49 Writers weekly round-up

There’s still time to pick up a copy of Cindy Dyson’s And She Was so you can participate in our online book club discussion September 28 and 29. We’ll be running an interview with Dyson next week. And speaking of interviews, we’ve got plenty of good ones coming up: Bill Streever, author of Cold; Mattox Roesch, author of Sometimes We’re Always Real Same-Same; and, continuing our series on small and regional presses, publisher interviews with Sasquatch Books and Epicenter Press. Thanks, BTW, to reader Lesley Thomas for reminding me of Roesch’s debut by sending this link to a great review of his book.

It nearly slipped by me again this year: Book Blogger Appreciation Week, started by Amy Riley of My Friend Amy to recognize the hard work and contribution of book bloggers who promote a literate culture by engaging readers in discussions of books, authors, and a lifestyle of reading. The week celebrates the work of book bloggers through guest posts, awards, giveaways, and community activities. Today’s the final day; next year I’ll try to give you a little more warning.

It’s always Book Blog Reader Appreciation Week at 49 Writers, especially when you lovely readers come to one another’s assistance as in last week’s round-up. What I know about literary translator fees could be scribbled on the back of my pinkie, so it was great to see an authoritative answer to our reader question before I had to do any real head-scratching.

The ramped-up Alaska Dispatch is doing its part to promote literate culture in the Great North. In a nice little opinion piece, Elise Patkotak questions who Vanity Fair thinks they’re fooling with an essay byline attributed to Alaska’ most famous unwed dad and high school drop-out. “Yes, I’m bitter,” Patkotak says. “I write for a living. It’s hard work . . . Levi “my-sperm-are-viable” Johnston not only gets a ghostwriter, but probably got paid more than that poor writer did who had to take his drivel and create art.”

In the category of literary good news, the Dispatch also reports that
The Alaska Native Heritage Center is seeking Alaska Native artists to join in a yearlong playwriting mentorship program. Funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation, the project is taking applications until October 5. Applicants should have specific stories in mind for the project, which aims to develop 10 “uniquely Alaska Native plays.” Writers will attend a five-day writing intensive in Anchorage in January, followed by mentorships with established Native American playwrights. Scripts must be completed by Aug. 31.

Bona Fide Books is seeking literary essays about experiences living and working in Denali, Glacier Bay, Katmai, Kenai Fjords, Lake Clark, or Wrangell-St. Elias for a collection about life in our national parks, Permanent Vacation: Living and Working in Our National Parks. “Although we enjoy tree-hugging epiphanies, we also want to read about day-to-day life, and the societal, environmental, and existential implications of life in the park,” says Shelley Zintner, Creative Director for Bona Fide Books. “What happened there, and how did it influence your life?” Humor is also welcome. Writers will receive $100 for their essay and one copy of the collection. The deadline: January 5, 2010. Manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced, and 12 point Times New Roman or Courier font with standard formatting applied; word count is limited to 5,000. Send to submissions@bonafidebooks.com with “Permanent Vacation” and the title of work in the subject line.

Thanks to Assembly on Adolescent Literature (ALAN)’s Joan Kane for cluing me in on the details of the National Day of Writing by asking for a submission to her Gallery on Young Adult Authors. Even if you’re not a young adult author, you might find other galleries of interest. The National Day of Writing is October 20.

If you’ve checked out my Totem Tale, you already know that I was hugely fortunate to be paired with illustrator Erik Brooks. Not only did he do a fantastic job bringing my story to life, he’s also fabulous at promotion. Just this week he created a Totem Tale website, complete with a new and improved Teacher’s Guide, a “music/dance” section, plus downloadable bookmarks and coloring pages.

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