Our organization is a regional chapter of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. There are other ASJA chapters throughout the United States. These include:
Washington, DC Chapter
SE Chapter (Atlanta area primarily)
Eastern Great Lakes chapter
Southern California chapter
Sometimes chapters have events open to non-ASJA writers. If you are a prospective ASJA member, you might want to learn more about the chapter in your area.
In 2018, a core group of 6-8 members began meeting monthly, thanks to Carolyn Miller, our current president, who started the chapter after moving to Portland.
We met first in local coffee shops, and then regularly at a Portland co-working space. By default, Carolyn became the President of the then-named ASJA Portland chapter.
When COVID-19 hit, the group began meeting online. Without geographic limits, the group also expanded to include members in southern Oregon, Washington, Idaho and British Columbia. The group also changed its name to reflect this larger reach, and became the Pacific Northwest Chapter of ASJA.
As needs have arisen, Carolyn has recruited members for core roles. Today, that core leadership group includes:
- M. Carolyn Miller, President
- Sharon Elaine Thompson, Membership Chair
- Joanna Nesbitt, Program Chair
- Maxine Cass, Newsletter Editor
- Randy Stapilus, Web Advisor
- Bruce Miller, Tech Advisor and Manager
Chapter meetings are on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, from 1 to approximately 2 pm PT, via Zoom. Given the larger geographic reach, there are generally 8-10 attendees from various nonfiction writing disciplines.
Meetings follow a general format:
- Chapter Business: Chapter leaders share updates and needs related to the running of the chapter.
- Member News and Needs: In round-robin style, members share news and ask for help related to the business of being a writer.
- Unique Calls for Support: This can include formation of a special interest group, brainstorming related to COVID-19, the ASJA conference, and more.
If You’d Like to Join Us
To be a part of our chapter, an ASJA membership is required; however, you can “sample” our meetings to see if, in fact, you’d like to become a member. Please contact us and we’ll provide access information.
Those of us who met in-person pre-pandemic miss the camaraderie of face-to-face meetings, so we hope to continue that in the future. We have also discussed new ways to connect our geographically dispersed members, including quarterly chapter gatherings, mini-conferences, speakers, and more.
For now, brainstorming how to overcome pandemic challenges unique to writers, offering support, and motivating each other to continue to do the work we love, is reason enough to be part of this chapter.