Florence author offers steps to write a book


Ned Hickson, Florence newspaper editor and author, will teach a free workshop on memoir and novel writing at the Feb. 16 meeting of Willamette Writers’ coast chapter. The meeting takes place at 2 p.m. at the Newport Library.

Hickson will discuss “Eight Steps to Building an Outline,” a condensed version of a four-week class he taught at Lane Community College.

“I’m looking forward to providing the Willamette Writers with a solid foundation to start with in creating an outline for their novel or memoir,” said Hickson. “This two-hour workshop will provide all the tools they need to get started and map out a clear direction as their novel or memoir develops.”

He compares creating an outline for a book to building a house. It begins by laying a solid foundation, a single sentence that encapsulates what your story is about, and goes on to add setting, events, characters and other elements.

Hickson is editor of the Siuslaw News in Florence and managing editor of The Cottage Grove Sentinel. He has received journalism awards from both the Society of Professional Journalists and Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association for feature writing, editorials, photography, sports writing and for his nationally syndicated humor column. He is also the author of two books, “Pearls of Writing Wisdom: From 16 Shucking Years as a Columnist” and “Humor at the Speed of Life,” which was a 2019 International Book Award finalist.

Prior to launching his career in journalism 21 years ago, Hickson was a corporate chef for 10 years in Dallas, Atlanta and Portland.

He also served as a volunteer firefighter with Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue from 2011 to 2016 before being elected to the SVFR Board of Directors in November 2016.

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. For more information, visit http://willamettewriters.com/coast or Willamette Writers Coast Chapter’s Facebook page.

Willamette Writers thanks the Anchor Pier Lodge, Sylvia Beach Hotel, Hallmark Hotel and the Inn at Nye Beach for donating lodging for their authors and the Newport Public Library, co-sponsors, for providing a monthly meeting space.

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