Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

Thoughtful conversation from Sherry Simpson & Ernestine Hayes and engaged audiences in each community

Thank you to the many partners, writers, and readers who contributed to the success of our recent Crosscurrents Southeast program in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Craig. More than 200 people participated in nine community events, and it was wonderful to meet such a variety of Alaskans who are engaged in the literary arts. Special thanks go, of course, to our two featured authors, Sherry Simpson and Ernestine Hayes, who brought a stimulating dialogue about cultural appropriation in Alaskan literature to new audiences, and who taught inspiring generative workshops on the topic of writing about place. We were all impressed by the creative ability of the writing community in Southeast! This ambitious program was made possible by a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum and the National Endowment for the Humanities, for which we are most grateful, and the strong support of the following partners: University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau Public Libraries, the Island Institute, Ketchikan Public Library, and Craig Public Library.

The very first Alaska Literary Awards have been announced! The Alaska Literary Awards, established this year by the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation through a generous gift from Peggy Shumaker and Joe Usibelli, recognize and support writers of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, and mixed genres. The inaugural recipients each receive an unrestricted $5,000 award: Ernestine Hayes, mixed genre, Juneau; Erin Hollowell, poetry, Homer; Joan Kane, poetry, Anchorage, King Island, Mary’s Igloo; Susanna Mishler, poetry, Anchorage; and Frank Soos, fiction and essays, Fairbanks. Please join us in celebrating the recognition of the work of each of these fine Alaskan writers.

Alaska Book Week kicks off tomorrow!
Visit the Alaska Book Week website for full information, including a list of Anchorage Events and Events Around the State. Thank you to the generous sponsors who have made this year’s celebration possible and to the Alaska Humanities Forum for their support.

In addition to holding or attending events, you can support Alaska Book Week by participating in the promotional Barnes and Noble, Oct. 4-11. Mention “Alaska Book Week” at the cash register (or use promotional code # 11445905 for online purchases) and a percentage of your purchase (books, coffee, you name it) will go to Alaska Book Week. You’ll find a full list of ABW author event at Barnes & Noble in Anchorage and Fairbanks on the webiste.

If you live in the Anchorage area, you’ll want to check out the Great Alaska Book Fair, the culminating event of this annual celebration of Alaska’s authors and their books. This takes place Saturday, Oct, 11, 10am-5pm at the Loussac Library lower level (outside the Wilda Marston Theater) and is a collaboration between the Alaska Writers Guild and Loussac Library. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet a wide range of Alaskan writers, learn more about their work, and buy their books! Free and open to the public.

Upcoming classes and events at 49 Writers

  • Saturday, Oct. 4, 9am-12pm, Anchorage Museum: Children’s Books: Writing, Illustrating, Publishing, a workshop with Deb Vanasse, Seth Kantner, and Beth Hill
  • Monday, Oct. 6, 7pm, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center: Would the Real Alaska Please Stand Up? A 49 Crosscurrents event featuring Deb Vanasse, Seth Kantner, Joan Kane, and Beth Hill, moderated by Peggy Shumaker
  • Friday, Oct. 10, 7pm, Kenai Peninsula McLain Commons: Deb Vanasse and Don Rearden will feature in a reading and book talk entitled “Fact and Fiction: Life Into Story.”
  • Saturday, Oct. 11, 9am-12pm, 645 W. 3rd Avenue, Anchorage: Our Stories and Their Songs, a creative writing workshop with Jonathan Bower
  • Saturday, Oct. 11, 9am-12pm, Kenai Peninsula College, Room 132: Complex and Conflicted Characters: What’s in Your Character’s Pocket, a creative writing class with Don Rearden (The Raven’s Gift
  • Saturday, Oct. 11, 1-4pm, Kenai Peninsula College, Room 132: Perspective and Viewpoints: Exploring Point of View, a creative writing workshop with Deb Vanasse (Cold Spell)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 14-Saturday, Nov. 8, 645 W. 3rd Avenue, Anchorage: Memoir Matters, a five-week workshop series with Judith Conte
  • Thursday, Oct. 16, 7pm, Great Harvest Bread Company: Reading & Craft Talk by Susanna Mishler, author of Termination Dust and an Alaska Literary Award winner!
For more information and to register for these and our November classes, visit our website.

Richard Dauenhauer, photo courtesy of Alaska State Council on the Arts

Events in Anchorage

There are too many Alaska Book Week events (Oct. 4-11) to list here so we’re directing you to the Alaska Book Week website page, Anchorage Events!

Friday, Oct. 3, 6-8pm, Blue Holloman Gallery: First Friday Book Launch with Seth Kantner, Beth Hill (Pup and Pokey), and Deb Vanasse (Cold Spell),

Friday, Oct. 10, 7pm, UAA Library 307: “Remembering Dick Dauenhauer: A Memorial Reading,” Join the Creative Writing & Literary Arts program and friends of Dick Dauenhauer to honor his legacy. Light refreshments, free parking, open to the public.

Monday, Oct. 13, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: The Art of Writing and Publishing in Different Genres with Steve Levi, Deb Vanasse, and Martha Amore. Steve Levi (Walrus with a Gold Tooth, and Cowboys of the Sky), Martha Amore (Weathered In, “Geology”) and Deb Vanasse (Cold Spell and Lucy’s Dance) describe their multifaceted books, writing styles and publishing today.

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook and Cooking Demonstration with Kirsten Dixon and Mandy Dixon. In personal stories, evocative photographs, and recipes that are purposefully simple and designed for the home cook, Chef Kirsten Dixon and her family share fresh, rustic cuisine offering friendship, communicating passion, and bringing comfort and delight to the table. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from Alaskan master chefs. Your taste buds will thank you!

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: Alaska Memoirs with Dave Atcheson and Jeff Schultz. Dave Atcheson discusses his memoir Dead Reckoning: Navigating a Life on the Last Frontier, Courting Tragedy on its High Seas–a story in which college students and “fish hippies” work in canneries alongside survivalists, rednecks, religious freaks, and deckhands with damning secrets in dangerous waters, driven by the need to feed an insatiable appetite for adventure. Photographer Jeff Schultz will discusses Chasing Dogs – My Adventures as the Official Photographer Alaska’s Iditarod. Schultz has served in this official capacity since 1982, traveling by plane, snow machine, snowshoes, and on foot to capture the race as no one else has.

Events around Alaska 

For statewide events Oct. 4-11, visit the Alaska Book Week website page, Events Around the State.

Saturday, Oct. 4, 6-8pm, Turkey Red, Downtown Palmer: Although this is an Alaska Book Week kick-off event, we’re mentioning it here because it’s an exciting initiative from Fireside Books, Palmer’s stalwart Indie! Their “Read Local: Alaska” Series Begins with Seth Kanter, Beth Hill and Deb Vanasse. Tickets may be purchased at Fireside Books in Palmer or on their website here. Ticket price is $20 per person and includes dinner. 

The folks at Fireside Books want you to have words with your dinner. In an effort to grow the local reading movement in Alaska, Fireside Books will be partnering with local restaurants to host a series of dinners with Alaskan authors. They hope the “Read Local: Alaska” series of book talks and discussions will foster a community of discerning readers of Alaskan fiction, nonfiction and poetry. “This is a ‘moment’ in Alaskan literature,” says Fireside Books co-owner David Cheezem. An increasing number of highly talented local writers are being recognized on the national and international scene for excellence in writing.” The idea is to have the events in a variety of local restaurants so that readers can experience the “finest in dining, the finest in reading.”

Today, Friday, Oct. 3, 5-7pm, Hearthside Books, 254 Front Street, Juneau: Book signing by University of Alaska Press author Hannah Lindoff (Mary’s Wild Winter Feast).

Tonight, Friday, Oct. 3, 7pm, UAF Murie Auditoriem: The Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series and UAF Art Dept. present John Morgan and Kessler Woodward: The Art of Collaboration. Join them for a night of poetry and art as John and Kes discuss their book River of Light: A Conversation with Kabir.

Opportunities for Alaskan Writers

Young Emerging Artists, Inc. is happy to announce that registration for the Alaska Region of the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition is now open to students in Grades 7-12 in public, private or home schools throughout the entire State of Alaska. Students must submit their work no later than December 20, 2014. While there is a small fee for each submissions ($5 per individual submission with no limits on the number of individual submissions and $20 for portfolios with a limit of two per individual in both art and writing), registration is FREE and students are encouraged to register as soon as possible (you can register BEFORE submitting.) Register at

In addition to the prestigious Gold Key awards and the opportunity to compete at the national level, YEA has been working with local associations and guilds to develop a set of local awards of materials and supplies and offers local gallery recognition, and an online gallery of all submissions. This year there will be an exhibition at Hugi-Lewis Gallery for two weeks.

TEACHERS are encouraged to register as soon as possible as each submission must identify an adult as an associated “educator” and it makes it easier for students if their teachers are already registered
(especially as that means the teachers have a better understand of the submission process.

If you have questions please contact the President of YEA, Ben Ball, at or, if you have a contest specific question, write to Students and teachers register at

Saturday, Nov. 8, 9am-2pm, Anchorage School District Young Writers Conference: Inspire the next generation of published authors by volunteering to share your craft and passion with students in grades 6-12. Showcase and sell your (age appropriate) books. Interested? Fill out this brief proposal form: Authors do not need to be on site for the whole conference, but they are welcome to eat a pizza lunch with students, listen to keynote speaker Debbie Miller, and visit with students and fellow authors in a “Meet the Authors” space. Questions or concern? Contact Lisa Weight, Language Arts Curriculum and Instruction, ASD ED Center, at 907-742-4476.

The registration deadline for Alaska Poetry Out Loud is October 15! Complete information and registration for the program is available at the Alaska Poetry Out Loud website
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