49 Writers weekly round-up

Whether you’re a Fairbanks author or visiting Fairbanks for the ASLA conference, we’d love to have you join us for another 49 Writers no-host face-to-face this Saturday, October 17 at 9 p.m. at the Westmark’s Red Lantern lounge. An RSVP would be great (debv@gci.net), but if you don’t get around to it, feel free to stop by anyhow. We’ll only keep you out for an hour or so, and we promise a great (off the record) writerly exchange. For those I’ve not met before, here’s a recent photo so you can find me…

…although I’ll be minus the dog, the shades, and the mountains.

I’m also happy to report that we’ve acquired critical mass for the “already-pubbed” Anchorage writer’s group mentioned in the last couple of round-ups. Our first meeting will be Monday, November 9, and we’re still open for qualified member or two. If interested, email me at debv@gci.net.

A big congrats to Alaskan authors recently selected by The Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation for this year’s Connie Boochever Fellowships in the literary and performing arts. The $2,500 fellowship is for emerging artists, and each year the disciplines alternate between performing, literary and visual arts. Three of this year’s four awards went to writers: Anne Coray, poet, Port Alsworth; Joan Kane, writer, Anchorage; and Schatzie Schaefers, playwright, Anchorage.

Joan Kane is also curating the literary art portion of the “Virtual Subsistence” exhibition featuring Alaska Native artists. With catering by Tap Root Cafe and music by Reverse Retro, Virtual Subsistence opens with a reception tonight, October 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the MTS Gallery at 3142 Mt. View Drive in Anchorage. Gallery Hours are Saturdays and Sundays, noon – 4 p.m. Participating writers include Donna Elliott Bach, Diane Benson,Rainey Higbee,Torin Jacobs/River Flowz,Joan Kane,Trina Landlord,Princess Lucaj,Rita Marshall,Buffy McKay,dg okpik,Ryan Olson,Cathy Rexford, and Susie Silook.

Big congrats also go out to Barrow author Debby Dahl Edwardson for the Booklist starred review of her first middle grade novel, Blessing’s Bead, which comes out next month. From the review: “Edwardson, who married into Iñupiaq culture, envelops readers in both the stark Arctic settings and the warm communities, past and present. Concrete and symbolic references to the transforming power of language, names, and stories link the two narratives, but it’s the Nutaaqs’ rhythmic, indelible voices—both as steady and elemental as the beat of a drum or a heart—that will move readers most. A unique, powerful debut.” Thanks to librarian and author Ann Dixon for bringing this to our attention.

Alaska Center for the Book is seeking nominations for its annual Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) Awards, recognizing people and institutions who have made a significant contribution in literacy, the literary arts, or the preservation of the written or spoken word in Alaska. Previous CLIA award winners include librarians, teachers, writers, tutors, historians, booksellers, reading programs, web sites and others dedicated to making the world a better place through the gift of language. From Sisters in Crime to Babies & Books, more than 50 people and organizations have been honored over the past 17 years.

Alaska Center for the Book is the state’s affiliate with the Center for the Book in the U.S. Library of Congress. Founded in 1991, ACB is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization aimed at stimulating public interest in literacy throughout Alaska through the spoken and written word. Aalska Center for the Book participates in Reading Rendezvous, Letters About Literature, LitSite Alaska, the National Book Festival, and other events and programs.

This year’s CLIA Award nominations are due Nov. 6, 2009. The nomination form and information on past winners is available at www.alaskacenterforthebook.org. For more information, or to request a faxed nomination form, call (907) 764-1604 or e-mail carolben@gci.net

Kenai writers, here’s you chance to tackle that novel: Amy Murrell, Municipal Liaison for the Kenai Peninsula NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) effort announces an informational meeting about NaNoWriMo on Thursday, October 22 at 6:30 at the Kenai Community Library. The library will host weekly write-ins during November for both the adult challenge and for the Young Writers Program that runs at the same time. Those who can’t make the meeting can read all about it at the NaNoWriMo web site and are welcome to sign up and write even if they can’t make it to the write-ins. For more information on the Kenai event, contact Amy at kenaiqueen2007@yahoo.com.

Alaska at 50, new from University of Alaska Press, commemorates Alaska’s statehood anniversary with essays from some of today’s most noteworthy writers and researchers. Contributors include Susan A. Anderson, Carrie Irwin Brown, George Cannelos, Jocelyn Clark, Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Ann Dixon, Danna Fabe, Phyllis Fast, Vic Fischer, Sven Haakanson Jr., Veldee Hall, Mark Hamilton, Eric Heyne, Gary Holthaus, G. W. (Greg) Kimura, Nancy Lord, Dennis Metrokin, Jason Metrokin, Ken Ostercamp, Tadd Owens, James Ruppert, John Shively, Peggy Shumaker, Ronald Spatz, John Straley, Raymond Voley, and Charles Wohlforth.

The editor and a number of contributors will appear at the following events:
– UAA Campus Bookstore – October 20, 2009, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
– Barnes & Noble Anchorage – October 21, 2009, 6:00 p.m.
– Title Wave Books – October 23, 2009, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Now distributed by the University of Alaska Press is Skijor With Your Dog by Mari Høe‐Raitto and Carol Kaynor, just been released in an updated 4th printing. As noted in the publisher’s press release, “The foreword by four-time Iditarod Champion Susan Butcher is a powerful endorsement of how much emphasis the authors have placed on dog care and speaks to the powerful bond that develops between dog and owner.” This latest edition includes updated resources and bibliography.

Thanks to Arne Bue for forwarding a post by author Jakon Roth that was also on my radar. Roth, a thriller writer, offers up numbers from his royalty statement, comparing ebook sales through his traditional publishers with ebooks he has published himself on Kindle. His numbers confirm what Ned Rozell suggested here a few months back: some authors, at least, can make more money for their work (and possibly have a much more positive experience) via Amazon or other high-powered self-pubbing platforms. The caveat: it helps to have built a readership through traditional outlets, as Roth has, and you’d better be ready to devote substantial effort to marketing. Roth’s analysis also points out a win-win for authors and their readers: low-priced ebooks outperform higher priced ebooks, hands down. Among other factors controlled by self-pubbed authors is price. So – no more crying in your beer because your book is out of print. If you can get the results Roth did, you’re better off getting your rights back and emarketing your own work.

From the announcement of this year’s National Book Award Finalists come two items noteworthy here. First, Marcel Theroux’s apocalyptic novel set in the north, aptly titled Far North, is among the finalists. And if you’ve been paying attention to our posts, you’ve noticed a lot of folks speculating that the future of publishing is in small, independent presses. I expect the good folks at UA Press have taken note: another finalist is Bonnie Jo Campbell’s American Salvage, pubbed by none other than Wayne State University Press.

2 thoughts on “49 Writers weekly round-up”

  1. Debby Dahl Edwardson

    Thanks for noticing the review of Blessing's Bead, Deb, and thanks to Ann as well. A very nice review–or, as my editor said: they got it! Which, as you know, is sometimes difficult with Alaskan books. I'm having a book launch at Title Wave Books in Anchorage on November 10. Hope to see some familar faces!

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