right here, write now

Event Recaps

Focus on Fiction Workshop Wowed Us

WOTR’s “Focus on Fiction” Summer Weekend Workshop on June 23 brought a classroom full of local writers to WVC for a full day of eye-opening instruction. This was a great experience for all of us, and loads of fun, including socializing at local pub afterward!
Animated by her love of writing and writers, best-selling multi-genre author Anthea Sharp delved into the mysteries and simple truths of the wide-open literary marketplace. Screenwriter, editor and writing coach Bill Johnson drew on well-known films and novels to illustrate the importance of knowing and showing the plot-driving needs of main characters.
Both presenters were available for private manuscript critiques, and the participating writers came away with renewed confidence and strong editorial resolve.
Keep your eyes on this website for details on our Autumn Weekend Workshop.
Event Recaps. Posted on June 27, 2018.

Pybus Prompts


We had a great time meeting and greeting people at the Pybus Market Non-Profit Day on March 24, 2018. We asked passers-by to briefly respond to a few writing “prompts” and let us publish their quick thoughts on line. Here’s what folks wrote that day:

My favorite smells, sounds, tastes, textures

The Beach

I take my troubles to the sea

And lay them on the shore

Then the waves come rolling in

They are gone forever more

At 70 I’ve had a wealth of memory scent & taste. But I cannot pass by a blackberry bramble in July without being ten again. Sun on black bulbs of sour sweetness, acrid honey taste on my tongue of course after the just-so thumb & two-finger pluck, that pulls the whole dark cap, cobweb dust and all, into my hand.

Pizza, birds, pizza pizza

In the morning, I hear the songs of small birds and the creaks of wood. The flowers are smooth and rocks jagged. The trees branches crackle and blow with the wind. Fresh fruit crunches and is filled with delicate juice of delight. Mornings are filled with simple pleasures.

Fresh rain on hot asphalt: wonderful smell

Rain on the metal roof: Lovely sounds.

Born and raised in

Southern California – Rain was rare.

Bacon, Lily of the Valley

baby laughter – symphony music

cinnamon rolls – lemon bars

soft fleece – baby cheeks (all four)

The smell of fresh rain in Arizona.

One of my most favorite smells and sounds begins mid-spring in the outlying Areas – sage brush blooming and birds singing promising the upcoming summer! Brings back childhood to the front of my brain and I am a carefree girl, happy and full of anticipation for the upcoming summer season here in the Wenatchee Valley!

fresh cut grass

verdant and clean

my mother’s roses

an ombre of pink to red

and the smell of a library book

just opened and soon to be enjoyed

My favorite smell is the scent of the air just before a summer rain. To me it smells like a hot cast-iron pan. And then – when it does rain – I get the bonus of feeling like I can predict the future!

The quails coo

The chickadees twitter & the crocus push through the leafy twigs to celebrate Spring… with all of her brightness, sweet smells & cool crisp air. I’m in love!!!

The hen house on my grandparents’ farm had a pleasant aroma that I remember to this day. I was allowed to gather the eggs from each “nest” and recall the feel of the hay and the warmth of the eggs. The salt lick was a favorite “treat” when Grandpa and I went to bring in bossy from the pasture. The texture of the salt (yes I ate from the cow’s salt lick) and taste I remember fondly.

An almost-tragic event I learned from

An almost tragic event that I learned from occurred in 1998-99, when my son Timothy had cancer. He had a tumor. He survived. He was 16. On April 5th he will be 36. He is disabled, but alive. You have to let go of your control and recognize GOD’s hand in things. In the years since, I’ve lost my mother-in-law, my husband and both of my parents. My son is such a joy to be around. Some people will know who we are. Debra

When my son called me from the concert in Las Vegas and was being shot at, I learned we are all vulnerable to others. But being scared doesn’t mean we aren’t fiercely courageous.

Almost drowning from a raft ride – I learned I can be calm enough to survive. (But I did panic when my daughter was choking on a cherry pit.)

A pledge or promise I’m making to myself

I promise to keep my body happy by giving it smart food, eaten in the convivial company of my friends, my spouse, and especially myself. I promise to take my body for a walk as often as I can wherever the dog wants to go, and to keep my gym schedule regular – to make the frequent movement of my aging body a pattern and a pleasure.

My weight, I hate, it will not be my fate.

My health will be better without it.

I must walk, I must run, I must make workouts fun

This I pledge to myself, don’t doubt it.

To be a better mom, to not go down the path my parents went down

The pledge I make to myself is to treat me like someone I’m responsible to care for. To treat myself with the same care I give to my children and to my friends.

I used to be

I want to be

I meant to be

If only

If only

I had a voice

strong enough

to redirect the flow

of thoughts



about strong minded


who don’t worry about

pleasing others

Girls true to their

hearts and souls

never shade my gifts

and fearlessly stepping

into the unknown


While finding truth

without harm to others.

A peace within where

all are welcome.

Please, come on


– Robin Ingraham Howell

to love myself unconditionally –

No matter the mistakes I have made of the grief I have endured–

love myself!

A promise I am making to myself is to write my book! How to teach Joy is a parent/child book to illustrate how young children learn as well as resources for parents of activities & Songs & Books to aid in providing support for brain development. – Teacher Joy

…to cast a wider net of social consciousness, engaging wider & deeper in my community.

(And, finally, this is in response to a question) “No – writing doesn’t come naturally to me – but It’s so damn important to me – to get what’s in my soul out way beyond just the sound of my voice. That’s why I write!”

Event Recaps. Posted on April 2, 2018.

2016 Write On The River Contest Winners!

In case you missed it, we had another wonderful writing competition this year, full of tremendous talent. The winners have long been announced, but it’s never too late to show off some of the outstanding writers we have here in our community and in our state. Competing with over a hundred entries, these winners rose to the top of an impressive pile to stake their claim to fame (and, hey, a part of the $1200 prize money fortune!). Congrats to our winners and all who bravely put their best literary foot forward…our judges were wowed by the quality of all the entries. Stay tuned this fall for your chance to participate in our 2017 Writer’s Competition!

Click here to read this year’s winning entries!





















Great job, everyone!

Conference News, Event Recaps, top. Posted on August 8, 2016.

Members Brave the Smoke for a Great September Members-Only Event

Despite that persistent and terrible wildfire smoke in Wenatchee, Write On The River Members came out for an inspiring and informative workshop in September.  Focused on Dialogue and Description an facilitated by writing guru Ray Rhamey, attendees learned how to add dimension and characterization to description of scenes and characters, and how to better create the experience of the story in a reader’s mind.  Full of concrete examples and fun scenarios, participants left with specific techniques to hone and improve their writing.  This was a Members-Only event…to learn more about the benefits of Write On The River membership (and sign up!), click here.

Event Recaps. Posted on October 23, 2012.

Brave Novel Writers Kick Off an Ambitious Month

Write On The River’s courageous cadre of WriMos (National Novel Writing Month participants) met last weekend at the Coffee Cabin in Wenachee, WA to kick off what is sure to be an insane but inspiring month.  They’ve each pledged to attempt to write a 50,000 word minimum novel, start to finish, during the month of November.  This international challenge (millions have participated worldwide – hundreds of thousands every year) is a fun, frenzied way to get to blow the cobwebs off your writing life and get a completed rough draft in your hands.  With a lot of work, everyone in the group will have a manuscript in hand to pitch at the Write On The River Writing Conference in May!

Seven-twelfths of our ambitious Write On the River NaNoWriMo group

This is the first year that Write On The River has organized a NaNoWriMo group, and we’re thrilled with the level of participation and enthusiasm among local writers.  Besides the seven stalwart individuals in the picture (plus one who left before the picture), the group includes four more who could not make the meeting.

Coffee was consumed, introductions made, tips and advice were offered, ideas were exchanged, and lots of hearty good luck was wished.  We also set the date for a mid-month Write-In at Caffe Mela to re-connect, encourage one another, and add some more words to our word count.  Feel free to join us whether you’re participating in NaNoWriMo or not!   The Write-In will be November 18th at 4:30.

Wish us all good luck and great writing – we’ll need plenty of both!

Event Recaps. Posted on October 30, 2011.

Fall Members-Only Event an Inspiring Success!

Members-Only First Page Critique Session, September 29, 2011

Larry Brooks and Kay Kenyon, both widely published authors and both wise in the ways of presenting winning manuscripts to publishers, read aloud and then spontaneously critiqued 16 anonymously contributed “first pages” at the fall Members-Only event. In a spacious conference room at the North Central Education Service District building in Wenatchee, they shared the task of giving real life, real time, professional reaction to the beginnings of literary and commercial novels, short stories, memoirs, and even children’s books. Sometimes disagreeing with each other (“a little bit like Simon and Paula,” quipped Brooks) they offered consistently helpful insight. The 30 audience members, half of them writers with pages undergoing scrutiny, enjoyed wine and snacks and each others’ company for what was essentially a 2 hour master class in story telling. The September 29 event is one of three planned for the year to thank members and offer them a unique and writing-rich experience.  Become a Write on the River Member to be sure you don’t miss out on another opportunity like this one!

Event Recaps. Posted on September 29, 2011.