49 Writers weekly round-up

Are you reading yet? Our 49 Writers online book club discussion begins a mere two weeks from Monday, featuring Cindy Dyson’s And She Was. Mark your calendars and grab a copy if you haven’t already.

It’s an exciting time in publishing. Alaskan author Cinthia Richie proved this week that it’s still possible to break into mainstream fiction even in a tough economy. But if you’re not inclined to go that route, alternatives are popping up like fall mushrooms in the woods. Earlier this year, former Front Street editor Stephen Roxburgh started namelos, a consortium of editors, art directors and designers who work with children’s authors to develop projects for placement with publishers. According to Publisher’s Weekly, Roxburgh has begun the second phase of his company, namelos editions, to publish one-color children’s and YA fiction, nonfiction and poetry in electronic and print-on-demand editions, offering no advances and a straight 50 percent split with authors. I’ll nudge my planned interview with Roxburgh to the top of my to-do list so we can bring you more.

How about an author’s collective? Publishers Weekly also reported this week that Backword Books has taken the first steps toward creating a such a model with seven authors including their books on its Web site. Alaskan authors, what do you think?

Not that innovative publishing ventures are anything new up here. Ketchikan librarian Charlotte Glover writes to remind us of a new book by Shannon Cartwright, illustrator and co-founder of the highly successful PAWS IV children’s book line, sold several years ago to Sasquatch Books. Glover notes that Cartwright’s Finding Alaska: The Life and Art of Shannon Cartwright, published by Greatland Graphics in Anchorage, is a large format, lavishly illustrated book tells Shannon’s life story, how she began as an artist, her life in Alaska, how PAWS IV publishing began, and what the future holds. “It is a treat for anyone who loves Shannon’s work, or picture books in general,” Glover writes. “I can count on one hands the number of titles that show kids or anyone how a book evolves, so this title is a treasure no matter where you live.”

If you write for kids, you should also know about – and consider joining – ALAN, the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents, one of NCTE’s special-interest groups, designed to showcase the use of young adult literature in the classroom. Founded in 1973, the group consists of a lively mixture of knowledgeable teachers, authors, librarians, publishers, teacher educators and their students. The folks at ALAN were a wonderful asset when I launched my first young adult novel, and at $20 a year ($10 for students), membership is quite the bargain, especially since it includes a subscription to The ALAN Review, a beefy full-color journal featuring young adult literature and its teaching, interviews with major authors as well as those emerging in the field, reports on publishing trends, a section of more than 30 reviews of new books for adolescents, extensive bibliographies, and ALAN membership news. A refereed journal, The ALAN Review encourages individuals to submit articles for consideration for publication. Additionally, members are encouraged to submit reviews of current young adult literature titles for possible publication. I happen to be ALAN’s state representative for Alaska, so if you’d like a membership form, by all means email me at debv@gci.net.

Editor Michael Pennington is seeking submissions of character-driven stories by Alaskan writers of speculative fiction for Aurora Wolf, his bi-monthly online journal of science fiction and fantasy. Featuring short fiction of new as well as previously published authors, the journal’s mission is to transport readers to inspiring places never visited before. The journal is registered with Duotrope Digest, Ralan and the Library of Congress. Submit to Michael C. Pennington,editor@aurorawolf.com.

On the local events scene, remember that the Alaska Writers Guild is featuring Alaska Writer Laureate (and frequent 49 Writers contributor) Nancy Lord at their September meeting, which is free and open to the public. Lord will speak on “Literary, Popular, Genre, Journalistic: One Writer’s Take on Labels, Goals, and Definitions of Good Writing.” Mark your calendars: Tuesday September 15th, 7 p.m. at Barnes and Noble in Anchorage. Lord’s books include Fish Camp, Green Alaska, Man Who Swam with Beavers, Beluga Days, and most recently Rock, Water, Wild: An Alaskan Life. She has published widely in literary journals and won a number of awards and fellowships. She teaches creative writing part-time for the University of Alaska in Homer and in the low-residency MFA program in Anchorage.

Sponsored by UAA Campus Bookstore are more Anchorage events, free and open to the public, with complimentary parking offered. On Monday September 14 from 5:00pm-7:00pm, Mick Dodson, Australian of the Year 2009, presents Human Rights Treaties in Australia. Dodson is a member of the Yawuru peoples–the traditional Aboriginal owners of land and waters in Western Australia. He is a Professor of law at the ANU College of Law and is Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies. He helped write the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United Nation and is a vigorous advocate of the rights and interests of the Indigenous peoples of the world.

On Wednesday September 16 from 5:00pm-7:00pm, Dr. Riki Ott presents The Democracy Crisis: How Corporate Persons Have Trumped Human Rights. Author of Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and Sound Truths and Corporate Myth$, Ott will discuss how corporations received “human rights” status in US courts. By the way, Special Events Coordinator Rachel Epstein reports that the bookstore has a new and better sound system so everyone should be able to hear with no straining. For more information, contact Rachel at anre@uaa.alaska.edu or 786-4782.

Last but not least, this week Erik Brooks, illustrator of my book Totem Tale, introduced me to a cool new gadget this week: the esnip, a cut-and-paste icon that allows you to paste a link to music, photos, or video on your website. Check it out at www.alaskanauthors.com, where you can click on the icon and hear some very fun frog music to go with Totem Tale.

2 thoughts on “49 Writers weekly round-up”

  1. Hey, I find your blog very interesting. I am a translator and recently a literary novel I just translated from Chinese to English has entered the longlist of an Asian Literature award. This inspired a book agency's interest and I wonder how a translator should be paid for her work. How the advance and royalties are arranged?

  2. Response to C.J. re:translation
    The (2008) Writer's Market has a section on payments for various types of writing.
    For translation of fiction it suggests a range of 6 to 12 cents per word or $7,000 to $10,000 per project. You might also check out the web for the American Literary Translators Association.

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