Dan Henry: “Amazing Tales” from Skagway

Simon Winchester
Which prodigious bestselling British-American author was
appointed by Queen Elizabeth as an Officer of the Royal Order and plans
to mentor Alaskan writers in May?
Simon Winchester, bestselling author of two dozen
books since 1976, is this year’s North Words Writers Symposium keynote faculty
One of the world’s greatest living history writers, Winchester joins a faculty
of ten published Alaska writers for the fifth annual symposium in Skagway May
Winchester’s unrestrained curiosity and intelligence has
produced a body of nonfiction that pushes the boundaries of human capacity.
Several books about the land and resources of East Asia stand alongside
provocative investigations ranging from the origins of the Oxford dictionary to
the exploded island of Krakatoa to the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. His
latest book, published in 2013, is The Men Who United the States: America’s
Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation,
The Alaska/Yukon faculty includes Nora and Dick Dauenhauer,
John Straley, Deb Vanasse, Nick Jans, Heather Lende, Michael Gates, Lael
Morgan, Marcel Jolley, Jeff Brady and Dan Henry, more than half of whom have a
new book out in 2013-14.
“Our passion for history and amazing tales” drives the
format of North Words, says founder Buckwheat Donahue who, along with Dan
Henry, Katrina Pearson, Jeff Brady, and Wendy Anderson, steers the Skagway
event. In addition to provocative panel discussions (e.g. “Toot Your Horn:
Being Heard in the Traffic Jam” and “Life from Landscape: The Hot Pulse of an
Indifferent Earth”), the symposium is renowned for being a rollicking good
time. The scrumptious meals and gold-rush diversions (e.g. historic train ride
and brothel tour) make the $300 package the season’s best bargain.
As if the schedule weren’t already spilling over, this
year’s North Words event offers more time for participants to receive mentoring
and feedback from authors. In addition to scheduled individual conferences with
authors, Early Bird and Night Owl workshops will expose participants to new
ideas and strategies.

Whether ready to market a manuscript or simply seeking
inspiration, participants at this year’s North Words Symposium will strike a
creative mother lode on the Broadway boardwalk. Interested persons can find
North Words’ website at http://nwwriterss.com/
and on Facebook.
It’s the season to think about writers conferences. We’re happy to share posts about any with an Alaska connection. Check our guidelines and email your post to debvanasse (at) gmail.com.

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