49 Writers Weekly Roundup

The 2013 Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) Awards were presented on July 16 as part of Tuesday’s Northern Renaissance Arts & Sciences Readings event. This year’s recipients are Alaska’s first Pulitzer Prize finalist, a village literacy advocate, and a Fairbanks historian. Honorees are novelist Eowyn Ivey of Chickaloon, author of The Snow Child; Brevig Mission reading volunteer Polly Tocktoo; and Ron Inouye of Fairbanks, a historian and advocate for libraries. The CLIA Awards, now in their 21st year, are presented annually by the Alaska Center for the Book, the state affiliate of the U.S. Library of Congress Center for the Book. The awards go to people and institutions who have made a significant contribution in literacy, the literary arts, or the preservation of the written or spoken word in Alaska.

More than 60 people and organizations statewide (including 49 Writers/49 Alaska Writing Center) have been honored over the past 21 years. Founded in 1991, ACB is a non-profit,
all-volunteer organization. ACB participates in Reading Rendezvous, Letters
About Literature, the National Book Festival, Alaska Native/American Indian
Heritage Month, and more. For information, see 
Congratulations to this year’s honorees, and big thanks to the Alaska Center for the Book for recognizing individuals whose work makes a difference to our literary community.

The excellent Northern Renaissance Arts & Sciences Readings (in conjunction with the UAA MFA Summer Residency) continue this weekend and next week. All readings begin at 8pm in Rasmuson 101.
  • Saturday, July 20: Gary Freeburg, Craig Childs
  • Sunday, July 21: David Stevenson, Ed Allen, Linda McCarriston
  • Monday, July 22: Carolyn Turgeon, Eva Saulitis, Joan Kane
  • Tuesday, July 23: Sherry Simpson, Nancy Lord, Jo-Ann Mapson
A passel of MFA grads: Tara Ballard, Mae Remme, Kristine McRae, Hunter Whitworth, Lynn DeFilippo, Wendy Scher, Amy O’Neill Houck, Jonna Laster, and Justin Hermann

Congratulations to this year’s UAA MFA graduating students, who read from their work on Wednesday — a diverse and absorbing selection of writing, from poetry about living in an area of conflict in the Middle East to musings on gender identity in Nome! They are: Tara Ballard (Middle East); Lynn DeFilippo (Nome); Justin Hermann (Kotzebue and Anchorage); Amy O’Neill Houck (Juneau); Jonna Laster (Juneau); Kristine McRae (Nome); Mae Remme (Anchorage); Wendy Scher (Colorado); and Hunter Whitworth (North Carolina).

Friday, July 19, 7:30pm, Exploring a New Literature of Resilience. Join the Island Institute in Sitka  for a rare evening with nine women writers who will share ideas, stories, music, and perhaps performance gleaned from their three-day conversation exploring a new literature of resilience. They are poet Jennifer Boden, essayist Carolyn Finney, scientist and essayist Robin Kimmerer, poet Laurie Kuchins, novelist and performance artist thúy lê, essayist Kathleen Dean Moore, journalist Michell Nijhuis, singer-songwriter Libby Roderick, and essayist Carolyn Servid. $10 at the door, Del Shirley Hall (upstairs in Allen Auditorium).

Tomorrow, July 20, is the deadline to sign up for a manuscript critique with your conference registration for the Alaska Writers Guild Conference, September 7 & 8. All manuscript critiques will be automatically entered into the “Most Promising Manuscripts” competition, as chosen by critiquing faculty. Visit the conference website for more details.

July 24, 4-6pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: Kris Farmen and Martha Amore come together to read and discuss their stories in Weathered Edge: Three Alaskan Novellas, published by VP&D House. Free and open to the public. You’ll find free parking for bookstore events in the South Lot, the West Campus Central Lot (behind Rasmuson Hall), and in the Sports Lot.

Anchorage nature writer and author Bill Sherwonit will lead a writing workshop in late July, “Writing the Chugach.” Participants will join Bill on a day-long hike into the Chugach Mountains on Saturday, July 27, to learn more about both Anchorage’s “backyard wilderness” and the writing process, from observation to note-taking and journal keeping and finally to story. The cost is $125, which includes pre- and post-trip meetings, a day in the Chugach Mountains, and essay critique. To sign up for this workshop or for more information, contact Sherwonit at 245-0283 or akgriz@hotmail.com. Further information about the teacher is also available at www.billsherwonit.alaskawriters.com.

The Alaska State Council on the Arts invites applications for the Connie Boochever Artist Fellowship, which recognizes and supports Alaska emerging artists of exceptional talent. Fellowships are awarded by the Connie Boochever Endowment through the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation. A select number of $2,500 fellowships are awarded biennially and this year’s disciplines are literary and performing arts. Uses of the fellowship are very broad; however, funds must be spent on activities related to the fellow’s creative career. The deadline for applications is Friday, August 30. Click here for more information.

Friday, September 6, 1-4pm: Newly added to the AWG Conference line-up is an East-West Literary Optional on “Take the Lead with your Manuscript,”  a three-hour intensive about winning ways to begin a picture book or novel, incorporating examples of participant first pages in a kind and constructive workshop with time to re-see and revise your opening words. “If you are not the lead dog, the scenery never changes.” Click here for more information on all optional Friday workshops and to register.

Tracy Sinclare of KTUU’s “Cover2Cover” blog/stories is seeking information on new book releases and upcoming events. Don’t miss this great opportunity to get the word out! You can contact her at tsinclare@ktuu.com.

Kathleen Tarr, 49 Writers guest blogger and instructor (Spiritual Writing: An Introduction), has been selected as one of six Mullin Scholars by the University of Southern California’s Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies’ Generations in Dialogue (GID) program. Six scholars from throughout the nation were selected from a pool of 121 applicants — way to go, KTarr! The GID program brings together accomplished, senior mentors in academia and the arts with early-career scholars, writers and artists. The current GID program focuses on the vocation of the writer and is being led by Gregory Wolfe, an established writer, founding director of the MFA program at Seattle Pacific University, and founding editor of Image journal. “The scholars were chosen because of their proven experience in published writing, their desire to deepen their sense of vocation and the creative potential in their future writing,” said Gary Adler, research director at IACS.

At the end of last month, we mentioned the expansion of the Sledgehammer 36-Hour Writing Contest, August 17-18, to include online participation. We’re happy to report that registration has now opened, and the total prize value has topped $25,000! It’s quick and easy to sign up — preregistration ($36/adult, $3.60/youth) is encouraged. Day of registration ($50/adult, $5/youth) available for Portland contestants only.

The Alaska Center for the Book will be attending the 2013 Bookfest of the Library of Congress in DC in September. If you have postcards of your latest book available for display on their table, please mail them to 49 Writers, Inc. at P.O. Box 221086, Anchorage, AK 99522 by August 15 so they can be included. Great opportunity to draw wider attention to your work!

If you’re looking for summer reading ideas, Tutka Bay Retreat leader Ron Carlson’s latest novel, Return to Oakpine, has just been published!

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