Our upcoming season of workshops, classes, Reading & Craft Talk Series and Crosscurrents events, and special events is mostly up on online. Registration is open for classes in Anchorage and Fairbanks!
Congrats to Seth Kantner, recipient of a 2017 Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant!
Congratulations to current and former 49 Writers board members Matthew Komatsu and Don Rearden, as well as Mary Rosanne Katzke, Vivian Faith Prescott, and Lily Tuzroyluke, on their Alaska Literary Awards! Huge thanks and love to Peggy Shumaker and Joe Usibelli, as well, for their generous support of literary Alaska, including 49 Writers.
Congrats to Christy NaMee Eriksen, a spoken word artist in Juneau, on her Connie Boochever Fellowship!
Welcome aboard! We’re pleased to introduce volunteer Ben Henning, who began painstakingly compiling our literary roundups last month. We asked him a few get-to-know-you questions, which we post along with an invitation to email your literary news and events to info@49Writers.org.
Tell us about your background and how you came to Alaska.
I was born in Minnesota but my father was in the oil industry so I spent much of my early life overseas. My family spent most of our time in countries like Oman and India, where I grew accustomed to diverse cultures and learned to love outdoor activities like hiking and snorkeling. I also first discovered my love for creative writing in these colorful and foreign environments. I moved back to the States to attend Texas A&M at Galveston where I earned my BS in marine biology and a minor in English. After graduating I moved to Alaska out of pure interest, for its mountains, beautiful winters, and coast. I’ve been here just over two years and I greatly look forward to many more.
Why did you decide to contact 49 Writers about volunteering?
I’ve always had passion for writing but never understood how to pursue it. I’ve written a lot of my own stories and collaborated with friends, but I wanted to make it professional—and avoid journalism; reporting isn’t where I want to go right now. I thought 49 Writers might expand my experience, and maybe open some literary doors for me!
What do you like to read and write?
Fiction: fantasy and science fiction are my favorite. I use writing and reading as a way to escape reality; I love stories where the impossible happen. Some of my favorite book series are Harry Potter and Narnia. As for my own writing, I enjoy short stories where I take an original character and give him or her powers, and just let my imagination show me how the character reacts. I also really enjoy what’s called “fan fiction;” which is using an established world or environment (like Hogwarts) and writing my own stories in that setting.
What kind of literary goals do you have for this season?
I’m excited to explore what 49 Writers has for me. I also recently started freelance editing, which I’m new to but excited to get more of a feel for it. More on the back-burner, I’m working on a couple of my own novels, but those are more long term.
What do you love most about Alaska?
What don’t I love?! My favorite thing is definitely the mountains I get to see every morning on the way to work, or drive into 15 minutes from my house. I love the Alaska Native culture that’s so rich in the city and villages. I love the local coffee stands on every block! I love the aurora borealis on those late winter nights. I can’t pick just one of those!
Thanks for your help, Ben!
ANCHORAGE | The UAA Campus Bookstore is hosting a series of events through the month of October which include author readings, poetry readings, and others.
- Friday, October 13, 2017, 6 PM | Author Gina Apostol presents Gun Dealers’ Daughter. Parking is free at UAA on Fridays.
- Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 1-3:30 PM | Cats and Dogs: Author Joseph Robertia presents Lifewith Forty Dogs and author Cynthia Baldwin presents Sarah’s Days: Being a Cat, An Alaskan Childhood Story. Free.
- Tuesday, October 24, 2017 from 5-7:00 PM | Poet Tom Sexton presents Alaska Poetry 1867-1966. Free.
- Wednesday, October 25, 2017 from 5-7 PM | Steve J. Langdon presents Kaalaxch’sEndeavors, A Preeminent Jilkáat Tlingit Leader, and The Coming of the Americans. Free.
- Monday, October 30, 2017 from 5:00PM–7:00PM | The Adventures of Apun the Arctic Foxwith Liz O’Connell, Susan Joy Share and Kristin Link. Free.
GLENNALLEN | Writers Workshop: Publishing 101, October 13, 2017, 5:30-7:30 PM, is open now for registration at Prince William Sound Community College. Authors Chantelle Pence, Mary Odden, and Alana Terry will be covering topics such as marketing, means of publishing, and craft develoPMent. There is no fee, but space is limited and registration is required. Details and registration here.
ANCHORAGE | Friday, October 13, 2017 from 1 PM-2:30 PM at the UAA Campus Bookstore | Gina Apostol presents Gun Dealer’s Daughter. She will read from her novel, set in martial law Philippines, which explores links between novel writing, history, and our contemporary times and our past (including links between U.S. and Philippine history). Gun Dealer’s Daughter won the 2013 PEN/Open Book Award and was shortlisted for the 2014 William Saroyan International Prize. Author of three books, many of Apostol’s essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Foreign Policy, Gettysburg Review, and Massachusetts Review. Apostol was raised in Tacloban, Philippines, and currently lives in New York City and western Massachusetts. This event is held in celebration of Filipino American History Month. It is sponsored by Alaska Airlines and Alaskero Partnership Organizers of UAA’s Center for Community Engagement and Learning. Free. Parking is free at UAA on Fridays.
ANCHORAGE | Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 10:00 AM-12:00 PM | The Alaska Writing Project is hosting Coffee and Writing: a morning of thinking, writing, feeling, and love. Coffee and Writing will be at SteamDot Coffee & Espresso Lab on O’Malley. The Alaska Writing Project (AWP) is a space for educators and writers to grow as leaders, writers, researchers, and teachers.
SEWARD | Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 7:00 PM | Seward Area Writers presents the book release and public reading of Court of Twilight by local author Mareth Griffith. Other readers include Tim Morrow, Justine Pechuzal, Dan Walker, and Stefini Adkins. Event will be held at Resurrect Art. Questions and comments can be sent to Shauna Potocky at email@example.com.
ANCHORAGE | Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM | The Alaska Writers Guild is holding its October Program: Writing for the Stage at Barnes and Noble. Speakers Arlitia Jones, Ron Holmstrom, and Lucas Rowley will discuss the role and craft of playwright, from pen to performance, and beyond. Arlitia Jones is a poet and playwright from Anchorage, Alaska. Her latest full-length play, Summerland, was received at a workshop production during Seattle Repertory Theatre’s New Play Festival 2014, and went on to production in January 2017 at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Ron Holmstrom has worked for many years in the theatre, film and television industries in Hollywood. He was last seen in feature films The Frozen Ground and Sugar Mountain, and currently reports on entertainment news for FOX-4 and ABC-13. Free.
ANCHORAGE | October 25, 2017 at 7 PM, Indigo Tea Lounge | Nancy Lord will present a 49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk Series event called Science in Fiction: It’s Not Only Science Fiction | In recent years we’ve seen a new emphasis in both mainstream and literary fiction, embracing scientists as characters and scientific concepts and practices in storytelling. What opportunities does this trend provide both readers and writers to build interest in science and environmental health? What can realistic fiction do that science (or speculative) fiction or any kind of nonfiction cannot? This craft talk will examine specific examples of science in fiction and help us think about the pleasures and benefits of science-based storytelling. Free. More info
ANCHORAGE | Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 from 7-10 PM | Halloween at the Library: Loussac Public Library is celebrating 100 years of public library in Anchorage. Featuring live music by Pamyua, burlesque and modern dance performances by Pulse Dance Company, an Escape Room by Breakout Alaska and a costume contest for “100 Years of Anchorage” and “Literary” themes. Tickets: $100 or 2 for $75 each, includes two free drinks per person and hors d’oeuvres by Bridge Catering. Proceeds benefit the Anchorage Public Library. Tickets at www.LibraryChampion.com or Eventbrite.
ANCHORAGE | Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 2—5 PM | 49 Writers presents Science Writing for a General Audience with Nancy Lord | The gap between the public’s interest in science (large) and its understanding of it (smaller) has many causes, but writers can help by bringing science-based stories to life through effective storytelling. In this three-hour workshop, we’ll examine some examples of narrative science writing (in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry) and will use them 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. Advanced registration required
ANCHORAGE | Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 7 PM | 49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk Series presents Writing TIDES: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean with Jonathan White | After nearly losing his 65’ wooden schooner in a large Alaskan tide, writer, sailor, and surfer Jonathan White vowed to understand the tide. He knew the moon had something to do with it, but what exactly? He read a book, then two. Ten years later, he had read three hundred books and crisscrossed the seven seas to see the largest, fastest, scariest, and most amazing tides in the world. With photographs, stories, and short readings, Jonathan will share the enthralling journey of coming to understand–and write about–the surprising and poetic workings of the tide. Jonathan White has written for the Christian Science Monitor, Sierra, The Sun, Surfer’s Journal, Orion, and other publications. His first book, Talking on the Water (Sierra Club Books), is a collection of interviews exploring our relationship with nature. White is an active marine conservationist, holds an MFA in creative nonfiction, and lives with his wife and son on a small island in Washington State. Free. More details
ANCHORAGE | Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 7 PM | 49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk Series presents Crazy Russian Stories Alone Don’t Make a Book with author David Ramseur | Just five years after a Soviet missile blew a civilian airliner out of the sky over the North Pacific, Russia and Alaska citizen diplomats braved Cold War tensions to join hands across the Bering Strait. Their dramatic efforts to melt the “Ice Curtain” launched a 30-year era of perilous yet prolific progress, a model in bridging the gap in superpower relations sorely needed today. Alaska journalist and political aide David Ramseur discusses his book, Melting the Ice Curtain: The Extraordinary Story of Citizen Diplomacy on the Russia-Alaska Frontier. Ramseur describes how he chronicles this important era in Alaska history through more than 130 interviews and archival research and how he is marketing his book during the 150th anniversary of the US purchase of Alaska from Russia. After just six weeks on the market, Melting the Ice Curtain sold out its first printing through University of Alaska Press. More info
ANCHORAGE | 49 Writers presents Cutting the River: Poems from Draft Through Radical Revision with Joan Naviyuk Kane. Four two-hour weekly sessions: Nov 25, Dec 2, Dec 9, Dec 16, 2017 | This workshop will create space for writers of all genres to move in and out of the lyric mode. Participants will generate drafts, revise new work, and investigate form (prosody, lyric subgenres, speech acts). We will consider how participants’ poems or lyric moments within narrative pieces work in conversation with each other both on and off the page. Instructor bio: Joan Naviyuk Kane is the author of The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife, Hyperboreal, The Straits, and Milk Black Carbon for which she has received a Whiting Writers Award, the Donald Hall Prize, an American Book Award, and fellowships from the Rasmuson Foundation, Native Arts and Culture Foundation, and the Aninstantia Foundation. She is Inupiaq with family from King Island and Mary’s Igloo and teaches in the low-residency graduate program in creative writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Details and registration
ANCHORAGE | Ecodrama Playwrights Festival & Symposium is accepting new proposals, deadline November 30, 2017. The symposium, hosted by UAA Theatre Department, is searching for creative and challenging proposals for workshops, roundtables, and a variety of other events centered on the environmental crises. Topics include but are not limited to climate change, animal representation, eco-literacy, and indigenous performances. Submit proposals here. For questions, contact Dr. Brian Cooke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANCHORAGE | The Anchorage Museum presents a series of readings and discussion on the diversity of languages in Alaska. The event will explore the challenges and possibilities of translation through conversation with local experts, scholars, and educators who will share their work. Presentations include:
- Unbound: Mother of Tongues | Friday, October 20, 2017 6:00 PM | a film by Ron Spatz of Shaawatke’é’s Birth; a poem by Emily Wall and Lance X’unei Lance Twitchell (performed in English and Tlingit), a story read in Samoan by Junior Gisa, a reading in Inupiaq by Edna MacLean, and more. Details can be found on the Museum of Anchorage’s website, here. Unbound: Mother of Tongues will moderated by Kathryn Ohle, assistant professor at UAA, and is included with admission, which is half price on Fridays 6-9 PM.
- Unbound: Recollections| Friday, November 17, 2017 from 6:00-7:00 PM | Part of Anchorage Museum’s Unbound series, Recollections will be an open mic night with a goal of remembering through words. Writers, poets, readers, and word lovers are invited to share important texts in a lively event of recollecting memories together. Bring a short story, poem or other text of your own creation, or recite a passage you have memorized. Artist Jimmy Riordan will MC the evening. Readings and recitations may be in any language, all ages welcome. Sign up by emailing email@example.com your name, the title of your text, and approximate duration needed for reading; space is limited. Free with admission which is half price on Polar Nights.
- Unbound: Present Tense| Friday, December 15, 2017 from 5:00-7:00 PM | In another part of Anchorage Museum’s Unbound series, Juneau-based author Ernestine Hayes and Anchorage-based scholar Maria Williams will read and discuss their work. Free with admission which is half price on Polar Nights.
ANCHORAGE | 49 Writers presents Fear and Loathing in Writing: How to Write Using Your Primal Emotions as Inspiration with Don Rearden | Saturday, December 9, 2017, from 2-4:00 PM | Prepare to get your blood pressure up and palms sweating in this two hour creative writing workshop designed to get you all worked up. Learn how to tap into your primal emotions and turn that raw energy into something productive and powerful in your creative writing. Author Don Rearden will reveal an innovative way to transform your own anger, fear, sadness, happiness, and other feelings into something useful for your poetry, fiction, or memoir. Bring a laptop or notebook and come ready to write. Instructor bio: Don Rearden spent most of his childhood on the tundra of Southwestern Alaska. A professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, he is the author of the 2013 Washington Post notable novel The Raven’s Gift, a screenwriter, and co-author of the recently released memoir Never Quit. He lives in an undisclosed location somewhere on a mountain outside of Anchorage. | More details and registration
ANCHORAGE | 49 Writers presents I’m Just Being Myselfie: How Young Narrators Come Alive on the Page (Without Seeming Like Posers), a workshop with Meagan Macvie, Satuday, December 16, 2017 from 3:00-5:00 PM | Good stories bring readers close in and make us care about—even feel—what is happening to the characters. Workshop participants will investigate how writers use Immediacy, Voice, and Transformation to accomplish this great feat of sensory and emotional osmosis. This workshop focuses on young adult first-person narrators. Meagan Macvie will share short excerpts from classic and contemporary young adult literature (including Sherman Alexie, Laurie Halse Anderson, Gayle Forman, John Green, Karen Hesse, and J.D. Salinger) to demonstrate techniques writers can use to compel readers to feel along with a story’s teenage main character. Participants will then have the opportunity to write their own compelling paragraphs during guided writing exercises. Instructor Bio: Meagan Macvie was born and raised in Soldotna, Alaska. Her debut novel, The Ocean in My Ears, is set in her hometown. The novel was published in 2017 by Portland State University’s Ooligan Press and was a finalist for the 2016 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest. In their starred review, Kirkus calls The Ocean in My Ears an “unforgettable journey to adulthood.” Meagan is a former government communications director and college composition instructor who now writes full-time and teaches writing workshops through her local schools and libraries. She earned her MFA in fiction from Pacific Lutheran University and a BA in English Literature from the University of Idaho. Her work has appeared in Narrative, Barrelhouse, and Fugue, as well as the regional library anthology, Timberland Writes Together. In 2017, her short story, “Dinosaur Guys,” was awarded second place in the Willamette Writers Kay Snow Writing Contest. Meagan now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and daughter, as well as a dog, two goats, and seven chickens. Find her online at meaganmacvie.com and on Twitter and Instagramas @meaganmacvie. | More details and registration
FAIRBANKS | Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 7:00-8:30 PM | Authors Julie and Miki Collins present a slideshow and field questions about their books Riding the Wild Side of Denali: Adventures with Horses and Huskies and Trapline Twins. For more than a half century the Collins twins have lived with their dog teams, Icelandic horses, and a hundred-mile trap line; their contributions to Alaska literature mirror a pioneering lifestyle like no other. Hosted by the University of Alaska Press, UAF Alumni Association, and Epicenter Press, the Collins’ talk will take place at the Murie Building Auditorium on West Ridge at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Free. Parking is free after 5 PM. For more information, please contact University of Alaska Press at 907-474-5831 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
FAIRBANKS | Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 1:00-4:00 PM | 49 Writers presents Science Writing for a General Audience with Nancy Lord at the Bear Gallery | The gap between the public’s interest in science (large) and its understanding of it (smaller) has many causes, but writers can help by bringing science-based stories to life through effective storytelling. In this three-hour workshop, we’ll examine some examples of narrative science writing (in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry) and will use them 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. Advanced registration required
JUNEAU | Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 7 PM | Woosh Kinaadeiyí’s 7th annual Poetry Grand Slam at the University of Alaska Southeast Recreation Center. Hosted by Erika Bergren and Dee DeRego, champions from the past slams will converge in a night of astounding talent as they compete for the annual Grand Slam title. The group will also be releasing fresh Season 8 T-shirts and hoodies featuring their first-ever official Woosh Kinaadeiyí logo designed by Pixel & Plume Design Co. Pay as you can, suggested $5-10, no one turned away at the door.
JUNEAU | Station Eleven book discussions are being held by the Juneau Public Libraries and the University of Alaska Southeast. Discussions will be held:
- Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 at 2:30 PM at Douglas Library, featuring items from the Juneau Douglas City Museum.
- Thursday, October 19th, 2017 at noon at UAS Egan Library
- Saturday, October 21st, 2017 at 11:30 PM at Valley Library, featuring guest speaker Charlee Gribbon, Nurse and Infection Preventionist at Bartlett Hospital.
- Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 at 5:30 PM at Valley Library, featuring items from the Juneau Douglas City Museum.
- Thursday, October 26th, 2017 at 5:30 PM at Downtown Library, featuring guest speaker Charlee Gribbon, Nurse and Infection Preventionist at Bartlett Hospital.
WRANGELL | Flying Island Writers & Artists group meets every other Monday 6:30-8:00 PM. Contact Vivian Faith Prescott for more information email@example.com.
KETCHIKAN | Ketchikan Writes: Literary magazine is looking for submissions to the publication of their first issue. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and short plays welcome. Submission deadline is November 15, 2017 at 8 PM. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
CONFERENCES, RETREATS, and RESIDENCIES
OPPORTUNITIES and AWARDS for WRITERS
JUNEAU | The Woosh Kinadaeiyí Community is looking to hire an Event Coordinator to manage project tasks. The Event Coordinator would be someone with excellent communication skills and social media proficiency who will work in concert with the Woosh Kinaadeiyí Board of Directors to organize events from beginning to end, while representing and promoting our work to the public. Please send applications (with cover letter, resume, and references) and questions to email@example.com.
Bona Fide Books seeks literary essays about national parks for Volume 2 of Permanent Vacation: Twenty Writers on Work and Life in Our National Parks. Volume 1 included Alaskan writers Christine Byl, Jeremy Pataky, and Tom Walker. Now, Bona Fide Books seeks more work for Volume 2, covering any national park (no regional focus this time). Each writer whose work is selected will receive $100 for their essay and one copy of the collection, which will publish in spring 2018. Deadline: December 1, 2017. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details.
What’s missing? Submit your event or announcement to appear in the next Roundup. Send an email with “Roundup” as the subject to info@49Writers.org.
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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.