49 Writers Weekly Roundup

These days it seems there are Alaska author successes to report every week, a most encouraging trend that we hope is here to stay. Read Michael Dirda’s glowing review of Don Rearden’s The Raven’s Gift in Wednesday’s Washington Post, and then stop by the DeBarr Costco tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 17, 1-3pm to buy a copy or just say “Hi!” to Don. We have also noticed that Heather Lende has climbed to #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list in the E-Book Nonfiction category. Then UAA MFA Fiction Faculty and 49 Writers instructor Rich Chiappone has just won his second Robert Traver Award for writing about fly-fishing. Way to go, Don, Heather, and Rich!

This dream summer is slipping by all too fast and we’re gearing up for the fall literary season at 49 Writers. As always, we couldn’t deliver the programming you love without the involvement and support of our fantastic team of volunteers. We have a few openings for key positions at the moment (our volunteers do, after all, have their own lives, families, and writerly ambitions), so if you’re interested and the time is right, please contact Linda for more information at 49writers@gmail.com:

  • Crosscurrents coordinator: Assist with planning and organization of events 3-4 times a year
  • Reading & Craft Talk coordinator: Assist with planning and organization of up to six craft talks a year
  • Literary Salon coordinator: Help to organize up to four gatherings annually in members’ homes
  • Media specialist: Your experience is greatly needed to help record, edit, and post podcasts and videos of our events to the website – we know you’re out there somewhere!
  • Blog news stringers: We need insiders in communities around Alaska to keep us abreast of the latest literary happenings so we can share the news with others.
  • Blitz Team Spenard member: If you’re in the area and can post event flyers for this beat 2-3 times in fall and spring, we want to hear from you!

The Sledgehammer 36-hour online writing contest starts tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 17 at noon! Register here for the chance to win great prizes, including 49 Writers memberships.

Today and tomorrow, Aug. 16 & 17, you can get Deb Vanasse’s Out of the Wilderness free on Kindle! Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy one of her earlier works that still resonates with readers and has garnered great customer and critical reviews.

Saturday, Aug. 17, 10am-6pm, stop by the Dimond Costco, where Bill Hauser will be signing copies of his book, Letters from Alaska: From the Inside to the Outside.

Saturday, Aug. 17, 4pm, the Bear Gallery at the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts in Fairbanks is hosting a special literary reading, “In a Time of Change: Trophic Cascades,” featuring Jack Dalton and Daryl Farmer. Sponsored by Fairbanks Arts Association.

In case you missed Tuesday’s blog post, here’s the latest on the Ode to a Dead Salmon bad writing contest, sponsored by Running Fox Books. Judges Ned Rozell and Howard Weaver have narrowed the stinky field to three finalists, displayed here. Now it’s up to the public to choose the best of the worst. So don’t delay—click over to the Ode to a Dead Salmon site and hold your nose as you choose. Voting ends Monday, Aug. 19, with the winner to be announced on Thursday, Aug. 22.

Tuesday, Aug. 20, 7-8:30pm, Loussac Library: the Alaska Writers Guild monthly program features Evan Swenson of Publication Consultants talking about “How to Host a Book Launch Party.”

It’s hard to believe but on August 1 early bird registration opened for the AWP Conference in Seattle, Feb. 26-March 1, 2014 – how can you resist when it’s in your own backyard (relatively speaking) and Annie Proulx is the keynote? Not to mention the fact that a number of Alaska writers will be participating in some very interesting panels, including “Isolation and Community: How We Write It, How We Live It” with Deb Vanasse, Don Rearden, Melinda Moustakis, Leigh Newman, and Seth Kantner; “Publishing Local in the Last Frontier” with Vered Mares, Martha Amore, Kris Farmen, and Buffy McKay; and “Rounding the Corners: Writing the Truth About the Changing World” with Marybeth Holleman, Linda Hogan, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Eva Saulitis, and Pam Houston. You can preview the preliminary schedule of events here.

Only three more weeks to register for the Alaska Writers Guild annual conference in Anchorage, Sept. 7-8.

Coming up in September, Poems in Place is bringing you creative writing workshops and Poems in Place dedications. Saturday, Sept. 7, 10am-12pm and 1-3pm, at Totem Bight State Historical Park, Ketchikan, Ernestine Hayes and Emily Wall will be leading a free workshop called “Writing on the Wind, A Celebration of Place.” Sunday, Sept. 8, 3-4:30pm at the Clan House, Totem Bight, there will be dedication of the two winning Poems in Place and readings by the poets Ernestine Hayes and Emily Wall.  Saturday, Sept. 14, 1-3:30pm and Sunday, Sept. 15, 9:30-11am, Peggy Shumaker and Frank Soos will teach a free workshop, “Writing Our Places” at Twin Bear Camp, Mile 30 Chena River State Recreation Area. The dedication and unveiling of the two poems in Chena River SRA will take place Sunday, Sept. 15, 1-3pm. Meet at Rosehip Campground Mile 27 at 1pm. To register or for more information about either event, please email poemsinplace@gmail.com.

Calling all Alaska-based authors! Don’t miss the chance to sell your book and meet new readers at the Great Alaska Book Fair at APU, Saturday, Oct. 12, 10am-5pm, brought to you by the Alaska Writers Guild and Alaska Pacific University as part of Alaska Book Week. Registration closes Sept. 15click here for more information and to register.

Cirque is accepting submissions for the Winter Solstice 2013 Issue, deadline Sept. 21. Please send inquiries and submissions to cirquejournal@yahoo.com, and visit their website for more information. 

Congratulations to Haines-based writer Rosalie Loewen, whose short story “The Sylvian Fissure” has been selected as the featured fiction piece for August by Alimentum Journal. You can read it online at their website (and try not to be too distracted by the delectable photo of the chocolate delicacy).

Marybeth Holleman reports that she has just received two advance copies of Among Wolves, which will be on the shelves come October. “So nice to have a solid, tangible book I can hold in my hands after all the years of working on it!” A sentiment shared no doubt by Sherry Simpson, whose Dominion of Bears will also be published in October. Two books about two iconic Alaskan animals by two fine writers, who also happen to be excellent teachers from whom I learned a great deal about the craft of creative nonfiction. There will be no shortage of Christmas gift ideas this year.

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