July 5th Writers Forum with Deborah Kennedy

Narrating the News Cycle

Current events come to us as prepackaged drama. They have all the stuff of good fiction: memorable characters, high stakes, rich settings. The plot is there and so is the conflict. It’s no wonder, then, that so many writers choose to make use of current events in their short stories in novels. There are clear advantages to writing about real-life scenarios and just as obvious pitfalls. Deborah Kennedy has written several stories based on current events and will share her advice on how to go about crafting compelling fiction that, while inspired by the headlines, goes far beyond the surface story to uncover deeper truths.

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Deborah E. Kennedy is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her writing has appeared in Salon, Sou’wester, Third Coast Magazine, and The North American Review. She also holds a Master’s in Fiction Writing and English literature from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She lives in Forest Grove. Tornado Weather is her debut.

 

 

June 7th Writers Forum with Margaret Pinard

Making Stories Come Alive

If you’ve been in the author business for any amount of time, you know that readings and signings can be pretty blah. But if we’re going to the trouble of putting together an event, we want to make it worth our time, right? Margaret Pinard has planned her own three launches and attended numerous festivals and events. She will outline important factors and planning decisions to consider as we brainstorm about how to make our book events special, memorable, and profitable. Think color, think unique locations, think party themes!

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Margaret is a soul from the 19th century who finds it easiest to disguise herself by drinking tea, writing historical fiction, and popping off to the British Isles for ‘research.’
Her favorite books transport the reader to a different time and place, while poking at the unconscious assumptions one holds about one’s place in the world.
Margaret has published two standalone historical novels and two novels in her Remnants series. The third book is due out in 2019. Visit her at http://www.margaretpinard.com.

May 3rd Writers Forum with Carolyn O’Doherty

Every story needs a world in which to take place, whether it’s a suburban kitchen or an imaginary kingdom. In this workshop we’ll talk about the difference between world and setting, how to build a compelling, believable world, and how to seamlessly incorporate world building into your narrative without the dreaded info dump. Bring your favorite writing implement so we can try an exercise (or two!). I’ll also send you home with some additional exercises to apply to your own work.

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Carolyn O’Doherty lives in a much prettier and less dangerous version of Portland than the characters in her new novel, REWIND. When, as a kid, she dreamed up the idea of freezing time, she only considered the benefits: always having the perfect snappy come-back, the right answer on the test, untraceable revenge. It was when she turned the idea into a novel that she delved into the dark side of this potential blessing. Carolyn has an MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast. REWIND was released on April 10th.

Washington County Writers hosts a Writers Forum on the first Thursday of each month except January. Join us at Insomnia Coffee’s downtown location at 317 E Main Street in Hillsboro from 7-8:30pm. Admission is $5.

April 5th Writers Forum with CB Bernard

Routine, Ritual, and John Cheever’s Underwear: Unpacking the Habits of a Writing Life

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Like any job, writing takes discipline—which means developing and committing to routines. But it’s also an art, which sometimes calls for less-pragmatic rituals. What can we learn from the practices and prayers of those who embraced the madness of the writing life before us?

C.B. Bernard is the author of Chasing Alaska: A Portrait of the Last Frontier Then and Now, a Publishers Weekly and National Geographic Top 10 Pick and finalist for the Oregon Book Award in nonfiction. His fiction and essays have appeared in Catapult, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Bear Deluxe, and elsewhere, and the Utne Reader has excerpted his work. He’s a frequent lecturer at literary festivals and conferences and a former newspaper and magazine journalist, advertising copywriter, and communications specialist. His new book is a novel set in rural Oregon.

Washington County Writers hosts a Writers Forum on the first Thursday of each month except January. Join us at Insomnia Coffee’s downtown location at 317 E Main Street in Hillsboro from 7-8:30pm. Admission is $5.

 

 

 

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

February 1st Writers Forum with Lucy Monroe

It’s All About the Emotion

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Lucy Monroe

Writing emotion is one of the most important elements to telling a story, but particularly in popular genre fiction.  Whatever the genre, they have one thing in common and that is that if we want our readers emotionally invested in our books, they need to *feel* the story.  Emotion is layered into the conflict, reflected in the characterization and key to creating a compelling plot. Lucy Monroe will host an interactive discussion and short writing exercise to hone that all important skill: getting emotion down on paper.

With more than 7 million copies of her books in print worldwide, award winning and USA Today bestseller Lucy Monroe has published over 70 books and had her stories translated for sale all over the world.  While she writes multiple subgenres of romance, all of her books are sexy, deeply emotional and adhere to the concept that love will conquer all.  A passionate devotee of romance, she adores sharing her love for the genre with her readers.

The Washington County Writers Forum is held on the first Thursday of each month except January. Join us at Insomnia Coffee–Downtown Location at 317 E Main Street in Hillsboro from 7-8:30pm. Admission is $5.

Washington County Writer’s Forum follow up + free gifts!

While the WCWF takes a break in January, December’s presenter, Sage Cohen, sent along this message to help us fiercely pursue our goals in 2018!

Hello!

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It was such a pleasure being with you at the Washington County Writer’s Forum on December 7!  Thanks so much for being with us—and for participating so fully!

As promised, I’ve included links to a few, additional free gifts!

I’ve also added you to my sagecohen.com mailing list (if you weren’t on it already), where you’ll get occasional tips and missives from me about the writing life.

Just for joining the list, you’ll be invited to choose one of two digital workbooks (valued at $9.99) for free.

Wishing you a focused and fierce 2018! May you cross the finish line for your #1 goal! (I’d love to know how it’s going along the way!)

Yours in the fierce writing adventure!

Sage

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.