49 Writers Weekly Round-Up

We’re engaged in a flurry of year-end planning here at 49 Writers. We’ve enjoyed a great response to our call for featured authors for 2010; December 15 is the deadline for tossing your name in that hat. Watch for our new book advertising guidelines to be posted soon, along with news about possible workshops and manuscript critiques.

In the meantime, let’s not forget the joys of the current season. Former Alaska Poet Laureate Tom Sexton’s poem “Snow,” published in the winter issue of The Hudson Review, will also be part of the Review’s holiday greeting.

Eric Heyne brings to our attention a call for submissions for an upcoming conference, The Fictional North, to be held at The Pas Campus in The Pas, Manitoba, March 30-April 1, 2010.

From the invitation: “Iconic images of the North, the relationship of North to South, and ethnographic models of “Northernness” often promote political and cultural paradigms from elsewhere. At best they reveal little about the North or Northerners; at worst they may be downright misleading. Ironically, Western culture has enshrined North as that direction in relation to which all others are defined, yet its topography eludes definition. North is not one but a number of Netherlands; and like all frontiers, the North is in its essence imaginative, its being magicked out of ice and snow, muskeg and tundra. Storytelling is its generative principle, the activity through which the North, and Northerners, call themselves into being.”

Well said! The Fifth Annual University College of the North (UCN) Conference invites abstracts, papers or stories on any aspect of the following topics: Tall Tales and the North; The Lure of Gold in the North; Northern Storytelling; Fictions about the Aboriginal North; Ice and Snow; Animals and the North; The Ethnographic North; Northern Histories; Northern Stereotypes / Northern Icons; (Hi)stories and Travelogues of Northern Exploration; Northern Myths and Legends; Hollywood’s North; Mysticism and the North; Northern Tragedies; The North and Comedy; The Supernatural North; Northern Documentaries.

It is anticipated that selected papers will be published as a compilation of conference proceedings. Proposals for both individual and panel presentations are welcome. Abstracts of 250 words (with accompanying biographical information of no more than one page) should be submitted by mail, fax or email by January 15, 2010 to:
Sandra Barber, University College of the North, fax: (204) 677-6736, sbarber@ucn.ca.

Fairbanks author David Marusek sends this link to a Publishers Weekly article introducing author Cory Doctorow’s comprehensive and well-documented experiment in self-publishing as well as a link to Doctorow’s December update on his project. I hope Santa can stuff half this guy’s marketing energy in my stocking this year.

On the sad subject of the November 13 filing of bankruptcy by Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company, author Ann Chandonnet reports some difficulty finding the price to buy back rights to her manuscript. In consideration of others who may be in the same boat, here’s what she has learned:

The case number is 09-39457-TMB7, filed with Portland Bankruptcy Court: 503 326-1500.

The hearing is now scheduled for December 21.

The counsel for GACP is Jeannette Thomas of Portland. JThomas@perkinscoie.com, or 503 727-2075. That office will mail to authors documents needed to file a claim.

On a happier note, Ann also reports that www.imaginingheaven.com is looking for poems, and artist Rebecca Poulson of Sitka has released her 2010 Outer Coast Calendar, centered on the theme of art. The calendar includes poetry: the January poem is by Ann Chandonnet; February’s poem, “Village Boy,” is by Tlingit artist Robert Davis Hoffman (Hoffman’s poem was originally published in the Alaska Quarterly Review); November’s poem is “My Best Work” by John Straley from his collection The Rising and the Rain (University of Alaska Press). Calendars can be ordered from rebecca_poulton@hotmail.com.

For the third year in a row, Amazon and Penguin have teamed up for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, an international writing competition that offers new writers a chance at publication. Earlier this week, it was announced that there would be two prizes for this year’s competition, one of which will be for the best young adult novel. Also new this year: the competition is open to novels that have been previously self-published.

Up to 10,000 manuscripts will be accepted for the contest, which will then be narrowed down—in turn by Amazon editors/top reviewers, Publishers Weekly reviewers, and Penguin editors—before arriving at three finalists in each category. On the young adult side, the panel critiquing the finalists consists of authors Sarah Dessen and Nancy Werlin; Amy Berkower, president of Writers House; and Ben Schrank, president and publisher of Penguin’s Razorbill imprint. Amazon customers will then vote on a grand prize winner in each category, with winners receiving a $15,000 publishing contract with Penguin.

Our condolences to the family and friends of Fairbanks author Marjorie Kowalski Cole, who died of cancer last Friday morning at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. As Dermot Cole notes in a tribute published in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, “Marjorie wrote two novels and her poems and essays appeared in many prestigious publications. For her novel, Correcting the Landscape, she received the $25,000 Bellwether Award in 2004 from Barbara Kingsolver. No other novel set in Fairbanks has ever received the critical acclaim that her book did.”

Previously married to Terrence Cole, she is survived by her husband Pat Lambert and two sons, Henry and Desmond, as well as sisters Karen, Marie and Louise, and her brother Paul. Services were held Tuesday at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church in Fairbanks.

1 thought on “49 Writers Weekly Round-Up”

  1. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    I am shocked by the news of the death of Marjorie Cole. I have her book on my shelf, not yet read, and remember meeting her briefly at Kachemak Bay. What a loss.

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