North Words Writers Symposium | What A Few Can Do

Deb VanasseUncategorized2 Comments

Perhaps you’ve heard how this statewide organization, 49 Writers, got started. Two people who’d never before met—that would be Andromeda Romano-Lax and me—joined forces to encourage and promote the work of Alaska writers. North Words Writers Symposium followed a similar trajectory although, in truth, their origin story is even cooler than ours. Years ago, Skagway’s legendary tourism director, Buckwheat, made … Read More

Deb Vanasse | Know Your Reader

Deb VanasseUncategorized2 Comments

  “You’re a person who can handle shades of gray, aren’t you?” Judy had her hands in my mouth, probing and scraping, so I could only nod in response. “I thought so. Me, I can’t stand gray. Black or white. That’s how I like it.” A self-professed voracious reader, Judy knows I’m an author. She launched this teeth-cleaning session by … Read More

Deb Vanasse | Dirty Secrets of Revision and Editing

Deb Vanasse49 Writers, Uncategorized0 Comments

I’ve warned you before—I’m obsessed with gardening. Especially this year, when after thirty-six years in Alaska, I moved to the Oregon Coast, where people informed me that everything would grow bigger and faster than I ever expected. It does. For the connections with writing, I blame Natalie Goldberg, whose wisdom I shared most recently when talking with adolescents in a treatment … Read More

New Digs for the Blog!

49 Writers49 Writers0 Comments

It’s been almost nine years to the day since Deb Vanasse posted the very first post on this blog. 49 Writers was not yet a nonprofit organization back then, we had not started offering classes and events, and the blog still had its original name—49 Writers, No Moose. Deb’s first sentence in that first post reads “Amazing writers live in … Read More

Spotlight on Alaska Books: Wealth Woman, by Deb Vanasse

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Excerpt: An exceptional and complex woman, Kate will prove herself neither angel nor demon. Her perspective—and indeed the perspective of all Native people—will be overlooked time and again in the plethora of books that will be written about the Klondike, popular accounts of the gold rush that emphasize the values and accomplishments of outsiders. But when pieced together decades after … Read More

Alaska Shorts: An Excerpt from Wealth Woman by Deb Vanasse

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The excerpt that follows tells of events leading up to the marriage of Shaaw Tlaa (Kate) to prospector George Carmack, who took credit for the discovery of gold in the Klondike. …both [Shaaw Tláa’s husband] Kult’ús and her daughter fell sick, most likely in the late summer or early fall of 1886. As with each wave of disease that passed … Read More

Deb: The Book, Reimagined

49 WritersUncategorized1 Comment

Short Editions vending machine dispenses a story. Image: I’ve become rather notorious for reading the latest sensation, the must-read pick of the season, a good ten to fifteen years after everyone else does. I could try to convince you that I do this on purpose, in order to savor the story after the furor has diminished, in order to … Read More

Book Deals: What Authors Don’t Ask Their Publishers

49 WritersUncategorized1 Comment

I’ve been at this publishing game for a while now—twenty years, seventeen books, six different publishers. From a writer’s perspective, it’s a complicated business. You may think your contract spells out everything related to your book deal, when in fact many details that can make or break your publishing experience won’t be covered in your contract at all. That means … Read More

Deb Vanasse: Writer Makes Dirt

49 WritersUncategorized1 Comment

Forgive me if I seem a bit obsessed by dirt.  In December, we moved into a newly built house on an acre of land situated three-quarters of a mile from the Pacific Ocean, along the north coast of Oregon. It’s a splendid setting, a coastal plain wedged between expansive forests of Douglas firs and Sitka spruce, trafficked by an abundance … Read More