Deb: 49 Writers weekly round-up

Thanks to all who participated in our 49 Writers online book club discussion this week of Nancy Lord’s Rock, Water, Wild.  We enjoyed an engaging dialogue with one another and with the author.  Looking ahead, the next online book club discussion will feature David Vann’s Legend of a Suicide.

Thanks also to all the children’s book writers who turned out to meet with agent Kendra Marcus in Fairbanks this week.  Anchorage children’s book writers:  if you’re feeling envious, let’s get a new local SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) group going.  No need to join anything – just contact me by March 15, either by a comment below or by email to, to let me know you write or illustrate for kids and you’d like to be included in any Anchorage SCBWI efforts to serve children’s writers and illustrators.  From there, we’ll get something started.

Alaska’s authors continue to earn kudos for their books.  Bill Streever’s Cold is one of five finalists for the prestigious LA Times Book Prize in the Science and Technology category.  Also, A Night Too Dark, Dana Stabenow’s 17th Kate Shugak novel, is number 29 on the New York Times bestseller list.  Way to go, Bill and Dana!  Dana will also be keynoting the North Words Writers Symposium June 3-6 in Skagway, Alaska, and she’ll be on hand at the Poisoned Pen Conference at the Arizona Biltmore, June 25-26, to help launch P.F. Chisholm’s A Murder of Crows, the fifth of the Sir Robert Carey novels.

Ketchikan librarian and 49 Writers informant Charlotte Glover draws our attention to Debbie S. Miller and Jon Van Zyle’s new book Survival at 40 Below.  She writes, “This look at wildlife in the Gates of the Arctic National Park is their ninth Alaskan-themed book together and it is another beauty. The text is short enough to read to young children, but informative enough to help older kids learn about habitats, hibernation, adaptations and survival strategies in nature. Really well done.”  My observation:  did you know Jon Van Zyle has branded his own chocolate bars?  Now that’s marketing.

Charlotte also reports that Southeast Alaska has enjoyed a flurry of writer activity.  Author Nick Jans was in Ketchikan last week for a slide show and signing of The Glacier Wolf which attracted 57 people. Earlier in the month Tracie Harang of Sitka was in Ketchikan for a swim meet and did a signing of her self-published picture book Sitka Tango which Charlotte describes as “a really delightful and attractive photo essay/story about a day that her son and his dog explored the WWII Causeway in Sitka.”  The author plans more books featuring Brady and Tango, and Charlotte says she’s an author to watch.  Also headed to Ketchikan this spring:  juvenile fiction writers Roland Smith and Bruce Hale – Bruce will also visit Prince of Wales Island and Wrangell, two places that rarely see authors.

Alaskan short movie activist Bob Curtis-Johnson, founder of the moviemaking challenge “Bob’s Shorts” (, returns to Fairbanks during Art EXPO to lead a workshop on the structure, themes, and production techniques specific to the short movie format, presented by Fairbanks Arts Association. Participants will view and discuss short and super-short films, block and light scenes, discuss computer editing technology, and learn how to get the most from small budgets, all in a relaxed, creative and encouraging atmosphere. Enthusiasm is all that’s required. Since the explosion of YouTube and other hosting sites, the entire world is making short movies- and many are by first-time directors.  This full-day workshop on March 6 from 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. is $65 in advance, $40 student in advance w/ID, $70 at the door. The workshop limited to ages 14 and up. To register, contact Melissa at 456-6485 ext. 226 or

The first Poetry Open Mic, hosted by Elizabeth Thompson, happens Friday, March 12 at Phyllis’s Cafe Salmon Bake, 436 D Street in Anchorage, starting at 8:00 p.m.  All styles and levels of poetry are welcome.
The plan is for this to become a monthly occcurence.

Got Iditarod fever? Head to the Anchorage Loussac Library to hear stories about how it all got started.  Author, filmmaker, storyteller and musher Rod Perry will share stories about the history of the Iditarod and his own experience completing “the wild and crazy, loosely-organized first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race” in 1973.  The event will be held in the Ann Stevens Room, level 3, on Tuesday, March 16 at 7 p.m.  Also coming up at the library:  Conversation Salon—Alaska Constitution.  Co-hosted with Institute of the North, this conversation salon is part of a series examining the Alaska Constitution. Join your Anchorage neighbors for a thought-provoking discussion led by constitutional scholar Mike Schwaiger in the Ann Stevens Room, level 3, Thursday, March 18, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

2 thoughts on “Deb: 49 Writers weekly round-up”

  1. Deb, I'm feeling the need for an agent for the two kids book manuscripts I have. Can a Kenai gal join an Anchorage group?

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