49 Writers weekly round-up

Fairbanks-area writers and writers who’ll be in Fairbanks for the ASLA conference are invited to 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, starting at 7 p.m. in the Westmark’s Northern Latitudes Restaurant.

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. So far I’ve got four potential participants; another four would be great. 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.

Another Alaskan title made its way to President Obama’s library when Alaska Senator Mark Begich presented the president with a copy of Timothy Kennedy’s Where the Rivers Meet the Sky: A Collaborative Approach to Participatory Development , distributed by the University of Alaska Press. The book details Kennedy’s work as a VISTA volunteer in the arctic village of Noorvik in the mid-1960s. Ultimately, Kennedy spent eleven years in Alaska developing communication between remote Eskimo villages and the government using videography. The Sky River Project, as the program was known, proved to be very successful and has been adapted around the world in countries like India and South Africa. In a letter dated May 4, 2009, the president wrote: “I greatly appreciate … Professor Kennedy’s background and work. I noted Professor Kennedy’s assessment of the importance of human factors in effective social mobilization drawn from his field experience in Native Alaskan villages.”

Of special note to writers in rainy Southeast: Ann Chandonnet passes along notice of the “Rain Stories” short story contest on BookRix. Prizes include $1800 prize money for writers, along with Amazon vouchers (each worth $20) for voting readers.

The Alaska Sisters in Crime (AKSinC) will meet at Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Anchorage by the fireside on Wed., Oct. 21, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for Alaska Sisters in Crime’s October meeting. A guest author who’s been enjoying excellent reviews of his newest thriller will speak. AKSinC is also in discussions with author Nevada Barr about an upcoming trip to Alaska. In addition, the group is recruiting presenters/workshop coordinators to help with a program at the March 4-7 Alaska Library Association 50th anniversary convention in Anchorage. Finally, the group’s Whitehorse, Yukon, member Jessica Simon’s new Yukon thriller From Ice to Ashes will be out on October 15. They hope to have her videoconferencing at the October 21.

If you’re a fan of New York literary agent Donald Maass (I am), note that he’ll be conducting his intensive Fire in Fiction workshop at the Sheraton Bellevue (WA) Hotel on November 6-7. Through lively discussions and structured writing exercises on their work-in-progress, writers will learn to identify and harness their passions and tap into emotions and personal experiences, all while best serving the story and its readers. Based on Mr. Maass’s new book from Writers Digest Press, The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great, this workshop is ideal for beginning, intermediate, and advanced writers who are looking to deepen their understanding of craft; learn to find inspiration, always; and build long-lasting careers in a changing industry. The stand-alone course is $399, includeing lunch both days, workshop materials, and more. In addition, Maass will co-teach two master classes with bestselling authors Nancy Pickard (Suspense) and Susan Wiggs (Romance). Go to www.free-expressions.com for more information.

Closer to home, on Thursday, October 8 from 5:00pm-7:00pm at the University of Alaska Anchorage Bookstore, Toby Sullivan, writer and commercial fisherman from Kodiak presents “To the War: An Embedded Journalist in Iraq.” Embedded with U.S. Marine and Army units in Baghdad and Al Anbar Province, Iraq between December 2004 and April 2006, Sullivan is currently at work on a book about his experiences there. His stories and essays about the Iraq war and the lives of commercial fishermen have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies including the Anchorage Press.

Also at the UA Bookstore, Kaylene Johnson presents A Tender Distance: Adventures Raising My Sons in Alaska Wednesday October 14 from 5:00-7:00pm. Of Johnson’s book, poet and creative nonfiction writer Molly Peacock writes, “With a journalist’s quick eye and a spiritual observer’s shining soul, the remarkable Kaylene Johnson measures the growth of her two boys as they come of age in Alaska’s wilderness in her new book…Johnson’s fierce balancing makes these amazing adventures a mother’s coming of age, too.”

On Monday, October 19 from 5:00pm-7:00pm, also at the bookstore, curator Sven Haakanson will discuss Giinaquq–Like a Face: Suqpiaq Masks of the Kodiak Archipelago, an extraordinary mask exhibit and the accompanying book, now available in paperback. On the following evening, Tuesday October 20 from 5:00pm-7:00pm, Alaska at 50 contributors Greg Kimura, Sven Hakaanson Jr, Ronald Spatz, Victor Fischer and Phyllis Fast will speak. Free parking is available at all UA Bookstore events.

Dana Stabenow is getting ready to launch her (amazing!) 17th Kate Shugak mystery, A Night Too Dark on February 16, 2010, at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona. Danamaniacs from across the country are expected to descend on Scottsdale for the launch party. For a chance to win an advance reading copy, sign up for Dana’s newsletter The Roadhouse Report.

Wondering how to publicize your book? In addition to all you can learn from Dana, check out this press release by Alaskan author Arne Bue.

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