Deb: 49 Writers weekly round-up

New items have joined our sidebar. Yes, we’ve opened registration to members for our 49 Writers Tutka Bay Retreat featuring David Vann. Join us Sept. 3-5 for a weekend of inspiration, relaxation, camaraderie, and instruction at one of Alaska’s most pristine wilderness lodges. If you’re not already a member of 49 Writers, you can join at the time of registration – or wait until registration opens to the general public on July 1. We’re limited to 14 participants, so don’t delay!

Our 49 Writers volunteers continue to amaze us with their commitment and initiative: building our bookkeeping and budget systems; organizing our book nook and First Friday events; updating our sidebar calendar; taking care of Raven Place maintenance and grounds; and tackling a host of other functions – too many to name here. We’re thrilled to report that we’ve nearly reached 50% occupancy for this summer at Raven Place. Keep sending guests our way – the more we earn this summer, the less we’ll need to earn through rentals this winter, and the more use we’ll be able to use our little house for writing programs.

This month we welcome June featured author Charles Wohlforth, with thanks to Heather Lende for her wonderful posts in May. Welcome, too, to several new advertisers: Peggy Shumaker, Mary Mullen, Epicenter, and Epicenter Press. By the way, we’re still looking for a volunteer ad coordinator. If you’re comfortable with the Blogger platform and willing to spend a few hours at the beginning of each month posting new ads and deleting old ones, this is the job for you. You’ll get the benefit of knowing you’re helping Alaskan authors get the word out about their books while facilitating an ongoing revenue stream for our writing programs.

Alaska’s Sandra Kleven ran a sneak preview this week of “To the Moon! A Tribute To Theodore Roethke” at the Blue Moon Tavern in Seattle, bringing Roethke back to his favorite haunt past (and perhaps present). For those of us who weren’t there to celebrate in person, the film’s actual debut will be held at this summer’s residency of the Creative Writing program at UAA. When the new issue of CIRQUE is out, Kleven’s essay “The Canny Invention” will serve as a companion piece — something to read from, rounding out the program, when the ten minute film is done.

Writers of all genres are invited to join the creative writing class at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, July 19-30. Participants will enjoy two weeks devoted to generating new writing, talking with other writers, and trying out new ideas. More info? Check out the website at

Also in Fairbanks, the Alaska Book Festival is hosting the 1st Annual New & Used Books Sale
Friday, June 25th, 2010 at Pioneer Park, Exhibition Hall, the Centennial Center for the Arts.
Authors and non-profits are invited to reserve tables for $25 each by June 18. Contact Melanie Wells at Todd Communications ( for more information or to reserve.

“Writing About The Wild” is the theme of the Alaska Writers Guild meeting on June 15 at 7 pm at Barnes & Noble. The event is free and open to the public. The featured speaker will be Evan Swensen, an Alaska resident since 1957 who served as the publisher and editor of Alaska Outdoors magazine, producer of Alaska Outdoors television show and Alaska outdoor recreation videos, host of the Outdoor Show television program and Alaska Outdoor Radio Magazine. Swensen has been published in many national magazines and is the author of three books – One Last Cast, Fishing Alaska, and Hiker’s Guide to Alaska. Publisher of more than 200 books by other authors, he will be signing One Last Cast from 5-7 pm. Also speaking is Tom Robertson, an expert fisherman who is frequently quoted in fishing publications.

In Anchorage, Out North’s mission is “…to raise up creative space where people of all cultures, generations and abilities gather and learn…” Incoming Artistic Director of VSA Alaska/Out North Scott Turner Schofield wants to meet with artists of all disciplines to find out how Out North can support them. To that end, there’s an Artist Open House – snacks, drinks, discussion and networking – at VSA Alaska at Out North, 3800 DeBarr Road, on June 15 at 7 pm. Questions? Email

Join F Magazine on June 25 at 6 pm at MTS Gallery in Mt. View for an evening of live music by The Moon Knights, In the Belfry and whole lot more. There will also be spoken word, poetry slamming, and lots of art. And it’s all free.

Coming this September is a graphic novel telling Alaska history as narrated by Benny Benson. Sara Hurst wrote this first as a play performed at Tatitlek Community School in January 2010. Ten different Alaskan artists contributed to the book and tell 17 stories from Alaska history. All of it was funded with grants from the Alaska Humanities Forum. Wholesale discounts will be available to schools and bookstores. Bosco’s has more information and a copy of the introduction.

If you’re looking for a full-fledged creative adventure, check out A Writer’s Journey in Bhutan: Stories from the Heart of the World, Jan. 26- Feb. 4, 2011. In a journey that combines nature, travel, culture and writing, this small group of writers will immerse mind, body and heart in a world where peaceful morning prayers and daily rhythms take them far from the rush of the 21st century.

Traveling in company with Kim Stafford, Director of the Northwest Writing Institute in Oregon, and Wendy Erd, writer and film-maker from Alaska and Hanoi, participants in this writing journey will receive gentle instruction in the arts of writing about place, about illuminating moments, about the images that have shaped each of us. The journey into the heart of Bhutan will culminate in a writing retreat at Ogyen Choling, a remote monastery/palace, where, with a small group of fellow writers from Bhutan, the group will experience cross-cultural writing and sharing of stories, the universal passport. Kunzang Chodren, beloved Bhutanese novelist, will join Kim and Wendy to share her insight and encouragements. Contact Wendy with questions or for reservations:

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