Deb: 49 Writers weekly round-up

Another amazing week comes to a close at 49 Writers.  Andromeda and I began with a whirlwind trip to Tutka Bay Lodge, where thanks to the generosity of Kirsten and Carl Dixon, we’ll hold our first 49 Writers Retreat on Sept. 3, 4, and 5.  Watch for details in the weeks ahead – space will be limited, and we’re thrilled to announce that David Vann will be our retreat leader.  Thanks to David and all who joined in our online book club discussion last night – great dialogue!

Fix-ups at Raven Place are in full swing.  I’m feeling more than a little guilty about leaving this all in Andromeda’s capable hands, as I’m Outside on a trip planned months ago.  I’m hoping some of you will pick up my slack by stopping by the work party at 415 L St. this Saturday, May 8, from noon to 5 p.m.  Meters are free on weekends, and there’s good parking in nearby lots (though you must pay) and down 5th Ave. near Elderberry Park.  We’re gearing up for our first event, a thank-you to volunteers and founding members.  It’s an evening with Heather Lende, on Saturday, May 22.  Watch for details – again, space will be limited.

As a vacation rental, Raven Place opens June 1; check us out at, listing 301633.  If you have friends or family visiting Anchorage this summer, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better location at our rate of $149 per night.  49 Writer members get a 10% discount, too.  I’m still looking for a back-up host to run the rental from June 1-16 – please email me at if you’re available between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on those dates to ready the house for its next set of guests. 

Speaking of members, our apologies to any who had trouble with our click-through membership form.  The third-party server that housed it went down intermittently yesterday, so we’ve uploaded it in a back-up location.  If you email me at, I can also send it as a form-fill attachment.  We’re thrilled and humbled by the great response to our call for members and volunteers, and we welcome more of each.  After the initial push to get the facility in shape, we’ll be setting up volunteer teams for planning, development, and service.

F Magazine, a monthly hyperlocal publication that focuses on all genres and mediums of arts and entertainment in Anchorage, extends a call to readers of 49 Writers for short fiction (no more than 1,000 words). For the next issue’s theme, “Road Tripping for Art,” the editors are calling on fiction and poetry that pertains to travel and road trips. The deadline is May 14.  Send submissions to is also accepting short fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, audio, video and visual-art submissions about the circumpolar region. Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis. For guidelines, go to or email

May 15th is the launch of Mary Mullen’s poetry collection, Zephyr, published by Salmon Poetry. Mary was born in Anchorage and raised on the Mullen homestead in Soldotna. She traveled to villages throughout Alaska working for RurAL CAP Head Start, and was Head Start Director for Chugachmiut before she moved to the west of Ireland where she now lives with her daughter, Lily Mullen.  Her poems are a social history of being a child on the Kenai Peninsula pre and post the oil discovery at Swanson River, and her poems also give readers a look into the world of her lovely Lily, who has Down syndrome

On Tuesday May 25 from 10:00 am-12:00 pm at the UAA Campus Bookstore, Beth Stiles Leffingwell will perform and discuss her life with music, journal writing and publishing. Known to many as an outstanding cellist, teacher and writer, Beth shares stories from her journals dated from 1938 till the present and her three books: As One Twig is Bent: True Stories of Parenting and childhood in the Great Depression; Music vs. Marriage; and Leff Continuity: Anchorage Arts, Earthquake into Millennium.

Last but not least, Nancy Lord shares a great writers blog hosted by David Gessner and Bill Roorbach. David was on the Kachemak Bay conference faculty a couple years ago and Bill will be there this summer.

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