Author. Word gatherer. Developmental editor. Teacher & Coach. Encourager.

Conferences & Workshops

Written By: Jessica Morrell

Writing as Resistance

April 29, Multnomah Village


Space limited to 12 participants. $60

Some times especially call for potent voices, clear-eyed analysis, and informed dissent. But what form should this take: opinion pieces, essays, fiction, poetry, social media engagement, or some hybrid expression?  And how do you achieve a thoughtful exploration of themes?

This workshop will explore various formats and options for writers. We’ll read together several examples; we’ll discuss tone, language, focus and effectiveness.  Together we’ll brainstorm  and share concepts, themes, and markets. Our special focus will be on stepping out of the echo chamber and into original thought tied to our own experiences.

Participants will begin a new work and have an opportunity to create a   community of like-minded writers.


Why Your Characters Do What They Do

Willamette Writers meeting, April 4

The Old Church, Portland, Oregon

Motivation and stakes drive fictional characters to act, take risks, and get into heaps of  trouble. And then more trouble.  These two devices also reveal and distinguish characters, create drama and conflict, and propel character growth.  Motivation stems from a potent brew of a character’s traits, beliefs, background, values and subconscious drives. Stakes drive a protagonist, and the best stories result when stake are personal and high. If the protagonist can just walk away without personal consequences, anything he or she does can feel contrived. But when he or she must accomplish something important and individual, it’s more believable and gripping.  

We’ll look at examples from various genres using fiction, film, and television. We’ll also discuss tropes to avoid, how to create opposing and complex motivations, and how to mix things up with new plot developments.


“I just wanted you to know that I was so inspired by you. You have such a great enthusiasm, without being rah-rah or annoying. I think everyone was impressed with this special trait and left the presentation raring to go forward. Listening to you has given me some hopeful determination.” ~ workshop attendee


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  3. […] offers a wide variety of writing workshops and conferences around Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. There are day workshops to full weekend conferences, […]

    • jessicap says:

      Thanks for inviting me–looking forward to it. One of my favorite topics and always enjoy spending time with writers.

  4. Grace says:

    I loved your lecture at Willamette Writers. Do you teach anywhere in PDX?

    • Jessica Morrell says:

      Thanks so much. I teach my own series of workshops and classes. I took time off last year because of surgeries and moving, but am starting up again. My next workshop is Writing as Resistance. It’s happening on April 28, in Multnomah Village. I’d be happy to send you the information via an email.

    • Jessica Morrell says:

      Actually the date is Saturday, April 29

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