Submission Period for North Coast Squid Opens on September 1, 2017

Submissions for the sixth North Coast Squid literary magazine will be accepted from September 1 through October 31, 2017. Submissions are accepted for fiction, nonfiction (to include memoir), and poetry. We also have a Young Writers category (ages 18 and under).

All submissions are selected in a blind judging by authors/poets outside the coastal area. Submissions of art, photos and photos of sculptures will also be solicited for cover art and inside art, with final art chosen by a committee.

The North Coast Squid, a program of the Hoffman Center for the Arts and the Manzanita Writers Series, showcases the work of writers and artists who live on the north Oregon coast or have a strong connection to the area. The next issue will be published in March 2018.

Arthur Bradford will judge fiction. He is an O Henry Award winning writer with four books, the latest being a collection of short stories, Turtle Face and Beyond. Bradford is also creator and director of the acclaimed “How’s Your News?” documentary series, and the Emmy- nominated film, “Six Days to Air,” documenting the creating of the TV show South Park.

Andrea Hollander will judge poetry. She is author of four full-length award-winning poetry collections and has been awarded many fellowships. For twenty-two years she served as the Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College, where she was awarded the Lamar Williamson Prize for Excellence in Teaching. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches workshops at the Attic Institute and Mountain Writers Series.

Diana Abu-Jaber will judge nonfiction. She is author of six award-winning books, her latest being Life Without a Recipe. Her books have been listed in top books of the year by NPR, the Washington Post, LA Times and others. She teaches at Portland State University and divides her time between Portland and South Florida.

April Henry will judge young writers’ work. She is a New York Times-bestselling author of 21 mysteries and thrillers for teens and adults. She lives in Portland and will make a special visit to Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School and High School in October 2017 as part of her partnership with the Squid.

All work must be submitted electronically via the ‘submit’ button on the North Coast Squid page of the ( and must arrive by midnight on October 31, 2017.

Writers are invited to submit one piece per prose (fiction and nonfiction) category and three pieces for the poetry category. Word length for fiction and narrative nonfiction (including memoir) is 1,500 words each. All work must be previously unpublished.

Click here for complete submission guidelines.

Click here to visit our Submissions page.





Writers’ Retreat in Manzanita June 2-4, 2017

Join us in beautiful Manzanita Friday evening June 2 through  noon on Sunday, June 4 for an inspiring and constructive writing retreat.  Learn more about the writing craft, as well as the business of writing, and best of all, have fun in one of the most magical places on the Oregon Coast—Manzanita.

Authors Jennie Shortridge and Megan Kruse will lead craft workshops on ways to build tension in your writing, metaphor, and making the setting feel real.  They’ll also take participants through a fast-paced “Promp-O-Rama” to help generate new work.

Rhonda Hughes, publisher and editor of Hawthorne Books, will join Megan and Jennie in a panel discussion on the business side of publishing.

To complement these topics, there will also be sessions on yoga for writers, tips for reading in front of an audience, and tools to help you commit to the writing life.

On Saturday evening Megan and Jennie will read from their latest works and there will be an opportunity for workshop participants to read short pieces as well.

Even with this extensive line-up of activities, there’s still free time for participants to go for a hike, beach walk, or even take a nap after a lunch at local favorite, Bread & Ocean.

This weekend retreat is just $99, if you register by May 22nd.  The price increases to $129 after that.

Included in the Writers’ Retreat will be a tote bag for you to carry your materials, plus a variety of offers and coupons from participating businesses in Manzanita.

Click here to find out more about Jennie Shortridge and Megan Kruse.  Click here for the complete description of the Writers’ Retreat.

Register now for the Writers’ Retreat by using the Add to Cart button below.

Workshop to be Held on April 15, 2017: Publishing Your Chapbook

The Manzanita Writers’ Series presents a workshop “Publishing Your Chapbook: for poetry chapbooks, books of short stories/essays” on April 15, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

We are currently enjoying a small press renaissance, with countless publishing options for emerging authors. From submitting to reputable chapbook publishers to creating handmade, locally printed, limited editions of your work, the world has never been more open to an author’s specific vision.

Join award-winning poet and literary agent John Sibley Williams for this hands-on workshop exploring the ins-and-outs of organizing and publishing your chapbook. For writers of both poetry and prose, “Publishing your Chapbook” will guide you all the way from inspiration to publication.

John Sibley Williams serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as both a literary agent and Marketing Director of Portland-based Inkwater Press. He is the editor of two Northwest literary anthologies and the author of nine poetry collections, including Disinheritance and Controlled Hallucinations. A five-time Pushcart nominee and winner of the Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Vallum Award for Poetry, John has an MA in Creative Writing from Rivier College and an MA in Book Publishing from Portland State University.

The workshop will be held at the Hoffman Center for the Arts and tuition is $40.  Register using the button below.

Manzanita Writers’ Series Announces 2017 Schedule

Manzanita Writers’ Series announces the 2017 Schedule, entering its 9th year of programming.

We’ll kick off the year on February 18 with Arthur Bradford reading from Turtle Face and Beyond. Other authors include Laurie Frankel, This Is How It Always Is, Jonathan White, Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, Pauls Toutonghi, Dog Gone, Diana Abu-Jaber, Life Without a Recipe, and Ingrid Thoft, Duplicity.

All of the authors will teach writing workshops during the day. Topics range widely, from Mastering Murder, to Culinary Memoir, to What Writers Can Learn from South Park. Check back soon for workshop details, schedule and registration information .

Also, watch for information on another new workshop option. We’ll be running two online writing workshops during May that culminate in a weekend retreat at the coast to meet your teacher and fellow students, to further workshop and then read from the work created during the online course.

After the success and great response to last year’s weekend format for PoetryFest, we’ll again host a full weekend of events on April 1 and 2,  with Carl Adamshick and Emily Kendal Frey.

The Manzanita Writers’ Series will host a number of added special events for 2017.

On April 15, John Sibley Williams will conduct a workshop on Publishing Your Chapbook: for poetry chapbooks and books of short stories or essays.

On July 29, Liz Prato, Author of Baby’s On Fire, will conduct the workshop Writing Outside the Box, which had to be cancelled in 2016 due to inclement weather.

The admission price for author events will be $7. Workshop fees vary by workshop so check back soon for details and registration.

This year we continue to have a suggested theme for Open Mic for each event. Writers are welcome to write to theme for their 5-minute piece although it is not a requirement.  Themes will be announced in advance of each event.


Former Oregon Coast Reporter Presents First Novel

wander_imgThe Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita will host a book reading by Lori Tobias, author of “Wander” Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. Tobias is the former coastal reporter for The Oregonian. “Wander” is her first novel.

Set in the 1980s in the rural community of Bidarkee Bay, Alaska (a fictional area the size of a small state with a population of barely 20,000), “Wander” is the story of Patrice “Pete” Nash, a young broadcast reporter who finds herself facing the winter alone after her husband, Nate, accepts a job on “the slope.”

As Pete pursues the next big breaking news story, she strikes up a friendship with the new guy in town, the Ivy League-educated Ren, who recites poetry and lives in the family-owned, vacant inn. Their friendship offers a glimpse of a different kind of life — one that seems to Pete to offer everything marriage to the country-raised Nate does not.

But unbeknown to Pete, Ren has come to Alaska for his own dark reason—to end his life. By the time, Nate returns home, their lives have been irrevocably changed. One man is dead, two others missing and a third forever lost to them.

Lori Tobias is journalist and writer of more than 25 years, including time at the Rocky Mountain News as a columnist and features writer, and most recently as a staff writer for The Oregonian, for which she covered the Oregon Coast for more than a decade. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband Chan and rescue pup Mugsy.

Copies of “Wander” will be available for sale and autographing at the reading.


Launch Party for 5th Edition of the North Coast Squid on October 8

squid-5-coverManzanita Writers’ Series celebrates the launch of the 5th Edition of the North Coast Squid literary journal at 7 pm on Saturday, October 8. The event will be held at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita. Admission is free.

The fifth North Coast Squid literary magazine showcases work of writers and artists who live on the north coast or have a strong connection to the area. Seventy-seven writers submitted 160 pieces. Thirty-eight submissions were chosen by outside judges. Judith Barrington judged poetry, Cari Luna judged fiction and Brian Benson judged non-fiction.

The category for young writers was judged by the editors of Tattoo Magazine, a national award-winning high school literary and art publication based in Shoreline, WA, and previously advised by Andy Barker, a member of the North Coast Squid editorial team.

The Squid includes art and photography from local artists as well.

The expenses are covered through fundraising, in-kind donations of design time, and with Squid sales.

The release event will feature selected author readings from the North Coast Squid, as well as a gallery showing of some of the photography and art published in the magazine.  There will be refreshments—including cake!

The North Coast Squid will be available for purchase at the event, as well as at every Manzanita Writers’ Series event throughout 2016/2017.  A number of retail outlets along the coast will also carry it. Proceeds of the $7 cover price will go to produce future editions of the magazine.

For further information contact Kathie Hightower,








Writers’ Series Presents Special Event: Author Megan Kruse and Hawthorne Books Publisher Rhonda Hughes

Megan Kruse (left) and Rhonda Hughes celebrate publication of Call Me Home

Megan Kruse (left) and Rhonda Hughes celebrate publication of Call Me Home

The Manzanita Writers’ Series sponsors a special event : “Inside the Publisher/Author Relationship,” with an author reading and conversation between  Megan Kruse and Hawthorne Books publisher Rhonda Hughes , at 7pm at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita on Saturday, July 16, 2016. Kruse will also conduct a writing workshop during the day.

Call Me Home is Kruse’s debut novel, released from Hawthorne Books in March 2015, with an introduction by Elizabeth Gilbert. The book won the 2015 Rainbow Award for Gay Contemporary Fiction.

Kruse will read from her novel. Then she and Hughes will talk about how to get published and the editing process that follows, an inside view into the publisher/author relationship.

Kruse grew up in the Pacific Northwest and currently lives in Olympia. She studied creative writing at Oberlin College and earned her MFA at the University of Montana. Her work has appeared widely in journals and anthologies. She teaches fiction at Eastern Oregon University’s Low-Residency MFA program, Hugo House, and Gotham Writers Workshop. She was one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” for 2015.

Rhonda Hughes is the publisher at Hawthorne Books in Portland, Oregon. Now in its 14th year, Hawthorne has published literary fiction and nonfiction to consistent critical acclaim and numerous awards. Film options and publishing rights to Hawthorne’s works have been sold worldwide. “If we specialize in anything, it’s in finding superb writing which might be overlooked by larger houses, and giving it the attention it deserves.” The Manzanita Writers’ Series has hosted other Hawthorne authors including Lidia Yuknavitch, Ariel Gore and Karen Karbo.

Prior to founding Hawthorne, Ms. Hughes had an extensive career in book production and printing. She holds a Master of Arts in English Literature and completed the Yale Publishing Course.

There will be no Open Mic session for this special event.

Admission for the evening reading is $7.

Kruse will present a writing workshop during the day on “Crafting Emotion.”

Learn how to use object potential and transcendent details to create work that resonates deeply with the reader. Megan Kruse will help students understand the craft tools that really make pieces feel affecting, almost magic. Useful to all genres.

The workshop will be held from 1 to 3:30 pm on July 16. The fee is $30; register here.


Workshop: Crafting a Strong Book Proposal on Feb 20th

chip macgregorLongtime literary agent Chip MacGregor has represented nearly a thousand books, and each one was sold to the publisher based on a strong proposal. In this fun, information-packed workshop, we’ll explore the big picture of a proposal (What is the purpose of a proposal? What is the publisher looking for?), then we’ll get into the nitty-gritty details of what goes into a strong fiction or nonfiction proposal. Finally, we’ll explore what makes one proposal stand out from the crowd. Chip will also spend some time talking about how to pitch your work, and will leave time for you to ask your questions about the process.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, February 20th, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Hoffman Center for the Arts.

Tuition is $30.  Click here to register.

Chip MacGregor is the president of MacGregor LIterary, Inc., a full-service literary agency that works with authors around the country. Chip has been working in the publishing industry for nearly four decades, and made his living as a freelance writer and editor for several years. He is the author of numerous books, including a couple of bestselling nonfiction titles, and formerly served as a publisher with Time-Warner Book Group. He began working as an agent eighteen years ago, and has represented nearly a thousand titles. The authors he represents have won numerous writing awards, and their books have been on all the bestseller lists — New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Amazon, etc. Ten years ago he began his own literary agency, and over the past several years he has consistently been one of the busiest literary agents in the United States. He works with both fiction and nonfiction titles. Chip has an undergraduate degree from Portland State University, a master’s from Biola University, did doctoral work at the University of Oregon, and post-doc work at Oxford University. A well-known speaker at writing conferences and via online writing sites, he lives on the Oregon coast.


Manzanita Writers’ Series announces the schedule and judges for the 5th Edition of the North Coast Squid Literary Journal

ink the squid button art v3Manzanita Writers’ Series announces the schedule and judges for the 5th Edition of the North Coast Squid, a Journal for Local Writing.

The fifth North Coast Squid literary magazine, which showcases work of writers and artists who live on the north Oregon coast or have a strong connection to the area, will be published in October 2016.

Submissions will be accepted from March 1 through May 31, 2016. Submissions are accepted for fiction, nonfiction (to include memoir), and poetry. We also have a Young Writers category. All submissions are selected in a blind judging by authors/poets outside the coastal area. Submissions of art and photos will also be solicited for cover art and inside art. Watch for coming detailed submission guidelines.

With submissions possible thru May 31, take advantage of all our upcoming writing workshops to help you submit your best work — workshops on humor, personal essay, poetry, and more!  Click here.  Also we have Writing Lounge every Tuesday from 10:30 to 1pm at the Hoffman Center, with a drop-in fee of $5, where you can get feedback on your writing from fellow writers.

Judith Barrington will judge poetry for the North Coast Squid. She is the award-winning author of four poetry collections, two poetry chapbooks, a prizewinning memoir, and a text on writing literary memoir. Her work has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Her latest collection, The Conversation, resulted from one poem winning the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition in 2013, which resulted in an Irish publisher bringing out her work in a new book.

Brian Benson will judge nonfiction. He is author of Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America. Benson teaches writing at the Attic in Portland and is currently working on The River Signal, an original radio story written on a paddlewheel riverboat as it floats the Mississippi.

Cari Luna will judge fiction. The Oregonian named Luna’s debut novel, The Revolution of Every Day, a Top 10 Northwest Book of 2013. The book received great reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, BUST Magazine, and Portland Mercury and was chosen as Book of the Week by editors at Luna is a graduate of the MFA fiction program at Brooklyn College, and her writing has appeared in Salon, Jacobin, PANK, Avery Anthology, failbetter, Novembre Magazine, and elsewhere.

Our Young Writer category accepts submissions in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for young writers age 18 and under.  The three best submissions, regardless of category, are selected by the editors of Tattoo Magazine, a national award-winning high school literary and art publication based in Shoreline, WA.