Author: Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen is a trainer and consultant in WordPress, User Experience (UX), blogging, social media, and online business. She is currently teaching WordPress at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, and other colleges, in addition to private training and various public workshops. Author of Lorelle on WordPress covering WordPress and blogging tips, help, and advice for beginners to advanced users, she is the author of numerous books and ebooks on blogging, social media, web publishing - you name it. She travels the world speaking at conferences about her passion to help people have their say online.

Prompt-a-Month: Children’s Table

Writers in the Grove Prompt-a-Month badge.The April prompt-a-month for our Writers in the Grove members is:

Did you sit at the children’s table?

Writers in the Grove members may hand in their submissions during the workshops or use our members only submission form. Check out the guidelines and instructions for submissions in the announcement.


Prompt-a-Month: Tech Talks

Writers in the Grove Prompt-a-Month badge.The March prompt-a-month for our Writers in the Grove members is:

I use technology.

Writers in the Grove members may hand in their submissions during the workshops or use our members only submission form. Check out the guidelines and instructions for submissions in the announcement.

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

We don’t often promote writing competitions, but this one was too good to pass up. It is the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest.

The deadline is April 1, which should give you a hint as to the 17 year old poetry contest topic. Prizes total $2250, and the winners will be published online.

There are no restrictions, no limits. Just make it humorous.


Amazing Sky

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond.

When I look out my window
I see clouds racing by.
Where do they go?
Are the clouds circling the globe or
simply relocating themselves?
In the early morning there is a patch of blue sky,
bringing me a sense of hope
that it will be a nice day.
Five minutes later, I see dark, gloomy clouds.
How can clouds change so quickly?
Giving me the false hope
it will be a nice day.
At moment’s notice there is a terrific downpour,
or a jaw-dropping snowstorm of ten inches or more.
What an amazing thing sky!

2018 Authors Conference: Thank Yous

2018 Authors Conference - Food Donations and Preparations for Lunch - Lorelle VanFossenOur first conference, the 2018 Authors Conference, on January 27, 2018, was a resounding success in so many ways, it’s hard to know where to start first. First are the thank yous.

Thank you to all the Writers in the Grove members and their families who gave up so much time, energy, feet, and backs to help us make this possible. It is amazing how much can be done with so many eager volunteers. We actually had the Center cleaned up and restored to normal in less than 45 minutes after the end of the event, which is saying plenty!

Thank you to the speakers who shared their powerful perspective on the publishing industry in workshops and open panel discussions. Chip MacGregor, Holly Lorincz, Kristin Thiel, Deborah Reed, MaryJane Nordgren, and Jessica Morrell helped many many find their footing in this new technological world of publishing and push their story ideas and characters even further. Paulann Petersen again swept away cobwebs and restraints to help writers tap into their muse to find the words to share their thoughts, dreams, and stories through the magic of her inspiration.

Thank you to the participants. Your ticket donation helped us raise about $3,000 for the Forest Grove Senior and Community Center to keep their ongoing projects and outreach programs vital, supporting our community. The feedback was amazing. Everyone was so appreciative to have such an exceptional program and group of speakers in Forest Grove. They soaked it up and are eager to get to work writing.

2018 Authors Conference - Food Donations for Lunch - Lorelle VanFossenTo the donors who gave so much to help us feed and keep our participants happy, we are so grateful.

  • Raeann Johnston and FGSCC
  • Bill Stafford
  • BJ’s Coffee
  • Chuck Pritchard and family
  • Diana Lubarsky
  • Diversity
  • Elmer’s
  • Fred Meyer, Cornelius
  • Godfather’s Pizza
  • Jan Spoelstra /Carolyn Bradley
  • Jennings-McCall
  • King’s Head
  • Lela Baskins
  • Lorelle Van Fossen
  • M.J. Nordgren
  • Maridon’s
  • Parks and Paula Adams
  • Prime Time
  • Safeway
  • Schmidlin Angus Farm
  • Susan Field
  • Urban Decanter
  • Walmart
  • Yellow Llama

To the Forest Grove Senior and Community Center, we are beyond grateful for your continued support and encouragement of Writers in the Grove, our activities, and now our special events. The work the staff and volunteers of the Center provide to the community continues to amaze. The senior and community services, affordable meals, Meals on Wheels, bread-baking services, outreach programs, and other social services makes the Center an invaluable resource for our community.

To Lorelle VanFossen for helping with the logistical arrangements of the event, we are very thankful. She kept everyone and everything on time, on track, and mischief managed throughout the entire process.

To Susan Field, our amazing promoter. The event was featured in newspapers, newsletters, posters, signs, and everywhere around Washington County, even in the local utility bill. The success of the sold out program is thanks to her incredible determination to spread the word in spite of life getting in the way. Thank you so much for everything you do for us.

To Diana Lubarsky, our cheerleader, we thank you. Thank you for helping us keep our heads together with your strong leadership qualities. You keep us smiling in spite of ourselves.

To MaryJane Nordgren, our fearless leader, we are eternally grateful. You had a vision for this group from the very beginning. Your determination to provide a safe and supportive environment for creative writers in Forest Grove, outlets for their work through public readings and collaborative published works, and educational opportunities for writers is a testimony to your faith as well as your legacy. You’ve changed this community, added value, and lifted us all up to be better, as people as well as writers. Thank you for believing and trusting us.

I know we’ve forgotten some people to thank. Know that you are not forgotten in our hearts. We could not have done this without you.

Thank YOU!

Prompt-a-Month: Metals

Writers in the Grove Prompt-a-Month badge.The February prompt-a-month for our Writers in the Grove members is:

Iron sharpens iron.

Writers in the Grove members may hand in their submissions during the workshops or use our members only submission form. Check out the guidelines and instructions for submissions in the announcement.

Simple Pleasures

The following was inspired by the prompt, XX, and is by Writers in the Grove member, Kirsten Baggins.

The ice cream drips down onto the pavement, but he doesn’t seem to mind as he laps at the scoops, a big happy smile on his face as he looks up at the sky, smiling at the sun I’ve had to teach him not to stare at it specifically, but he stills likes to look up and bask in its warmth. Heat seems so foreign to him, what with him being so cold and undead.

With his free hand, he picks me up and places me on his shoulder, careful not to make me spill my own treat, before we head down the city sidewalk. On a nearby corner, a man is strumming away at his guitar for tips, and my friend approaches, bobbing his head cheerfully to the tune-music always gets his attention, and he’ll follow it wherever it goes. The guitarist freezes upon seeing his audience, stopping his playing with fear, only for my friend to say, “Play.”

“What do we say?” I ask.


The guitarist nervously continues, while I fish out some bills for my friend to put in the guitar case. He makes a happy sound when he does, saying to the performer, ‘Music good.’ The man merely gives a nervous smile and nods in agreement, and I smile to him as he keeps playing, and we move down the sidewalk.

As we continue down the street, I ask from my perch, “Do you want to go to the bookstore?”

Reading is a great joy for my friend – he can’t quite do it himself yet, so in my teaching him to talk, I teach him to read as well. He’s yet to meet a book he doesn’t like: Fairy tales, short stories, poems, any genre, all of them he’s loved very, very much

At my questioning, he nods and makes another happy noise, telling me, “Yes, friend.”