Literary Roundup | February 9-15, 2018

Hey, folks! We’re switching back to weekly Friday Roundups, as opposed to biweekly. Please email your short news items to by Wednesdays. 

New releases

Heart Berries | On Sale February 6, 2018 | Written by Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries is her memoir of overcoming personal trauma, mental trials, and reconciliation with her parents. Mailhot graduated with a MFA in fiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts and has works appearing in The Los Angeles Times and several other magazines. Afterward by Joan Naviyuk Kane. New York Times review

Martha Amore’s In the Quiet Season and Other Stories explores the human landscape of modern-day Alaska, portraying characters who know how to navigate Alaska’s cold terrain, but are lost in mapping a new territory of the heart. (University of Alaska Press) | details

Marilyn Sigman’s Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay (University of Alaska Press) | details

Kathleen Tarr’s We Are All Poets Here (VP&D) | details* (49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk in ANC on March 1, details below)


ANCHORAGE | February 9, 2018, Anchorage Museum auditorium, 6 PM | Unbound: Faces of Romance | Authors from the Alaska Chapter of Romance Writers of America share their perspectives on romance in the North. Listen to excerpts of published work and examine what makes a good romance novel with Alaska experts in this genre. Note: This program contains adult content. Unbound loosens words from the page through experimental literary events. Included with Polar Nights admission. Event details | Facebook event

HOMER | February 20, 2018, 6 PM, Homer Public Library and The Homer Bookstore present Atz Kilcher: Son of a Midnight LandFacebook event

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 10-3 PM (bring a sack) | Join Anchorage Daily News writer/editor Julia O’Malley for a half-day 49 Writers workshop called Fancy Seeing You Here 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. Julia O’Malley is an editor at the Anchorage Daily News and a freelance writer who lives in Anchorage. Find her work at Class will occur at the ADN offices, 300 W. 31st Ave., Anchorage, Alaska, 99503. Learn more and register

ANCHORAGE | March 1, 2018, 49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk Series presents Kathleen Tarr, author of We Are All Poets Here (VP&D House). 7 pm, Indigo Tea Lounge, more details to come.

ANCHORAGE | UAA Books of the Year, Alaska Native Studies and Native Student Services invite you to view an important and fascinating film about the central role of drumming in the Yup’ik village of Emmonak, followed by a discussion with Yup’ik professors Dr. Walkie Charles from UAF and Marie Meade of Anchorage. Thursday, March 1, 2018, 7:30 pm, Rasmuson Hall room 101. Free and open to all.

HOMER | Rumor has it that poet Jericho Brown appears March 28, 2018

ANCHORAGE | Sunday, April 15, 2018 | Demystifying Literary Journals will be a 2-hour class taught by Ronald Spatz, founding editor of Alaska Quarterly Review. With a focus on literary magazines, the class will help students with their own submissions build a strong cover letter, learn about the market, and learn strategies to get noticed by current magazines. All experience levels welcome. Held at the Alaska Humanities Forum, 421 W 1st Ave, Suite 200. Fee: $35 / members: $28. Learn more and register here.

ANCHORAGE | On Saturday, May 5, 2018 in conjunction with the Spring Friends of the Library booksale, Z. J. Loussac Library will host their first ever Local Author book fair. Authors and illustrators will be featured in the atrium of the library for this one day local author sale. Authors can begin registering on Monday, February 12 at 10 am. Spots will be on a first come, first reserved basis. Learn more and register here.

ANCHORAGE | Author talk: Brendan Keily at Anchorage Public Library, 6:30 PM|Literature with a Listening Heart: A discussion about the intersection of literature, social justice, and the art of listening. Brendan Kiely received an MFA in creative writing from The City College of New York. His debut novel, The Gospel of Winter, has been published in ten languages, it was selected as one of American Library Association’s Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015, and it was a Kirkus Reviews selection for best of 2014. He is the coauthor, with Jason Reynolds, of the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award winning All American Boys, and author of the forthcoming The Last True Love Story (McElderry Books/S&S, September 2016). Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in Greenwich Village. Facebook event


FAIRBANKS | Alaska Reads and Fairbanks North Star Public Libraries present Nicole Stellon O’Donnell, Fairbanks resident and author of Steam Laundry, winner of the 2013 WILLA Literary Award for Poetry. Alaska Reads is a statewide reading initiative with the goal of bridging the vast distances of our state by bringing together a living Alaskan author with readers in a variety of communities and, in doing so, fostering interest and pride in Alaskan literature. During the winter months, the program focuses on garnering enthusiasm around the selected book and encouraging Alaskans to read the story. In the spring, the program culminates with a statewide tour by the author where individuals who have read the book have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with the author of the book. Details and Facebook event.

FAIRBANKS | Rumor has it that poet Jericho Brown appears March 30, 2018  


JUNEAU | Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 5:30 PM | 49 Writers presents a class with Nancy Lord: Science, Nature, and Outdoor Writing. 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. Members: $45 | Nonmembers: $55 | Learn more and register here.

KETCHIKAN | Friday, March 16, 2018, 6 PM | Nancy Lord presents pH: a Novel at the Ketchikan Public Library.

JUNEAU | 49 Writers presents a Generative Weekend Writing Retreat at the The Shrine of Saint Thérèse open to all 49 Writers members from near and far. 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. Learn more and register here. $125 per person (49 Writers membership required), inclusive of  lodging and food for the weekend, minimum 10 participants.

WRANGELL | Flying Island Writers & Artists group meets every other Monday 6:30-8 PM. Contact Vivian Faith Prescott for more information









McCARTHY | 2018 Meg Hunt Residency Program: applications are open through Wednesday, February 28, 2018 for a 2-week residency program in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve wilderness. Two residencies will be held: July 30 – August 13, 2018, and August 16 – 30, 2018. Designed to foster artistic inspiration, residents will enjoy simplistic dorms and meals, striking natural scenery, and the remote location allows minimal amenities for distraction. Fee: $65/day. Click here for more information and to register.

TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST | March 1: Deadline for applications for THE VOICES OF THE WILDERNESS ARTIST RESIDENCY PROGRAM for the TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST. Participating artists are paired with a wilderness specialist and actively engaged in research, monitoring, and education stewardship projects. The idea is to give artists a sense of the stewardship behind America’s public lands, fostering an artistic exploration of natural and cultural treasures. As a volunteer, each artist will assist with some basic ranger duties, which may include boarding a tour boat to provide education, participating in research projects, walking a beach to remove litter, or other generally light duties. However, the emphasis for the artist will be experiencing the wilderness and exploring how to communicate its inspirational qualities through their artwork. The Tongass National Forest has five participating Wilderness Areas: · Kootznoowoo Wilderness, Admiralty Island National Monument near Juneau · Misty Fjords National Monument Wilderness near Ketchikan · South Baranof or West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness near Sitka · Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness near Juneau · Tebenkof Bay Wilderness near Petersburg. Residencies are open to art professionals in all media: visual (two and three-dimensional: photographers, sculptors, painters, etc.), audio (musicians, singers, composers), film (video/filmmakers), performance artists, and writers (poets, fiction, essays, storytellers). More information and application information is available here.

PALMER | May 11-13, 2018 SCBWI Alaska’s 2nd Annual Alaska Big Thaw Retreat For all Authors: picture book, middle grade, young adult, adult literature, and illustrators at the Knik River Lodge.  Workshops by Stephen Barr of Writers House Lit. Agency, optional critique groups and loads of quiet writing and illustrating time, optional professional critique, AK cuisine, a cabin, a classroom yurt with a wood burning stove, and amazing views, and more. Register

SKAGWAY | May 30 – June 2, 2018 | North Words Writers Symposium in Skagway is now taking registrations for its 2018. Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, is the keynote writer. Other faculty include Juneau Writer Laureate and Ernestine Hayes, Portland novelist Willy Vlautin, Juneau poet Emily Wall, Ketchikan writer-artist Ray Troll, Washington writer Colleen Mondor, and Fairbanks writer Frank Soos. Features include author panels, writing workshops, and outdoor activities. Limited to 40 participants. Organizers include Buckwheat Donahue, Jeff Brady, Daniel Henry, and John Straley. For more information, see

HOMER, ALASKA | June 8-12, 2018 | Registration is open now for the seventeenth annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference. Held in Homer, Alaska, this nationally recognized writing conference features workshops, readings and panel presentations in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and the business of writing. Keynote presenter Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize winner and National Book Award finalist, will be joined by fifteen other writers, poets, and publishing industry professionals. Optional manuscript reviews, agent/editor meetings, post-conference workshop and boat cruise. Scholarships available. All information and faculty bios at our website:

TUTKA BAY LODGE | The 9th Annual 49 Writers Tutka Bay Writers Retreat will take place September 7-9, 2018. Retreat details to be announced soon along with application information.



Rasmuson Foundation is now accepting Individual Artist Awards grant applications. Project Awards and Fellowship nominations are due March 1, 2018. Learn more

Monthly deadline on the 15th: Awesome Foundation Alaska Chapter | $1,000 grants for awesome ideas. Learn more and apply.

SANTA FE | deadline: Thursday, February 15, 2018 | The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is currently accepting applications through February 15 for its low-residency Masters in Fine Arts program. The program is set to begin on July 21, 2018, and a total of $325,000 in scholarships is being offered. For details about the program, download the College Catalog here; the program is covered on pages 89-102. Email the MFA director, Jon Davis, with questions at For more information and to apply, click here. Anchorage-based poet and former 49 Writers instructor and presenter Joan Naviyuk Kane is one of the faculty members.The program is open to everyone, with a focus on creativity in Native American arts and culture.

Permafrost Magazine2018 New Alchemy Contest deadline April 15, 2018. All formats welcome. $500, publication, and web feature prizes. More details.

Kathleen Tarr launches We Are All Poets Here at the Writer’s Block in Anchorage, January 27, 2018. Photo: J. Pataky

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49 Writers, Inc. is supported, in part, by a grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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