Literary Roundup | October 27-November 9, 2017

Thanks to the 27 folks who turned out this week to Nancy Lord’s Reading & Craft Talk Series event in Anchorage, and to Indigo Tea Lounge for staying open after hours to host this series!

Congrats to author and 49 Writers supporter Debbie Moderow, a WILLA Literary Award winner in Creative Non-Fiction for Fast Into the Night!   


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 or Eventbrite.

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 1-3 PM | The UAA Campus Bookstore presents Melting the Ice Curtain: A Look at US Russia Relations Today.

ANCHORAGE | Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 2-5 PM | 49 Writers presents Science Writing for a General Audience, a class by 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. SOLD OUT, but email to waitlist.

ANCHORAGE | The UAA Campus Bookstore has hosted a series of events through the month of October which included author readings, poetry readings, and others. The final one will be on Monday, October 30, 2017 from 5-7 PM: The Adventures of Apun the Arctic Fox with Liz O’Connell, Susan Joy Share, and Kristin Link. Free. The book will be presented again on Wednesday, November 18, 2017 by Liz O’Connell at the Cook Inlet Literary Council Mini-Conference at the University of Alaska Anchorage. For more information, contact Liz O’Connell,, 907-550-8413.

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 MonitorSierraThe SunSurfer’s JournalOrion, 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 | 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 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 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 hmickey@anchoragemuseum.orgwith 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 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 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 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 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 3-5 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 | Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 7-8 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

FAIRBANKS | Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 1-4 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

FAIRBANKS | Saturday and Sunday, November 11 & 12, 10 AM-4 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






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 Orca Island, Washington. Visit for more information and to register.


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 

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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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