Guest Blogger Don Rearden | Avoid the Wasteland: Pick.Click.Give. More

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March slips out a snow-dumped, slightly shivering lamb—and the cruelest month is all but here. Here’s a little known alternative fact for you. T.S. Eliot was talking about April in Alaska for that section of The Waste Land. Didn’t know that did you? Although he died 17 years before the first dividend payment, and despite the fact he wasn’t an Alaskan … Read More

Guest Blogger Don Rearden | Book Launch? Why Bother?

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You’ve somehow beaten incredible odds. You weren’t killed by an errant golf ball, struck by lightning, or mauled by a bear. No. Not you! Your book is on the cusp of publication. Congratulations. Now, if you’ve been paying attention to any of the recent trends in publishing, you know that the real work is only beginning. While you avoid golf … Read More

Guest Blogger Don Rearden | Swallowing a Wolverine and Other Clever Tricks to Publish an Amazon Best-Seller

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  A crazy thing happened the other day. When I catch my students writing language similar to the previous sentence, I often ask them to think of the word “thing” as a great opportunity to replace a word with little meaning and instead insert words that reveal specific details, clarity, passion and power. Sometimes, however, either in the case of … Read More

Guest Blogger Don Rearden | Make Art Not More Content

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Whether in person or via social media, I can’t help but hear a common refrain of late. Similar discussions all related to media pieces that focus on silly distractions and spectacle created purposefully to keep people from focusing on the real issues at hand. I want to suggest that within that very refrain, while the “real issues” vary, there is … Read More

It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and you’ll feel fine)

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Are you going to be in Anchorage on Thursday, April 7? Why not join 49 Writers at 7pm at the Anchorage Museum, for a Crosscurrents event entitled “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” featuring award-winning novelists Benjamin Percy and Don Rearden. Ben Percy and Don Rearden will discuss writing fiction that tackles big subjects without sacrificing high … Read More

Weekly Roundup of News and Events

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The 49 Writers elves are hard at work behind the scenes in their quest to bring you the gift of a sensational spring season! We will announce the full schedule here next week and open registration on December 28. Meanwhile, we can tell you that the lineup includes a new course in spiritual writing from Kathleen Tarr, whose class two … Read More

Weekly Roundup of News and Events

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Upcoming events at 49 Writers Friday Dec. 12, 7pm: Jimmy Riordan presents Le Roman du Lievre (The Romance of the Rabbit). We’re excited to announce another unique opportunity for the Juneau 49 Writers community in the form of a potluck event hosted by Sarah Isto (1718 Willow Avenue).  In 2008 Jimmy Riordan translated the French poet Francis Jammes’ turn of the century … Read More

Deb: Indies First Saturday, Nov. 29

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I know, I know. The holidays are coming up way too fast. It’s the season of gratitude, and yet your mind is all caught up in that holiday gift-giving extravaganza that begins…well, let’s not go there. This year, how about mixing it up, gratitude with gift list, by showing some love to your favorite independent bookshop? On Saturday, Nov. 29, … Read More

Weekly Roundup of News and Events

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Are you our next Executive Director? Applications close at 5pm today. 49 Writers is seeking a visionary and detail-oriented executive director to take over from Linda Ketchum when she departs Alaska to travel and write. For the job description and information on how to apply, visit the 49 Writers website or click the logo at the top of the blog sidebar. Flexible hours … Read More

Don Rearden: Creating Complex and Conflicted Characters

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Wondering how to make the characters in your story “developed” or real? Then start with reality. The reality is that we as humans have deep seated needs, wants, and often hidden desires. So too must our characters if they are to somehow come to life on the page and become important and memorable to our readers. Kurt Vonnegut said it … Read More