Deb Vanasse | The Grounded Writer

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These are stressful times. More than ever, we creative types need grounding. By the dictionary, being grounded results in balance and stability. But I think of it more in terms of process, connecting with whatever it is that helps me to be in the moment when I write. Author John Straley talks of warming up to writing like a slow … Read More

Amy O’Neill Houck | Practice Makes Pages: David Sedaris and John Straley on Making a Habit of Writing

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On Mother’s Day, David Sedaris made a sold-out appearance in the 900 seat house at Juneau Douglas High School. A humorist—a writer—filling the biggest house we have in our small town in Alaska was somehow reassuring. After reading for about an hour, mostly funny, some overtly political (he was in a friendly crowd), and a few poignant pieces, he turned … Read More

Bausler & Houck | Northwords 2017: Discovering Paul Theroux

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Northwords 2017: Discovering Paul Theroux By Katie Bausler and Amy O’Neill Houck, 49 Writers Board Members “All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience.” ~Mao Tse Tung (as quoted by Paul Theroux) Before we signed up for the North Words Writer’s Symposium, held the first weekend in June in Skagway, neither of us had read Paul Theroux, the keynote speaker. We … Read More

Jeff Brady | 2017 North Words Writers Symposium Rundown

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North Words Writers Symposium wrapped up in Skagway recently. Jeff Brady, co-organizer, provides a vicarious look at this year’s conference. ~ JP  The 8th annual North Words Writers Symposium in Skagway was the biggest yet. About 40 participants from all over Alaska and the Yukon were extolled by keynote author Paul Theroux to get out and work hard to experience life … Read More

John Straley: You Need All The Friends You Can Get

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Writers tend to be a whiney lot. At least I have been in my time, particularly when it comes to the subject of publishers: they don’t appreciate me, they are too big, they are too small, they don’t promote my book, it goes on and on and on… The only time we truly love them is the first week after … Read More

Weekly Roundup of News and Events

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Frank Soos teaches the Art of the Essay We were delighted by the announcement that Frank Soos has been selected to serve as the next Alaska Writer Laureate. Frank has worked with many of our writers over the last year, helping them to to develop their work and ‘the art of the essay.’ He has become a much loved member … Read More

John Straley: Why Should We Celebrate?

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The final post in this month’s series from guest author John Straley. I would like to make something clear from the last post. It takes me four times as long to revise something as it does to write the draft. That’s how I figure out how long to spend working during the revising stage. The discipline for rough draft writing … Read More

John Straley: The Paperwork

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Here is the third post from July guest author John Straley.  I once heard Robert Hass, before he was the Poet Laureate of the United States, say  “Being a writer would be great, if it wasn’t for all the damn paperwork.”  So we have inevitably come to writing the cursed book.  In the earlier blog entries I discussed some aspects of … Read More

John Straley: Staring Into the Fire

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Here is the second post from July guest author John Straley. As he told us in his first post, “I thought I would write about craft questions I have never taught or lectured on before…and I hope to respond to questions that may come in over the month and enter into a dialogue with any of you who are reading … Read More