Deb: 49 Writers weekly round-up

What a week! Raven Place is looking phenomenal. Many thanks to all who’ve transformed 415 L St. with painting, raking, and fixing. If you missed the photos earlier this week, check here and here. We’ll have another work party this Saturday, May 15, from noon to 5pm. Drop by if you like — stay a little or stay a while. A lot of assembling and disassembling (as in furniture, not facts) this week, due to new purchases. Also a little touch-up painting, some hedge clipping, some floor cleaning.

Our evening with Heather Lende is coming up on May 22. It’s a $100/person fundraiser, and it’s also a way to celebrate our wonderful volunteers. If you’ve already helped, if you’ve already donated/joined with $100 or more, you’re eligible to attend. Doors open at 7 pm; refreshments will be served; books will be available for purchase; a few small surprises will be unveiled. BUT YOU MUST RSVP to, if you haven’t already! (Put “RSVP Lende event” in the subject line, please.) Note for founding members who can’t make it to Anchorage to attend this event: we’ll be happy to send you a signed copy of Heather Lende’s new book with your donation. Email before May 22 to request your copy.

Now, on to news from our readers. First, check out the nice review of John Morgan’s Spear-Fishing on the Chatanika in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner. And while we’re on the subject of poetry, Cold Press Publishing, the imprint behind Two Review, is pleased to announce the release of Threads Give Way, poet Shannon K. Winston’s first book of poetry and the first book by a single author published by Cold Press Publishing. Linda Nemec Foster calls Winston’s “a quiet and unassuming voice that intimates a remarkable attention to the natural landscape and our longing to be part of it.”

Anchorage poets, take note: at the Poetry Parley at Out North Theater on May 19th, starting at 7:00 p.m., Elizabeth Thompsen will be sharing 30-40 minutes of poetry. Also, there’s Mountain Muses poetry open mike on Monday May 17 at Organic Oasis, 7-8 p.m.

Also on Monday, May 17: For the first time ever, Alaska’s winner in the national Letters About Literature contest has gone on to win the national award, thus earning a $10,000 grant for a local library of her choice. Anna Wichorek, a junior at West High School in Anchorage, named the Mountain View Elementary School Library as the recipient. Awards will be presented to Anna and the other Alaska winners at a reception on Monday from 5-7 p.m. in the Mountain View Elementary School Library at 4005 McPhee Avenue (between N. Flower and N. Klevin Streets).

Anna’s winning letter was to Alaska author Velma Wallis about her book, Two Old Women. Wallis is flying in from Fairbanks to greet Anna, and a representative from the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book will also be on hand to hear Anna and Taylor Haines (a state winner) read their winning entries. Just under 70,000 students in grades 4 through 12 entered Letters About Literature 2010, a national writing contest sponsored by Alaska Center for the Book and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in partnership with Target Stores.

Also in the good news department (our favorite!), Brett Dillingham’s storytelling textbook Performance Literacy through Storytelling was named one of four finalists by the Association of Educational Publishers for the Distinguished Achievement Award under the K-5 Curriculum and Instruction category.

Likewise, Sandra Kleven is celebrating the completion of her movie on Theodore Roethke, to be shown for cast and crew in Seattle on June 5th 8 pm., and to debut in Alaska at the Graduate Residency in Creative Writing at the end of July.

Remember that several recognized authors from the 49th State will be in Skagway, Alaska on June 3-6 to launch the first-ever North Words Writers Symposium. Keynoter speaker will be best-selling mystery writer Dana Stabenow, who will lead panels along with several writers, historians and editors from around the state.

They include Nick Jans, Sherry Simpson, Kim Heacox, Kaylene Johnson, David Hunsaker, Andromeda Romano-Lax, Daniel Henry, Elizabeth Dabney, Nita Nettleton, Peggy Shumaker, and Tim Woody. Local color and story ideas will be offered by historian Karl Gurcke and editor-publisher Jeff Brady, along with conference coordinator Buckwheat Donahue of the Skagway Convention and Visitors Bureau. In addition to engaging in panel discussions about writing and publishing, registered symposium participants will get to travel to Lake Bennett on the White Pass & Yukon Route and float through Dyea on a raft tour.

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