Respect.  Writing.  Community.


Our Writing Workshops

Interested in holding a Write Around Portland workshop at your agency or organization? Contact Sarah, Program Coordinator, 503.796.9224.

On this page:

Write Around Portland provides high quality, skillfully facilitated writing workshops in safe, accessible and respectful environments for people to write and share in community, holds community readings to promote the exchange of stories and publishes anthologies to connect writers and readers.

Writing Workshop Model & Philosophy

Write Around Portland provides high quality, creative and unique writing workshops, which are participant-centered and are based on experiential learning. Most of our workshops run for 8-10 weeks, 2 hours per week. The workshop curriculum focuses on both generating new writing and developing the writing or revision and supports flexibility to meet the particular needs and interests of a given workshop group.

Volunteer workshop facilitators participate in a 27 hour intensive training on Write Around Portland's values and philosophies, keys to effective facilitation, including creation of a safe community in which to write and share, and practice modeling successful, creative workshop facilitation.

In our workshops, facilitators write alongside participants through a series of freewrites and positive, strength-building feedback. Workshop participants write stories, poems, memoirs, letters, essays while experimenting with imagery, character development, writing in different voices, dialogue and early-draft revision. Participants also have the opportunity to share their writing and give and receive positive feedback to grow as writers and build respectful community.

Participants strengthen their writing along with their sense of community. While our workshops are not traditional classes, they are educational, helping individuals deepen their writing, reading, listening and communication skills. Although the workshops are not counseling or support groups, participants tell us that the process is therapeutic, healing and reduces their sense of isolation. Write Around Portland has inspired participants to complete their GEDs, attend college, stick with treatment programs, transition back to our community after incarceration and break cycles of abuse.


Writing Workshops

Write Around Portland has facilitated more than 500 eight to ten-week creative writing workshops, unleashing the creative power of more than 4,000 adults and youth by helping them access the literary arts and community.

Our traditional workshops are held in partnership with hospitals, treatment centers, homeless shelters, senior centers, prisons, low income housing buildings, schools and other organizations (see comprehensive list of partner agencies at the bottom of this page). Nearly 75% of the participants in our traditional workshops live below the federal poverty line.

These workshops are offered free to the people served by our partner agencies and others who may not have access to writing in community because of income, isolation or other barriers. To ensure that everyone in our city has access to the power of writing in community, writing journals, pens, bus tickets, childcare and snacks are provided for participants in these workshops.

We also offer special workshops designed for new and seasoned writers who want to participate in a Write Around Portland workshop and support the communities we traditionally serve. We currently offer writing workshops with an associated fee at Powell's Books and HOTLIPS Pizza.

We also bring our writing workshops to various businesses and groups for a fee. Our workshops have been the medium for staff retreats, team-building seminars, and developing interpersonal and communication skills. These workshops can be adapted to meet the goals and needs of each group. Proceeds support our workshops in partnership with social service agencies, homeless shelters and other organizations. Call our office at 503-796-9224 for more information.


Community Readings

Workshop participants share their writing with the public at free community readings. These readings promote respect for diverse groups and provide an opportunity to hear the powerful stories of gifted writers in our workshops. Few Portland events include so many diverse voices. Visit our Events page for more information about upcoming readings.


Published Anthologies

Write Around Portland publishes and sells anthologies of participant writing at the end of each season of our traditional workshops. These professionally-produced books provide participants – many for the first time – the opportunity and satisfaction to see their words in print, while providing the public the opportunity to read the powerful stories and diverse voices of these important writers.


Write Around Portland Agency Partners

Interested in holding a Write Around Portland workshop at your agency or organization? Call Sarah at 503.796.9224.

Write Around Portland has provided writing workshops in collaboration with more than 200 social service agencies, community organizations, the state, county and public schools serving specific populations, such women fleeing domestic violence, youth who are homeless, people with mental or physical disabilities and adults in recovery from addictions. Our Agency Partners--listed below--provide workshop space and recruit participants. Our current season of workshops can be found here.

We also hold "open" workshops for adults living on a very low income, receiving social services and/or with a disability and a special workshop called Write On: Returning Writers for adults who have participated in 2-3 previous workshops. After completing Write On, participants are invited to write together in Seasoned Writers, a participant-facilitated group.




Harvey Scott SUN School/Impact NW

LifeWorks NW - LeoNiLeo

LifeWorks NW

Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC)

New Avenues for Youth
St. Mary's Home for Boys
YO! Center
Helensview High School
Multnomah County Juvenile Services - RAD Unit

Multnomah County Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Facility
Youth Employment Institute
Youth Builders
I Have a Dream
YWCA Smart Choices Program
DePaul Treatment Center

Dougy Center

North Portland Youth & Family Center

Centennial Learning Center

Powerhouse Mentors

Portland OIC/Rosemary Anderson High School

Jackson SUN School - Neighborhood House, Inc.

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars

Girl Scouts Hispanic Initiative/El Programa de Iniciativa Hispana de Girl

Girl Scouts Columbia River Council Hispanic Initiative

Cascade AIDS Project Kids' Connection

Human Solutions Arbor Glen Teen Club

New Columbia Youth Group (Housing Authority of Portland)

Powerhouse Mentors

NELA: Center for Student Access

Po'Shines/Teach Me To Fish

Janus Youth Services Bridge House

LEP High School

Timber Lake Job Corps

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility/University of Hope

Clark County Juvenile Justice/Vancouver Public Schools

Boys & Girls Aid, Pettygrove

Boys & Girls Aid, Seneca House

Serendipity Center

Friends of the Children

Camp Starlight

Thought Auction

Native American Youth Association

Portland Public Schools - Harvey Scott SUN, Jackson SUN

I Have a Dream at Alder Elementary SUN

Floyd Light Middle School SUN - David Douglas School District

Si Se Puede/Yes We Can

Vancouver Public Schools Back on Track Program

Parkrose School District - Parkrose Middle School, Prescott Elementary,

Russell Academy of Academic Achievement, Sacramento Elementary, Parkrose High School

Portland YouthBuilders

Morrison Child & Family Services Senderos of Portland

Providence Health & Services Camp Erin

Springdale Job Corps

Albertina Kerr

The Inn Home



Drug & Alcohol Recovery

CODA Alpha Family Treatment Center
Multnomah County Londer Learning Center/DePaul Treatment Center
Multnomah County Project Network

VOA Men's Residential Center

VOA Women's Residential Center

Central City Concern - 12th Avenue Recovery Center

Multnomah County Juvenile Services - RAD Unit

Central City Concern Recovery Mentor Program

Central City Concern Old Town Recovery Center

The Alano Club

Mental Health

Cascadia Behavioral Health Care - Renaissance, New Mezz, Community Connectors
Club 53
Folk Time - Portland & Oregon City

Veterans living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Thought Auction

New Renaissance Mental Health Center
Sequoia Community Mental Health (formerly Homestreet Banyan Tree)

Consumer Voices are Born (CVAB)

Mental Health Action Group - First Unitarian Church of Portland

Oregon State Hospital

Central City Concern - 12th Avenue Recovery Center

Laceleaf Apartments

Portland Hearing Voices

LifeWorks NW

DePaul Treatment Center


Health Care and Services for People with Disabilities


Kaiser Permanente Severe Obesity Management Group
Independent Living Resources
Quest Center for Integrative Health

Project Quest Arquette Cancer Center

Legacy Emanuel Burn Concern

Hospice of Washington County

Disability Resources of Southwest Washington

Providence St. Vincent Integrated Cancer Center

On-the-Move Community Integration

Willamette Falls Hospice

Self-Determination Resources, Inc.

Happy Cup/Full Life Coffee House

Emerson House

Serenity Palliative Care & Hospice

Maybelle Clark MacDonald Center

Speak EZ Aphasia Support Group

Providence Portland Medical Center

Portland Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group

Port City Development Center

Cascade AIDS Project

HIV Day Center, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

Camp Starlight

Rosewood Apartments

Quest Center for Integrative Health

Our House/Neighborhood Housing and Care Program/Swan House

Cascade AIDS Project Kids' Connection

Virginia Garcia Wellness Center

Phoenix Society World Burn Congress


Social Services

Metropolitan Family Service

Volunteers of America, Marie Smith Center

Catholic Charities

Rahab's Sisters/LifeWorks NW

Metropolitan Family Service

William Temple House – North and NW

Human Solutions

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Intersex, Transgender, Queer


Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC)

Elder Resource Alliance/Friendly House Senior Services

Transgender Group

Q Center


Low Income Housing


Central City Concern – Danmoore, Hatfield

Central City Concern - CEP Program

Central City Concern Madrona Studios

Multnomah County, Clara Vista Family Resource Center

REACH Community Development Corporation - Ritzdorf, Powell Boulevard, Patton Place and Wilshire Apartments

Park Terrace Apartments, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiative, Inc.

Portland Impact

Maybelle Clark MacDonald Center

Alder House

Innovative Housing, Inc. (IHI) - Musolf Manor and Broadway Vantage Apartments

Park Tower Apartments (Harsch Investment Properties)

Rose Community Development/Leander Court Apartments

The Giving Tree

St. James Lutheran Church

The Jeffrey Apartments/Cascadia

New Columbia Youth Group (Housing Authority of Portland)

Vancouver Housing Authority

Catholic Charities McCoy Village

Home Forward (formerly Housing Authority of Portland/HAP)

Hollywood East, Unthank Plaza, Williams Plaza, Sellwood Center, Gallagher Plaza, Dahlke Manor, New Columbia, Holgate House, Maple Mallory and NW Towers, Sellwood Center, Ruth Haefner Plaza, Peaceful Villa, Schrunk Riverview Tower, Tamarack, Grace Peck Terrace


Homelessness/Transitional Housing


Dignity Village
Jean's Place

Street Roots

Julia West House

Sisters of the Road

Salvation Army Harbor Light

New Avenues for Youth


Janus Youth Services Bridge House

Home Forward Bud Clark Commons

Transition Projects


Multicultural services


Hispanic Access Center
Oregon Council for Hispanic Advancement
Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRC0)
Native American Youth Association
North Portland Youth and Family Center
Clara Vista Common Bond

Girl Scouts Hispanic Initiative/El Programa de Iniciativa Hispana de Girl Scouts

Rigler SUN School

Bradley Angle House/Healing Roots Center

Girl Scouts Columbia River Council Hispanic Initiative

Sexual Assault Resource Center (El Centro de Recursos en Contra de la Violencia Sexual) - SARC

Urban League of Portland Multi-Cultural Senior Center

Virginia Garcia Wellness Center


Domestic/Sexual Violence

West Women's and Children's Center
Raphael House
YWCA Transitional Opportunities Project

YWCA Clark County

Volunteers of America - Family Center

Portland Women's Crisis Line

Bradley Angle House/Healing Roots Center

Sexual Assault Resource Center (El Centro de Recursos en Contra de la Violencia Sexual) - SARC




State of Oregon, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility - Minimum & Medium Security
State of Oregon, Columbia River Correctional Institution
Multnomah County Correctional Facility
Multnomah County Inverness Jail
Multnomah County Restitution Center

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility/University of Hope

Multnomah County Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Facility

VOA Men's Residential Center

VOA Women's Residential Center

YWCA Transitional Opportunities Project

Londer Learning Center


Community and Other Organizations

Adoption Mosaic

Zimmerman Community Center
Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN Schools), Portland Public Schools – Roosevelt, Marshall, Portsmouth, Tubman, Rigler, Clarendon, Gilbert Park, Kelly, Harvey Scott, Jackson, Madison
Portland Parks and Recreation Dishman Community Center
Reflections Cafe
Brentwood Darlington Center
Neighborhood Pride Team

Families of Military Service members in Iraq and Afghanistan wars

Portland Art Museum - Object Stories

Oregon Labor Candidate School


Oregon Humanities


Rose Schnitzer Tower

Urban League of Portland Multi-Cultural Senior Center
Volunteers of America, Velma Joy Bernie Center and Lambert House East

REACH/Station Place Tower

Cherry Park Plaza

Easter Seals

Providence ElderPlace Glendoveer

Providence ElderPlace Irvington Village

Neighborhood House Senior Center/Multnomah Arts Center

Elder Resource Alliance/Friendly House Senior Services

Rose Villa

Laurelhurst Village



133 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 304, Portland, OR 97204


“Write Around Portland has given me a brighter perspective. It has given me hope. It has been a tremendous benefit to write about my experience. To put it on paper and to share it with others has been healing.” 


        --Josh, Workshop Participant


“This is the me that I look forward to in my week. It feels so good to be able to have a place that helps nurture me both as a writer and a person. Write Around rocks!”

     -–Tessy, Workshop Participant