49 Writers Round Up

It was wonderful to meet so many members of 49 Writers at this year’s Kachemak Bay Writers Conference, to connect with friends from around the state, and to make the acquaintance of new writers. More than once, faculty from Outside commented on the collegial nature of the conference – our willingness to support and celebrate each other and not to let competition get in the way of nurturing our literary community. 

 Our thanks go once again to Carol Swartz, Erin Coughlin Hollowell, and the Kachemak Bay Campus staff who planned and ran the event so masterfully; to keynote speaker Barry Lopez, who shared his accumulated wisdom and concerns about our world in such compelling language; to the folks at the Homer Bookstore who provided a comprehensive selection of work by faculty members to browse and purchase (including hard-to-find titles); and to Alaska State Writer Laureate Peggy Shumaker, who tirelessly encourages and promotes Alaska’s writers and their literature; and to the many writers and readers from around Alaska and beyond who contributed their inquiring minds and spirit of sharing to this uplifting event.

We were delighted to hear Carol announce at the closing lunch that next year’s keynote speaker will be Naomi Shihab Nye, a poet and writer whose was often referenced by conference faculty. The 2013 Kachemak Bay Writers Conference will take place on June 14-18, 2013, so mark your calendars now!

Congratulations to Alaskan poet Joan Kane, whose latest manuscript, Hyperboreal, won the 2012 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, part of AWP’s competition award series. Joan is a Whiting Writers’ Award winner (2009), a Walt Whitman Award semi-finalist (Academy of American Poets, 2006), a John Haines Award winner (Ice Floe Press, 2004), and a Rasmuson Individual Artist Award recipient (2007). We are so pleased to know that Hyperboreal, which Joan read from at our Synergies event with G.C. Waldrep earlier this year, will soon be published.

Abigail Calkin signs copies of “The Night Orion Fell” from Noon-1:30 p.m. June 15-June 16 at Hearthside Books, 254 Front St., Juneau.

Storytelling from the Inside Out: Cultivating an Authentic Voice as a Storyteller takes place at Noon, June 16, at the Anchorage Community Theatre. Storyteller Will Hornyak will guide students through the three languages of storytelling.

Book Arts takes place from 6:30-9 p.m. Tuesdays through June 26 at JAHC, 350 Whittier St. Suite 101, Juneau. Registration required: 907-586-1750.

Poetry Parley, a free poetry event, takes place from 7-8:30 p.m. June 20 at Out North, 3800 DeBarr Road. Marquee poet is W D Snodgrass, considered the founder of “confessional poetry.” Local poets include Ethan Korpi Love and Jacob Holly-Kline. The Summer Solstice issue of Cirque literary journal will also be unveiled at this event.

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators invites you to participate in a Virtual Critique with professional literary agents. Manuscripts are due July 15 and the critique workshop is scheduled for August 11 (time to be confirmed later). The cost is $50 for SCBWI members and $55 for non-members. Participants will have ten pages of their manuscript critiqued by either Emily Gref of Lowenstein Associates or Jennifer Rofe of Andrea Brown Literary Agency. This is for Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult novels. A few weeks later, the writers will come together to receive and review our critiques with their peers. Participants will break into small groups (4-5), critique the same piece of work, and then listen to the professional critique, learning not only from their own critique but from the professional opinion of the work of others too.

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