Ela: 49 Writers Weekly Round-up

“It is, I hope, more than an adventure novel or a study of an obsessed character. It’s the human personality under every kind of duress, physical, emotional, social and spiritual.” This from author Tanyo Ravicz, who homesteaded in Kodiak and returns every summer, on his novel A Man of His Village, winner of the Eric Hoffer Prize in General Fiction. We’re featuring the novel in our online book club discussion this Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 20 and 21, and Ravicz has agreed to stop by (electronically) to field questions posed directly to him. Log on at your leisure starting at 7 a.m. Monday to leave comments and follow the discussion thread.

In just over two weeks, two 49 Writers classes begin. Adventures in Creative Non-Fiction: The Art of the Personal Essay is an eight-week class taught by Anchorage author Bill Sherwonit beginning Oct. 4. With a strong following of students who’ve sampled his Nature Writing course, Sherwonit will give participants in this new course the chance to explore and refine their own writing styles – and the stories that help define their lives – through the personal essay. A workshop-style class that combines writing, reading, and critiquing, it is designed for writers at all levels. Register today.

Also starting in early October is Memory as Muse, a course that examines: how and why we remember (or mis-remember), why poor memory isn’t necessarily a terrible thing for a writer to have, distinct types of memories and memory retrieval, and tricks we can use to access the recent or long-ago past to discover the details that make a work come alive. Instructor Andromeda Romano-Lax promises lots of low-risk, high-yield in-class writing exercises designed to unburden the process of poking around those dingy corners. Register today; class begins Oct. 6.

Cleaning house, prepping for winter? Chances are you’ve come across a few high-quality items you can’t use anymore. Get a double feel-good by recycling your slightly-used treasures and helping your favorite Alaska Writing Center by dropping these off at 415 L St. between 4 and 6 p.m. on Friday, October 1 for our yard sale on Saturday, October 2. We’ll be happy to give you a receipt for your donation, of course. If the item doesn’t sell and you’d like it back, you can pick it up at 2 p.m. Saturday. Adding your items to our like-new selection of guesthouse leftovers and boutique clothing, we’ll open for browsing (and purchasing!) by members and friends in conjunction with our First Friday event from 6 – 8 p.m., featuring Cirque, and to the general public on Saturday (Oct. 2) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All this month, we’ll be accepting (and appreciating) books, preferably signed, donated by Alaska authors for our fall book bag fundraiser. Send to Andromeda at PO Box 233394 Anchorage AK 99523. We’re also looking for signed books by national authors interesting in supporting us, and literary services or items worth auctioning at our first-ever online holiday auction. Maybe you have a connection, or maybe just a great idea. Email Andromeda at lax@alaska.net.

Are you following us? We’re trying out a follower’s box at right, thanks to a suggestion by Lorena. She thinks we need a goal. Is 100 followers by Nov. 15 too ambitious? Not ambitious enough? (And wouldn’t it be fun to surprise Lorena, who is offline for a wee bit this month, with a massive explosion in “following.” Tee-hee…)

On Friday September 17 and Saturday September 18, 8pm both nights, radio personality, author and performance poet Corrina Delgado will be presenting “Cell Therapy” at the Bunnell Street Arts Center in Homer.

From noon on Friday September 17 through 8pm, Sunday September 19, Hearthside Books in Juneau will be celebrating their 35th birthday. 10% discount store-wide, limited to stock on-hand. They’ll be giving away a $35 gift card each day. See their website for full details.

On Saturday, September 18 at Fireside books in Palmer, Kris Farmen will sign his book The Devil’s Share.

There are some great events coming up at the UAA Bookstore:

On Monday, September 20, from 5-7pm, Colonel David Fitz-Enz will discuss The Mere Matter of Marching: Thomas Jefferson, the War of 1812, and the Taking of Canada.

On Tuesday, September 21, from 5-7pm, Mary Breu will present on Last Letters from Attu .
Full details at the UAA Bookstore’s website.

A new publication devoted to Flash Fiction has been launched – FutureCycle Flash – and they tell us they are reading submissions now and plan to hold a book context next year. But what is Flash Fiction and how does one write it? We did a Q&A with Alaska author David Marusek on this trendy new genre last January. In that interview, David told Deb, “Flash Fiction offers me the equivalent of instant gratification. Also, the shorter the length, the more puzzle-like the writing becomes, and I find that rewarding as well.” We were so intrigued that we asked David to teach for us in Anchorage , and that’s why we have a 2-evening Flash Fiction intensive on the Fall roster at the 49 Writing Center, November 9 and 10. See this page for full details and to register. No fiction-writing experience required, and in fact, we hope that people who simply want to shake up their sleepy brains will give this course a try. Andromeda, who plans to pitch this class to everyone she knows, says, “Grab a friend, tell your writing group or book club, and get ready to flash Alaska.” As a final P.S., we hear that other existing publications, like F Magazine, are eagerly looking for short fiction as well.

Congratulations to Arlene Lidbergh-Jasper of Anchorage, 49 Writers friend, member and student for winning 3rd prize with her “Hall of Fame” in the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest. Her father was a renowned portrait painter of major league baseball players in the 1950s. This memoir piece recounts a visit to a special collection of his work at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY. The judges called it “a beautifully written and highly engaging account…written from the inside by the daughter of one of baseball’s finest artists, Charles Lidbergh.”

Alaska-born Melinda Moustakis has been named as one of two winners of the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction, for her book of linked short stories, set in Alaska, titled Bear Down, Bear North. The collection will be published by the University of Georgia Press in September 2011.

2 thoughts on “Ela: 49 Writers Weekly Round-up”

  1. If we donate a high-quality item to yard sale and it doesn't sell, can we get it back? If not, what happens to it?

  2. Had to fix some fonts in this post, so I've copied Kay's comment and also addressed the question in the body of the post. You can pick up unsold items at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2. We'll donate leftovers to a thrift store, unless the items happen to be of use in our new home on 3rd Ave.

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