Ela: 49 Writers Weekly Round-up

Don’t miss the early bird deadline of May 15 for this year’s Tutka Bay Writers Retreat with award-winning author Pam Houston, September 7-9. If you have been planning to register, now is the time! Pam, who has embarked on an extensive book tour for her new novel Contents May Have Shifted, tells us she is really looking forward to returning to Alaska to lead our retreat at Tutka Bay, where the dry-docked “Widgeon” offers a whimsical setting for instruction in writing style, language, and craft.

Director of Creative Writing at U.C. Davis, Pam has authored two collections of short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, the novel Sight Hound, and a collection of essays called A Little More About Me. Her stories have been selected for volumes of Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories of the Century.

Please join us in congratulating 49 Writers board president Don Rearden for being awarded a “Scholar in Residence” at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The fellowship will be part of the research he is conducting for Heart of a Whale. Don, who teaches in the College Preparatory & Developmental Studies Division at UAA’s Community & Technical college, received one of the first UAA Innovate Awards in December 2011 for the Heart of a Whale proposal, which fully-funded his research.

Continuing the subject of good news, Cinthia Ritchie was recently awarded a month-long residency at Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska for the month of October, where she’ll be working on a new creative nonfiction project.

When your thoughts turn to First Friday, consider a quick trip out to Jitters in Eagle River for the Alaska Quarterly Review reading tonight, Friday May 4, 7pm. At the April event, on an uncharacteristically fine evening (think warm sun streaming through windows, warm breeze wafting through door left ajar), we were treated to a program of lively music from the UAA Jazz Combo, who also accompanied Jeff Oliver as he read poems selected from past issues of AQR. This synergy made for an enjoyable and memorable performance, and while the local audience showed its appreciation for the assembled talent, it would be great to see more writers and lovers of literature at these events. This month will feature singer Marian Call, accompanied by Seth Boyer, as well as readings from AQR’s award-winning Spring/Summer 2012 edition. 11401 Old Glenn Highway, Eagle River.

Tomorrow, Saturday May 5, 10am, a writers’ critique group will meet at Title Wave Books, Northern Lights Mall, Anchorage. All styles, genres and levels of writing welcome. For more information, contact Mary on (907) 569 5075.

Also tomorrow, at 11.30am, Fireside Books presents Matthew J. Beck, author of Blessings and Prayers for New Parents, to sign copies and speak about the strength and bravery requisite to be a parent.

Also tomorrow, at 1pm, national bestselling children’s book author Rick Riordan will be at Barnes and Noble to celebrate the release of his newest book, The Serpent’s Shadow. He’ll be signing copies, and there will be themed events and activities.

Also tomorrow, at 7pm, the Fairbanks Arts Association’s Literary Reading Series presents Derick Burleson reading from his newly published book-length poem Melt. Bear Gallery, Fairbanks Arts Association, Pioneer Park.

F Magazine’s Second Annual Statewide Writing Competition’s postal deadline has passed, but they’re still accepting digital submissions through May 15. Check their website for full details.

Poetry Parley, coming up May 16, 7pm, will feature the works of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and local poet Brian Hutton. Readers are needed for Ferlinghetti’s works. If you’re interested in reading either some specific poems or in being assigned some to read, please contact DC McKenzie and Sandy Kleven at poetryparley@gmail.com

Later this month, on Saturday May 26, 9am through Monday, May 28, there will be a Wilderness Writers Workshop in Hope. Visit the Alaska Writers Guild website for more information.

Registration is open for the North Words Writers Symposium, May 30-June 2 in Skagway. Visit www.nwwriterss.com for more information.

Registration is also filling up fast for the 11th annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, to be held June 8-12 at the Land’s End Resort, Homer. This year’s keynote speaker will be Barry Lopez. For full details and to register, please visit http://writersconference.homer.alaska.edu

Alaska nature writer Bill Sherwonit will present a workshop titled “Writing Down the Wild,” August 31-September 3 (Labor Day Weekend) at Stillpoint Lodge in Halibut Cove, Kachemak Bay. For more information, visit http://www.stillpointlodge.com/workshops/8-31.htm

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