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Upcoming Events

Fall Four Minutes of Fame…in the Methow!

On October 28th, join us for a cozy autumn evening, sharing words and stories! We have another installment of our always-popular Four Minutes of Fame open mic reading events, once again being held at the beautiful Sun Mountain Lodge outside of Winthrop, WA. The socializing begins at 6:30 pm, the readings at 7:00.

It’s casual, it’s easy…and it’s free. All writers and friends are welcome to attend the evening event at no cost. Read your own work or just listen to good writing, enjoy a no-host beverage and dessert bar and meet new people.

Expect a full evening of reading and listening to original work by local writers and, just for fun, make it a sleepover! As a special option, Sun Mountain Lodge is offering half-price rooms for any attendees: Saturday night is just $148 total double occupancy, with dessert plate and continental breakfast included. Additional nights available, prior to event, for $125 plus tax.

E-mail info@writeontheriver.org to register to read your poetry, fiction, or nonfiction — in
progress, partial or published. This is a sharing — not a slam, critique session, or performance.
To read your work, e-mail info@writeontheriver.org before 10/20
For room reservations www.sunmountainlodge.com before 10/15


Upcoming Events. Posted on September 24, 2017.

First Ever Writers Retreat!

Do you need some time away from life’s distractions to sit down and actually get words on the page? Are you thirsting for an opportunity to dive deeply into your writing? Well, here’s your chance.

Write On The River is hosting our first ever Writers Retreat!

Join a fellowship of writers for four days of uninterrupted writing:

  • with as much solitude or camaraderie as you like, 
  • in a private lodge surrounded by quiet, riverfront beauty, and
  • supported by companions who are also working on their writing.

JRs Riverfront Retreat in Plain has a variety of rooms, as well as a loft with twin beds, with prices varying accordingly. Bring your own food to cook in one of two kitchens, gather to talk with others if and when you wish, walk the forested property for inspiration, and

experience the focus and peace that a beautiful retreat can provide. We’ll write in our rooms, on the lovely deck, or in the common room. Balanced againstindividual writing will be several chats from experienced writers and teachers (who are also retreating).

When: Sunday October 22, 4 pm – Wednesday October 25, 11 am

Total Price for All Three Nights of Retreat:

Private bedroom with queen bed (3 rooms available at this price): $275

Loft with twin beds (4 twin beds available at this price): $190

Register by October 20th: CLICK HERE

Questions: Call Melody Kreimes, WOTR, 509-888-0321 or email at mkreimes@nwi.net


Upcoming Events. Posted on September 6, 2017.

Summer 2017 Four Minutes of Fame!

It’s time for another one of our always enjoyable, ever popular open mic reading nights! Join us on Thursday, August 17th for a lively and convivial night of poetry and prose. Share your own written words, or just listen to others!

We’ll be meeting at beautiful O’Grady’s at Sleeping Lady in Leavenworth. Doors will open at 5:00, readings will start at 6:00. Local cuisine and full bar are available all evening.

To sign up for a reading slot, email info@writeontheriver.org

Upcoming Events. Posted on July 18, 2017.

2017 January Workshop Coming Up!

Come join us in Wenatchi Hall at Wenatchee Valley College, January 21st, 2017 from 9 a.m. to noon for our January Workshop!

THE STAKES MUST ALWAYS BE DEATH: How to Start Your Story and Keep the Pages Turning, by Maureen McQuerry. Together we’ll discover how conflict and tension fuel a character’s emotional journey and keep readers engrossed until the very end. How do we engage our readers’ hearts as well as their minds? Come prepared to participate in some short writing exercises and if you have a work in progress, bring it!

Members Price: $15

Non-Members Price: $50


About our presenter, Maureen McQuerry:

Maureen McQuerry is an award winning poet, novelist and teacher. Her YA novel, The Peculiars, is an ALA Best Book for YA 2013, Bank Street and Horne Book recommended book, and a winner of the Westchester Award. Her most recent books are a MG fantasy duo, Beyond the Door, a Booklist top Ten Fantasy/SciFi for Youth and The Telling Stone, a finalist for the WA State Book awards. She taught middle school through college for almost twenty years with a specialty in gifted education and is also the author of two non-fiction books, Nuclear Legacy and Student Inquiry. She currently supervises student teachers for WSU, is a board member of SCBWI Inland Northwest. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s hiking, biking or traveling and always hoping for a real life mystery or adventure.

Upcoming Events. Posted on January 11, 2017.

Our next Four Minutes of Fame, Nov. 17th!

Join Write On The River and your vibrant local writing community for a rousing evening of words and warmth on Thursday, November 17. We’re back with the latest installment of our bobsburgersalways-popular “Four Minutes of Fame” events. Share writing of your own or just enjoy the writing of others in a friendly, social environment. The delightful and delicious Bob’s Burgers and Brew (795 Grant Road, East Wenatchee) will be hosting us, so bubbly beverages and toothsome treats will be available as well. Come one, come all…escape the gray chill of the fall and enjoy a literary evening with us!

Socializing starts at 6:00, and readings will begin at 7:00.

Write On The River Members are given first priority for reading slots (click here to Become a Member). If you’d like to read, please contact Susan at info@writeontheriver.org

Upcoming Events. Posted on November 1, 2016.

2016 January Workshop: Bring Your Characters to Life with the Enneagram System!

aea_enneagram_diagram_2The ancient system of personality typing known as the Enneagram offers a powerful technical tool for developing original and dimensional characters. Familiarity with the nine basic types can help writers sharpen conflicts between characters to make dramatic situations more compelling. Being aware of the connections between story genres and Enneagram types provides insights into why we are drawn to create thrillers, romantic comedies, science fiction or other kinds of stories.

Join Write On The River and noted children’s author Claire Rudolph Murphy on January 30 from 9:00am-Noon for this illuminating, inspiring workshop to push your characters deeper and your writing further.

This workshop will introduce writers to this system and how it can apply to fiction and nonfiction characters and provide insight into one’s own writing life.



Only $15 for Write On The River Members (JOIN NOW!), $50 for non-members


First hour: Intro to the nine enneagram types. Participants will identify their own type and then reflect on how one’s type affects the writing life. Understanding one’s enneagram type can help a writer identify work patterns and positive changes to their natural operating system.

05fbc72Second hour: Further discussion about the nine types and how this it can be used to develop characters – both fiction and nonfiction. Participants will spend time brainstorming ways to apply this information to a personal writing project, especially in developing plot and character.

Third hour: Small and large group sharing of these new ideas and possible additional time for writing. Workshop wrap-up: final questions and feedback and suggestions for moving forward with this system.

Conference News, Upcoming Events. Posted on January 4, 2016.

2016 Writers Competition is OPEN!

It is once again time to announce Write On The River’s annual Writers Competition!

Submit your most polished, promising piece of prose or nonfiction. With $1,200 in prize money, our contest is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place entries will be honored on our website and at our May 2016 Conference.

This contest is open to any writer living in Washington state. Entries must be in the mail by February 12, so don’t delay.

Good luck, and happy writing!



Conference News, Upcoming Events. Posted on December 8, 2015.

2016 Conference Workshops


Click here to learn about the esteemed faculty of our 2016 conference.

NEW THIS YEAR! Click here to learn about the opportunity for a professional manuscript critique!


Friday evening, 7:00 to 9:00 pm


Join us in Rivertop’s banquet room, at the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel on Friday, May 13. Meet and mingle with conference presenters and your local writing friends while you enjoy hearty appetizers and a no-host bar. First page critiques will start around 7:30.

The two commentators, Rachel Letofsky and Rebecca Zanetti, will read several pieces aloud and then discuss their merits. This “kickstart” to the weekend conference is a great way to learn more about your own and other people’s writing!

If you’re submitting a page that evening, bring it with you, untitled, without your name on it. Limit your one page of fiction or nonfiction to about 300 words, with easy-to read spacing and 1.5 inch margins. Please indicate at the top the genre (i.e. mainstream, literary, memoir, nonfiction, fantasy, mystery, middle grade, children, young adult, etc.) Our commentators will read as many pieces as we have time for.

Seating is limited, so register early!

Rachel Letofsky is a literary agent with the Cooke Agency. Rebecca Zanetti is a NYT bestselling author of over 25 books.

Space is limited. Be one of 30 to reserve a place!

Date: Friday, May 13

Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Cost: $25 per person, including delicious hearty appetizers.

Location: Riverside Banquet Room (top of the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel, 201 North Wenatchee Avenue)



Sunday Master Class, 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Advanced Fiction Writing – This Day We Write!
- Robert Dugoni

Using lecture, in-class assignments, and examples of his own and other best-sellers, Bob brings a nuts & bolts approach to writing the novel, focusing on the writer’s life, to outline or not to outline, writer’s block, story structure, creating memorable characters, and maintaining and increasing suspense.

Bob’s philosophy is to help writers remove as many of the obstacles in the path to publication as possible. The class appeals to students who are beginning their novels as well as to those who have completed novels and are looking for techniques to improve their writing and storytelling.

Saturday Double-Session Workshop

Here Comes Trouble: Conflict and Story Fundamentals Matthew J. Sullivan

While we typically want to avoid conflict in our daily lives, avoiding it on the page is a death sentence for our writing. This is because without conflict, there is no story.  

Conflict is fundamental to our work as writers. It can be a useful tool to help us to better understand the basic building blocks of a story and to raise the stakes in our writing. We will use Conflict as a tool to review the basic elements of narrative writing, such as Plot, Setting and Character.

Participants in this workshop can expect to:

  • – explore the relationship between Conflict and Plot, and identify the universal conflicts that are present in all stories.
  • – practice techniques that will help to raise the tension in our stories, beginning with opening lines.
  • – examine ways that Setting can contribute to conflict and heighten the atmosphere.
  • – explore the roles that Conflict can play within and between our Characters.
  • – practice using dialogue as a way to develop Characters and heighten tensions.

Short writing exercises will help to solidify these concepts and, hopefully, get some conflict-ridden stories underway. And though this session will focus on fiction, it will also be relevant to screenplays, creative nonfiction, memoirs, and books for younger readers.

Agent Presentation

Getting Rep’d: How, If and When to Get an AgentRachel Letofsky, Literary Agent

This workshop will demystify the process of securing literary representation. Rachel will discuss the pros and cons of the traditional route to publishing, and what an agent can do for you. She will also talk about the best practices in opening a line of communication with an agent and how to get your query to stand out from the slush pile, including relevant do’s and don’ts in the submission process and how to craft a query letter.  Click here to learn about our new agent format for this year’s conference!

Saturday Morning Workshops, Sessions 1, 2 &3:

How to Write for the Internet (and Never Get a Real Job Again) Jason Brick

The number of websites that need excellent content grows faster than the potential output of people qualified to write those words. Self-publishing via Amazon and other platforms continues to grow in popularity and profitability. Meanwhile, online scriptwriting and other newer markets keep popping up. 

There has never been a better time to write for a living. This workshop will show you how in three sections covering:

  • – The different markets for making a living writing online
  • – Basics of the craft of writing for the internet
  • – How to develop a portfolio and pitch your first clients

You won’t come out already a professional web writer…but you’ll know what to do so that you can come back to the conference next year a professional web writer. 

Game Plan to Be an Indie SuperstarShoshanna (Evers) Gabriel

Making a good living as an author is not just the luck of the draw, and it’s not (unfortunately) just about having great books. Knowing how to get your book in front of readers and entice them to buy it are now more important than ever before. Join Shoshanna Evers for a step-by-step game plan that will set you on the path to being an indie author superstar!

You will learn:

  • – How to begin your internet presence with a simple, DIY author website, Facebook page and profile, as well as Twitter and Goodreads.
  • – How to pick keywords and BISAC categories for your novel to increase your book’s discoverability.
  • – The importance of picking a sub-genre and sticking with it until your audience is established, and/or writing a series.
  • – How to avoid being marked as an amateur, especially when soliciting reviews or using social media.
  • – Pros/cons of publishing exclusively with Amazon through KDP Select.
  • – What your book’s backmatter must include to get readers to leave a review, sign up for your mailing list, and buy your next book!
  • – How to (and why you need to) start a mailing list of your readers immediately.

Crafting the “Me” in Memoir Bonnie J. Rough

This workshop focuses on the center of your memoir: You. But have you noticed that the “me” in your memoir isn’t really you? You’re way too much for a book! In fact, the “me” projected onto the pages of a memoir can only be, at best, an honestly and thoughtfully crafted version of the self. It can be difficult to locate the right persona for your story—one that’s not too safe, not too risky, and one who tells a powerful truth. As writers rendering personal experiences, how do we account for the difference between what we know now and what we knew then? How do we settle into an authentic voice, take a clear and meaningful stance, portray ourselves as truly human, and reveal the transformative insights of wisdom gained over time? In this workshop, we’ll discover how to use voice, stance, self-characterization, and perspective to invite readers to emotionally invest in the stories of our personal lives. We’ll also cover the different key functions of author, speaker, and character when writing about ourselves. This workshop is for memoir writers at every level of experience, and works just as well for shorter pieces as it does for book-length projects. 

Romancing the Character ArcRebecca Zanetti

From inspirational to erotic, suspense to contemporary, paranormal to steampunk, if the story has a happily ever after (even just for now), your book is probably a romance. In any novel, characterization is key, and more so in romance novels. Your protagonists must be different people at the end of the book, otherwise, what’s the point? In this workshop, we’ll look at the different genres of romance as well as how to create a character arc that keeps readers engaged and unwilling to put the book down until the very end.

7 Lessons I’ve Learned Along the WayRebecca Zanetti

From craft to time management to health… the reality of maintaining a successful writing career is much different from the daydreams of many unpublished authors. Even though the publishing industry seems to be constantly changing, there are several methods for growing a stable career in these wild times. Please join Rebecca Zanetti, a New York Times bestselling author, for a down-to-earth and encouraging look at the publishing industry and a writer’s life. She’ll share seven lessons she’s learned along the way… in addition to the one thing she’d go back and change if she could. (Yes, there’s one).

History, Research, and the Texture of Life Django Wexler

Writing an unfamiliar world can be intimidating, whether it’s fantasy, historical, or simply a setting you don’t know much about. Setting is a lot more than scenery and architecture; it’s also the daily lives of the people who live there, what ordinary difficulties they face, choices they make, and tools they use. It’s these tiny bits of texture that make the difference between a rich world and a cardboard backdrop. In this workshop, we’ll talk about capturing the details that make a setting feel alive, and how a little research can be a writer’s best friend in any genre. We’ll look at what kinds of research are most useful for novelists and how you can best spend your time, how even totally fictional settings can benefit from some history, and why you can sometimes research too much.

Saturday Afternoon Breakout Sessions

New this year! For each 50-minute period in the afternoon, choose from 6 or 7 participatory breakouts. These will be slightly shorter sessions, in order to give you even more options and material. They will be more interactive, face-to-face, and intimate…while still delivering invaluable content from our esteemed faculty. We are so excited to debut this new breakout format!

Session 4     1:30-2:20

    1. Letofsky. Agent Query Feedback. Read aloud your query letter, and our literary agent will provide feedback and thoughts on improvement. Feedback and Q&A.
    2. Sullivan. Generating Ideas from our Lives. Mining our lives for material. Discussion and writing practice.
    3. Zanetti. Description in a Story. Using setting and description to reveal your character. Fiction. Discussion and Q & A.
    4. Dugoni. Power Editing a Manuscript. Fiction. Discussion and Q & A.
    5. Rough. Voice in Creative Nonfiction 1: Risks and rewards of authenticity. Discussion and Q & A.
    6. Sheffield. The Line Break in Poetry. Where to break a line in a poem and why. Discussion and Q & A

Session 5    2:30-3:20

    1. Wexler. Three Common Problems in Fantasy and Science Fiction. Tips and discussion.
    2. Fountain. Power Up Your Writing Imagination. Deepening the connection with our imaginations. Fiction and nonfiction. Tips, writing from prompts, sharing.
    3. McCallan. The First Meet Scene in Romance. The essential elements in this critical hero/heroine scene. Tips and write & share.
    4. Gabriel. The Crucial Mailing List. How to start and build an opt-in email list of readers who want your next book (and what to email them!). Discussion and Q & A.
    5. Gemeinhart. Getting Published in Kid Lit! Whether writing picture books, middle grade or YA, connect with other writers and learn from a pro. Discussion and Q & A.
    6. Brick. Forward Your Career Exponentially This Year. Your timeline: goals, benchmarks, processes. Nonfiction and fiction. Build a success plan in the room. 
    7. Sheffield. The Associative Leap in Poetry. Using the leap in a poem to generate surprise. Discussion and Q & A.

Session 6    3:30-4:20

  1. Letofsky. First Impressions. Rachel’s feedback on the opening of your manuscript. Bring 3 copies of your first page (double spaced, black on white, 12 point Times Roman). We’ll read each page out loud and provide initial impressions. (This is not a pitch session.)
  2. Sullivan. Generating Ideas from the World. Seeing the world around us with creative eyes. Discussion and writing practice.
  3. Zanetti. The Book Doctor. Having issues with craft, character arcs, setting, plotting or twists? Bring your questions or just come to listen. Advice.
  4. Gabriel. 5 Top Promo Tools for Indie Authors. Free or inexpensive ways to promote and market your indie book. Discussion and Q & A.
  5. Dugoni. Power Editing a Fiction Manuscript. Discussion and Q & A. (This is a repeat of breakout #4 in Session #4.)
  6. Rough. Voice in Creative Nonfiction 2: Finding and freeing your best narrator. Advice and exercises.


7:00 –

9:00 PM


Critiques by Rachel Letofsky and Rebecca Zanetti

8:00 –

8:45 AM

REGISTRATION in Wenatchi Hall

(This year, WOTR will present writing competition awards during the lunch period.)


8:45 –

9:45 AM

This workshop will use conflict as a tool for introducing and reviewing the basic elements of narrative writing, such as plot, setting, and character.
Matthew J. Sullivan

Keys to the engaging protagonist in the romance novel, including how to create a character arc that makes readers unwilling to put the book down until the very end.

Rebecca Zanetti


Jason Brick shows the ways, means, tricks, and traps of writing professionally from home, in your underwear, with the cool beverage of your choice on your desk. 

Jason Brick



10:00 –




Learn how to bring readers to your book with an internet presence and on Amazon and other retailers. Shape a career strategy, solicit reviews, and avoid amateur missteps.

Shoshanna (Evers) Gabriel


Discover how careful attention to voice, stance, self-characterization, and perspective can persuade readers to emotionally invest in the stories of our personal lives.

Bonnie J. Rough



11:15 AM-




Make your setting come alive, capturing the details that make for a rich fictional world, whether it’s fantasy, historical, or just a setting you don’t know much about.

Django Wexler


From craft to time

management to health, learn how to grow a stable career. A down-to-earth and encouraging look at the publishing industry and a writer’s life.

Rebecca Zanetti


The pros and cons of the traditional route to publishing, & what an agent can do for you. Learn the best ways to open a line of communication with an agent & how to get your query to stand out.

Rachel Letofsky, The Cooke Agency

12:15 –

1:15 PM



New this year! For each 50-minute period in the afternoon, choose from 6 or 7 participatory breakouts. These will be slightly shorter sessions, in order to give you even more options and material. They will be more interactive, face-to-face, and intimate…while still delivering invaluable content from our esteemed faculty. We are so excited to debut this new breakout format!

SESSION 4: 1:30-2:20     Breakout Session offerings described above

SESSION 5: 2:30-3:20    Breakout Session offerings described above

SESSION 6: 3:30-4:20    Breakout Session offerings described above


4:30-6:00  Reception and Book Signing with Presenters and local authors at Van Tassell Hall.  Our afternoon reception features book sales by local writers as well as guest presenters. If you’ve published a book and are interested in selling copies, please contact Write OnThe River (info@writeontheriver.org) with your name and the title.You may also want our bookseller, A Book For All Seasons, to order and sell your book. (They would take a share of the purchase price for any books sold).


No Agent Pitch Appointments?     Click here to learn about our new agent format for this year’s conference!

Upcoming Events. Posted on October 21, 2015.