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Please join us for the 9th Annual NW Book Festival, happening on July 29, 2017, in downtown Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. Click here to learn more.

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March 30 marks the first anniversary of our 9 Bridges writing community. I would just like to thank every single member of 9 Bridges, as it is all of you who have made it all possible.

One year ago Vargus Pike, Mark Harrington and I made the bittersweet decision to leave CHWG and branch out on our own as 9 Bridges. It was a difficult choice, as it meant broken friendships, long hours and a lot of hard work for us. At the same time, we felt a responsibility to the writing communities we had started in Portland, Missoula and Phoenix. There was a fair amount of uncertainty in the beginning and one or two days when we asked ourselves, “What were we thinking?” The reality was that it would have been far easier for us to step away, let the chapters die, and go back to the far less stressful pastime of solitary writing.

However, the overwhelming support we received – not only from our chapters, but also from the writing community as a whole – put our fears to rest and we knew we had made the right decision. In the past year we’ve doubled our size, attracting the attention and support of writing organizations in Portland and other areas. All of our wonderful chapter leaders and event hosts have stayed with us and we’ve even started a successful fourth chapter in Pasadena.

We have a great deal to celebrate on our first anniversary. We have some real achievements under our belt as well as exciting things coming up in the not-too-distant future. We have a brand new Board of Directors, whose members add a wealth of knowledge and diverse experiences, ranging from HR to fundraising. But while these are exciting, they pale beside the real success: helping authors. Many of our authors credit 9 Bridges as contributing in some small way to their own success.

I’ll admit, last year I didn’t get to do as much creative writing as I wanted, and running this organization was one of the big reasons. However, every time someone reaches out and tells me how much this group has helped them, it makes every minute I’ve spent on 9 Bridges worth it. I’ll gladly trade a couple of hours of my own writing time to provide a homeless author with a supportive community at a critique group, encourage a writer with social anxiety to read out loud, connect a children’s author to a children’s book publisher or any of the many other contributions I’ve been able to make to support 9 Bridges Writers this year. I’m excited to see how many more authors we can reach this year through building bridges.

Keep Writing!

Elizabyth Harrington,
Executive Director, 9 Bridges

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PORTLAND, OREGON – August 29, 2015 – Today 9 Bridges assumed ownership of the NW Book Festival from the Northwest Writers and Publishers Association (NWPA). The event, which happens annually in Pioneer Square in downtown Portland, Ore, attracts independent authors and publishers from all over the country. Held on the last Saturday in July, it has become a summer tradition in Portland for the last seven years.

NWPA President Veronica Esagui has entrusted 9 Bridges to carry on her tradition with the Northwest Book Festival. “There was no question in my mind when I decided to find a group to carry on the tradition,” she said. “The organizers of 9 Bridges have impressed me with their passion and dedication to the writing community from the first time I met them. Their heart is really in the right place when it comes to supporting authors. I am very pleased that 9 Bridges will continue the tradition of providing self-published authors a platform to share their work through the NW Book Festival.”

9 Bridges Chairman of the Board, Vargus Pike, agreed. “We are here to help writers. The NW Book Festival is one of the few affordable venues for self-published authors to promote themselves. It’s a perfect alignment of our two visions.”

Information about signing up for the festival will be available in the following weeks on Space is extremely limited and will be reserved on a first come – first served basis. For more information, please contact 9 Bridges at or visit our site atthe Northwest Book Festival.


About 9 Bridges Writers Guild: is dedicated to supporting writers in all stages of their journey to pursue their craft. In addition to providing peer review and support in the form of critique groups, 9 Bridges gives writers access to a wide community through workshops, write-ins, events, online forums and the promotion of events that are interesting and benefit our members.

Elizabyth Harrington
9 Bridges Writers Guild

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  9 Bridges is worth checking out, especially for those who want to workshop in a read-out-loud / active listening format.
Peoples Ink Friend of 9 Bridges

Last month, 9 Bridges was able to make a new connection in Portland, Oregon. While at the Willamette Writers open house, we met Richard Pope, founder of People’s Ink, a local writers community, After a great discussion about the similarities and differences in our two groups, we all came to the conclusion that our organizations compliment each other very well.

About People’s Ink:

the-peoples-ink-logoThe People’s Ink is an open, free and independent writers’ community open to writers committed to their craft, 21 and over. They meet each week for critique and discussion groups. They are a self-publishing cooperative that promotes local readings, and have a community zine – Typehouse – which showcases the writing of regional and national authors. Members may participate however they wish.

For more information, please visit

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Call to Authors

For the third consecutive year 9 Bridges will have a booth at the NW Festival of Books in Portland, Oregon. It takes place in Pioneer Courthouse Square which lies in the very heart of Portland so there is a mix of people who come specifically for the festival and people who are passing through. This festival is a one day event on July 25th and it runs from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

As in the past two years our booth will be a combination of Informational picketing to raise the awareness of 9 Bridges and an opportunity for published writers from the group to sell and or advertise their books to the general public.



Terms are as follows.
  1. Due to high demand only active members of 9 Bridges are eligible.
    (For this event an active member is defined as a person who has attended one or more meetings in the last 3 months)
  2. The buy in this year is fifteen dollars per attending author and ten dollars if are not attending but would like your books displayed. A designated representative of the 9 Bridges will be present at all times to facilitate the sale of books when the author is not physically in the booth
    All books will be displayed for the entirety of the event
  3. There will be eight three hour time slots available for attending authors- Four from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and Four from 2:00 pm to 5:00 Pm.
    Time slots to be awarded upon payment on a first come first served basis.
  4. Because of the dual nature of the booth we are asking that all attending authors be willing to not only sell their books but to answer any questions pertaining to the 9 Bridges as a whole.
    Talking points will be made available.
  5. The NW Festival of Books will be advertising for this event. This is an opportunity to get your name out there. According to the organizers, they will be distributing newspapers for the book festival, which include author names, their book genre or organization information, and their tent number. There was also a map to the booths. Last year the paper was available in Portland and surrounding communities prior to the festival and was very successful in bringing people from around the northwest. They also feature all participating authors on their web site.

If you are interested I participating in the 9 Bridges booth this year please email me.

Clarifying questions and comments welcomed.


Vargus Pike

Willamette Writers is the largest dues-based writers’ group in Oregon, with chapters across much of western Oregon. We were fortunate to be invited to attend their open house and be featured on their website.

Introducing a New Writers Guild – 9 Bridges

April 27, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 3.06.24 PMThe Willamette Writers’ 50th Anniversary celebration at our Writing House this weekend brought out members old and new to discover each others’ latest work.
Longtime members Salli Slaughter and George Mason, who have visited over 20 states for their Authors Road project, recently added Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket to their impressive list of author interviews.

We were also visited by the founders of two local literary organizations, People’s Ink, featured in last month’s post, and the executive team behind the new writers’ non-profit 9 Bridges. Elizabyth Harrington, Executive Director of 9 Bridges, describes how the guild went from being a chapter of Coffee House Writers Group to become its own non-profit, and what it offers writers across Oregon, California, Arizona and Montana.

Read the entire article on the Willamette Writers Website…

authorPasadena, CA. – March 31, 2015 – 9 Bridges announced today that it has opened a chapter in Pasadena, California. The new chapter connects writers from Arcadia to North Hollywood and beyond. It includes critique groups, but will also support other events, such as workshops, discussion groups, write-ins, local conferences, author readings and book signings.

The chapter is headed up by long-time La Canada-Flintridge resident, Rora Melendy, who has spent many years volunteering in local schools, community programs, and managing projects that focus on the arts and literacy. Elizabyth Harrington, Executive Director of 9 Bridges states, “We are excited to have Rora join us. She is a warm, supportive leader who understands how to help creative people achieve their dreams. The Pasadena chapter of 9 Bridges is extremely
lucky to have her.”

Rora is excited about the new chapter. “Creating space for literary artists of all types has always been one of my passions,” she explained. “This opportunity allows me to give something back to the community I love.”

Membership to the not-for-profit 9 Bridges is free and more information about the Pasadena chapter can be found on the chapter’s Meetup page ( ). Meetings will begin in mid-April. Members are also encouraged to join the 9 Bridges Facebook Group (, a public group that joins all of the chapters together into one community.

About 9 Bridges Writers Guild: 9 Bridges is dedicated to supporting writers in all stages of their journey to pursue their craft. In addition to providing peer review and support in the form of critique groups, 9 Bridges gives writers access to a wide community through workshops, events, online forums and the promotion of events that are interesting and benefit its members. A large part of the organization’s success is through its flexibility – 9 Bridges can quickly adapt to fill a writer’s needs, whether they are just starting out or have published a dozen best sellers.



Rora Melendy
9 Bridges Writers Guild

PORTLAND, OREGON – March 27, 2015 – The Coffee House Writers Group (CHWG) announced today that it has plans to divest itself of all of its chapters outside of CA. CHWG will continue to support aspiring writers in Southern California through its critique groups but has announced that, at this time, it does not wish to continue serving communities outside of Southern California. All chapters outside of California will be absorbed by the 9 Bridges Writers Guild.

9 Bridges forms a nationwide community of writers, connected through both local chapters and a larger online community. It is headed up by long-time CHWG Board members Mark and Elizabyth Harrington, who served respectively as as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer for CHWG.

9 Bridges will assume leadership over the existing CHWG chapters located in Portland, OR, Missoula, MT, and Phoenix,AZ. During the inception of the new organization, the format of the chapters will stay the same, but the organization envisions an evolution towards serving writers throughout multiple stages of their journey. “There are so many writers groups out there, operating as small islands,” Elizabyth Harrington explains. “Our vision is to unite writers through creating bridges connecting these communities.”

Mark Harrington has accepted the position of Chief Financial Officer of 9 Bridges and will be responsible for the organizational infrastructure and fiscal stewardship of the organization. Elizabyth Harrington, meanwhile, will preside as Executive Director and will be responsible for the day to day operations and growth of 9 Bridges.

Vargus Pike, longtime member of the Portland Chapter and CHWG Board member, will be assuming the position of Chairman of the Board of 9 Bridges. Vargus has been a valuable asset to the Portland group and will continue to bring his leadership skills and vision to 9 Bridges.

Of the future of 9 Bridges, CHWG Founder and CEO, Christine Marie Bryant said, “Mark and Elizabyth have done so much for the Coffee House Writers Group. They have an amazing vision and passion for helping writers, and I know they will do amazing things with 9 Bridges.”

About 9 Bridges Writers Guild: is dedicated to supporting writers in all stages of their journey to pursue their craft. In addition to providing peer review and support in the form of critique groups, 9 Bridges gives writers access to a wide community through workshops, events, online forums and the promotion of events that are interesting and benefit our members.  9 Bridges is dedicated to flexibility – through community connections we can quickly adapt to fill a writer’s needs, whether they are just starting out or have published a dozen best sellers.


Elizabyth Harrington
Executive Director

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