49 Writers weekly round-up

How far can writers ride the coattails of our illustrious former governor? Perhaps quite a ways, which is some small justice in the face of Palin’s gigantic advance. First, Going Rouge: An American Nightmare, launching the same day as Palin’s Going Rogue. Edited by two Nation staffers, Going Rouge is a collection of 23 essays addressing Palin’s catapult to fame and the “nightmarish” prospect of her continuing presence in the national arena. Included are Alaska’s own Mudflats and Shannyn Moore. Copies may be pre-ordered at OR Books.

Then there’s Frank Bailey, the former Alaska Airlines employee turned Palin staffer who took a tumble in Wootengate. According to the Anchorage Daily News, Bailey is working with a publicist from LA and her daughter to pen a memoir entitled Renegade: Sarah Palin’s Hatchet Man. It’s due out in three months, with one little hitch: there’s no publisher yet. Imagine if we all pre-promoted like that.

If all that sounds like too much to read, don’t despair: there’s a Palin-spoofed coloring and activity book, written by a couple of cartoonists. Follow a maze to get Palin to the White House, or find where in the world our Alaskan oil ends up.

On a more serious note, Alaska Geographic announces an addition to its National Park Series, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve by Steve Kahn and Anne Coray. According to the publisher, “This beautifully designed, full-color book features captivating prose, stunning photography from Fred Hirschmann, and insights into the fascinating natural and cultural history that defines this majestic wildland.”

And in more book news, Bradford Matsen’s new book, Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King, the first complete biography of the legendary ocean explorer, inventor, and environmental sage, was released this week by Pantheon Books, a division of Random House. We’ll feature an interview with Madsen in the weeks ahead.

Bill Streever, author of Cold, will be speaking and signing books at Barnes and Noble (Anchorage) on November 13 from 6 to 8 p.m., the Anchorage Museum on November 15 at 7 p.m., Title Wave midtown on November 28 at 1 p.m., and the Eagle River Nature Center on November 29 at 2 p.m. He’ll also be at Borders (Anchorage)on December 20 at 2 p.m.

Another busy author is Debbie Miller of Fairbanks, who last weekend added the Forget-Me-Not award from the Alaska State Literacy Association to her growing list of accomplishments. Debbie’s next book, Survival at 40 Below, comes out in February. And speaking of Fairbanks, we had a great time at the Red Lantern last Saturday night, meeting new writers and catching up on projects.

If you’re looking to get a jump on holiday book-shopping, note that ReadAlaska 2010, the 17th annual Alaska publisher’s book fair, will be held Thanksgiving weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday Nov. 27-29)at the Anchorage Museum. Alaska’s largest book fair is held in conjunction with Crafts Weekend and will feature Alaska publishers and authors selling their latest books direct to the public. Admission is free and there will be music, food and access to all museum displays. It’s a great opportunity to see the new museum expansion as well as network with Alaska publishers and authors. A number of companies that package books for authors will be there, including Greatland Graphics, Northbooks and Publication Consultants.

In the spirit of gift-giving, Operation eBook Drop provides a way for ebook authors to get their work to U.S. troops. Author Arne Bue forwards this link plus another for authors interested in participating.

A new exhibit in Spokane has resurrected a 240-line poem written by Ann Chandonnet about the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The poem (and an exhibit of bronzes by sculptor Peter Bevis that included casts made from semi-intact sea otter heads collected from the spill) debuted in 1993 in Anchorage. At that time, the words and music played in a continuous loop in the gallery. Ann says they didn’t know how the public would react, but some of them sat on the floor and listened to the whole thing. The composer, Phil Munger, made recordings of his soundscape and Ann’s poem, which can be accessed at www.progressivealaska.blogspot.com

The Alaska Writers Guild is offering a series of seminars on writing and the writing process. Blending craft-talk, workshop and theory, the seminars will feature Lee Goodman, an MFA grad from Bennington College who also studied fiction in the graduate program at Boston University. His work has appeared in The Iowa Review and Orion Magazine, and his novel Cliff Nesting debuts next year. Goodman has taught at the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Alaska Pacific University. Seminars will be in two three-hour segments, with the cost for each class at $75 for Alaska Writers Guild members and $90 for non-members. The first, The Pesky Details: Dialogue, Voice and POV, will be November 11 from 7 to 10 p.m., with the second session a week later. For details, contact David Brown at dbeci@myexcel.com.

As if writers weren’t already undercut in the market, now we’ve got book price wars. In a recent post, agent Nathan Bransford assesses the potential damage.

4 thoughts on “49 Writers weekly round-up”

  1. How is it book prices go down but newspaper prices go up?

    And readership in the whole equation going down?

  2. Oops – Sherwonit, Streever – my apologies, Bills. It's fixed.

    Will be interesting to see what comes of the ABA lawsuit. I've heard murmurs that folks are actually reading more, but online, as in where are you reading right now?

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