Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

And we’re off! As you read this, I’ll be heading south on the Seward Highway, keeping a keen eye open for other Homer-bound writers. Tonight, the 2014 Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference opens at Land’s End Resort, and we look forward to a full schedule of workshops, writing circles, readings, and networking with friends old and new from around the state. Members of 49 Writers who are attending: be sure to connect with me and get your member button! You can find me at the 5pm reception gathering on Saturday. 49 Writers board members Kirsten Dixon and Joan Pardes will be in attendance too. Look for conference news on this blog on Monday and Tuesday.

Conference registrants will be pleased to find a beautiful back issue of Alaska Quarterly Review in their bags – big thanks to AQR editor Ron Spatz for donating the journals to this year’s event. If you’re a 49 Writers member, you can get a 15 percent discount on a subscription to AQR. Just email for details.

Planning for Alaska Book Week 2014 is underway! This year, the statewide celebration of Alaskan authors and their books will take place October 4-11, so mark your calendars now and start making your own plans to participate, whether you’re a writer, reader, teacher, librarian, bookseller or publisher.

A coalition of organizations – the Alaska Center for the Book, 49 Writers, Alaska State Library, Friends of the Anchorage Public Library, and the Alaska Library Association – is running this year’s event, and the Alaska Center for the Book has brought on UAA intern Jathan Day to coordinate. Look for more details and news as the summer progresses. Thank you to volunteer Mariah Oxford for designing the spiffy new logo!

The submission period for the 49 Writers Anchorage Remembers anthology is open through June 30. This collection of personal stories by residents 50 years and older about living in the city will be published in time for the Anchorage Centennial celebrations in 2015. Click here for submission guidelines and check the Anchorage Remembers blog for updates. This project is made possible by a Centennial Community grant awarded by the Alaska Humanities Forum, Rasmuson Foundation, and Anchorage Centennial Committee.
Events in Anchorage

Monday, June 16, 6pm, Author event at Barnes & Noble, Anchorage: Don’t miss the chance to get your personalized copy of Andy Hall’s highly anticipated book, Denali’s Howl: The Deadliest Climbing Disaster on America’s Wildest Peak.

Wednesday, June 18, 7pm, Loussac Library: Author of prehistoric fiction, Bonnye Matthews, will  be the guest speaker at the monthly Alaska Writers Guild meeting. Open to anyone interested in attending.

Thursday, June 19, 4-6pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: Three Artists Facing the World: Katherine Coons, Justin Herrmann, and Nathan Shafer. Artist Katherine Coons discusses her recent exhibit in France, global travels and living in Alaska. Author Justin Herrmann reads from his highly acclaimed story collection Highway One, Antarctica and shares his experiences as a janitor at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Augmented Reality Creator Nathan Shafer explains The Institute for Speculative Media–“making what has melted away visible again”.

Monday, July 14, 4-6pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: We’re excited to learn that award-winning author Melinda Moustakis will be in town to read from her story collection and discuss her writing. Born in Fairbanks, Melinda captures the sense of Alaska in her acclaimed book Bear Down Bear North: Alaska Stories, which won the Flannery O’ Connor Award and the Maurice Prize.

Around the State

Tomorrow, June 14, 7pm, Fairbanks Arts Association Bear Gallery: June Literary Reading featuring Marianne Schlegelmilch and Jim Madonna. Marianne is the author of the mystery “Feather” series and Jim is retired professor of Mining Extension at the UAF and author of the 3 volume Alaska Gold Trail series. For more information, please call 456-6485 ext. 226.

Tomorrow, June 14, 8pm, Homer High School Mariner Theater: Keynote speaker at the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference (KBWC), international best-selling novelist Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones), will give a free public reading. Limited seating; doors open at 7:30pm.

June 15, 7:30pm, Homer Elks Lodge: The first of two KBWC faculty readings will take place, featuring Debby Dahl Edwardson, Erin Coughlin Hollowell, Holly Hughes, Tom Kizzia, Lee Martin, Benjamin Percy, Marjorie Sandor, and Sherry Simpson.

June 16, 6:30pm, Mendhall Valley Library, Juneau: Local author Annie Boochever (Bristol Bay Summer) will give a reading.

June 16, 7:30pm, Land’s End Resort, Homer: Part two of the KBWC faculty readings with Richard Chiappone, Tracy Daugherty, Kwame Dawes, Nancy Lord, Scott Russell Sanders, Eva Saulitis, and Peggy Shumaker.

June 20, 6pm, Silverbow Inn, Juneau: Woosh Kinaadeiyi will host a Pride Poetry Slam. Open mic first (up to 5 minutes each) then competition (3 minutes each). Come early and put your name on list if you want to participate.

July 6, 7pm, Denali Education Center in McKinley Village, AK. Charles Sheldon Center: “Over the Hills: The Wilderness Act Turns 50” – Join Seth Kantner, Marybeth Holleman, Sean Hill, Erica Watson, and Christine Byl in celebrating the birthday of the Wilderness Act. Free and open to all.

Alaskan author news
And the writers are… VP&D House is delighted to announce the new trio of talented Alaskan writers for the next Weathered Edge novella collection: Don Rearden, Sarah Birdsall, and J.T. Torres will be sharing the cover of this upcoming book. If you haven’t read the first Weathered Edge, featuring stories from Kris Farmen, Martha Amore, and Buffy McKay, get the first edition now and start your collection of this unique biennial publication. Look for it in your local bookstore: Gulliver’s Books in Fairbanks, Fireside Books in Palmer, Dos Manos here in Anchorage, University of Alaska Bookstore, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center Bookstore, and wholesale through SPD Books. You can also order online at

Congratulations to Kenai Peninsula writer Dave Acheson, whose commercial fishing memoir Dead Reckoning will be published next month. You can follow news of the book at

49 Writers member Arne Bue, who took part in one of our Anchorage Centennial memoir writing workshops, reports that the longer version of his memoir has been published in Sitnews – congratulations, Arne! Click link to read “An Alaska Journey: from WWII Ketchikan to the 1964 Anchorage Good Friday Earthquake“.

Literary happenings in Alaska this summer

June 26-29Stillpoint Lodge in Halibut Cove hosts a writers retreat, The Pen & The Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World, with Holly Hughes (also on this year’s Kachemak Bay Writers Conference faculty). How do we create space for writing in a world crowded with so many distractions? Learn mindfulness practices to provide support for writing and other forms of creativity. Holly co-authored the book The Pen and The Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World. Her collection of poems. Sailing by Ravens, is part of the University of Alaska Press’s 2014 Alaska Literary Series.

July 6-10: Wilderness Writing at Coal Creek, Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, with Gretel Ehrlich, brought to you by the UAF Summer Sessions & Lifelong Learning. Award-winning author Ehrlich has published numerous books and essays, been an NPR correspondent, and has traveled widely in Greenland and the Arctic. Practice and insight into the transition between field notes and the finished essay or prose poem. Course fee includes food, lodging in bunkhouse, and transportation to course site by boat from Eagle, AK. Noncredit cost $430. More information here.

July 13-27: Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Creative Writing Class. Two weeks of writing with master teachers and a lively group of participants. Experience welcome but not necessary. Click here for more information.

July 20-26The Island Institute hosts the Sitka Symposium at Sheldon Jackson Campus in Sitka. This year’s theme, “Radical Imagining: Changing the Story With Stories of Change” will explore dominant narratives of our culture in relation to the challenges of our time, and consider empowering stories of transformative change initiated by people in communities large and small. Leading the Symposium will be Winona LaDuke, Anishinaabekwe author, activist, mother, and Green Party vice-presidential running mate to Ralph Nader; Luis Alberto Urrea, critically acclaimed author of thirteen books of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, American Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist; Alan Weisman, best-selling author of The World Without Us and winner of the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Award for his latest book, Countdown; and Molly Sturges, co-founder and Artistic Director of Santa Fe’s renowned Littleglobe, an artist/activist collective, and founder of the national project COAL, a musical fable and catalyst for climate engagement.

July 22-28: The Wrangell Mountain Writing Workshop in McCarthy presents: True Story, with Tom Kizzia, Frank Soos, and Nancy Cook. During this five-day workshop, writers will explore the craft of creative nonfiction: drafting compelling narratives that tell true stories. How can writers craft a meaningful, readable page-turner while working in the confines of the frequently controversial truth of “what actually happened.” Click here for more information.

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