Professional Writers Series





Tuesdays, LIBRARY —- ROOM 240

7-9 p.m.

All students and faculty welcome to these presentations.

Course Overview

The Professional Writers Series introduces students to award-winning writers from a variety of genres. Over the course of the semester, there will be six guest presentations by writers living and working in our area who will speak about the trajectory of their careers and where they have experienced both success and challenges. Many of these writers, by choice or necessity, have written or worked in multiple disciplines to further their professional careers. Through these talks, in class discussions and writing assignments, students will gain insight into the writing process and the ways authors interact with other professionals, including working other writers, editors, publishers, and designers, both creatively and commercially. On nights when there is no guest speaker, the class will review each other’s writings in an informal workshop setting. The goal of the course is for students to find ways to apply what they discover in this course to their own literary career paths.




Tom Spanbauer


Dangerous Writing

Tom Spanbauer is the critically acclaimed author of five novels, Faraway Places, The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon, In The City Of Shy Hunters, Now Is The Hour, and his latest, I Loved You More. His works are known for their combination of their fresh and lyrical prose style alongside solid storytelling. Spanbauer is also the founder and creative force behind Dangerous Writing, a Portland based workshop that has resulted in over 40 published works by its participants. As a teacher, his innovative approach combines close attention to language with a large-hearted openness to what he calls the ‘‘the sore place’’—-that place within each of us that is the source for stories that no one else can tell.



Molly Gloss

Molly Gloss











Reinventing The Western

Molly Gloss is a fourth-generation Oregonian who lives in Portland. She is the bestselling author of The Jump-Off Creek, The Dazzle of Day, Wild Life, The Hearts of Horses and Falling From Horses. Her work has earned numerous awards, including an Oregon Book Award, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, the PEN West Fiction Prize, the James Tiptree Jr. Award; and a Whiting Writers Award. Novelist Kent Haruf has said that ‘‘Gloss has made herself a permanent place on the shelf of American Literature which features tough, smart, independent women.’’




Chelsea Cain - large

Chelsea Cain











Writing Killer Fiction

Chelsea Cain is the New York Times best-selling author of the thriller detective novels Heartsick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, Kill You Twice and Let Her Go. Pitting detective Archie Sheridan against serial killer Gretchen Lowell, these mysteries, set in Portland, Oregon, combine taut psychological character studies with adrenaline driven plots. The New York Times described her thrillers as ‘‘steamy and perverse.’’ Translated into 30 languages, two of these novels have been named twice among Stephen King’s top ten favorite books of the year and NPR named Heartsick one of the best 100 thrillers ever written. Cain’s latest book is One Kick, which launches her Kick Lannigan series.




Kevin Sampsell

Kevin Sampsell










Writing Across Genres

Kevin Sampsell is an editor (featuring Portland Noir among his titles), the publisher of Future Tense Books, and the author of the short story collection, Creamy Bullets, and the memoir, A Common Pornography. His stories and essays have appeared in such publications and websites as Salon, The Rumpus, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Best Sex Writing 2012 and Best American Essays 2013.




Martha Grover

Martha Grover











The Modern Memoir

Martha Grover is that author of the memoir One More for the People. The San Francisco Weekly called One More for the People ‘‘an intimate, hilarious, affecting collection, one that stakes out new territory between talk, journal, memoir, and essays.’’ She is also the publisher and principal writer and illustrator for her print zine, Somnabulist, which she has been publishing for over ten years. Her work has appeared in The Coachella Review, Switchback, Broken Pencil, Tom Tom Magazine and the Raven Chronicles.



Shawn Levy

Shawn Levy










Literature and Legends

Shawn Levy is one of the nation’s leading writers on popular culture. His latest biography is De Niro: A Life, a vivid portrait of actor Robert De Diro. The Washington Post has said that Levy has created ‘‘a portrait of a private man who seems to depend on the creation of characters to sustain himself. Levy’s other books include King of Comedy: The Life and Art of Jerry Lewis, Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Peter, Joey and the Last Great Show Biz Party, Ready, Steady, Go! The Smashing Rise and Giddy Fall of Swinging London, and Paul Newman: A Life. He has written about film, pop culture, books and sports for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian of London, the Independent of London, the San Francisco Chronicle, Movieline, Film Comment, Sight and Sound, Premiere, the Village Voice, the Hollywood Reporter and many other publications.

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