49 Writers weekly round-up

Thanks to all who participated in this week’s 49 writers online book club discussion of And She Was, and especially to author Cindy Dyson for joining in. We batted around some fascinating ideas. Andromeda will take charge of our final book club discussion for the year; watch here for details in the weeks ahead. And while we’re dishing out thanks, let’s not forget September’s featured author Ann Chandonnet. Poet John Morgan of Fairbanks picks up the featured author reins for October.

Fairbanks-area writers and writers who’ll be in Fairbanks for the ASLA conference: join us for another 49 Writers no-host gathering at the Red Lantern in the Westmark Hotel on Saturday, October 17 at 9 p.m. The event follows the ASLA poetry slam, at which writers are also welcome. ASLA’s Laurie Leonard predicts it could be a wild night, with mixed music from local musicians and prepared poetry and small foods passed. There will be printed poems to choose and recite as well as paper to write
poetry on the spot. Names will be drawn to choose who will recite poetry from the audience, with audience members serving as judges. Two winners get Janet Wong poetry books. The ASLA poetry slam starts at 7 p.m. on Oct. 17 at the Westmark Fairbanks.

By now it’s old news that the prize for biggest print run ever by an Alaskan author goes to ex-gov Sarah Palin, While the announcement may conjure secret fantasies among Alaskan writers of Going Rogue stacked in remainder piles, it also raises some interesting questions. When is an author really an author? What’s the real meaning of collaboration? And is there a clause in the PFD criteria for folks who sprint away from the state to hunker down with their “creative” projects? Fair to say SP could care less about any of that. As author Michael Engelhard points out, “the really interesting news comes in the fact that Harper is planning to release 1.5 million hard copies now and the e-book version of this potboiler just before Christmas — so as not to compete with itself. That’s definitely the writing on the wall for the last of us fossils still in denial.”

The print run might be a tad smaller, but Engelhard reminds us that there’s one month left for submissions to his anthology Cold Flashes. “The anthology is coming together even better than I expected,” he writes. “Some crazy, wild, inventive writing, much of it from Alaskans whose names I’d never heard before.” Get your submissions in by November 1.

Anchorage author Bill Sherwonit announces the launch of Changing Paths: Travels and Meditations in Alaska’s Arctic Wilderness on Oct. 15 at Title Wave Books, 6 to 8 p.m. Written in three parts, the book recounts Sherwonit’s solo trek through the Central Brooks Range at age 50, but also looks back to the events that would shape his experience. The first section considers Sherwonit’s introduction to the Brooks Range and his years as an exploration geologist. Taking a step further back, the author then considers his roots in rural Connecticut and his recognition of wild nature as a personal refuge. He concludes with his emergence as a nature writer and wilderness advocate. “An engrossing, fascinating and eye-opening tale of one man’s life and of wilderness conceptions,” writes the University of Alaska Press, “this vivid description of an area of Alaska that few people get to experience is authentic and enlightening. It is another extraordinary contribution to the literature of place from one of Alaska’s most accomplished nature writers.”

Also new from the University of Alaska Press is A Place of Belonging: Five Founding Women of Fairbanks, Alaska by historian Phyllis Demuth Movius, introducing us to five fascinating women who settled in Fairbanks between 1903 and 1923. Their daily lives and personal stories are drawn from letters, memoirs, club records, oral histories, and published writings. “The author’s intimate portraits recall the challenge of making the last frontier a home,” notes the publisher, “and remind us that these women were active at a time of great social change for women in America.” Movius will sign books at The Material Girls, 3065 College Road in Fairbanks on October 10, 2009 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To check out more new Alaskan books, The University of Alaska Press – New Titles for Fall 2009 Catalog can now be viewed online. New releases and forthcoming titles are now offered in an expanding range of subject areas. These books are available from your local bookstore, can be ordered online at www.uaf.edu/uparess or purchased at the UA Press Distribution Center upstairs in the Wells Fargo Bldg. at 749 University Ave., Fairbanks, AK.

Cindy Hardy (teacher, writer, and fan of Alaska) has a new chapbook, We Tempt Our Luck just out from Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press in Stuart, VA. It was a finalist in Astounding Beauty’s 2008 chapbook contest.

A few of us writing in Anchorage are looking to start an occasional (maybe every other month?) writers’ critique group. Criteria: you’ve funneled successfully at least once through selective publishing channels (i.e. journals, traditional publishing houses, periodicals) and are currently working on either non-fiction or fiction projects for adult or young adult readers. If interested, email me at debv@gci.net with a link to your published work. And if others are interested in organizing groups for writers in different genres, progress points, and/or locations, we’ll be happy to post similar invitations to participate.

Scroll to Top