49 Writers Weekly Roundup

2013 Write-a-thon:

So far we have raised $6,682, thanks to our 34 participants and their 183 supporters. It’s not too late to sign up: online registration is $10 and on-site
registration will be $30. To register, just go to our FirstGiving webpage and
click Join Now. All donations are greatly appreciated. If you can’t join us in person you
can still support another writer! For more information about the event and how
it supports writers around the state, go to the 49 Writers website. There will be
prizes and drawings galore to spur you on to creativity, from sponsors such as
Snow City Café, Spenard Roadhouse, Great Harvest Bread, Title Wave, and Raven’s
Brew Coffee. Even if you don’t plan to attend in person (we have a Remote
and Relaxed team), you could still be in line for a prize or drawing.

are immensely grateful to Nancy Zafris for coming to Alaska last week and teaching
her excellent weekend workshop on Short Story Structure. Comments from
participants included: “This is exactly what I was looking for;” “fantastic
instruction;” “process approach was very useful and effective;” “great
opportunity to learn;” and “Nancy is awesome!” We also want to thank everyone
who made the Friday Crosscurrents with Frank Soos possible and run smoothly:
Nancy and Frank, of course, Mark Weber at the Anchorage Museum bookstore, and
49 Writers volunteers Sheila Sine, Renee Downs, and Lizzie Newell.

also go to Julie LeMay for her thought-provoking class last Sunday on Poetry:
The Mysterious and the Obscure, held at Fireside Books in Palmer. An intrepid
group of Anchorage poets braved the dicey roads to be there, as well as local
writers. Thank you too to our host, David Cheezem.
Thursday, April 25, 7-8:30pm, Great Harvest Bread Company: Our last Reading & Craft of the season features Leigh Newman, author of the newly released Still Points North: One Alaska Childhood, One Grown-Up World, One Long Journey Home. She will talk about Memoir, Failed Novels, and the Literary Essay. On Wednesday, April 24, 2pm, tune in to Leigh’s interview on KSKA’s Hometown Alaska. Also on April 24, 5-7pm, Leigh Newman and Sherry Simpson (CWLA/MFA Program and author of The Accidental Explorer) will share Reflections on Surviving an Alaskan Childhood at the UAA Bookstore.
We are still
taking registrations for the three remaining classes on our spring schedule– details at 49writingcenter.org:
  • Saturday, April 20 & 27,
    : What’s Next? Juneau
    workshop with Amy O’Neill Houck
  • Saturday, April 27, 9:00am-Noon: Anatomy of the Sentence with Andromeda Romano-Lax
  • Saturday, April 27, 1:00-4:00pm: Anatomy of the Scene with Andromeda Romano-Lax
April 13 is the launch date of North of Hope: A Daughter’s Arctic Journey, the new memoir by Shannon Huffman Polson about adventure, travel, family and faith. Here’s the link to the book trailer and the first chapter. Shannon will be in Alaska in June so look for news soon of scheduled author events. 5% of the author revenue from North of Hope will go to support the work of the Alaska Wilderness League, working to ensure Alaska’s wilderness is there for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

49 Writers and the Society of Children’s Book Writers &
Illustrators (SCBWI) are partnering again to offer two new workshops: a Virtual
Critique on May 11 (manuscripts due April 14) and Revision: Becoming Your
Own Editor on July 8. Just added: a Mentorship for Children’s Writers with Deb Vanasse. Visit our
website for more information and to

Monday, April 15, 5-7pm, UAA Bookstore: Vaughn Sherman presents Sea Travels: Memoirs of a 20th Century Master Mariner, the story told  to him of J. Holger Christensen, a mariner and ship captain who sailed the ocean seas and  the “unforgiving waters of the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.”   Vaughn Sherman was a fisheries biologist, has worked for the CIA and  is the author of 3 books. His  presentation includes a slide show with fascinating historical photos for everyone to see. 

Tuesday, April 16, 5-7pm, UAA Bookstore: Dr. Nancy Sydnam presents Sideways Rain, her memoir or 20 years of travel in the Aleutian and Pribilof Island. In journal entries, letters and poems, this dedicated medical practitioner writes with deep affection about the landscape and the people she encountered on her hazardous routes.

Christine Byl’s new book Dirt Work is released on Tuesday April 16. On that same day, 7pm, she will  kick off the Tri-Valley Community Library’s National Library week in Healey with a reading and book signing. Tuesday, April 23, 7:30pm, you can hear her read at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307.

Wednesday, April 17, 7:00pm, This month’s Poetry
 at Out North features the poetry of Sandra Cisneros, read by local readers. This month’s local poet is
junemoon, who writes about sex, food, fights searching for family, home, and other real life stuff. When she’s not writing, she likes to laugh out loud, a lot. Marquee poet Sandra Cisneros was awarded a BA from Loyola University in Chicago and received her MFA from the University of Iowa in 1978. It was while attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop that she discovered how the particular social position she occupied gave her writing a unique potential. “I knew I was a Mexican woman. But I didn’t think it had anything to do with why I felt so much imbalance in my life, whereas it had everything to do with it! My race, my gender, and my class! And it didn’t make sense until that moment, sitting in that seminar. That when I decided I would write about something my classmates couldn’t write about.”
Wednesday, April 17,
, Wilda
Marston Theatre, Z.J. Loussac Library:
Stage Live with Dan Bigley and Kris Farmen
. Author and bear attack survivor Dan Bigley joins
author/journalist Kris Farmen on stage for a conversation about their unique
stories and writing process. Don Rearden will be MC for the evening. Book
signing and light refreshments to follow. Free and open to public. A portion of all book sales will be donated
to 49 Alaska Writing Center – thank you!!
If you can’t attend, you can still catch Dan on Monday, April 22, 5-7pm, at the UAA Bookstore, when he and co-author Debra McKinney will discuss the book and their collaboration.
 Tuesday, April 23, 7:00 pm, the Anchorage Museum is presenting a talk and book signing by Dan Bigley and Debra McKinney.
As part of National Poetry
Month 2013, join the Academy of American Poets in celebrating POEM IN YOUR
POCKET DAY, Thursday, April 18. On
this day, select a poem you love, carry it with you, and share it with others
throughout the day. For information, celebration tips, and poems, visit
April 18-20,
the Alaska Press Club Conference takes place in Anchorage at UAA and features presenters from NPR, The New York Times, The Denver Post, The Associated Press, and more. As part of the citizen journalism training, attendees will have access to some of Alaska’s most experienced and accomplished journalists. Click here for information about conference scholarships.
Also in celebration of
National Poetry Month, join Orion on April 23, 12pm, for a free live web
event, The Poet Scientist: Where Wonder and Data Collide, featuring Gary Paul
Nabhan, Elizabeth Bradfield, Eva Saulitis, Fred Swanson, and Orion’s poetry editor, Hannah Fries.
Click here
for more information and to register.
Fireside Books will have a limited number of signed copies of the latest David Sedaris title, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, which goes on sale April 23. Pre-order today!

Friday, April 26 is National Stand Against Racism day. At the invitation of YWCA Alaska, 49 Writers has signed on as a supporting organization. For more information about this national YWCA event, including how you or your organization can participate, click here.

Saturday, April 27, 8am-2pm, at Clark Middle School, the Alaska Writers Guild will hold a free Young Writers Conference for Grades 6-12. Sponsored in partnership with the Anchorage School District, the conference is for middle and high school students who are interested in improving their writing and becoming a published author. Register here.
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