Text Box:

ALWAYS Free Admission


Hours: Tues - Fri 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Saturday Noon - 4:00 pm
214 North Main, Pendleton, OR  97801

(tele) 541-278-9201   email us

The First Draft Writers’ Series brings authors and poets of note to the Pendleton stage to share new work. On the third Thursday of each month people who love the written word gather at the PCA’s Pearson Auditorium to hear our featured authors as well as three to five minute open mic readings by local emerging writers.





This month’s featured writer:

Past featured writers:




February            Scot Siegel and Kristen Berger

April                    Tiffany Midge and Xavier Cavanos




January               Tom Madden and Nancy Knowles

February            Brittney Corrigan
March                 Mary Emerick
April                    Kathleen Dean Moore
May                    Drew Myron
June                   Gary Lark

July                    Pepper Trail

August                Oregon Poet Laureate Elizebeth Woody

September         We take a break for Round Up
October              Andrea Hollander

November          Shann Ray Ferch

December          TBA



January               David Axelrod and David Memmott

February            Jennifer Boyden and Scott Elliott

March                 Robert Stubblefield

April                    Alice Derry, Katharine Whitcomb and Christianne Balk

May                    Kathleen Flenniken

June                   Penelope Scambly Schott

July                    Kirsten Rian

August                Brian Doyle

September         Round Up Break

October               Rob Whitbeck

November          Alex Kuo

December          Pamela Reese



January               George Venn
Charles Finn
Dave Jarecki and John Sibley Williams
Barbara Drake
Gregory Nokes
Kim Barnes and Robert Wrigley

July                    Lawson Inada

August                Michael Spring

September         Peg Willis and Judith Quaempts

October               Elizabeth Enslin

November          Ellen Waterston

December          Jennifer Karson-Engum and Bobbie Conner



May                    Molly Gloss

June                   Ingrid Wendt, Ralph Salisbury

July                    Charles Goodrich

August                Naseem Rakha

September         East/West Poets: Maralee Gerke,

                          Bette Husted, Jack Lorts, Thomas Madden, Erik Muller,
                          Pamela Steele and featuring Shaindel Beers & Penelope Schambly Schott

October               Ursula Le Guin with Richard Dorband

November          Craig Lesley

December          Karen Spears Zacharias





You can hear recordings of past events at the East Oregonian’s website.

The event is free to the public thanks to generous support from Oregon Humanities, as well as from local sponsors and regional foundations. Our founding sponsors include Jan and Tom Groat, Delores and Steve Bjerke, and Barbara and Dale Brandt.

“Truly, [First Draft] was one of the best adventures of my writing career, right up there with winning the PNBA awards and being interviewed by Studs Turkel.”   - Craig Lesley

The First Draft Writers’ Series features an Ashland poet and ornithologist whose work has taken him across the globe and onto the pages of National Geographic. Pepper Trail will read from his new work on July 21 at 7:00 pm at the Pendleton Center for the Arts as part of the free event.


Trail's poetry has appeared in Rattle, Spillway, Atlanta Review, Cascadia Review, Windfall and elsewhere.  He was nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, and his collection Cascade-Siskiyou was a finalist for the 2016 Oregon Book Award in poetry.  Also a regular essayist for the Jefferson Monthly, as well as a contributor to the Writers on the Range series.


Trail received his B.A. from Cornell University, and his M.S. from the University of California at Davis. He then returned to Cornell, and received his Ph.D. in ornithology for his field studies of the spectacular Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock in Suriname.  his work was featured in a National Geographic article, illustrated with Trail’s photographs.  He continued his research with post-doctoral fellowships at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the California Academy of Sciences, where he studied the ancestry of Darwin’s finches.  From 1992-1994, he was the senior wildlife biologist for the government of American Samoa, and traveled widely in Polynesia, Australia, and New Zealand.


Since 1994, Trail has lived in Ashland, Oregon, where he is the ornithologist at the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory.  In this position, he is responsible for identification of all feathers, bones, and other bird remains that are submitted in investigations of wildlife crimes.  He is also an Adjunct Professor of Biology at Southern Oregon University, and is a sought-after lecturer on cruises and natural history trips to all parts of the world. In addition to poems, Trail will be bringing a series of bird and feather photographs to share.

PCA’s First Draft Writers’ Series brings literary artists of note to Pendleton each third Thursday of the month and is always free, thanks to support by the Kinsman Foundation and contributions from community members. The invited reader is followed by Open Mic, where up to ten local writers can read from their own original work. For more information contact the Pendleton Center for the Arts, 541-278-9201 or online, pendletonarts.org.


Left: Molly Gloss at the inaugural meeting of FDWS. Above: Ursula K. LeGuin and Richard Dorband discuss the writing life.

This website is owned and maintained by the Arts Council of Pendleton and the Pendleton Center for the Arts © 2014

The Arts Council of Pendleton is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization established in 1974

This site is generously sponsored by Wtechlink (Oregon’s fastest wireless service!)

First Draft Writers’ Series is made possible through the generous support from the Kinsman Foundation and the Oregon Cultural Trust, along with contributions from people like you. If you’d like to help us keep the literary arts alive and well, mail a check to  214 North Main, Pendleton, OR 97801, with the memo “First Draft.”

PLUS: Our world-famous Open Mic!




Listen to Bette Husted and Lynn Robertson talk about First Draft on the KUMA Coffee Hour.

(Skip to 12:30)