Literary Roundup | November 10-23, 2017

Thanks to everyone who turned out last night to Jonathan White’s Reading & Craft Talk Series event in Anchorage, and to Indigo Tea Lounge for staying open after hours to host this series! Folks, don’t miss Jonathan’s appearances tonight (11/10/17) in Homer, and Saturday the 11th at UAA Campus Bookstore (details below).


HOMER | Friday, November 10, 2017 at 7 pm, KPC Kachemak Bay Campus | Jonathan White, author of Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean. 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 criss-crossed the seven seas to see the largest, fastest, scariest, and most amazing tides in the world. With photographs, stories, and short readings, Jonathan takes his audiences on an enthralling journey into the surprising and poetic workings of the tide. Free.

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 1 PM, UAA Campus Bookstore | Jonathan White, author of Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean. 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 criss-crossed the seven seas to see the largest, fastest, scariest, and most amazing tides in the world. With photographs, stories, and short readings, Jonathan takes his audiences on an enthralling journey into the surprising and poetic workings of the tide. Free.

ANCHORAGE | Wednesday, November 15, 2017 from 7-8:30 PM | The Alaska Writers Guild presents “Book Distribution through Alaska and Beyond” with Flip Todd of Todd Communications, which offers manuscript editing, book design and packaging, distribution, and more. Free at Barnes and Noble.

ANCHORAGE | Thursday, November 16, 2017 at the Anchorage Museum, 6:30-8 PM | Lifelong Alaskan Hannah Moderow presents her debut novel, “Lily’s Mountain,” in the museum’s fourth floor Chugach Gallery. She will read from her book, talk about her process, and sign copies of the book. Free; use the museum’s 7th Avenue entrance. Find out more about the book at “Lily’s Mountain” is recommended for ages 10+.

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, November 18, 2017 | Liz O’Connell will present The Adventures of Apun the Arctic Fox at the Cook Inlet Literary Council Mini-Conference at the University of Alaska Anchorage. For more information, contact O’Connell at, 907-550-8413.

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 1-3:00 pm at the UAA Campus Bookstore | Ann Fienup Riordan and Alice ReardenQanemcit Amllertut/Many Stories to Tell: Tales of Humans and Animals from Southwest Alaska. This bilingual collection shares new translations of old stories recorded over the past four decades through interviews with Yup’ik elders from throughout southwest Alaska. Some are true qulirat (traditional tales), while others are recent. Some are well known, like the adventures of the wily raven, while others are rarely told. All are part of a great narrative tradition, shared and treasured by Yup’ik people into the present day. This is the first region-wide collection of traditional Yup’ik tales and stories from southwest Alaska. The elders and translators who contributed to this collection embrace the great irony of oral traditions: that the best way to keep these stories is to give them away. By retelling these stories, they hope to create a future in which the Yup’ik view of the world will be both recognized and valued. Qanemcit Amllertut/Many Stories to Tell is published by University of Alaska Press. Ann Fienup Riordan and Alice Rearden have worked on numerous publications together.  Their book, Anguyiiim Nalliini, A Time of Warring, The History of Bow-and-Arrow Warfare on Southwest Alaska, was published in 2016 by University of Alaska Press in 2016. This event is sponsored with Alaska Center for the Book and held in celebration of Alaska Native/American Indian Heritage Month. Free. Free parking at UAA on Saturdays.

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 workshop: 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 WifeHyperborealThe 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

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: RecollectionsFriday, November 17, 2017 from 6-7 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 with 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 TenseFriday, December 15, 2017 from 5-7 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 workshop: Fear and Loathing in Writing: How to Write Using Your Primal Emotions as Inspiration with Don Rearden | Saturday, December 9, 2017, from 2-4 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 workshop: Disrupting Nonfiction: Adventures in Open Form Essays with Matthew Komatsu | Saturday, December 9, 2017, from 4:30-7:30 PM | In recent years, essays have taken on surprising shapes and sizes, advancing from lyric into new and surprising forms. Together, we’ll explore examples of open form essays, discuss how the varieties of structure inform the piece’s narrative, and try some things out ourselves. Writers of all experience levels should bring a laptop and a short piece of their own writing that describes a scene which they are willing to subject to some varieties of writerly experimentation. A sense of wonder is mandatory; husky poet-voice optional but always welcome. Instructor bio: Matthew Komatsu has published open form essays in BrevityThe Normal SchoolSoutheast Review, and even snuck one past a New York Times editor one time. He’s a graduate of the University of Alaska MFA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) program, has essays forthcoming in two anthologies due out in 2018, and is a Nonfiction Editor for the literary journal War, Literature and the Arts. | More details and registration

ANCHORAGE | 49 Writers workshop: 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 3-5 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 NarrativeBarrelhouse, 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 and on Twitter and Instagram as @meaganmacvie. | More details and registration, and stay tuned for announcements about book appearances in Palmer, Soldotna, Seward, and Cooper Landing, too.

ANCHORAGE | Wednesday, January 17, 2018 from 7-8:30 PM | The Alaska Writers Guild presents “Speaking Volumes; Audiobooks & Narration.” Alaska-based audiobook narrators Basil Sands and Suzie Althens will discuss their roles as narrators, and how to turn your own published works into audiobooks available to the public. Located at Barnes and Noble. Free.



FAIRBANKS | November 11, 2017

FAIRBANKS | DATE CHANGED TO Saturday, December 2, 2017, 10 AM-5 PM | Fairbanks Arts is hosting the workshop Writing in the Dark: Worldbuilding for Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors, led by award-winning science fiction author David Marusek of Counting Heads and The Wedding Album. Building an absorbing world is the underpinning of strong fantasy and science fiction. This two-day workshop will explore the issues and techniques of worldbuilding for science fiction and fantasy short stories, novels, and screenplays through lecture, discussion, exercises, individual writing time, sharing work, and one-on-one consulting with the host. New and experienced authors both welcome. Fee: $125 for Fairbanks Arts members; Non-members $150. Located at the Bear Gallery of the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts. For more information contact 9078-456-6485 ext. 226 or



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

KETCHIKAN | Ketchikan Writes literary magazine seeks submissions for their first issue. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and short plays welcome. Submission deadline is November 15, 2017 at 8 PM. Email to

SITKA | Thursday-Saturday November 16-19, 2017 | the Island Institute presents: Wild Language Festival. Visit for more information. Events will include:

  • Our Alaska Stories, Season 2: Premiere of films by Mt. Edgecumbe High School students
  • Sitka Tells Tales: stories of chance and learning
  • Alaska Quarterly Review, 35th Anniversary Celebration: readings by Carolyn Servid, Robert Hoffmann, and John Straley
  • Ernestine Hayes: Alaska Laureate and author of Blonde Indian
  • Kristian Cordero: National Book Award winner, poet, filmmaker, translator

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 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






SKAGWAY | November 15, 2017 – February 15, 2018 | Alderworks Alaska Writers and Artists Retreat is taking applications for next summer’s residencies. Three cabins along West Creek in Dyea will be available during two summer residency sessions: mid-May to late June, and mid-July to late August. Take a tour, view residency requirements, and apply at

WASHINGTON | Friday and Saturday, March 2-3, 2018 | Artsmith is presenting Writer Island: Generosity and Joy with Peggy Shumaker. The workshop will focus on language that opposes hatred and fear, using curiosity and pleasure as a way to heal trauma and pain. Held on Orcas Island, Washington. Visit for more information and to register.


Alaska Women Speak is currently accepting prose and poetry submissions, along with ideas for possible cover art. The winter issue’s theme is “Social/Social Media.” Deadline November 15, 2017. Please see the website for additional information:

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 Full details.

ANCHORAGE | Tuesday, December 5, 2017 | Deadline for the Alaska Writers Guild Bi-Monthly Writing Contest; “Rhyming Poetry.” For details and guidelines, visit the writing contest page.

What’s missing? Submit your event or announcement to appear in the next Roundup. Send an email with “Roundup” as the subject to Deadline Wednesday prior at the latest.

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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.


2 thoughts on “Literary Roundup | November 10-23, 2017”

  1. I am a huge fan of the ethnographic work of Ann Fienup Riordan. Wish I could be there for her talk.
    Regards to her.
    Ann Chandonnet
    Lake St. Louis, MO

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