Guest Blogger Cinthia Ritchie | Dazzled by the Past

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When I was in fourth grade, there was a fat girl in my class. She wore glasses that slid down her nose and hair that hung lank and she had breasts (breasts!) when the rest of the girls in the class wore undershirts with one pink flower embroidered in the middle (bought two for a dollar by our thrifty mothers … Read More

Guest Blogger Bryan Allen Fierro | Palpate

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Fierro presents “Places and Images: Writing Home”, his 49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk Series presentation.   Today in the mail I received my Alaska paramedic certification. It basically states that for the next two years, in the state of Alaska, I am allowed and deemed capable to perform very specific outlined duties under the guidance and licensure of a local … Read More

Guest Blogger Mary Catharine Martin | What Makes a Fascinating — or Endearing — Character?

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I recently finished Tales of Burning Love, by Louise Erdrich. The book centers around a man named Jack Mauser, the women who love or have loved him, and their families. Jack is a womanizer—a woman-lover, one might say, as he approaches all his encounters with as pure a heart as a womanizer could. One of his (successive) wives is an academic who follows her desires … Read More

Guest Blogger Mary Catharine Martin | Giant cockroaches will destroy us (or: a few stories about failure and encouragement)

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When I was in third grade, I wrote a short story about a young girl and her family fleeing Earth because giant, intelligent cockroaches were taking over the world. Our class sat on the rug around our teacher, Mrs. Braaten, as she read the first page out loud, yelling the dialogue attributed to the cockroaches; I had handwritten their speech in all capital letters … Read More

49 Writers: Guest Blogger Mary Catharine Martin | On Research, Berries, and Living a Writerly Life

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Mary Catharine Martin cooks dinner along the Nisutlin River in the Yukon in September 2014. (Photo: Bjorn Dihle) Six years ago this summer, I hiked up Juneau’s Granite Creek Basin with my partner Bjorn, looking for berries. It was my first season of gathering in Alaska, and everything about it was thrilling. Red, yellow, and melon-colored berries named for a … Read More

49 Writers: Guest Blogger Lucian Childs | Literary Chardonnay: Exploring Alaska’s Urban Wilds

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When people Outside think of Alaska, they imagine snow, rugged mountains, sled dog races, grizzlies, homestead cabins and “The Deadliest Catch.” That people would be living up here in an urban context would probably not occur to them. Lucian Childs But over half of us Alaskans live in cities. What makes our experience unique is the dichotomy we often feel … Read More

Guest Blogger Lucian Childs | Reading My Way to a Gay Life

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Tomorrow is the culmination of almost three years of work on the part of myself and my co-editor, Martha Amore. Building Fires in the Snow: A Collection of Alaska LGBTQ Short Fiction and Poetry has just been published by the University of Alaska Press. To commemorate the day, I’d like to take a sentimental journey through some of the works … Read More

Guest Blogger Lucian Childs | After the Soufflé Falls

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Some thoughts on revision  with quotes from Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf    “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” Call me Clarissa. I like to give a good dinner party. I like a smart table full of good food, conversation, and laughs. What are the elements of a successful dinner party? Setting, a beautifully appointed table. Characters, having … Read More

49 Writers: Guest Blogger Lucian Childs | Writing and Nostalgia

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“He says, narrative is the aftermath of violent events. It is a means of reconciling yourself with the past. He says,  the violence in the Odyssey is a story told afterwards, in a cave.” —Rachel Cusk, Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation I find it difficult to write about the present day. Specifically, it’s been hard for me to write about … Read More

On Your Mark. Get Set. Post!

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49 Writers envisions “a vibrant community of Alaskan writers coming together to inspire, create, and share.” While that vision informs all our mission-driven pursuits, it doubles as a pretty great description of this blog, too. All sorts of 49 Writers programs and events have grown over time out of the steady, consistent, and galvanizing energy around this blog. Since Deb … Read More