Deb: 49 Writers weekly round-up

There’s still time to pick up a copy of Nancy Lord’s Rock, Water, Wild and join in our 49 Writers online book club discussion on March 1 and 2. Watch for an interview with Nancy next week.

Looking ahead, David Vann, whose Legend of a Suicide we’ll be discussing (with input from the author) here at 49writers in May, is currently the toast of Europe. Le Figaro called Vann “one of the best writers of his generation” and about his latest work, The London Observer raved, “Nothing quite like this book has been written before.” Legend of a Suicide is currently a bestseller in France and has now hit 25 “best books of the year” lists in the US, UK, Ireland, and Australia. It comes out in paperback March 16. We’re just thrilled we snagged Vann as a guest-blogger before the rest of the world started competing for his attention. (If you’re thinking — ‘Remind me – what’s the Alaska connection?’ – Vann was born on Adak Island. He now lives in the San Francisco area. Legend of a Suicide and his current work-in-progress feature Alaskan settings.)

If you’re anywhere close to Fairbanks tomorrow (Saturday, February 13), you won’t want to miss Writing in the Dark, a writing retreat featuring David Marusek on Flash Fiction. As Marusek noted in a recent 49 Writers interview, “The Fairbanks Arts Association’s annual retreat is a great chance to mingle with other writers during the dark days of winter. It takes place in the beautiful conference setting of the Four Winds Foundation. We’ll start the all-day event with continental breakfast. Then I’ll be sharing some of my favorite flash fiction discoveries to illustrate storycraft, with examples of both popular and literary styles…Workshop participants will then take time to try their hand at writing their own stories.” The cost is $35 at the door and includes continental breakfast and lunch. For more information, call 907-456-6485 x227.

At Poetry Parley (presented at Out North Theatre in Anchorage) on Wednesday February 17 at 7 p.m., local poet Gail Palmer will present from her Slam Poetry, including the three pieces used to win the 2009 Alaska Writer’s Guild Slam Poetry Competition. In honor of the event’s Dr. Seuss theme, Palmer will read her new poem “Slam I Am.” Palmer will also read two pieces by her grandmother, including her last poem written at age 94, a witty insider’s look at life in a nursing home. Poetry Parley, a free event, is held on the third Wednesday of every month, celebrating both a well-known poet and a local poet reading original work. If you are interested in being a reader for Poetry Parley, or if you would like to submit your own work, email

Also, Gail Palmer’s article “The Cons” has been published at This Arctic Life.  She recommends first reading “Booking Malta” (article one at the same site). Articles by other local writers include Cliffhanger by Kelsey Gray, Do You Know Your Neighbor’s Name by Jude Lyon, and This Arctic Sex by Dee K. DeVille.

Poet Elizabeth Bradfield will be in Anchorage for one night only to read from her new poetry collection, Approaching Ice, on Wednesday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. in UAA Arts #116. Bradfield’s Approaching Ice (Persea Books, 2010) featuring poems on Arctic and Antarctic exploration was a finalist for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. She also wrote Interpretive Work (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press, 2008) which won the Audre Lorde Award and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. In 2005, Bradfield founded Broadsided, a grassroots, virtual, collaborative press bringing words together with the energy of original visual art. Her visit is sponsored by the UAA Creative Writing and Literary Arts Department, the Low-Residency MFA Program, and the College of Arts Sciences Arts Council, Experience the Arts 2010. UAA’s Campus Bookstore staff will be on-hand to sell Bradfield’s books at the March 3rd event.

If you write middle grade or young adult fiction, check out the “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the Guide to Literary Agents blog.  This contest will be live for approximately fourteen days – from Feb. 7 through the end of Sunday, Feb. 21, EST. To enter, email the first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of middle grade or young adult fiction, along with a title and one-sentence logline. Prizes include free critiques of manuscript partials and free books from Writer’s Digest. To be eligible to submit, you must mention and link to the contest twice through your social media – blogs, Twitter, or Facebook, or mention it once and post a permanent link to the site.

The Palmer Arts Council is requesting poetry submissions for a Palmer Poetry Anthology titled Voices Between Mountains, Echoes of a Discontinuous Present. The deadline for submissions is March 1st. The four themes of the anthology include: 1. Walking the land—the wind, the water, the wilderness (nature poems) 2, Imagination and desire—the road we have traveled (people poems) 3. A place of belonging—coming home (contemporary musings) 4. Mountain horizons—possibilities and perspectives (a look at the future). Poems may be submitted to

The Rasmuson Foundation is now accepting online nominations for its Distinguished Artists Award.  Artists may also nominate themselves. The number of times an individual is nominated does not affect their chances of being selected. Nominations may also be sent in by mail by downloading and completing the form. The postmark deadline for all Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Awards, including the Distinguished Artist Award, is Monday, March 1, 2010. Online nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. No late applications will be accepted. To date, Rasmuson Foundation has invested $1.2 million directly into the creative work of 167 Alaskan artists.

Rich Chiappone alerted us to this job opportunity: The Sun needs a full-time digital-media director in their Chapel Hill, North Carolina, office to enhance the magazine’s presence in the online realm. The job requires editorial and/or project-management experience, a thorough understanding of social media, and html skills.

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