Ela: 49 Writers Weekly Round-up

Only one day left until our last class of the spring semester – there’s still time to sign up for Steve Almond’s workshop tomorrow afternoon, April 7, 2:00 to 4:30 pm, and find out why “Funny is the New Deep.” (Steve’s morning class is now sold out.) Not only that, thanks to a co-sponsorship from the UAA Creative Writing and Literary Arts program, we are able to stage a special Crosscurrents event at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Auditorium tomorrow night, April 7, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, featuring Steve Almond in conversation with CWLA director David Stevenson on the topic of “Literature in an Age of Moral Depravity.” Steve is coming to Alaska to participate in UAF’s Midnight Sun Visiting Writer Series, and we appreciate the opportunity to collaborate while he’s here in the state.

The one-week count-down to our annual Write-a-thon has begun! Please join us at Snow City Café on Friday, April 13 at 5:00 pm for this key fundraising event. A big thank you to everyone who has already registered – so far 28 people have signed up online, raising $2,961 from 98 supporters. We know a lot more of you have been planning to register, and now is the time! We have a team gathering to write in Homer (aptly dubbed the Homerwrites) and a satellite event is planned in Washington state. This year 49 Writers has non-profit status and donations are tax deductible. Proceeds from the Write-a-thon help us to continue our programming for writers, to offer literary events to the community, and to maintain this blog as a go-to resource for Alaska’s writers.

Local businesses have been generous in stepping forward with donations of prizes for drawings to motivate our participating writers, and we have gift certificates from Snow City Café, Spenard Roadhouse, Moose’s Tooth/Bear Tooth Grille, and Title Wave to give away. Throughout the evening you’ll also have the opportunity to bid in our Literary Silent Auction, which will be offering book bags stuffed with an assortment of items guaranteed to delight anyone with literary tastes.

We can now reveal details of the Write-a-thon after-party, which begins at 9:30 pm when our participants are weary from 4 hours and 9 minutes of intense creative thought and literary outpouring and ready to have some fun. Mark Muro will officiate as party MC, and the celebrity guests competing in our “Pen Under Pressure” literary contest will be playwright, professor, and journalist Peter Porco, Pamyua member Stephen Blanchett, and Warren Weinstein of Scared Scriptless fame. Our guest judges this year are novelist and screenwriter Don Rearden, poet Susanna Mishler, and memoirist Joan Wilson.

Last week we announced that Pam Houston had stepped in as our new Tutka Bay Writers Retreat leader, September 7-9. Our visiting writer also participates in a Crosscurrents event prior to the retreat, and we are pleased to announce the details today. 49 Writers is partnering with the Anchorage Public Library and Friends of the Library to bring you an onstage conversation between Pam Houston and Alaska writer Heather Lende on Thursday, September 6 at 7:00 pm at the Loussac Library’s Wilda Marston Theatre. Mark your calendars now!

On Tuesday, April 24, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, we will be holding our first Reading & Craft Talk at Great Harvest Bread Company, 570 East Benson Boulevard. Our featured writer is Mary Albanese, who will read from her book Midnight Sun Arctic Moon: Mapping the Wild Heart of Alaska, and talk about writing her memoir of traveling throughout Alaska as a geologist and adventurer. Presented in partnership with Epicenter Press.

Our youth program is calling for entries from Alaskan writers 10-20! Write Young Alaska or WYAK’s third and final spring writing contest opens next week. Our judge will be adolescent fiction author Cheryl Rainfield, whose latest novel, Hunted, was released earlier this year. The theme: Write from the perspective of someone or something being hunted (in 800 words or less). Fiction, non-fiction,  and poetry are all welcome. Go to the WYAK website to submit your entries – contest deadline is May 11. Winners will be published online and also in our print anthology due out in June 2012.

The Alaska Quarterly Review First Friday Series will be hosted by Jitters Cafe, 11401 Old Glenn Hwy, Eagle River, today, Friday April 6, 7-8.30pm. This month will feature Jeffrey Oliver reading selections from AQR and musical guests the UAA Jazz Combo.

Also tonight, Friday April 6, 7pm,  UAF’s Midnight Sun Visiting Writer Series presents Steve Almond. Wood Center Ballroom, UAF Campus.

Today is the deadline for applications to presenters at October 5-7 “Writers on the Sound” in Edmonds WA (200 max participants.) There is an honorarium (2011: $134 for 75-minute, $161 for 90-minute workshops), and a stipend is available to those traveling more than 100 miles. Please submit a current resume, including other courses/lectures you have given and where; 2 or 3 references; and a description of one or more classes you would like to teach (75 or 90 Min). Information about the conference and a click-through to the PDF flyer for this Call for Presenters is at http://bit.ly/xd5vSX . If you are interested in presenting at the event, please send email to wots@ci.edmonds.wa.us or write to WOTS Presenters, 700 Main St, Edmonds, WA 98020, or call 425 771 0228. Possibility of accommodation for one in private home. View a copy of the 2011 brochure at: www.writeonthesound.com

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the statewide Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. An enormous round of applause to Emma Funk for winning the national American Voices Medal, and Megan Edic for an American Visions Medal.

F Magazine is pleased to publish–for the second year in a row–the majority of this year’s winners in the March/April issue, which hits the stands today, Friday April 6 (also available online).

Tomorrow, Saturday April 7, 10 am,  a Writers’ Critique Group will meet at Title Wave Books, Northern Lights Mall, Anchorage. All genres and levels welcome. For more information, contact Mary at (907) 569 5075.

Also tomorrow, Saturday April 7, 3pm, Colleen Mondor will present a slideshow and sign copies of her book Map of My Dead Pilots. Gulliver’s Books, 3525 College Rd, Fairbanks.

On Sunday, April 8, 1pm, the Community Writers Guild Meeting will take place at the Bear Gallery, Pioneer Park, Fairbanks. 

On Sunday, April 8, 1.30pm, Janee Baugher will be interviewed on KCAW Radio about the Raven Anthology. Listen live online at http://www.kcaw.org

For Alaskans Outside, catch a launch celebration (1pm) and reading (2pm) from Boreal Books and the Alaska Literary Series on Sunday, April 8, at the Ruskin Art Center, 800 S.Plymouth Blvd, Los Angeles. Featuring poems by Joan Kane, Amber Flora Thomas, Nicole Stellon O’Donnell, and prose by Marjorie Cole. Special guest Ron Carlson.

On Monday April 9, 7pm, there will be a launch celebration and reading for the Alaska Literary Series at Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, Seattle, hosted by Hugo House and the Rainier Writing Workshop, featuring poems by Joan Kane, Amber Flora Thomas, Nicole Stellon O’Donnell, and prose by Marjorie Cole.

On Tuesday, April 10 there will be a launch celebration and reading for the Alaska Literary Series in Ketchikan. 5pm Meet the writers, no-host supper at The Point; 6.30 Reading, Ketchikan Public Library, featuring poems by Joan Kane, Amber Flora Thomas, Nicole Stellon O’Donnell, and prose by Marjorie Cole. Hosted by Ketchikan Public Library, UAS Library, and Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council.

On Wednesday, April 11, 7.30pm, The Island Institute presents the Alaska Literary Series, a project of the University of Alaska Press, featuring Alaska authors Peggy Shumaker, Amber Flora Thomas, and Nicole Stellon O’Donnell. Kettleson Memorial Library, 320 Harbor Drive, Sitka. $5 suggested donation.

Next Friday, April 13, there will be a launch celebration and reading for the Alaska Literary Series in Juneau: a reading and refreshments at 11.30 at the UAS Bookstore, followed by class visits. Featuring poems by Joan Kane, Amber Flora Thomas, Nicole Stellon O’Donnell, and prose by Marjorie Cole. Hosted by UAS Bookstore and UAS Creative Writing.

Next Saturday, April 14, 10am-4pm, The Island Institute presents a writing workshop with Janee Baugher. $30; Email elena@islandinstitutealaska.org to register.

The Island Institute’s Writers’ Residencies provide opportunities for four writers to each spend a month in Sitka, AK, pursuing their work while getting to know this unique island community in the forested coastal mountains of Southeast Alaska. Residents’ time is largely their own, but each person is expected to take part in five community activities. Two public readings frame each residency–one at the beginning and one at the end. Other activities might include a writing workshop, community discussions, visits to schools, or extended radio interviews. Each resident is provided living accommodations (including a kitchen) and a stipend of $75/week toward food costs. Travel to and from Sitka, as well as all other incidental costs, are the responsibility of the resident. There is a single application deadline period of April 15 for positions in September of that year and January and April of the following year. The November position each year is reserved for an international writer who comes to Sitka from the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Visit http://www.islandinstitutealaska.org for more information and to download an application. All application materials must be mailed in to the Island Institute by April 15, 2012.

AKRWA (the Alaska Chapter of Romance Writers of America) has an Annual Break up Writing Contest. The sought-after point is a moment of tension (a break up or dark moment) rather than the standard first few pages. They offer great feedback, and editor Liz Pelletier from Entangled Publishing House is the Final Judge. Win a critique from bestselling author Cherry Adair! Open for submissions through May 1.  

Some good news: Barnes and Noble has agreed to bring Marshall and Cavendish children’s books back to their stores’ shelves. Over 250 writers and 150 illustrators had been affected by this boycott, triggered by the acquisition of Marshall and Cavendish by B&N’s rival, Amazon Publishing.

This summer the Craig Public Library is organizing a statewide Pitchapalooza event with literary agents Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry (The Book Doctors) via video conference, using the newly available Alaska OWL Project in public libraries. The two dates planned for three Pitchapalooza opportunities are August 17 and 18. The Library is also bring up Chris Baty, former Executive Director of the Office of Letters and Light (the parent nonprofit of NaNoWriMo), Chris Angotti (Young Writers’ Program Director at OLL), and Grant Faulkner (newly appointed Executive Director of OLL) to provide free video-conferenced workshop through your local library. More details to follow. For more information, email thefishingwidow@akmarshall.com or call Amy Marshall at (907) 826-3281.

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