, chefs, naturalists, and thought leaders in the Pacific Northwest and on the West Coast.

To connect to more publishers and keep up with Northwest book news, especially indy stores and authors, check out the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association.

Other stuff

Although temporarily closed due to pandemic restrictions, Multnomah County’s Central Library offers the Sterling Room for Writers, where writers can find a quiet work space in close proximity to all the resources the library has to offer. Interested writers must submit an application and be approved to gain access to the room.

Comments

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Hey, I've been looking around the community for anything akin to a youth writer's group, specifically around ages 12-15. If anyone has heard of anything similar, please let me know!
Three is a group called Young Willamette Writers, which is for youth ages 13 - 18. They have monthly workshops and opportunity to attend the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland in August. https://willamettewriters.org/young-willamette-writers/

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