Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Writing Scene in Portland, Ore.

Burnt Tongue 2 reading at Crush
Portland writers give readings in dark places. Writers here call themselves dangerous. What they write is edgy and alternately ordinary. Writers here spend years in weekly critique groups working on novels. Newbies covet spots on the outer rings of said groups, knowing they are pond scum. If they shun the scum spots, there's no shortage of other groups to join, albeit less prestigious. Writers in Portland create their own support groups. They moon each other to express thanks. They break up and get back together. They break up and don't get back together. They write about breaking up and getting back together. They use the F word. A lot. Successful Portland writer still have to teach to make ends meet. Some start their own presses to publish work they know warrants attention. Some win the Pulitzer Prize. Some do guerrilla marketing. Some get movie options. They know movie stars and directors. Most are approachable. Many are very serious. Even the serious ones need inspiration and reasons to keep on writing. Because writing is a bitch as a living, but they can't quit it.


  1. I have always thought being a writer is such hard work, something I would love to do, but I don't think I have the talent or the guts for it.
    What you are describing above is to me the Portland relationship with so many things art, food, really it translates well to more then writing, well parts of it do. ;) Great Post

  2. Evidence of the truth of my observations:


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