Please note that one benefit of 49 Writers membership is discounted pricing for our classes. If you’re unsure about your membership status or have payment questions, inquire by email (info@49Writers.org). When registering for classes, select your appropriate status — member or nonmember — from the dropdown menu for the class(es) you choose and then click “Pay Now”. Note that we now extend discounted member rates to currently enrolled full-time students.

Separate registration payments are required for each class, and to purchase or renew your membership. You do not need a PayPal account to register for 49 Writers classes, though we use the secure PayPal platform. If you would like to make a payment without logging into PayPal, simply click “Pay with a debit or credit card” below the PayPal login box on the right side of the payment page.


Spring 2018 classes

TALKEETNA | Science, Nature, and Outdoor Writing
with Nancy Lord

Saturday, April 7, 2018 / 3 hours / 2-5 PM 
Members or currently enrolled FT students: $39 | Nonmembers: $49
Cap: 10 | All experience levels
Location: Talkeetna, Northern Susitna Institute classroom, 22510 S Talkeetna Spur, 99676

Do you find meaning in nature and outdoor activities? Are you drawn to science-based questions and stories? In this three-hour workshop we’ll examine some examples of narrative writing (in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry) that bring the outdoors in and scientific principles and characters to life. We’ll use these as models for writing exercises emphasizing characterization, scene-building, and metaphors and analogies. This class invites writers of any level, with or without science backgrounds.

Instructor bio: Nancy Lord, Alaska Writer Laureate 2008-10, is the author of several fiction and nonfiction books including, most recently, pH: A Novel. She teaches in the UAA MFA program and the Johns Hopkins graduate science writing program, and she is regularly a member of the Kachemak Bay Writers Conference faculty.

Register now: 

Talkeetna April 7, 2018 | Nancy Lord | Are you a current member?

JUNEAU | Weekend Generative Writing Retreat at the The Shrine of Saint Thérèse near Juneau

April 6-8, 2018 
Members only: $125 
Minimum: 10 | All experience levels
Location: Juneau, Shrine of Saint Therese

Use the collective energy of your fellow writers to focus, relax, and commit to a weekend of writing. Sharing, workshop opportunities, and group activities are optional. Use your time in the way that is most valuable to you while enjoying a stunning, natural seaside setting out the road beyond Juneau. 

Schedule (subject to change):

Friday, 4/6 
Arrive anytime after 3 pm 
6 pm: Welcome Dinner, Participant Readings/Socializing/Reading on your own

Saturday, 4/7
Write on your own in the morning, feedback workshops* in the afternoon, group activities in the evening. *To participate in feedback workshops, submit no more than two poems or 2000 words of fiction or nonfiction by March 23. Your work will be shared with fellow participants ahead of the retreat to ensure everyone has time to review submissions prior to the weekend.

Sunday, 4/8
Writers Roundtable (debrief and what’s next) in the morning, clean-up, depart by noon.

Meals: Ingredients and plans for simple meal prep will will be organized by 49 Writers, with food costs included in your registration fee. Participants will share easy prep and cleanup work. Participants are welcome to bring their own beverages and snacks to share.

Cost: $125 per person, inclusive of  lodging and food for the weekend, minimum 10 participants. 49 Writers membership is required (not a member? Basic memberships are $49, or $25 for seniors. Join here.) Bring sleeping bag, pillow, and towel unless you wish to pay optional linens fee of $15 to the Shrine.

Questions: Katie Bausler, katiebausler@me.com
or Amy O’Neill Houck, aoh@opsmedia.com 

Writing weekend at the Shrine near JNU

FAIRBANKS | The Wild, the Ruined, and the Merely Anomalous: What’s an Alaskan Environmental Writer to Do? with Marilyn Sigman

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 / 3 hours / 6 – 9 PM 
Members or currently enrolled students: $45 | Nonmembers: $55
Cap: 12 | All experience levels
Location: Northern Alaska Environmental Center conference room, 830 College RoadFairbanksAK 99701

The experience of climate change can be visceral – the sight of dead seabirds piled up on Gulf of Alaska beaches, spruce trees stripped of needles by voracious aphids or killed by spruce bark beetles, the sight of open water as far as the horizon in November in Nome or Utqiaġvik. These scenes, and the emotions they evoke, are a great literary distance away from describing scientific trends in atmospheric and oceanographic patterns that unfold over decades and centuries or environmental advocacy. Just as Alaska is at the forefront of climate change impacts, Alaskan nonfiction writers are at the forefront of crafting responses to the rapidly changing nature of the Alaskan environment.

In this three-hour class, Marilyn Sigman will describe how she used the creative nonfiction structure of scene, summary, and reflection to weave together visceral and rational responses to environmental change in Entangled. She will also guide students through a writing exercise and discussion about combining personal narrative, scientific “facts,” and the appropriate use of Alaska Native ecological knowledge to write about environmental change. Bring a piece of your own “science writing” to work on if you have one.

About the instructor: A long-time Alaskan, Marilyn Sigman has more than 35 years of experience as a wildlife and habitat biologist, environmental educator, and science communication specialist throughout the state, including more than a decade as a naturalist and director of the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies based in Homer. She has a Master’s degree in wildlife management from UAF and is a recent graduate of the UAA Creative Writing and Literary Arts MFA program. Her essays have been published in the Alaska Quarterly Review and We Alaskans.

Register now: NAEC and 49W members both eligible for discounted member rate

April 11, 2018 | Marilyn Sigman | Are you a current member?

ANCHORAGE | Demystifying Literary Journals
with Ronald Spatz

Sunday, April 15, 2018 / 2 hours / 10 AM – 12 Noon  
Members or currently enrolled students: $28 | Nonmembers: $35
Cap: 12 | All experience levels
Location: University of Alaska Anchorage, Eugene Short Hall Room 210

Literary magazines are a vital part of the publishing world, but the submission process can seem confusing and at times intimidating. This class, taught by the founding editor of Alaska Quarterly Review, will help you get noticed by journal editors. We will discuss the literary journal market, resources for discovering new magazines, how to write strong cover letters, and other aspects of putting your best foot forward when submitting your work. Participants will each receive a complimentary copy of Alaska Quarterly Review. 

Instructor bio: Ronald Spatz is Professor of English and founding dean of the Honors College at UAA. A former National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, Professor Spatz is a nationally recognized and influential literary editor. He is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Alaska Quarterly Review and the founder of LitSite Alaska. In addition to his published prose, Professor Spatz has also produced a number of short films that have aired on public television. His latest short film, SHAAWATKE’É’S BIRTH, is based on a poem in Tlingit and English by two UAS professors and poets, Emily Wall and X’unei Lance Twitchell. The film is airing this fall on public television statewide in Alaska and at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention. Professor Spatz has received two Alaska Governor’s Awards–one in the Arts and the other in the Humanities.

Register now: 

April 15, 2018 | Ron Spatz | Are you a current member?

Already passed... 

ANCHORAGE | Fancy Seeing You Here
nonfiction with Julia O’Malley

Saturday, February 24, 2018 / 5 hours / 10 AM – 3 PM (bring a lunch)
Sold out and waitlisting. Email info@49Writers.org to be added to the list… 
Members or currently enrolled students: $75 | Nonmembers: $88 
Cap: 10 | All experience levels
Location: 300 W. 31st Ave., Anchorage, Alaska, 99503 (ADN headquarters)

Join Anchorage Daily News writer/editor Julia O’Malley for a half-day 49 Writers workshop on how to write newspaper columns about life in Alaska. The theme: small world-ness, odd connections, and too few degrees of separation. Writers will work on fleshing out narratives and learn strategies for working quickly and structuring complete short pieces. Prerequisite: you must have some idea about the story you want to tell. In the weeks following the workshop, willing writers with promising pieces may work with Julia to revise and polish the piece for possible publication in the ADN.

Instructor bio: Julia O’Malley is an editor at the Anchorage Daily News and a freelance writer who lives in Anchorage. Her work has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Guardian, High Country News, National Geographic and Smithsonian Journeys among other publications. She was Atwood Chair of Journalism at UAA for from 2015 to 2017 and has taught non-fiction writing and food writing around Alaska. Find her work at juliaomalley.media.

Sold out and waitlisting. Email info@49Writers.org to join waitlist.


JUNEAU | Persona Poetry with Nicole Stellon O’Donnell

Sunday, March 4, 2018 / 2.5 hours / 2:30-5 PM 
Members or currently enrolled students: $39 | Nonmembers: $50
Cap: 12 | All experience levels
Location: Juneau, Mother Kathleen Library at Holy Trinity, 415 Fourth Street

In this 2.5-hour-workshop focused on writing in persona, you’ll explore writing in other voices. When poets consciously construct filters for their voices, they are freed to address the world directly. Sometimes you can be your true self when you’re wearing a mask. Other times you take shelter behind the mask long enough to discover exactly what you need to say when you’re ready to take it off. Whichever way works for you, you’ll generate new poems and take home drafts to polish.

Instructor bio: Nicole Stellon O’Donnell’s first collection, Steam Laundry, won the 2013 WILLA Literary Award for Poetry. Her second book, You Are No Longer in Trouble, a memoir-in-flash about being a teacher, a student, and a principal’s daughter is forthcoming in March 2019 from the Marie Alexander Series. Her third book, Everything Never Comes Your Way, a collection of poems, will be published by  Boreal Books in 2020.

Her poems have appeared  in Prairie Schooner, Passages North, Bellingham Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Women’s Review of Books, Redivider, Zyzzyva, and other literary journals. Her essays and commentaries appeared in the  Anchorage Daily News on the Alaska Public Radio Network. She received both an Individual Artist Award and an Artist Fellowship from the Rasmuson Foundation, as well as a Boochever Fellowship and an Alaska Literary Award from the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation.  In 2014, she served the winter writer-in-residence at Denali National Park.  She spent the spring of 2016 in South India as a recipient of a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching. She teaches English at a school for incarcerated youth. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Alaska Reads is a program of Fairbanks Arts Association in partnership with Alaska Center for the Book and is funded in part by the Stroecker Foundation, the Alaska State Library, and the Alaska State Council on the Arts.  

Nicole will also give a short reading and signing at a free public event at Juneau’s Rainy Retreat Books at 6 pm, Sunday, March 4, 2018. 

Register now for the workshop:  

March 4th JNU | Nicole S. O'Donnell | Are you a current member?
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JUNEAU | Science, Nature, and Outdoor Writing
with Nancy Lord

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 / 3 hours / 5:30-8:30 PM 
Members or currently enrolled students: $45 | Nonmembers: $55
Cap: 12 | All experience levels
Location: Juneau, Mother Kathleen Library at Holy Trinity, 415 Fourth Street 

Do you find meaning in nature and outdoor activities? Are you drawn to science-based questions and stories? In this three-hour workshop we’ll examine some examples of narrative writing (in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry) that bring the outdoors in and scientific principles and characters to life. We’ll use these as models for writing exercises emphasizing characterization, scene-building, and metaphors and analogies. This class invites writers of any level, with or without science backgrounds.

Instructor bio: Nancy Lord, Alaska Writer Laureate 2008-10, is the author of several fiction and nonfiction books including, most recently, pH: A Novel. She teaches in the UAA MFA program and the Johns Hopkins graduate science writing program, and she is regularly a member of the Kachemak Bay Writers Conference faculty.

Register now: 

March 14, 2018 | Nancy Lord | Are you a current member?