News

Foot steps on leaves and announces Writers in the Grove 2018 Author Conference.

Writers in the Grove Authors Conference Announced

For the first time, we will be producing a writers conference specifically for those wishing to move from creative writer to published author.

Writers in the Grove Authors Conference
Saturday, January 27, 2018
9AM-4PM
Forest Grove Senior and Community Center
Forest Grove, Oregon (map)
$60
Proceeds benefit the FGSCC

The day-long conference will feature a variety of classes, individual and small group sessions to help you move from writer to published author.

Deborah Reed Author PhotoThe keynote speaker is Deborah Reed, author of the novels The Days When Birds Come Back, Olivay, Things We Set on Fire, Carry Yourself Back to Me, A Small Fortune, and its sequel, Fortune’s Deadly Descent. She is also frequently featured in Poets & Writers, and holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing (fiction) from Pacific University. She is also the co-director of the Black Forest Writing Seminars at the University of Freiburg in Germany. She lives in Manzanita, Oregon.

The faculty of presenters features:

Paulann Peterson Author PhotoPaulann Petersen is an award-winning poet and former Oregon State Poet Laureate. She is a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and author of several books of poetry including The Wild Awake, Blood-Silk, A Bride of Narrow Escape, Kindle, The Voluptuary, and Understory. She has also published five chapbooks and her work has been published in many anthologies, magazines, and websites. She teaches poetry workshops for colleges, libraries, and writer’s conferences, and serves on the National Advisory Board for Friends of William Stafford. She will be presenting an afternoon poetry workshop.

Holly Lorincz editorHolly Lorincz is an author of fiction and non-fiction and owner of Lorincz Literary Services, a literary editing agency. She worked for many years as a collaborative literary agent for MacGregor Literary. She is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and on the faculty for the Profitable Authors Institute and The Blackbird Studio for writers in Portland, Oregon. Her specialty is in developmental editing, fiction and non-fiction, as well as collaborative writing. Holly will be speaking about the publishing industry and preparing a manuscript for submission.

Chip MacGregor - Literary AgentChip MacGregor is the founder of MacGregor Literary, an author agency, helping authors in the memoir, spirituality, self-help, Christian, true crime, romance, and literary fiction publish their books and negotiate movie and television projects. He will be speaking on how to find, query, and pitch your story to agents and publishers.

Jessica Morrell Author PhotoJessica Morrell is a long-time favorite speaker and teacher on writing fiction, and an accomplished author. Her books, Thanks, But This Isn’t for Us, A (sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected, Between the Lines, Bullies, Bastards, and Bitches: How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction, and Writing Out the Storm continue to be textbooks for writers determined to improve their writing and get published. She will be speaking about developing a character arc.

Kristen Thiel Publisher - photo by BC Debney, 2017.As a full-time professional writer and editor for fourteen years, Kristin Thiel works with writers, publishers, and other businesses to improve their professional writing skills with a goal toward publishing. She’s also an avid hiker, backpacker, and “yes-sayer” to Northwest fun and exploration. Kristin will be talking about the pitfalls of common writing errors and how to avoid them.

Mary Jane Nordgren AuthorMaryJane Nordgren is a published author of novels, plays, and memoirs, and publisher of the Seeds of… anthologies. Her books, Early: Logging Tales Too Human to be Fiction, Quiet Courage, and Frail the Bridge. She will be presenting a practice session on writing open paragraphs and hooks.

Optional Sessions

By advance registration only, meet with one of the faculty for a 15 minute professional consultation on a single sample of your work. Jessica Morrell will be assisting with memoir or fiction, and Holly Lorincz available to talk through a story idea, plot points, and non-fiction scope and sequence. Cost: $10 paid in advance.

There is also an optional paid small group session for practicing pitching (45 min) with Kristin Thiel. Cost: $5 paid in advance.

About Writers in the Grove 2018 Authors Conference

This is a fundraiser for the Forest Grove Senior and Community Center, a non-profit community center and the host of Writers in the Grove weekly meetings. The Center provides free and low cost meals through their dining services and Meals On Wheels outreach program, as well as a wide range of educational, recreational, wellness, and community events and educational opportunities.

Writers in the Grove is a free weekly workshop for those wishing to develop their creative writing skills. The group meets Mondays at the Forest Grove Senior and Community Center on Mondays from 9-11am, and on the second Saturday of the month at the Forest Grove Public Library from 10:30-noon. Writers in the Grove supports the freedom of expression and creative writing spirit in Forest Grove, Oregon, and around the world.

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Labor Day 2017 Meeting at Schmidlin Farm

The Forest Grove Community and Senior Center in Forest Grove, Oregon, will be closed for Labor Day this year. The meeting will be at Schmidlin Farm in Vernonia at the usual time. Susan and Mike have graciously agreed to host us, and tours of the farm will be available after lunch.

We will do prompts and writing exercises from 9AM to about noon, then have a potluck lunch. Please bring something to share with everyone with a small sign that indicates any potential food allergies.

As a reminder, if you haven’t signed up for the WordPress and Scrivener 4-week courses yet, head to the Center and register to ensure a spot in the classes. The first one begins the Monday after Labor Day.

We will return to our regularly scheduled programming the following week.

Have a great holiday weekend and enjoy the extended hot summer while it lasts. See you on Monday!

No Writers in the Grove Meeting, Monday, August 21

With the eclipse timed to be right in the middle of our Monday morning meeting, and so many out and out in the shadow to watch this once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse, there will be no meeting on Monday, August 21, 2017.

BUT, we will probably be writing about it the next week, so pay close attention and let it inspire you. If it really inspires you, write it up and bring it to read next Monday.

Enjoy!

Lend an Ear 2017 on July 8, 2017

Lend an Ear 2015 - Susan Schmidlin distributes goodies after her reading to the audience.The 8th Annual Lend an Ear, Come and Hear reading event is in just a couple weeks on July 8, 2017. The submissions this year have been wonderful, and we’ve narrowed them down to about 20 writers who will be reading their stories, poems, and prose for free at Plum Hill Winery in Gaston, Oregon.

July 8, 2017
Saturday 10:30am-1pm
Plum Hill Vineyards
6505 SW Old Highway 47
Gaston OR 97119

The event is free and open to the public.

Come join us for this delightful storytelling and author reading event. There will be food trucks and plenty of wine to enjoy on the hillside surrounded by nature and this beautiful winery in the Tualatin Valley.

Lend an Ear 2017 on July 8, 2017

Lend an Ear 2015 - Audience listen to Veronica read.The 8th Annual Lend an Ear, Come and Hear reading event is July 8, 2017, at Plum Hill Winery in Gaston, Oregon. It begins at 10:30AM and goes to approximately 1PM, and is produced by Writers in the Grove.

July 8, 2017
Saturday 10:30am-1pm
Plum Hill Vineyards
6505 SW Old Highway 47
Gaston OR 97119

The event is free and open to the public.

For eight years, writers from around Forest Grove and Washington County have submitted and read their work to dozens. Last year we broke records with over a hundred attendees. This free event is held in a beautiful winery in the foothills near Hagg Lake overlooking the Tualitin Valley. There will be food from several food wagons and, of course, some wine from Plum Hill Winery, our fabulous hosts. Come laugh, cry, and sigh as you listen to our marvelous readers sharing their creative writing and storytelling skills.

Enter Your Submission: If you would like to participate as one of our readers, submit your poems or prose of four-minute readings per the instructions on our submission form for Lend an Ear, available as a downloadable Word document or PDF file to complete and return to Writers in the Grove by June 12, 2017. Submissions must be original and able to be read out loud for no more than 4 minutes. This is a juried event. Pieces will be selected on the basis or originality, writing style, and quality of work. All genres are welcome, however, they must be family friendly. Submissions should reflect content suitable for mixed age groups.

Come join Writers in the Grove for this fun, family event at Plum Hill Winery.

Writers in the Grove News: Local Pen Pals

News - Writers in the Grove - News Time Article on Local Pen Pals April 2017 Forest Grove Oregon - CoverAt the beginning of this school year 2016-2017, a local parent and volunteer with the nearby Gaston, Oregon, elementary school contacted Writers in the Grove about a local pen pal program. Many members volunteered to correspond with the children at the school, and it has changed lives on both ends of the mailbox.

Words bring old and young writers together in special partnership” features the unique program of connecting local writers with local elementary students for a pen pal program, and includes interviews with several of our members.

Gretchen Keefer had a question for the sixth-graders at Gaston Elementary School: What are you thankful for?

She wrote to them as part of the pen-pal relationship between Gaston Elementary and her Forest Grove writing group, hoping the question would give the students something to write back about.

Turns out the students had never thought much about thankfulness, said their teacher, Thea Hiersche.

But after taking the time to list all the things they love in life, they were “amazed,” said Hiersche. From there, the class “started the conversation about how we, as a thankful community, could help others who don’t have as much.”

Keefer’s writing prompt ended up inspiring a donation drive for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

That’s how words can turn into ideas that turn into actions. It’s also how old-fashioned letters can provide inspiration and writing help to young students — and joy to their grown-up writing partners.

“Just seeing these older people gathered around the table — none of them can wait to open the letters as soon as we get our stacks,” said Mary Jane Nordgren, a member of the writing group. “It really warms the hearts of everyone.”

This wonderful project could not have happened without the dedication of Sheila Harter. She has worked overtime to volunteer her services as “pony express courier” to collect letters from both groups and exchange them every week.

You may read the full article on the Forest Grove Times News site, and check out our pictures of the articles below.

News - Writers in the Grove - News Time Article on Local Pen Pals April 2017 Forest Grove Oregon (2) News - Writers in the Grove - News Time Article on Local Pen Pals April 2017 Forest Grove Oregon (3)

Writers in the Grove Monday Meeting at Adams Home

Due to the President’s Day Holiday on Monday, the Forest Grove Senior and Community Center in Forest Grove, Oregon, will be closed. We’ll be meeting again at the home of Parks and Paula Adams in downtown Forest Grove. Please contact us if you need directions.

If you would like to bring a potluck item for sharing and munching after, it would be appreciated.

Writers in the Grove Monday Meeting at Adams Home

Be brave, the roads should be fairly clear by Monday. Due to the Martin Luther King Holiday on Monday, the Forest Grove Senior and Community Center in Forest Grove, Oregon, will be closed. We’ll be meeting again at the home of Parks and Paula Adams in downtown Forest Grove. Please contact us if you need directions.

The streets through Forest Grove are clear and there is plenty of parking on the roads in and around their home, especially near the post office or bank offices. Take care when walking on the sidewalks as the snow has not been cleared thoroughly through the neighborhood.

If you would like to bring a potluck item for sharing and munching after, it would be appreciated.

See you there! And stay warm.

PS: Don’t forget that next Saturday is Wintersong, our annual winter reading event. Help spread the news and invite everyone to join us for this free event.

Monday’s Meeting Cancelled

Due to extreme weather conditions and your personal safety, the Monday Writers in the Grove meeting for January 9, 2017, is cancelled at the Forest Grove Community and Senior Center in Forest Grove, Oregon.

We will return to our normally scheduled meeting next Monday.

Be safe and warm. And stay off the roads unless you absolutely have to be out.