In the world of comic books, Portland ranks among huge metropolises like New York City, San Diego, and Los Angeles. This is largely due to the city’s rich history of comics and the many vibrant comic conventions held here. However, the main catalysts behind the success of Portland comics are the creative comic book writers themselves. Ooligan Press, through Portland State University, hosts a convention called Write to Publish, which began as a simple fundraiser designed to publicize Ooligan Press. Write to Publish is now celebrating its eighth annual year and has grown from a fundraising event into an esteemed conference aimed at connecting emerging writers with those in the publishing world. It includes panels, workshops, vendors, and speakers––many of whom are professionals in the publishing industry. This year’s conference will be held on January 30, 2016 in the Smith Memorial Student Union, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Breakfast, including coffee, and lunch will be available.

We at Ooligan Press would like to reach out to all comic book writers and invite them to join us at Write to Publish 2016. Facets of the conference are geared specifically towards comic book writers, including a large raffle prize of two free tickets to Wizard World Comic Con, held February 19–21 and featuring special guests, such as William Shatner and New York Times best seller Colleen Houck. Alongside amazing vendors, such as Patterson Proofreading and PDX Writers, will be Oni Press. Oni Press publishes graphic novels and comics with genres that are popular in other media forms, like thrillers and romances. Aspiring comic book writers should not miss out on our instructional panels and influential speakers. The Writing for Comic Books panel is a great opportunity to learn. Panelists include Sara Ryan, creator of the Bad Houses comic; Virginia Paine, cartoonist of The WHYs; Bess Pallares, a freelance comics editor whose works include the comics Enormous and Spiritus ; and Jenn Manley Lee, senior production designer for Ziba Design and the creator of Dicebox.

Though Write to Publish is a conference aimed at helping all writers learn from those in the publishing industry, we want to especially reach out to the comic book writing community. Taking advantage of workshops and speakers is a great way to not only hone one’s craft but also to make connections, valuable assets in an industry where networking plays such a big role. We encourage those who wish to attend Write to Publish 2016 to purchase their tickets here. Portland is the home of many popular and successful comics creators. The diversity and talent of these individuals are what makes the city such a successful comic book hub. Attending Write to Publish is a wonderful way to get your foot in the door of this flourishing industry.

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