Andromeda and Deb: 415 L Street to be sold; why we’re looking forward with optimism

Friday we got the news: our landlord has signed an agreement to sell, which means we’ll need to vacate 415 L St. by November 1. While we didn’t expect this to happen so fast, we’re not totally taken aback – or even dismayed – by this development. The guesthouse has been a wonderful rallying point for the 49 Alaska Writing Center, and it has also been – thanks to the involvement of volunteers, members, and the general public – a fabulous fundraiser. Assuming we’re able to recoup costs as we expect to, we should – just through mid-September – net $8777 on our efforts from the guesthouse alone. That’s more than we could have dreamed with any other four-month fund-raiser.

Now we look toward the future. Ideally, we’d like to forward recommendations about our next facilities decision to our Board by mid-August. To that end, we’ve quickly assembled a short-term working group – a special projects committee – to help us research and sort through various options. Committee members include people who made an early commitment to the L Street facility as volunteers and guesthouse maintenance/management, as well as individuals who plan to instruct with the writing center this fall, and who may have information to share about physical space needs and preferences. We are aiming to be as inclusive as possible, while not growing this committee too large to be effective.

We still plan to have community-wide online planning and development meetings in August, so if you have broader writing center input you’d like to share, please stay tuned for that opportunity. Having said that, please don’t feel the need to wait. If you have a thought to share about the specific issue of a future physical space, write to Deb and Andromeda at We’ll share all comments, concerns, and ideas with our working committee and our Board.

Finally: Does this mean we won’t be utilizing the L Street facility this fall? Not at all. September and October promise to be packed – as will November, in a new location. As a writing center, we are planning an exciting reading/event in Anchorage with David Vann on September 2 – don’t miss it. We’ll also be starting our lineup of instructional offerings, with full details of multiple clinics, workshops, and classes coming in August. As a guesthouse, we also have quite a few early fall bookings, which doesn’t hurt our bottom line. Even with change on the horizon, this autumn promises to be a creative and energizing time. We look forward to enjoying it with you!

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