Ela: 49 Writers Weekly Round-up

It’s free, it’s fun, and you could win a Ray Troll t-shirt. That’s our Ode to a Dead Salmon bad writing contest www.odetoadeadsalmon.blogspot.com . But the pressure is on: entries must be emailed to 49writingcenter@gmail.com by midnight on Sunday, August 7. Check out the competition and the rules at www.odetoadeadsalmon.blogspot.com and give us your best bad stuff. We’ll publish all of it, no matter how awful, over at the Dead Salmon site, and our judges will go to work Monday narrowing the field to three lucky finalists, with online polling for the winner right here next week.

We’ve got our first big sponsor for Alaska Book Week: the University of Alaska Press. Thanks to everyone at the Press for their support of our celebration of books by Alaskans and about Alaska during the week of October 8-15. If you’re a bookseller, publisher, or just someone who loves books, we’d welcome your sponsorship, too. But time is running out to get logos on our posters, so email us right away at 49writers@gmail.com if you’re interested.

Of course you don’t have to sponsor the event to be part of the fun. We’re looking for authors, teachers, librarians, booksellers, book club members, and readers all over the state to fill out our participation form at www.alaskabookweek.com to tell us how you’ll showcase Alaska books during the week. Perhaps an Alaska book club selection, or a display of Alaska titles.  Maybe an author visit, or a book talk. We want Alaska books and writers to be front and center, statewide, all week long. We’ll document it all at the website; check out the pages to see who’s already making plans.

You’ve spoken, and it’s a go: the first ever 49 Writers Café will open this fall at Out North, 3800 DeBarr in Anchorage. You’ll likely get a sneak peak at the digs-in-progress on September 8, followed by a true grand opening to launch our fall literary season in early October. Many thanks to all who responded with their ideas and their willingness to serve on our concessions crew – that’s what will bring in the cash to pay our way at the cafe. We’re still taking volunteers and ideas – click the café survey button in the right sidebar to give us your input.

It’s starting to feel a little like fall already – time to ramp up for school. Four of 49 Writers’ finest will be presenting at the first ever “Write Now: ASD Writing Institute” this Monday, Aug. 8. Don Rearden will keynote the event for ASD writing teachers; Debbie LaFleiche, Jen Walker, and Leslie Hsu Oh will conduct sectionals. And our intern Kayla Beth Moore will be on hand to pass out our fall schedules and brochures on our new WYAK youth outreach effort.

Speaking of WYAK, we’re running a survey this month to get your input on our Write Young Alaska programs. Whether you’re a young writer, a parent, a teacher, or mentor, we’d love to hear from you. And of course there’s a prize: everyone who completes our WYAK survey this month will be entered to win an autographed Gail Giles novel.

This Saturday August 4, 11am-4pm, Kris Farmen will be doing another book-signing at the Hope Public Library.

Poetry Parley is still seeking readings of David Wagoner’s work for the meeting on August 17: please contact Jonathan Minton if interested.

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