On Sunday, June 19th at 2:00 pm, Willamette Writers presents a two-hour workshop titled How to Find, Structure and Write Stories that Resonate with Readers. The free workshop will be held in the McEntee Room of the Newport Public Library.
Tom Hallman Jr. is considered one of the nation’s premier narrative writers. During his career, he’s won every major feature-writing award, some for stories that took months to report, others less than a couple of hours. The stories range from the drama of life and death in a neo-natal unit, to the quiet pride of a man graduating from college.
A common thread in all of Hallman’s stories is the exploration of the character’s heart and soul. Hallman believes that every writer — no matter how many years they have been in this business — can learn how to spot true stories and report and write them in ways that resonate with readers. The ability to write has less to do with pure talent, and more with the understanding of craft, vision and emotion.
Hallman was born and raised in Portland and graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in 1977. He’s worked at a car wash, a grocery store, a greyhound racetrack and was a volunteer at a VA hospital. He worked as a bartender for one week.
His first journalism job was in New York City as copy editor for Hearst Magazines Special Publications. He returned to Oregon as a reporter at The Hermiston Herald, a small weekly in Hermiston, Ore, before landing a job at the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, Wash. In 1980, he moved to The Oregonian where he covered crime for 10 years. He is now a reporter with the Portland team.
He is a frequent contributor to Readers Digest, and his stories have appeared in Esquire, Best Life and Star magazine. One of his stories was made into a movie, while a story for Best Life was recently optioned.
His book, Sam: The Boy Behind the Mask, was published in 2002, and his latest work, Dispatches from 1320: The Collected Works of Tom Hallman Jr., will be available for sale. He writes a column on writing for Quill Magazine. Hallman has been a speaker at National Writer’s Workshops and at newspapers across the United States. He has taught at USC, Notre Dame and Brown University.
This free workshop is possible because or the generosity of Sylvia Beach Hotel, Hallmark Hotel, Anchor Pier Lodge, Elizabeth Street Inn, and the Newport Public Library.
Willamette Writers is the largest writers’ organization in Oregon and one of the largest writers’ organizations in the United States. The organization’s goal is to provide and encourage a creative environment and support system for current and aspiring writers. Since its beginning in 1965, Willamette Writers has provided meeting places for the exchange of ideas and information and has initiated programs designed to help writers increase skills related to the craft of writing. Willamette Writers typically meets on the third Sunday of each month at 2:00. Information is available at http://willamettewriters.com/coast/ and Willamette Writers Coast Chapter on FaceBook.