Dear Stranger : Connecting Oregonians, one letter at a time

From our good friends at Oregon Humanities

Greetings-from-Oregon

Dear Stranger, a letter-exchange project that connects Oregonians from different parts of the state through the mail, strives to create a little understanding across the vastness of this place. For this year’s edition of Dear Stranger, we’re asking people from all over the state to consider some of the questions at the heart of Bridging Oregon, our ongoing cross-community conversation series.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Write a letter. Address it “Dear Stranger.” Write about the place where you live or a community where you feel at home. What makes it unique or unusual? Is there anything about your place or your community that you feel is misunderstood by people outside of it? What might help people understand it better? Fill a page or two, or more if you feel inspired. If you’d like, feel free to include a photo or a drawing or a recipe—anything that will fit in an envelope.
  2. Print and sign the Dear Stranger release form. We cannot exchange letters without a signed release.
  3. Mail your letter and signed release form to Dear Stranger c/o Oregon Humanities, 921 SW Washington St., #150, Portland, Oregon 97205

When you write to Dear Stranger, your letter will be swapped with that of another writer from elsewhere in the state. They will get your letter; you will get theirs. The exchange is anonymous, and you can share as little or as much information about yourself as you like. Please keep in mind that photos, even ones without people in them, may contain information that could be used to identify you.

Dear Stranger is open to everyone, though writers under the age of 18 must have parental consent to participate. (Click here to download the consent form.) Letters are paired at random, though we do our best to match participants with someone outside of their ZIP code. Oregon Humanities staff read all letters before they are exchanged.

Letters will be mailed to participants on a rolling basis beginning in August 2018. Letters will be mailed at the end of each month. We will continue exchanging letters received through October 26, 2018. Instructions for replying to your stranger will be included in your letter.

If you have questions about Dear Stranger, contact Ben Waterhouse at b.waterhouse@oregonhumanities.org or (503) 241-0543, ext. 122.

Bag&Baggage Arts & Culture Series: Independent Authors

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Bag&Baggage is proud to present a new arts and culture discussion series! B&B A&C will bring together diverse artists from a range of cultural industries to discuss their work, their challenges, and their influences. B&B A&C is free to the public!

Our first installment is “Independent Authors,” and will feature four local authors who have made a career self-publishing their work. The first event will include short readings from the author’s works followed by a discussion and Q&A session about the independent author and publishing industry. If you’ve ever wondered if you could write and sell your own books, this is a great introduction to the industry with special insights from local writers and editors who are making the magic happen!

When? September 6th at 6pm

Where? The Vault Theater & Event Space at 350 E. Main St., Hillsboro

Learn more here!

Confirmed Authors:

Brian C Palmer, reading from New Shoes, an urban fantasy series set in Portland

B.C. Palmer lives just outside Portland, OR with his husband Scott and his incredible wonder-dog Mac–the first dog to receive a Ph.D. in particle physics (just act impressed, please, Mac is very sensitive.)

Emerging from the shady underworld of ghostwriting (not nearly as magical as Ghost Writer made it look) and category romance, B.C. is now focused on his debut urban fantasy series, Saint-Moreno (which is very magical). He has plans for an epic fantasy-space-opera series and other unexpected rule-breaking series. “The top guiding principle in my fiction is this: be unconventional. I know the rules and followed them for a long time. Now I want to break them with precision.” -B.C. Palmer

Tonya Macalino, author of The Shades of Venice thrillers for adults, and The Gates of Aurora series for children, reading from Spectre of Intentionand Into The Hare Wood

Tonya Macalino lives in that space Between—where the crossroads of past and present tease the senses, taunts the almost-memory. Haunted by story, she seeks it in the shadows of the landscapes of history and in the blinding glare of what-may-come, both alone and with her family of children’s book authors: Raymond, Damien, & Heléna Macalino. For adults, Tonya’s national award-winning supernatural thrillers, THE SPECTRE OF INTENTION and THE SHADES OF VENICE series, combine the mythic surrealism of Pan’s Labyrinth with the thrill ride that is Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. For children, Tonya’s highly acclaimed urban fantasy adventures, THE GATES OF AURONA series, remind readers of the magical family secrets from Spiderwick Chronicles as well the legendary call to heroism of Chronicles of Narnia and the Dark Is Rising.

Catherine Fredricks, reading from her recent Jane Austen-inspired fan novel, The Dissonance of Desire

Catherine Fredericks lives in the misty forests of the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two children, an impossibly gregarious golden retriever, and a kitten who moonlights as an alarm clock.

Ms. Fredericks has been writing poetry since she was seven years old and still thought poetry had to rhyme. At the age of 12, she borrowed Pride and Prejudice from her school library and, after staying up all night to read it, became a lifelong Jane Austen fan. After attending Portland State University, she went to work in the legal system for a number of years before a happy combination of fate, friendship, wine, and a sprinkling of dogged encouragement from her mother resulted in her brazenly charging forth into the choppy, salty, and conspicuously warm waters of self-publishing.

Marie Robinson, reading from the first novel in her Magical Kingdomseries, Stone and Fire

Brianne (Marie Robinson)  is someone who always wanted to be an author when she grew up and she took a really long route to get there. Over the last ten years, she went from retail to baking, to corporate, to interning at an imprint of a Big 5 publisher, to briefly a literary agent, and finally to an editor and author. Along the way, she picked up a couple different college degrees, a husband, two dogs, and last year, a son. She’s edited independently published books that have hit the top 150 on Amazon and featured by USA Today and hopes to hit those achievements with her own series one day. Her newest series is the Magical Kingdoms series, a reverse harem fantasy romance. Book one, Stone and Fire, was published on August 24, 2018.

Club de lectura y escritura creativa en Hillsboro (Español)

Spanish-language writers – here’s a write-in for you! This is a fabulous opportunity that’s very much needed in Washington County. Please pass the word: June 7th at 6pm at Insomnia, Downtown Hillsboro location.

En este lado de la frontera el día se me va en inglés. A veces en spanglish. A veces en mute. Hay días en los que siento que me he ido desvaneciendo poco a poco. Partículas y expresiones que se me quedaron olvidadas en la mudanza y que se me siguen yendo cada día que pasa. Este grupo surge pues a manera de muro contención, de placebo, de grito de auxilio.

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Pensado para todos los latinos que habitan este lado y que necesiten letras en español. Pongo en la mesa la siguiente propuesta: dividir las sesiones en dos diferentes discusiones, la primera enfocada en la lectura correspondiente y la otra en la lectura de los trabajos generados por los participantes. La mayoría de las lecturas que se proponen se encuentran ya en el mundo virtual, por lo que no será necesario comprar o generar copias. En las ocasiones en las que sí se necesite el PDF, se proporcionará el enlace para comprar dicha obra.

No se necesita tener experiencia previa. Se recomienda enérgicamente asistir a las sesiones con una pluma, un cuaderno y notas sobre la lectura acordada.

Sin costo, gratuito, solamente por las ganas de reunirse

Por el momento no hay lugar fijo, pero este es el meetup con el horario y lugar de las reuniones http://meetu.ps/c/3VLJh/tHz1H/f

Club de lectura y escritura creativa en Hillsboro (Español)

Hillsboro, OR
3 Miembros

En este lado de la frontera el día se me va en inglés. A veces en spanglish. A veces en mute. Hay días en los que siento que me he ido desvaneciendo poco a poco. Partículas y …

Next Meetup

Primera reunión del grupo.

Thursday, Jun 7, 2018, 6:00 PM
2 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

 

Do You Like Write-Ins?

Do you like write-ins? Good news! There are several new write-ins around Washington County now, through 9Bridges. All manner and style of writers welcome. Short form, novel, poetry, comic book, screenplay, fiction (pick your genre, or not), nonfiction, journaling, journalism, essay, term paper, dissertation, etc? This is the write-in for you!

These are structured write-ins, which means, in case you have never attended one of those before, that there is a silent writing period for a set time, then a break where everyone is welcome to talk; about what they’re writing about the writing process, or any other topic that might arise. After the break period, there is another writing period, another break period, etc… until the write-in is over. You don’t have to stay the whole time, you don’t even have to show up on time! Just drop in for as long as you like and enjoy the creative atmosphere.

All of these write-ins are held every week, and are available through meetup.com (a free service), but you do not need to join meet up to attend them. The main advantages of using the meetup.com system are to keep thee write-ups you are attending organized and to let the write-in host know ahead of time who will be attending.

Monday Afternoon Write-In (Hillsboro)
12pm-4pm
Insomnia Coffee Co
5389 E Main St, Hillsboro, OR 97123
Format: 1 Hour Writing / 15 Minute Break / Repeat

Monday Evening Write-In (Hillsboro / Tanasbourne)
5pm-9pm
Starbucks Coffee
22075 NE Imbrie Dr, Hillsboro, OR 97124
Format: 25 Minute Writing / 10 Minute Break / Repeat

Tuesday Afternoon Write-In (Beaverton)
12pm-4pm
Jim & Patty’s Coffee
4130 SW 117th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97005
Format: 1 Hour Writing / 15 Minute Break / Repeat

Wednesday Evening Write-In (Tigard)
5pm-9pm
Symposium Coffee
12345 Southwest Main Street, Tigard, OR 97223
Format: 25 Minute Writing / 10 Minute Break / Repeat

There is currently no Aloha Write-In, though the timeslot of Wed 12pm-4pm is set aside for one as soon as a proper venue can be found.

Lucy Monroe Offers Write-Ins Every Thursday

When I began writing (I’m going to date myself here, but that’s okay) over twenty years ago, I didn’t belong to any writing groups, and there were no pages on social me
dia dedicated to writers.  FB wasn’t even a thing then.  A few years later, I joined my first author group and a second one shortly after (my local chapter of Romance Writers of America).  It was wonderful!  Finally, I had a place to get together with others who shared my passion for creating the written word.
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Lucy Monroe

But writing continued to be a singularly solitary endeavor.  Sure, I had online critique partners after a while and even went to a few plotting/writing retreats, but the weekly work
was done on my own and reliant totally on my own self-discipline.
Fast forward twenty-plus years and after publishing 70 books with New York and London, I participated in my first NaNoWriMo, attending Write-Ins for the first time as well.  It was amazing!!!  Getting together with other authors to do what we loved best, to pursue our goals and dreams?  That was the stuff my happiest thoughts were made of.

 

I didn’t want to give up that sense of community and the in person accountability to write.  So, I got together with the director for the Brookwood Library and we hatched a plan.  Weekly Write-Ins hosted by me at the Library.

 

The Write-Ins will be every Thursday at 1 pm and will last until 4 pm.  I’m borrowing a format I like from another writing group and we’ll be writing for 45 minutes and then chatting for 15 before back to writing for 45, and so on.

 

I’m so keen to encourage other writers to write, to spend time in the company of my peers and to do what I love best…write my stories!
If you live in the area, I hope you’ll join me!
Hugs and happy writing,
Lucy

Conversations With Writers – November 27th

Conversations With Writers Presents Joe Wilkins

The Power Of Place – Its Place In Our Lives & Our Writing

Though we live in a world chock full of chain restaurants and department stores, on-

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screen communications, and cross-country airplane travel, we ignore the power of place at our own psychological and, increasingly, physical peril. Truly, place and landscape are active forces in all our lives. They shape and re-shape us; they offer us foundation and refuge; they challenge us to be good citizens of our biotic and built communities. In life and in writing, we ought to be aware of this; we ought to try to understand and harness the power of place. This conversation will offer writers four ways they might begin to do just that.

Joe Wilkins is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, and three collections of poems, most recently When We Were Birds, winner of the 2017 Stafford/Hall Prize in Poetry from the Oregon Book Awards. A winner of the High Plains Book Award, the GLCA New Writers Award, and the Pushcart Prize, Wilkins’s essays, poems, and stories appear in The Georgia ReviewThe Southern ReviewEcotoneThe SunOrion, and Slate. Of his work, the Indiana Review writes, “The most striking component of it is its awareness of ‘the whole world.’ What is ordinary becomes transcendent. In places derelict and seemingly unexceptional, Wilkins compels us to recognize what is worth salvage, worth praise.” Wilkins’s debut novel, Fall Back Down When I Die, will be published by Little, Brown in early 2019. Though born and raised on the Big Dry of eastern Montana, he lives now with his family in western Oregon, where he directs the creative writing program at Linfield College.

The Forest Grove City Library Announces Free Mini Writing Workshop

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Deborah Kennedy

Deborah Kennedy, author of the novel Tornado Weather, will be offering a free mini writing workshop, The Writer’s Craft: Keys to Unlocking the Interconnected Narrative, on Saturday, February 17th at 10:15 – 11:45am at the Forest Grove City Library. The event is free but sign up is required. Please contact the Forest Grove City Library Reference Desk at 503 992-3337.

 

Conversations With Writers: October 23rd

Conversations With Writers will meet on October 23rd instead of the last Monday of the month. Endi Hartigan will be their presenter from  7-9pm at the Reedville Presbyterian Church 2785 SW 209th Avenue, Aloha.

Listening: Silence, Language, and Noise

Endi Bogue Hartigan Poster (1)

Conversations With Writers 

How is listening an act of writing? How can poets employ listening in the writing practice?

Endi Hartigan will talk about how her book– Pool [5 choruses]– came from both the realization she was writing amid a profusion of public noise, and her desire to challenge it. She will discuss how listening to language, silence, and noise can lead to poems that weave those three elements together. We will explore the practices of listening to sound, music, pauses, gaps, and breath, and utilize these in our writing.

Her book, Pool [5 choruses]  won the Omnidawn Open Poetry Book Prize and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her first book One Sun Storm won the Colorado Prize for Poetry and was also a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. In addition, she has published one chapbook, and her poems have appeared in numerous journals including VOLT, New American Writing, Denver Quarterly, and Ostrich Review..

Writers in the Grove: Scrivener Software for Writers Workshop Offered in Washington County

Fundraiser for the Forest Grove Senior & Community Center

Scrivener Workshop, Sept. 21 – Oct. 12, 2017forest-and-pen-artwork-for-writers-in-the-grove1

Dream of writing your memoirs? A novel? Register now for a workshop on the basics of Scrivener, an affordable and complete writing studio to help you from idea to final published book. The workshop is held on four consecutive Thursdays, September 21 – October 12, from 6:30 – 9 PM.

International trainer Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress has been teaching and offering workshops on Scrivener for over seven years.

As a fundraiser for the Forest Grove Community and Senior Center, the instructor is making this course available in Washington County for only $100 with the proceeds benefiting the Center. Normally these courses cost over $200.

Space is limited for this special event, to be held at 2037 Douglas Street, Forest Grove, OR, where there is free parking.

For complete information, see Writers in the Grove. Register in person at the Center or by calling 503-357-2021. Or contact Lorelle VanFossen at lorelleonwordpress@gmail.com.