Andromeda: 49 Writers Blog at 5 Years.What's Needed Now?

Andromeda here, and I’m rather astonished to note that five years has passed since I started blogging here. It was back in 2008 that both Deb Vanasse and I independently stumbled upon the idea of creating a collaborative blog that might last a few months and spread the word about Alaska’s growing community of writers. Neither of us predicted so much would come of one small idea, and its success is a credit to all the other writers and readers who jumped aboard.

We filled a need, and still do–and have grown into a larger organization besides. As one of the co-founders who now volunteers and teaches from the sidelines, I most enjoy reading my fellow bloggers’ interviews of authors, news of upcoming programs and talks, and guest posts that introduce me to up-and-coming writers I might have missed altogether.

As for my own blogging, I’ve been posting on everything from craft specifics to favorite authors to literary doldrums for some 250-plus weeks now. Sometimes I think I’ve said all I have to say, but I value staying connected with the rest of you. As an organization and as blogging individuals, we often ask you: what do you appreciate most? Should we do more on the blog, or less? What would you like to see in the year to come?

Changing technology (especially Facebook) seems to have reduced the interactivity of this forum because FB is an easier place to leave quick comments. And yet, our stats show that people still read these posts, the new ones and the old ones. Still, we face a lot of competition and competing distractions that we didn’t face five years ago. Help us stay relevant. And thanks for reading!

(P.S. Feel free to email me personally at if you prefer that to leaving a public comment in response to this post.)

6 thoughts on “Andromeda: 49 Writers Blog at 5 Years.What's Needed Now?”

  1. Like you, I enjoy the mix of interviews, author posts, and posts/conversations bout writing. I'd like to see a little more about reading. I notice fewer comments, not sure if that's a problem or not.

  2. I don't leave comments very often but I am a faithful reader of the blog. When I go on vacation, I go back and catch up on every post I missed. This is one of only about a half dozen blogs I check for new content daily.

    Keep up the fabulous work, and congratulations on 5 years.

  3. Dearest of Andromedas,
    Far beyond any other Andromedas,
    I have such deep respect for the good work done by you and Deb Vanasse in creating this complex array of stuff – the blog, the AK writing center and all that followed. It seems to me that 2008, was a remarkable year for writing in Alaska. Here, I am writing you in
    Seattle, reflecting on writing in Alaska. This is just to say that something was in the air and in 2008 Alaska. This force spawned 49 Writers, the Low Rez Creative Writing MFA, Cirque and F magazine. Four literary horsemen, four literary fillies, or mixed gender horse driven carts that carried a remarkable load. Where would I be if not for you? You gave me friends- words with friends – and I so needed that. I had a sense longer ago that there was a need for an Alaska literature. When I dreamed this in 1998, I did not have such friends. I had been reading the many teacher stories, eschewing all the bear scare stories, reading a little bit in the AK mystery genre. Through this my awareness grew of some element that was missing. I thought first of all the AK Native stories that I heard first hand as a counselor or therapist. I was moved by such stories. I also knew that other service providers had stories. And most of all the stories from the Native people of Alaska had to be importantly told. They were remarkable and so terribly hidden because, well, for one thing, village rules require quiet about such things – require caution about the telling of the real, beautiful and painful. So, in 2008, something in the universe moved. I think it is still moving. In spite of the closing of Out North and even if you, Andromeda, have aired all you have at hand in an effort to move this excited force forward… (which I doubt), I think the force is still in place as a whale under water. We are silly if we think the whale has moved to better waters. It is there and you can feel it tonight. It's pushing us and spewing in a whale's special way. It's a whale that loves literature and we will deliver … we are owned by this strong Pacific mammal. It won't let us go. Therefore, we must produce. Write, inspire and argue. I hope we will argue as argument is the best test for passion. I have a bit. You do, too.

  4. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    What an eloquent and passionate post, Sandra! Thanks for writing that, and for reminding us of all the great things that have happened in the AK writing community since 2008.

    Thanks, too, to others who commented and sent emails.

  5. Great comments! Lynn Lovegreen, can you tell us more of what you're thinking when you mention "a little more about reading"?

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