Please join me in thanking Cinthia Ritchie for taking over the weekly roundup duties while Ela Harrison Gordon is on hiatus – we greatly appreciate her offer to help out. It seems appropriate, therefore, to start off by congratulating Cinthia on her 2012 Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award! Cinthia is one of four artists who received a Literary Arts Scriptworks award. An accomplished and recognized writer, Cinthia has already received numerous awards for her fiction, nonfiction and journalism work. She will use this, her second Project Award, to research her next book.
Mattox Roesch of Unalakleet, who offered the first 49 Writers Fiction Apprenticeship this spring, will use his Project Award to finish drafting and researching his novel about the abandoned village of Egavik, and its reindeer herding and subsistence heritage. The other two literary artists who received awards are Lucas Rowley of Anchorage and Melina Draper of Fairbanks. Lucas is a contemporary Inupiaq writer who will use his award to complete a full-length stage play, based on his experiences at a tribal art school in New Mexico. He will develop much of his play at this year’s Last Frontier Theater Conference in Valdez, coming up June 10-16. Melina will use her award to publicize her upcoming book of poems, “Two Shores,” scheduled for publication in 2014.
From those of us who wished we could have been at the North Words Writers Symposium in Skagway last week too, our thanks go to NWWS faculty member and 49 Writers blogger Deb Vanasse for sharing some of the wisdom she gleaned. Here’s a little more from Clint Farr of the Juneau Empire, in his article Formidable group of Alaska writers gathers to discuss their craft.
The Summer Solstice issue of Cirque, featuring the best writing from the North Pacific Rim, will be available in print and online on June 20. In this issue, new Cirque editor Sandra Kleven interviews departing editor Mike Burwell. Also look for the announcement of the Andy Hope Award, given to a Cirque contributor whose writing in the past two issues stands out in some significant way. After June 20, the journal will open for new submissions of writing, arts, and photos.
We are now planning our fall season of events and workshops. Meanwhile, remember that Erin Wahl will be offering a workshop on July 20 and 27 entitled “Inspiration and Innovation through Primary Resources” (final details to come soon) and visiting poet Dan-Beachy Quick will feature in a Synergies event at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson on August 10.
As we prepare our first WYAK anthology for printing, 49 Writers would like to extend a HUGE thanks to member and volunteer Vered Mares, who has lent her expertise to the final design and layout of the manuscript. And many thanks to Jennifer Walker, our WYAK anthology coordinator, who carefully compiled the content for us. Jennifer also ran our three WYAK contests this year: Flash Fiction, judged by Fairbanks author David Marusek; Love/Anti-Love Haikus, judged by Hillary Walker; and Hunted, judged by Hunted author Cheryl Rainfield – you will find the winners’ work in the anthology. Finally, we could not have completed this project without the support and input of the other members of our WYAK team: Stefanie Tatalias (outreach coordinator) and Hillary Walker (teen coordinator).
The Z.J. Loussac Community Task Force will hold its second workshop on the future of Loussac Library on Tuesday, June 12, 6-8:30pm in the Assembly Chambers. Do take advantage of this opportunity to attend and provide input in the future of the library. The Loussac Library Facility Master Plan project team has been gathering community input through interviews, a web survey, a community workshop on May 15, and a comment board in the Loussac lobby. At the June 12 meeting, the team will present their findings and share new and exciting concepts for the future of the Loussac Library. Join them for a lively discussion and hands-on activities to explore the possibilities. They need your help to create an engaging space that meets the needs of Anchorage’s diverse community! For opportunities for feedback and more information, go to www.LoussacFuture.org.
Dianna Lanni, an 8th grader at Randy Smith Middle School in Fairbanks, won this year’s Letters about Literature award, earning a $10,000 grant for a local library of her choice. Dianna wrote her award winning letter to Robert Service, about his poem “The Three Voices.” She’s named the Noel Wien Library as the recipient of the grant. A reception will be held at 4:00pm, June 4 at the Noel Wein Library, 1215 Cowles St., to celebrate Dianna’s achievement. Approximately 70,000 students in grades 4-12 entered the 2012 Letters About Literature. According to Dianna’s winning essay, Service’s poem “…has helped to shape who I am as a person and to remind me of my love for nature when I’ve spent too long indoors.”
Carol Sturgulewski spoke at the monthly luncheon for the Alaska Professional Communicators on Thursday, June 7. Sturgulewski, author of “White House of the North: Stories from the Alaska Governor’s Mansion,” is the oldest daughter of former Governor Murkowski, and the book is an account of a century’s worth of legends, history, and personalities. “White House of the North” is available at www.amazon.com.
Although the Kachemak Bay Writers Conference in Homer is fully registered, there is still the opportunity to attend public readings by the keynote speaker and faculty. Barry Lopez will give a reading on Friday, June 8, 8:00-9:30pm at the Mariner Theater, and various faculty members will read on Sunday, June 10, 7:30-9:30pm at Alice’s Champagne Palace. These include Elizabeth Dodd, Camille Dungy, Daryl Farmer, Dan O’Neill, Ann Pancake, Eva Saulitis, and Peggy Shumaker.
The Community Writer’s Guild Meeting is from 1-4pm Sunday, June 10, at WhereBear Gallery, Pioneer Park, Fairbanks.
Ross Coen signs copies of “Breaking Ice for Arctic Oil” from 12:30-1:30pm June 13-14 at Hearthside Books in Juneau.
Eowyn Ivey signs copies of “The Snow Child” on Thursday, June 14, 6-8pm, at Barnes & Noble in Anchorge.
Poetry Parley, a free poetry event, takes place from 7-8:30pm June 20 at Out North, 3800 DeBarr Road.
Haven’t published a novel yet? Don’t worry, here’s your chance: The Southeast Missouri State University Press hosts the Nilsen Prize for a First Novel, which offers a chance for $1,000, publication and distribution. Authors must not have previously published a full-length fiction book. Postmark deadline is November 1. Guidelines can be found here.
It’s never too late to publish. Off The Grid Press will publish a full-length book of poetry by a poet over 60. Entry fee: $25. Award to winner: $1,000. Postmark deadline: August 31. For full submission guidelines go to: offthegridpress.net.
Hurry! Split Oak Press Poetry Chapbook Contest deadline is June 15. First Prize is $300 and publication. Paul Hostovsky will judge. Check it out at Split Oak Press.
Got travel stories? Then send ’em in. The Writer 2012 Travel Essay Contest is accepting unpublished travel essays through June 15. Prizes range from $1,000-$200. More details at writermag.com/travelcontest.