Ela: 49 Writers Weekly Round-up

There’s only one thing on our mind today here at 49 Writers…WRITE-A-THON WRITE-A-THON WRITE-A-THON! Fundraising has really gained momentum in the last few days and we stand a good chance of meeting and exceeding our goal of $6,000. As Friday dawns, we have 44 participants registered for the event and several planning to register on site – who knows, it may truly become a gathering of 49 writers! So far these wonderful people have raised $5,500, with donations continuing to roll in thanks to some very creative strategies for drumming up support (not that we’d expect anything else from our members and followers). 49 Writers board president, Don Rearden, is offering his gratitude and a hug for a $10 donation and for $500 he will name one of the characters in his new novel after you or a loved one, give you an autographed manuscript of the new novel (as well as one of the many prizes in between) and TWO hugs. Top fundraiser to date Lucian Childs (he’ll be hard to catch having streaked ahead to $840) is allowing donors to put forward prompts for the short story he plans to write, and suggestions received range from the word “omnivoid” to the setting “a cold winter night in a cabin at a hot springs.” If you support Andromeda Romano-Lax in the amount of $25, she’ll provide you with a personalized recommended reading list to help you on your own writing journey.

Before we get too caught up in the excitement of the night though, we’d like to take a moment to thank the wonderful volunteers who have made this event possible. Heading up the team is Michelle Saport, Write-a-thon coordinator, who took on this project as a first-time volunteer and quickly proved herself  indispensable. Special thanks go to Sandra Kleven, who is responsible for the decoration and signage and this year offered to organize a literary silent auction to enhance our fundraising efforts – do be sure to check out the results of her loving labors, and remember to bid early and often! As you settle down to enjoy the after-party, know that Andromeda Romano-Lax is responsible for securing our celebrity contestants and guest judges – and also for soliciting the fabulous prizes given away during the course of the evening. Hillary Walker, one of our WYAK coordinators, has conducted youth outreach for the event so expect to see strong participation from our young writers. Rounding out our team and providing all manner of behind-the-scenes assistance are Louise Freeman-Toole, Karen Benning, Lucian Childs, and Lorena Knapp. (Extension cords and power strips are not very sexy but still vital to the smooth running of the Write-a-thon – we don’t want anyone to lose their charge half-way through their Best American Short Story or Pushcart Prize-winning poem.)

Be sure to check back this time next week for a full report on this year’s Write-a-thon. Thank you for participating, for donating, and for cheering on our writers.

Today, Friday April 13, the Alaska Literary Series presents a reading and book signing with Alaska poets Peggy Shumaker, Nicole Stellon O’Donnell and Amber Flora Thomas. Free and open to the public, including light lunch. UAS Bookstore, Juneau.
Tomorrow, Saturday April 14, 10am,  a Writers’ Critique Group will meet at Title Wave Books, Northern Lights Mall, Anchorage. All genres and levels welcome. For more information, call Mary on (907) 569 5075
Also tomorrow, Saturday April 14, 4pm, Gulliver’s Books presents Claus Naske to sign copies of his book  Alaska: A History. 3525 College Rd, Fairbanks.
Also tomorrow, Saturday April 14, 4.30pm, Fireside Books in Palmer will feature Colony Kids author Heather Lehe, on real life experiences of Palmer colonists during the Great Depression. 720 S. Alaska St., Palmer.
Next Saturday, April 14, 10am-4pm, The Island Institute presents a writing workshop with Janee Baugher. $30; Email elena@islandinstitutealaska.org to register.
On Sunday, April 15, 1pm, Hearthside Books presents Mary Albanese, author of Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon: Exploring the Wild Heart of Alaska. Nugget Mall, 8745 Glacier Hwy, Juneau.
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.
On Tuesday, April 17, 5.30pm, UAA Faculty Paola Banchero will facilitate a conversation about “The Working Poor in the Media.” UAA/APU Books of the Year partners with Loussac Library to co-host the “Conversation Salon Series,” a series of discussions around the theme of “The Working Poor.” These sessions are moderated by UAA Faculty and are not presentations, but opportunities for attendees to discuss issues relevant to themselves and the community. Loussac Library, Ann Stevens Room, 3600 Denali St. Contact Christina Gheen, (907) 786 6374.
On Wednesday, April 18, 4pm, Fireside Books in Palmer will present Write Hard, Die Free Author Howard Weaver, the man who helped remake Alaskan journalism. 720 S. Alaska St., Palmer.
On Wednesday, April 18, 7pm, the Anchorage Museum at the Rasmuson Center will host an event in honor of Alaska Quarterly Review’s 30th anniversary issue, highlighting a special section of the magazine dedicated to photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, who lost their lives almost a year ago while covering the war in Libya. This section, titled “Liberty and Justice (For All): A Global Photo Moasic,” includes photographs from some of the most renowned photojournalists and explores the themes of liberty and justice, which permeated the work of Hetherington and Hondros. Ronald Spatz will be joined by guest editor Benjamin Spatz, Pulitzer Prize winner Barbara Davidson, and Dave Hartman, formerly of ABC News “Good Morning America.” Additionally, Anchorage Symphony musicians will be performing, accompanying the presentation of the collection. Rasmuson Center Auditorium, 625 C St., Anchorage. For more information, visit http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/aqr/30th/index.cfm; contact Ronald Spatz, afrms1@uaa.alaska.edu (907) 333 4779
Also Wednesday April 18, 7pm, Poetry Parley will feature a well-known poet as well as a local poet reading their own original work. If you are interested in being a reader, or in submitting your own work for possible inclusion, please email poetryparley@gmail.com Out North, 3800 DeBarr Rd., Anchorage.
Next Thursday, April 19 (time tbd), a Fulbright Scholar from China will discuss linguistics and social changes in China. Event cosponsored with the Confucius Institute. UAA Campus Bookstore. Free and open to everyone.

April 19-21, the Alaska Press Club will hold its annual conference at the University of Alaska Anchorage and APTI. Keynote speaker is Neal Conan, host of NPR’s “Talk of the Nation.” Click here for the current schedule of events. Even if you don’t plan to register for the full conference, there is a drop-in fee of $5 for each session.

Next Thursday, April 19, 6pm, Gulliver’s Books presents a reading and slideshow with William Schneider, author of On Time Delivery: The Dog Team Mail Carriers.
Next Friday, April 20, 4-6pm, Howard Weaver presents Write Hard, Die Free, his newly released memoir. Event cosponsored with the Alaska Press Club. UAA Campus Bookstore. Free and open to everyone.
Next Friday, April 20, 6.30pm, there will be a party and fundraiser for the Wrangell Mountains Center at 11101 Magnolia St, Anchorage, featuring live music from the Piggy Note Playboys, beer donated from the Moose’s Tooth, catering by Everyday Gourmet’s Kirsten Richardson, a silent auction, information about the summer programs, a playroom for kids, and good times. $25 suggested donation.
Next Friday, April 20, 7pm, the University of Alaska Fairbanks English Dept. presents  fiction writer Dana Spiotta as part of the 2011-12 Midnight Sun Visiting Writer Series. Wood Center Ballroom, UAF Campus.
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