The Willamette Writers Conference starts the first Friday in August each year. Events begin on the Thursday evening prior to the official start. For 2015, the conference runs Friday, August 7th through Sunday, August 9th at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Portland, Oregon. The first Willamette Writers Conference, held in 1969, was little more than a day of workshops. It has grown to three days of workshops, panels, and lectures, as well as pitching opportunities and a number of special events. Attendance has grown rapidly in recent years and reached over 800 in 2008, with 150 staff and volunteers. Most attendees are from Oregon and Washington, but some come from as far away as Europe, Canada and Mexico. For more demographics and to advertise in our brochure and program, check out how to Advertise With Us.
The Willamette Writers Conference offers over 80 workshops, panels and speeches presented by some of the best–and best-known–professionals in the business. Attendees have the opportunity to learn from writing instructors teaching offerings that range from introductory and advanced craft, to the business of writing and responding to the challenges and opportunities presented by emerging technologies.
Each year the conference attracts about 50 well-known agents, editors, managers, producers and consultants primarily from the film and literary centers of Los Angeles and New York City looking for the next hot property from among our conference attendees. The result? Usually about 15 people acquire an agent to represent them, and three to six get published or have a script optioned at each conference. (See “Success Stories” for some recent tales of good fortune resulting from Willamette Writers Conferences.) NETWORKING Concurrent with learning and marketing, writers also have the opportunity to network and share creative energy with 600-800 fellow writers and industry professionals, all under one roof and in the heart of “Portlandia,” one of the most scenic and creatively forward-thinking cities in the country.