First Draft Writers’ Series
Third Thursday of each month, always FREE

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Check out the list of esteemed writers who have headlined First Draft since 2013.
Become a Friend of First Draft HERE.

 

Ursula LeGuin reading at First Draft.

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.

“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 is focused on encouraging discussion around issues within the community, the region and beyond. Notices about upcoming featured readers will be accompanied by a question or theme the audience and our Open Mic readers are asked to consider. Themes will be inspired by the featured writers’ work. Past featured writers have tackled a wide range of issues, including domestic violence, preservation of natural resources, poverty, and gardening. Look for themes or questions here and our social media posts. There’s a special Facebook page just for First Draft. 

Looking for some writing workshops this winter/spring? Our pals over at Fishtrap have a great selection of offerings. Check them out HERE. 

Open Mic

While we love our featured writers, the Open Mic readers are really the lifeblood of this event. Whether you’re a professional, emerging literary artist, amateur or just get a burst of inspiration to write one thing, we’d love to have you read your original 3-5 minute piece for the audience. Up to ten people can sign up each month to share their work after the featured author and a quick Q&A. Just send us a note in the Zoom chat that you’d like to read.

UP NEXT

Join us for a reading and conversation with Andrea Carlisle
Thursday, June 20, 2024
7:00 p.m. in person at PCA and via Zoom!
(ZOOM Link Here) 

Andrea Carlisle taught fiction and nonfiction for the Oregon Writers’ Workshop and other writing organizations in Oregon and Washington. Her work has been published in literary journals, newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and by independent presses. Go Ask Alice . . . When She’s 94, her popular blog, focused on her mother’s aging, on the deep and often funny intergenerational exchanges between mother and daughter, and on caregiving. Andrea has received fellowships from the Oregon Institute of Literary Arts and the Oregon Arts Commission.

“There Was an Old Woman is neither a memoir nor an angry fist-shaking rejection of the stereotypes, but instead a clear-eyed, moving, personal exploration of what it means to be growing older.” — Molly Gloss, author of The Jump-Off Creek and The Hearts of Horses

“Andrea Carlisle’s glorious wry wit and brilliant wisdom have always lit up her readers and listeners so thoroughly that we stand in line waiting for her new book with greatest joy and gusto – as you might stand at an old-fashioned train station trembling to see your long lost loved one coming home at last.” — Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners and The Tiny Journalist

Andrea Carlisle isn’t struggling with her new identity as the Old Woman in the ways society seems to think she should. In fact, she is finding her later years to be an extraordinary and interesting time. In trying to understand the discrepancy, she interrogates the sources of negativity in literature, art, and received wisdom that often lead women to dread this transformative time of life. Given the cultural pervasiveness of ill will toward older women, it is small wonder that growing older is not seen as a natural, even desirable, process. Although some elements of aging are hard to reckon with, there is much to make use of and delight in, along with mysteries, surprises, and revelations.

In these personal essays, Carlisle looks for new ways to bring herself more fully to this time of life, such as daily walks with other women and connecting to the natural world that surrounds her houseboat on an Oregon river at the foot of a forest. She writes about experiences shared with many, if not most, older women: wondering at her body’s transformation, discovering new talents, caregiving, facing loss, letting go (or not) of pieces of the past, and facing other changes large and small. Those curious about, approaching, or living in old age will find wisdom and insight in her unique perspective.

In a voice that rings with clarity, humor, and humility, Carlisle shows us that old age is not another country where we can expect to find the Old Woman grimly waiting, but is instead an expansion of the borders in the country we’re most familiar with: ourselves.

Publisher: Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon

Andrea Carlisle taught fiction and nonfiction for the Oregon Writers’ Workshop and other writing organizations in Oregon and Washington. Her work has been published in literary journals, newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and by independent presses. Go Ask Alice . . . When She’s 94, a blog about her mother, brought attention to aging and caregiving before they became subjects of national interest. She has received fellowships from the Oregon Institute of Literary Arts and the Oregon Arts Commission.

Coming Soon:

July–Joshua James Amberson

Photo by Yaara Perczek

Joshua James Amberson is a Portland, Oregon-based writer and creative writing instructor. He's
the author of Staring Contest: Essays About Eyes (Perfect Day Publishing), How to Forget
Almost Everything: A Novel (Korza Books), a series of chapbooks on Two Plum Press, as well as
the long-running Basic Paper Airplane zine series.

A former regular contributor to The Portland Mercury, his work has appeared in The Los
Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, The Seattle Times, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Electric Literature,
and Tin House, among others.

August—Joe Wilcox

Sept: Round Up Break
October – Charles Goodrich

This program is made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities (OH), a statement nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH’s grant program. The National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

 

 

 

 

 

We’re proud of the generous support we receive from the Red Lion of Pendleton. They host all the First Draft authors, and are ready to serve you too.