Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

The last 49 writers author event of 2013 will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5, 7pm at Great Harvest Bread Company, when Marybeth Holleman will give a Reading & Craft talk entitled “How a Book Found Me.” The book in question is Among Wolves: Gordon Haber’s Insights into Alaska’s Most Misunderstood Animal, and Marybeth will discuss the process of crafting what one reviewer called ‘a new kind of biography’–one whose structure mirrors the book’s essential message. She will also share a few of Haber’s stories from his 43 years among wolves. Don’t let the weather discourage you: good company and comforting cookies are guaranteed.

Thank you to instructor Frank Soos for traveling from Fairbanks to teach such a wonderful workshop on the Art of the Essay last weekend! One student thought it was “perhaps the best 49 Writers class I’ve attended.” Due to high demand, we’re offering this workshop again in December, Sat. 7 & Sun. 8. There is only one slot left, if you’d like to sign up.

A passel of poets in Palmer: Julie LeMay, David Cheezem, Gretchen Diemer, and Anne Coray, with Lila Vogt  (center) of the Alaska Center for the Book/Poems in Place

It was great to see such a strong turnout last Sunday at the Poetry in Place event hosted by Fireside Books in Palmer at Alaskana Books. Alaskans will brave wind and ice for the sake of art, and poets will don cleats if they must to get there safely. The selections read by poets Anne Coray, Gretchen Diemer, Julie LeMay, and David Cheezem, were in turns lyrical, moving, and amusing. Thank you to Lila Vogt and the Alaska Center for the Book for organizing. Look for more information soon about how to submit your poetry to the next round of poetry called for to be placed next year at Independence Mine and Lake Alegnakik.

Saturday, Nov. 23, 1pm, Barnes & Noble, Anchorage: Meet local author Barbara Brown as she introduces her new picture book, Hanukkah in Alaska. Storytime at 1pm, with signing to follow until 3pm.

Monday, Nov. 25, 4pm, Fireside Books in Palmer: If you’re interested in children’s books that celebrate Alaskan history and culture, you really must meet Judy Ferguson! The author of three Alaskan Children’s books and four adult Alaska History books, Judy is well known for her knowledge of Alaska history, much of which she lived through or gained from elders she interviewed when she worked for the Anchorage Daily News.

Monday, Nov. 25, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: Contributors to the journal publication of “Transforming the University: Alaska Native Studies in the 21st Century” are invited to come together to celebrate their work and dedication to academia. Everyone is welcome to attend. This event is sponsored with UAA Alaska Native Studies and is held in honor of Alaska Native/American Indian Heritage Month. For more information about any UAA Campus Bookstore events, contact Rachel Epstein at or 786-4782. Remember there’s free parking for bookstore events in the South Lot, the West Campus Central Lot (behind Rasmuson Hall), the Sports Lot, and the Sports NW Lot.

The Island Institute is inviting applications from writers who are interested in pursuing a collaborative project with another person—another writer or someone from a different discipline. The collaborators will come to Sitka for a month and be provided accommodations and a stipend for groceries. Community activities will be an integral part of each residency. The next application deadline is December 1 for a four-week residency between March 15 and April 30, 2014. Applicants may select four weeks within that time frame that best suit them. Further information, including application forms is available at the Island Institute website.

Monday, Dec. 2, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: Kaylene Johnson presents Canyons and Ice: The Wilderness Travels of Dick Griffith. In this book she recounts the adventures of Dick Griffith who, in the course of six decades, journeyed across Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and the American West. According to Jon Krakauer, “Griffith is simply afflicted with an irresistible inclination to attempt what others say can’t be done. When asked what possesses a man to repeatedly strike out alone across hundreds of miles of rugged, lonely country, he replies, Every so often, it’s just time to walk.” Kaylene Johnson is author of five books about Alaska including her memoir A Tender Distance: Adventures Raising My Son in Alaska.

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 7pm, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. As part of the Books series, the Anchorage Museum presents Wild Dominion: Wolves, Bears and Humans. How do bears and wolves shape our ideas about wilderness and identity? In what ways do the creatures that inhabit our imaginations differ from the ones that inhabit our lives? Authors Marybeth Holleman (Among Wolves), Sherry Simpson (Dominion of Bears), and Deb Vanasse (Black Wolf of the Glacier) explore the passion and wonder of those who dedicate themselves to the study of wildlife. Book signings after the presentation. Admission free.

Thursday, Dec. 5, 11:30am-1pm, Kinley’s Restaurant (3230 Seward Highway): Alaska Professional Communicators monthly luncheon presents Sandy Harper, Producing Artistic Director of Cyrano’s Theatre Company. In 2011, Harper received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from UAA and the Lorene Harrison Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been featured in the American Theatre magazine for producing plays honoring the indigenous peoples of Alaska. Harper also co-hosts a monthly radio program about the arts on KSKA. All are welcome: call 274-4723 for reservations (cost: $19-$25).

The Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska, as part of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, is holding its second annual writing contest, with the grand prize of 40,000 Alaska Airline miles! The theme is “Memorable Moments of Care” and all rules and guidelines are available on their website. Deadline is Friday, November 29, 5pm.

Anchorage writer Stefanie Tatalias has a story in the upcoming anthology Into the Storm: Journeys with Alzheimer’s, edited by journalist Collin Tong and to be published in January. There are many stories on this subject still to be told, so do consider submitting to the above contest.

Remember that the deadline for entries to the Alaska Statewide Youth Art & Writing Competition run by F Magazine is December 16. This competition works as a great tool in classrooms to motivate youth to express themselves, work toward an end goal, create their best, and to experience what their peers around the state are doing. The top two ASYAWC finalists will be awarded a full scholarship to Sitka Fine Arts Camp, a two-week summer arts intensive.

Attention writers: KTOO radio and TV is planning a Selected Shorts-like, holiday-themed reading on December 12. The show will be recorded, and then likely aired on the KTOO radio stations and televised statewide on 360 North. Local celebrities and actors will read a variety of short fiction/creative non-fiction pieces that are fresh, diverse, and related to the winter holiday season. Something like David Sedaris’s “Santaland Diaries” would be appropriate. 
(It doesn’t have to be holiday-related, but at least wintery).The average reading time should be 10 minutes. Bonus points for stories that take place in Alaska, and/or stories of a culturally diverse nature. If you have a piece that fits the above description (or want to write one!), or can think of an existing published piece, please let KTOO’s Scott Burton know ASAP at Small stipends available for writers of original work.

Congratulations to local author Martha Amore, who has been named as Alaska Pacific University’s latest writer-in-residence! If you haven’t yet read her novella, “Weathered In,” be sure to pick up a copy of the novella collection Weathered Edge, published by VP&D House.
We have been contacted by Michelle Myers of Chugiak, who is looking for submissions for a new digital horse magazine, Horse Stories. Click the link to learn more about the magazine and what she is looking for or email her at
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