Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

As you read this, I’m heading overseas on a personal working holiday (with opportunities to promote Alaskan writers) in Austria (which has no kangaroos: they even sell a postcard asserting this). The adventure will culminate in a weekend in Krakow with none other than Alaskan writer Kathleen Tarr. While I’m gone, the roundup will be in the very capable hands of Lynn DeFilippo, our February guest author. If you have events or announcements to share, email them to Everything else will continue to run smoothly, thanks to our wonderful board and excellent team of volunteers. Tschüss, writers of Alaska!

The 2014 Write-a-thon is ramping up! Registrations keep coming in for this year’s event at Snow City Café on Friday, April 11, 6-10:30pm, and it’s exciting to see donations climbing towards our goal of $8,000. There are already three teams in place: Writing Warriors, Use Your Words, and Elite Scribblers. The team that raises the most money will receive some very cool prizes from Raven’s Brew Coffee, the 49 Writers java sponsor. Top individual fundraisers in various categories will also receive gifts from our loyal sponsors, such as Snow City Café and Spenard Roadhouse. Doors open at 5:30pm, when you will sign in, get settled into a cozy writing spot, and then load your plate with delicious nibbles from the buffet: roasted vegetables, artichoke and crab dip, spicy noodles, smoked salmon cheesecake, and mushroom tart. Yum! Regular joe will be served at no charge throughout the event, and designer coffee is available for purchase.

Registration for this year’s Tutka Bay Writers Retreat with Carolyn Forché, Sept. 5-7,  has passed the half-way mark. Click here for more information and to register while space is still available. See more of Carolyn in this video, in which she delivers the Blaney Lecture on the Poetry of Witness at Poets Forum 2013.

This weekend, Saturday, Mar. 22, sees the start of our final free memoir workshop series for the 49 Writers Anchorage Remembers Centennial memoir project. This time our instructors, Judith Conte and Becky Saleeby, will be teaching at the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center. They got rave reviews from participants in the last workshop, and we are eager to read the personal stories that come out of all the workshops when the submission period opens on April 1. Visit the home page of the 49 Writers website for more information about the project and to register for the upcoming workshop.

49 Writers author events coming up next month:

  • Monday, Apr. 7, 7pm, Wilda Marston Theatre, Loussac Library: Crosscurrents event with Luis Alberto Urrea and Bryan Fierro, “Universal Border: From Tijuana to the World.” Luis Urrea will be in Fairbanks and Homer the weekend prior for a series of events: details below.
  • Thursday, Apr. 24, 7pm, Great Harvest Bread Co., Anchorage: Reading & Craft Talk with Elise Patkotak, “The World of Self-Publishing and Why.”

Just 10 days to go to file for your PFD: the application period ends March 31.If you Pick.Click.Give. this year your name will be entered into the Sweepstakes for another dividend! If you’ve already filed but didn’t donate, it’s not too late: click here for all the details. Ten lucky people will double their dividend. Add or change your PFD application here.

Saturday, Mar. 22, 1-4pm, Barnes & Noble Anchorage: Marybeth Holleman (The Heart of the Sound – An Alaskan Paradise Found and Nearly Lost) and Mei Mei Evans (Oil and Water) will give a reading and sign books.

Sunday, Mar. 23, 3:15-4:15pm, Kaleidoscape Play Studio, Anchorage: Calling teens and parents–Lynn Lovegreen will be signing her young adult books and introducing her new novella Worth Her Weight in Gold.

Monday, Mar. 24, 1-3pm, UAA Campus Bookstore. Getting It Right 25 Years After the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: Ways to Strengthen Pre-Planning and Response Measures. Dr. Riki Ott (Earth Island Institute), Dr. John French (Pegasus Environmental Solutions),Carl Wassilie ( Alaska’s Big Village Network), Nikos Pastos (Center for Water Advocacy and Alaska Inter-Tribal Council), Pam Miller (Alaska Community Action on Toxics) and Rebecca Noblin (Center for Biological Diversity) come together to make a compelling case that Alaska and national oil spill response policies are outdated and fail to protect people and the environment. Learn what offshore oil, tar sands, and fracking have in common–and the opportunities we have to protect Alaska’s waters and people.

Wednesday, Mar. 26, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore, 5-7pm. Robin Wang on Yinyang: The Way of Heaven and Earth. Robin Wang is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Asian and Pacific Studies at Loyola Marymount University. Her degrees in Philosophy are from Peking University, PR China; University of Notre Dame; University of Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom. She is also author of the widely acclaimed book, Yinyang: The Way of Heaven and Earth in Chinese Thought and Culture (New Approaches to Asian History). This event is sponsored with the UAA Philosophy Department.

Friday, Mar. 28, 7-9pm, APU Carr-Gottstein Building, CMH2Hill Boardroom: Meet some of Alaska’s finest fiction writers and enjoy an opening talk by Martha Amore, APU’s Spring 2014 Writer-in-Residence. Featured authors include Don Rearden, Mei Mei Evans, Deb Vanasse, Lee Goodman, and Kris Farmen. Publisher Vered Mares of BP&D House will also be available for questions.

Tuesday, Apr. 1, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: Literal and Visual Storytelling. Panelists include performance artist Jack Dalton, artist Susan Share, quilter Sierra Mills (UAA Care Team), and Bosco’s Eric Hirsch and John Weddleton. Topics include art and book forms; quilt making and autobiography; written plays and performance; and the role of text in graphic stories. The writer as artist and performer and the various ways we tell each other stories are themes for this event.

First Friday, Apr. 4, 8pmAnchorage Community Works: Don’t miss the the Termination Dust book release party, when local poet Susanna J. Mishler will give a reading from her recently published collection. A book signing and screening of two video poems will follow. Live music will be performed by Anna Lynch and new artworks by Ruby Suzanna will be on display. Food and a cash bar will be provided. Come meet the poet and get a signed copy of Termination Dust!

Friday Apr. 4, 7pm, UAF Wood Center: Reading by Luis Albert Urrea. A prolific and award-winning writer, Urrea is a master of laanguage and a gifted storyteller who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. As a young man he served as a relief worker among people living in the Tijuana garbage dumps prior to receiving a teaching Fellowship to Harvard University. “The border” has defined his life and colored much of his writing. Regarding this point he once said “the border is simply a metaphor that makes it easier for me to write about the things that separate people all over the world, even when they think there is no fence.”

Saturday, Apr. 5 & Sunday, Apr. 6, 2-5pm, KPC Kachemak Bay Campus: Don’t miss a workshop with Luis Alberto Urrea,  “The Theory and Practice of Trust.” Registration fee $85. Registration deadline, March 30. Call 235-7743 for more information or go to

Saturday, Apr. 5, 7pm, KPC Kachemak Bay Campus: Luis Alberto Urrea will give a public lecture on “The Writing Life.”

Sunday, Apr. 6, 5pm, KPC Kachemak Bay Campus: Luis Alberto Urrea will give a public reading and talk entitled “Universal Border.”

The Alaska State Council on the Arts, in partnership with the Alaska Arts & Culture Foundation, is holding its 2014 statewide arts conference, Latitude: 2014 Alaska Arts Convergence on May 1-3 in Anchorage. This conference will offer opportunities for artists and arts professionals from throughout Alaska to network, learn valuable skills, participate in artistic activities and think big about the future of the arts in Alaska. This convergence is for arts professionals, artists, arts educators, volunteers, board members, and cross-sector leaders interested in how the arts can support Alaskans and Alaskan communities. Early Bird Registration rate is $175 and available until Monday, Mar. 12. After that, registration will cost $250.

Don’t forget to register for Kachemak Bay Writers Conference, June 13-17. This year’s post-conference workshop at Tutka Bay Lodge, Personal Stories and Great Realities, will be led by Scott Russell Sanders, June 17-19.

If you fancy traveling a little farther afield, at this year’s Minnesota Northwoods Conference, June 22-28, poet Camille Dungy, who recently visited Alaska, will be leading a five-day workshop. For a schedule and descriptions of the workshops to be taught by the distinguished faculty, please visit The deadline for applying for the conference is May 1. Scholarships are available, but the scholarship deadline is Monday, Apr. 7, so apply today!

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