Reading: Diana Abu-Jaber (July 11)

PSU fiction professor Diana Abu-Jaber will be reading at from her new novel, Origin, at Powell's on July 11th at 7:30.

For more information check the 'Events and Appearances' page on her website.


Bridge Walks + Poetry (July-October)

Eight poets have been announced for the 2007 “Bridge Walks & Poetry”

Through October 27

Sharon Wood Wortman, author of The Portland Bridge Book (third edition 2006), begins her second season of adding poetry to her popular bridge walk series for Portland Parks & Outdoor Recreation. Poets read about bridges concrete and/or metaphorica as part of the itinerary on the following dates:

Sunday June 24 - Rita Ott-Ramstad
Wednesday July 4 - Willa Schneberg
Sunday July 22 - Donna Henderson
Saturday August 4 - Judith Arcana
Saturday Sept. 22 - Ann Staley
Friday Oct. 12 - Dianne Stepp
Saturday Oct. 27 - Oregon Poet Laureate Lawson Inada

In addition, singer-songwriter Stephen Cohen will occasionally drop by to perform “Bridges of this Town.”

Stops include the Morrison Bridge operator house and bascule pit (gears 36 feet tall and 950-ton counterweight), the National Park Service “Willamette River Bridges” exhibit at Oregon Dept. of Transportation Region 1 in Old Town, and the Willamette Greenway Trail. Walkers will see eight of Portland’s Central City bridges, among them the oldest operating vertical lift bridge, a unique double-decker, and one of the world’s longest steel tied arches.

Walks begin at NW 2nd and Everett on the steps of the NW Natural Building, and end with lunch (extra $) at Dan & Louis Oyster Bar.

Register with Portland Parks & Outdoor Recreation at 503 823-5132, or with Sharon at 503-222-5535. Registration suggested but not required for walks May through September; registration is required for the October walks.

Fee: $15 (adults) and $10 (children 14 and under). 8:30 a.m. to Noon.

Don Colburn, of Portland, is the author of As If Gravity Were a Theory, winner of the 2005 Cider Press Review Book Award. Another Way to Begin won the Finishing Line Press Poetry Prize and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing, Colburn worked many years for The Washington Post and now reports for The Oregonian. He is a board member of the Friends of William Stafford.


Residency: Soapstone (Women only; apply July 1-Aug 1)

Apply for now for 2008 Soapstone Residencies!

We will be accepting applications postmarked between July 1 and August 1, 2007 for residencies during 2008.

Application forms can be downloaded from our web site: http://www.soapstone.org.


We Told Tales, Tall and True!

We came, we saw, we told "Tales Tall and True."

Readers included Megan Breen-Leigh, Dave Devine, Jonathan Fine, Merilee Karr, Kelle Lawrence, Meryl Lipman, Sue Pesznecker, Peggy Savage, and Leslye Walton.

Say hi, Meryl!

Merilee and husband enjoy the buffet....

Jonathan visits with Dave's wife and impending son....

Jessica Machado-- next year's WEGO coordinator-- displays the program. (And by the way: Dave Devine made the program. Thanks, Dave!)

Debra smiles for the camera....

Megan also "poses." Ahem.


Jonathan read a tale from St. John's....

Peggy read from Angelus Rules....

Meryl read a section from her thesis, Confessions of a Naked Skydiver....

Megan read from her novel, a Civil War thriller....

Sue read about spiders and global warming... (no picture of Sue here-- she was taking the pictures.)

Dave read an African tale of poachers and Mariah Carey...

And Callahan dropped by!

Merilee read from her work on medical error...

Leslye's work provided the evening's taste of romance...

Kelle read from her thesis, a look into the world of public storage...

We had a terrific time!

Here's to next year-- thanks to everyone who read, and thanks to all WEGO members, for their support!


Submissions: Fiction/Wordstock (Deadline July 15)

Wordstock Literary Festival Announces Call for Entries for First Annual Short Fiction Competition

- $1,000 Prize for First Place, Top 10 Get Published -
- 3rd Annual Festival Sets New Dates: November 9 – 11, 2007-

Portland, Ore., -- April 24, 2007 — Wordstock, a three-day festival of books, writers, and storytelling held annually in Portland, Ore., today announced a call for entries for the inaugural Wordstock Short Fiction Competition. The winner will be announced at this year’s festival, Friday – Sunday, November 9-11 at the Oregon Convention Center.

The national contest is a “double blind” competition – both the writers and judges are kept anonymous. The judges, a collection of writers, academics, publishers, book store owners, and literary critics will choose 10 finalists. The winner receives a first prize of $1,000 and publication in the December 2007 issue of Portland Monthly magazine. The top 10 finalists’ stories will be published in The Wordstock Ten, an anthology that will be available at the festival, at Portland-area bookstores, and online through the Wordstock website. In addition, every writer who enters the competition will receive a copy.

“The festival exists to promote books and stories in all forms,” said Greg Netzer, the festival’s executive director. “This year we’re focusing special attention on short fiction, Why? We’re eager to read the great stories that people around the country are writing.”

Entries must be between 1,500 and 4,000 words and submitted, with a $25 fee, by mail to 8536 SW St Helens Dr., Suite D, Wilsonville, OR 97070. All entries must be postmarked by July 15, 2007. Registration is limited to the first 1,000 entries. Writers are encouraged to visit the website for complete guidelines.

About Wordstock
Wordstock is an annual festival that highlights literature and literacy from its home in Portland, Ore. To date it has hosted over 400 writers, who have read and performed for nearly 40,000 attendees at past festivals. Wordstock is a fundraiser for Community of Writers, a professional development program for K-12 teachers that seeks to improve student writing performance by training and supporting teachers of writing. For more information, visit these two sites.

For more information:
Greg Netzer (greg@wordstockfestival.com, 503-546-1012)
Sam Burton (sam@maxwellpr.com, 503-231-3086)


Summer Sitka Workshops

Writers encounter nature, imagine change at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon coast

Seven professional writers will lead workshops at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology during summer 2007. They join 64 of the finest teachers, artists and scientists in the Pacific Northwest instructing 75 workshops in the pristine and inspirational coastal reserve of Cascade Head and the Salmon River estuary, located four miles north of Lincoln City, Oregon.

Joanne Mulcahy, Writing about Food, Place, and Culture, April 14 15.

Kim Stafford, Writer as Attentive Resident & Restless Vagabond, May 26 27.

Margaret Rozga, Writing Poems in Response to Nature, June 9 10.

John Daniel, Seeking the Self in the Natural World, June 11 14. What if memoir and nature writing are nothing different? Asks the author of Rogue River Journal, winner of a 2006 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.

Sarah Rabkin, Everyday Poetry, June 24, & Circling Home: Writing for Beloved Places, June 29 - July 1. Writing poems is a way of paying attention.

Fred Barrett, Writing Your History, Your Legacy, August 4.

Debra Gwartney, The Language of Place, August 6 9. As managing editor of Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape, with Barry Lopez, she helped create a landmark work of language, geography, and folklore.

Sitka Center’s workshop program offers intensive examination of various artistic and scientific issues. This program is the largest of its kind in Oregon. Workshops are one to five days and all instruction takes place in one of the Center’s four studios or outdoors in the spectacular surroundings.

The intimate classes with professional instructors open the way for all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, teaching the tools and techniques of the medium, while encountering nature, and imagining and understanding personal and environmental change.

Registration is now open for Sitka’s 2007 workshop season and complete course offering can be accessed inline at www.sitkacenter.org or by calling for a catalog at 541-994-5485.

Joanne Mulcahy, Writing about Food, Place, and Culture, April 14-15
Joanne B. Mulcahy teaches and directs the Writing Culture Summer Institute at the Northwest Writing Institute, Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of Birth and Rebirth on an Alaskan Island, a biography of an Alaska Native healer. Her essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including The Stories that Shape Us: Contemporary Women Write about the West, and These United States.

Kim Stafford, Writer as Attentive Resident & Restless Vagabond, May 26-27
Kim Stafford is the Director of the Northwest Writing Institute and William Stafford Center at Lewis and Clark College. His recent books include Early Morning: Remembering my Father, William Stafford (2002); The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writers Craft (2003); and A Thousand Friends of Rain (2005).

Margaret Rozga, Writing Poems in Response to Nature, June 9-10
Margaret (Peggy) Rozga has published poetry in many anthologies and literary journals, including Nimrod, Out of Line, and Porcupine Literary Arts Magazine. Her poetry has been included in four collaborative exhibits with works by visual artists. She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha where among the courses she teaches is an interdisciplinary, team-taught course, Drawing and Writing Poetry in Response to Nature. In 2002-2003, she enjoyed a two-month residency at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. She has also been in residence at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois.

John Daniel, Seeking the Self in the Natural World, June 11-14
John Daniel is the author of eight books of memoir, essays, and poetry, including Rogue River Journal, winner of a 2006 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and The Trail Home and Looking After, both of which won the Oregon Book Award for Literary Nonfiction. The recipient of a Wallace Stegner fellowship at Stanford University and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, he has taught creative writing at Stanford University, Ohio State, Oregon State, Sweet Briar College, Lewis & Clark College, and other institutions. For the past three years he has been the Viebranz Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at St. Lawrence University in New York State and Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at St. Marys College of California.

Sarah Rabkin, Everyday Poetry, June 24, & Circling Home: Writing for Beloved Places, June 29 - July 1.
An award-winning writing instructor in the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Sarah Rabkin has led scores of workshops on writing and on creating illustrated field journals. Her articles, columns, essays, and poems have been published widely. She loves language, landscapes, and the potent places where the two intersect, and she takes pleasure in helping others find the power in their own voices.

Fred Barrett. Writing Your History, Your Legacy, August 4
Fred Barrett, a graduate of the University of Michigan, lives in Portland, Oregon and has owned Alder Press since 1993. He is the author of four books, including Sea-Mountain: Cascade Head-Salmon River Anthology (The Oregon Coast), Ziiza: A Story of the Oregon Country, and his latest, Gus Maples Dictionary.

Debra Gwartney, The Language of Place, August 6 - 9
Debra Gwartney, a member of the nonfiction writing faculty at Portland State University and a freelance editor, is managing editor of Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape, a landmark work of language, geography, and folklore created by a community of American writers intent on revitalizing our intimacy with place. Her short stories, essays, and articles have appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including Creative Nonfiction, Prairie Schooner, Tampa Review, Kenyon Review and many others. In addition to awards in both writing and editing, she is a recipient of a Literary Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction, a Wurlitzer Foundation.


Tribune story about a bookbinding exhibit

Thanks to Jenn Lawrence for this lead:

Here's a great article about Philip Smith and the exhibition that will be at the central library.

Philip Smith: Extraordinary bindings from an Englishman

Jump under the covers with a master

By Joseph Gallivan


WEGOnians in the news!

Lucy Burningham (MA in nonfiction strand) has landed the following publications:

“Fruit in a Bottle: Real grenadine is all about the pomegranate”
Imbibe, January/February 2007

Start the Presses: From zines to best-sellers, Portland's small-press scene writes the next chapter on publishing”
Oregon Business, February 2007

“Sound Investment: An Artisan's Board Hoard”
Portland Monthly, March 2007

Meeting Strategies: Bacon, eggs and doing business”
Oregon Business, April 2007

Yes You Can: Bicycle Tour
Women's Adventure, May/June 2007


Jeff Alessandrelli
(MA in poetry strand) published a poem in the latest issue (#18) of the literary journal Snow Monkey
. The poem is titled "The Sound of This Room-Your Dream." Unfortunately, the poem isn't currently available online-- we'll provide a link as soon as that issue is archived.


Helyn Trickey
(MA in fiction strand) recently published two stories on cnn.com:
"The Transformation of American Television," April 2, 2007. Read it here.

"High Tides and Higher Interest Rates: Wading Through Financial Storms," March 13, 2007. read it here.

Dee Anne Finken
(MA in nonfiction strand), an oft-contributor to the Portland Oregonian, had a piece run on April 25.

Entitled, "Standing down from war's toll," the story talked about how veterans with post-traumatic stress are benefitting from such practices as Tai Chi and yoga. The story ran on the Living section's front page.


A panel of readers at Creative Nonfiction and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation have chosen Merilee D. Karr's essay, "Missing," as the winner of the Silence Kills essay contest.

Merilee is a student in the MA in nonfiction program. Upon publication of the book, she'll receive a $1,000 honorarium. Woo hoo!

Merilee says,
"The whole department, faculty and students, shares the credit for this award. I simply know that I did not, and could not have, become a real writer without everyone's help. I hope I've given as good as I've gotten. Becoming a real writer is a lot like becoming a real rabbit. The eyes go lopsided, the fur rubs off in patches, and my other ear, it must be around here somewhere. But being real feels really good."
The book is an anthology of nonfiction writing about how medical mistakes choke off the communication needed to prevent them. The book will be coming out in the fall, and Merilee is looking for any excuse to market the work--readings, interviews, lectures, anything. If you have suggestions, contact her at merilee@MerileeDeborahKarr.com.


Warm congratulations to Sue Pesznecker and Alexis Nelson, talented graduate students who've each won a full scholarship to the prestigious New York Summer Writers Institute.

Sue and Alexis were selected from more than 220 applications, and are two of the eighteen winners from all over the country. They'll attend workshops at Skidmore College in July.

Other scholarship winners come from Stanford University, Florida State University, Indiana University, Boston University, University of Hawaii, and University of Louisville, among others. Portland State--as far as I can see--is the ONLY institution with two scholarship recipients.

Very exciting and well deserved recognition for these two writers. Again, congratulations.

--Debra Gwartney, Assistant Professor, Nonfiction

The full list of winners:


1-Dhana-Marie Branton (Univ. of Minnesota)
2-Rone Shavers (Univ. of Illinois-Chicago)
3-Chad B. Anderson (Indiana Univ.)
4-Robert P. Jordan (Georgia State Univ.)
5-Geronimo Madrid (Hunter College)
6-Ly Chheng (Stanford Univ.)
7-Brian Kim (James Madison Univ [Va.])
8-Ashima Sood (Univ. of California-Davis)
9-Taiyaba Husain (Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor)


1-Suzanne Karpilovsky (Stanford Univ)
2-Cindy King (Florida State Univ.)
3-Nicholas Boggs (American University)
4-Susan C. Pesznecker (Portland State Univ.)
5-Elizabeth Hoover (Indiana Univ.)
6-Alexis Nelson (Portland State Univ.)
7-Paula C. Brady (Boston Univ.)
8-Tracy Lee Williams (Univ. of Hawaii)
9-Deena Lillygren (Univ. of Louisville)


The winners of the Memoirs Ink Half-Yearly Writing Contest are:

First Place: "Marginalia," by David Devine
(Student in the PSU MA in fiction program!)

Second Place: "Rain Dance," by Jennifer Jones

Third Place: "Second Chance," by Ruth Edgett

What makes this really wonderful is that PSU MA in nonfiction grad student Jonathan Fine took second place in this same contest last year!

If I'm reading the site correctly, Dave won $1000 for this piece.... huzzah! Well done, Dave....


Jessica Machado (MA in nonfiction strand) has been contributing some of her free-lance work to Willamette Week's restaurant and bar reviews!

Check out her recent stories on....

* rontoms

* North 45

* Masu East

* Hammy's

Support Ooligan Press!

A unique program calls for innovative fundraising. There is no other master's degree program in book publishing that we know of anywhere in the world that has a working publishing company as its laboratory. Ooligan Press is entirely run by the 90 graduate students in the program working under the direction of a faculty of publishing professionals. Real books. Real authors. Real world. And you can help.

The publishing program and Ooligan Press are self-supporting, which means that we must raise the money necessary to publish our books and market them successfully. But we want to do even more. With the help of contributions and eventual grants, we hope to create special funds to sponsor special publishing projects, offer scholarships and assistantships, support travel necessary to the work of the press, and expand course offerings.

Become a FOOP! (Friend of Ooligan Press)

Support the publishing program and Ooligan Press with your tax deductible contribution. It's easy. Make your check payable to the “PSU Foundation,” with “Ooligan Press Acct” in the memo field and mail it to Ooligan Press, Dept of English, POB 751, Portland, OR 97207. Or contribute by credit card on the Foundation website (www.foundation.pdx.edu) or by phone at 503.725.4911.

For information about the press, the program, or FOOP, visit our website at www.publishing.pdx.edu or contact Dennis Stovall at 503.725.9410 or stovall@pdx.edu. Membership in FOOP has its privileges; we'd be happy to tell you about them--or request a brochure and catalog.

If you're a member of an organization that would like a speaker on publishing, please contact us!


Contest: Essay (Deadline: July 16)

Glamour Nonfiction Essay Contest

Katie Pfeiffer of Glamour sends the following:

"For the past five years, Glamour, a nationally distributed women's magazine with a circulation of 2.2 million, has held a nonfiction essay contest. Once again we are looking for submissions. In particular, we are searching for personal stories about people's lives: inspiring journeys, challenging relationships, obstacles overcome, you name it."

To enter, contestants must submit a typed, double-spaced manuscript of 2,500 to 4,000 words in length by July 16, 2007.

The prizes are fantastic: The winner’s story will be published in Glamour; he or she will attend a New York City literacy event in their honor; and last but not least, he or she will get $10,000.

A panel of distinguished writers, including Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley and Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand, will help Glamour editors select the winner.

All entries MUST BE POSTMARKED BY July 16, 2007. If you have any questions about
guidelines please email Katie_Pfeiffer@condenast.com


Contest: Essay (Deadline: June 30)

Iris Chang Memorial Essay Contest 2007

To promote the awareness of the importance of remembering history. The essays will be in line with Iris Chang’s spirit and passion in seeking the truth and justice as well as defending human rights.
- Reflections on Nanking Massacre 70 years ago and beyond
(Please click the title for theme statement.)
Deadline of essay submission: June 30, 2007
Announcement of awards: Early November, 2007
- Three best essays will be selected from all entries. The awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners are $1,000, $500 and $300, respectively. In addition, several honorable mention winners will be awarded with $50 each.
(Note: The first prize is reserved for the essay of outstanding merit, and may not be awarded if no essay meets the standards set forth by the jury in any given year.)
- Iris Chang Youth Award - a special award added this year. An award of $200 each to the top three essays submitted by high school students. Only high school students whose essays are not selected for the overall top three prizes are eligible for these awards.
- All are eligible to enter the contest. Entrants shall comply with the contest rules and regulations as laid out and posted on the web by the Global Alliance/Iris Chang Memorial Fund. www.irischangmemorialfund.org
- The essay submitted must be original and previously unpublished. The language of the text must be English. The essay must be typed and less than 2,500 words. An electronic text file in Microsoft Word document or Word compatible format is strongly preferred.
- Essay submission:
By e-mail (strongly preferred): essay@irischangmemorialfund.org
By postal mail: Iris Chang Memorial Essay Contest
P. O. Box 641324, San Jose, CA 95164
- Contestant’s information required:
- name
- occupation *
- postal mailing address
- e-mail address
- telephone number(s)
* For students, please indicate whether you are a high school, college undergraduate,
or graduate student.
- The essays submitted to the contest committee shall not be returned.
- Global Alliance/Iris Chang Memorial Fund reserves the right to edit the essays as deemed necessary. (e.g. grammatical errors.)
- By entering the contest, entrants agree that Global Alliance/Iris Chang Memorial Fund has full right to reprint and to grant the use of the essays.
- The winning essays and some selected essays will be published, if possible and when appropriate, in printed or electronic format through Global Alliance/Iris Chang Memorial Fund, including but not limited to, its affiliates and/or other educational or media organizations.
- For correspondence, please email by clicking essay@irischangmemorialfund.org

Contest: Complete work of nonfiction (Deadline Sept. 1-30)

Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize

Graywolf Press is pleased to announce the fourth annual Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize.

A $12,000 advance and publication by Graywolf in 2009 will be awarded to the best previously unpublished, full-length work of literary nonfiction by a writer not yet established in the genre.

Robert Polito will serve as the judge.

“This prize seeks to acknowledge and honor the great traditions of literary nonfiction, extending from Robert Burton and Thomas Browne in the seventeenth century through Defoe and Strachey and on to James Baldwin, Joan Didion, and Jamaica Kincaid in our own time,” says Robert Polito. In looking for the winner, Polito goes on to say, “We seek the boldest and most innovative books from emerging nonfiction writers, although we define ‘emerging’ (no more than two published books) as lightly and flexibly as we define literary nonfiction.”

Whether grounded in observation, autobiography, or research, much of the most beautiful, daring, and original writing over the past few decades can be categorized as nonfiction. Submissions to the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize might span memoir, biography, or history, but it’s essential that they be finished books (no miscellaneous essay collections, sample chapters, or proposals).

Eligibility: Any writer who has not published more than two books of literary nonfiction (this excludes academic work and books in other genres) and resides in the United States is eligible. We welcome submissions from previously unpublished writers. Collections of miscellaneous essays/prose are not eligible for the prize. We will consider one submission per person.

Manuscripts submitted for previous years' prizes will not be reconsidered unless resubmission has been specifically invited by Graywolf’s editors or the judge.

Timeline: Submissions must arrive in the Graywolf offices between September 1-30, 2007. Please note that this is not a postmark deadline. The winner will be announced in February 2008 and published in February 2009.

Procedure: Please send one hard copy of the finished, book-length manuscript, along with a one-page cover letter containing contact information, a brief description of the manuscript (2-4 sentences), and previous publication history to Graywolf Press, attention Nonfiction Prize.

Manuscripts should contain 175-400 pages of text, in a standard 12-point font, double-spaced, and printed on one side of the page only. Please use only a rubber band or binder clip to bind your manuscript. We will not consider manuscripts submitted by email or on disk. Please do not submit manuscripts or queries to the judge.

Requested Submissions: The judge and Graywolf's editors may request submissions from authors and agents.

Notification: Please check our web site in February 2008 for announcement of the winner; this is the first place that the information will be posted.

If you would like to be notified that your manuscript has been received, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard; for announcement of the winner, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped #10 (business-sized) envelope. We cannot answer any queries about the status of manuscripts or announcement of the prize. Manuscripts will not be returned.

All decisions are final, and the judge cannot comment on individual submissions.