Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

Juneau participants in Autogeography writing workshop with Sherry Simpson
What a week it’s been, taking our Crosscurrents Southeast program of author events and creative writing classes to Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan and connecting with writers and lovers of books in the rainforest region of the state (yes, it has rained every single day but that hasn’t diminished our enthusiasm). The eight-day program featuring Sherry Simpson and Ernestine Hayes launched with an Evening at Egan event at UAS and the Juneau community came out in force. Due to unprecedented demand, we opened the writing workshop up to more people and 27 attended. Visit our Facebook page to see the photo album. Last night Sherry and Ernestine taught “Our Music and Our Stories: Fresh Approaches to Familiar Places” in Ketchikan at their beautiful new library. Today, we’re off to Craig for the final round of events.
Sherry Simpson and Ernestine Hayes discuss cultural appropriation in Alaskan writing at Ketchikan Public Library
We are most grateful to the partners in each community who collaborated to make this program possible: University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau Public Libraries and Friends of the Library, the Island Institute, Ketchikan Public Library and Friends of the Library, and Craig Public Library. Special thanks go to the Alaska Humanities Forum and the National Endowment for the Arts for awarding a grant in support of these activities.

Alaska Book Week, October 4-11, is almost upon us! Find more information about activities planned around the state at and help us to celebrate Alaska’s authors and their books. You can still sign up get involved: click here to complete a participation form. Order the poster PDF and bookmarks here. Contact ABW coordinator Jathan Day with questions at akbookweek (at) gmail (dot) com. Do let him know if you’re planning an event so we can add it to the schedule and get the word out for you. We would also like to invite you to participate in Barnes and Noble’s promotional event during this week. Simply mention “Alaska Book Week” at the cash register (or use promotional code # 11445905 for online purchases) from October 4-11, and a percentage of anything you buy in the store (books, coffee, you name it) will go to Alaska Book Week. We cannot thank Barnes and Noble enough for this exciting partnership! We also encourage you to check out Barnes and Noble year round for other author events.

In Anchorage, the week-long celebration will culminate in The Great Alaska Book Fair on Saturday, Oct. 11, 10am to 5pm in the Loussac Library lower level (Outside the Wilda Marston Theater). All published Alaskan authors in the realm of creative writing are invited to participate. Don’t miss the chance to sell your books and meet new readers.The fee for a Book Fair table is $20 for a half-table and $35 for a full table. Table set-up will take place the morning of Saturday, Oct. 11, from 8:30-10am. Authors must be residents of Alaska, but your books do not need to be about or take place in Alaska. You will be responsible for selling your own books, and either the author or your representative must be present at all times. This event will be free and open to the public. Registration deadline is Oct. 6. Register today at For more information, email Brooke Hartman at or visit the Alaska Book Week website.

Upcoming classes and events at 49 Writers
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 6pm, 645 W. 3rd Avenue, Anchorage: Exploring the Possibilities of Publishing with a University Press. 49 Writers hosts Regan Huff, Senior Acquisitions Editor at University of Washington Press, who will gave a talk and answer questions from writers with a nonfiction project that might be of interest to the Press. To pre-register for this free event, please click the link to sign up. Ms Huff is also scheduling one-on-one appointments with potential authors who have a book-length nonfiction project about the Northwest, including Alaska. Contact rhuff(at)uw(dot)edu to schedule. If you have a proposal and sample chapter to share, she would love to see it; otherwise, a short description would be fine to start.

We have several classes that begin next week in Anchorage: Oct. 1-22, Writing the Intimate and the Explicit with Andromeda Romano-Lax, Oct. 2-30, Claiming Your Place with Douglass Bourne, Oct. 4, Children’s Books: Writing, Illustrating, Publishing, with Seth Kantner, Deb Vanasse, and Beth Hill. For information and to register for these and other classes, visit our website.

Events in Anchorage

For more Anchorage events visit the Alaska Book Week website page, Anchorage Events.

Wednesday, Oct 1, 6-8pm, Loussac Library: Blog and Be Heard workshop for teen writers featuring Angela Gonzalez and Deb Vanasse.

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),

Saturday, Oct. 5, 1-3pm, Barnes & Noble, Anchorage: Seth Kantner, Beth Hill, and Deb Vanasse book signing.

Monday, Oct, 6, 1-3pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: AQR Showcase. A complete compilation of Alaska Quarterly Review will be displayed for you to peruse and enjoy. From the first double issue published in 1982 to the current 62nd double issue in 2014.

Monday, Oct. 6, 4-4:45pm, UAA Multicultural Center, Rasmuson Hall Room 106: Pre-Event Reception for Dr. Jervette Ward. All are welcome to attend! Her lecture will be at the UAA Campus Bookstore at 5pm. Dr. Jervette Ward’s events are sponsored by UAA Campus Bookstore, UAA Department of English, UAA Multicultural Center, UAA College of Arts and Sciences

Monday, Oct. 6, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: Sex, Race, and Class: Portrayals of Black Women in Reality TV. Jervette Ward is Assistant Professor in the English Dept. at UAA. She earned a Ph.D. in English – Literary & Cultural Studies from the University of Memphis. Her forthcoming book Scandalous Stars: Black Women in Reality TV will be published in 2015.

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 11am-12:30pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: Alaska Quarterly Review and UAA Campus Bookstore present Poet Joan Kane: Writing Opportunities for Alaska Native Students
Joan Naviyuk Kane is the featured artist in the current Alaska Quarterly Review Volume 31. At this event she will read selected poems, discuss Alaska Quarterly Review, and writing opportunities for Alaska Native students.

Wednesday, Oct. 8, 5-7pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: A Veteran’s Road to College Success. Kenneth racewell is a successful United States Army combat veteran. He served in Iraq; Fort Wainwright, Alaska; and Fort Benning, Georgia. He holds an Associates and a Bachelor of Human Services. Kenneth also motivates and helps veterans by sharing his experience with the Post 9/11 GI Bill and his success with it through his motivational book, A Veteran’s Road to College Success. His goal is to work with veterans in areas of educational success and employment in the future. This event is sponsored with UAA Military Veteran Student Services.

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 more statewide events visit the Alaska Book Week website page, Events Around the State.

Tonight, Sept. 26, 7pm, UAF Schaible Auditorium: The legendary Tom McGuane  will open the Midnight Sun Visiting Writers series with a reading of recent work. McGuane is the author of 15 books of fiction and non, including Ninety-Two in the Shade, The Longest Silenceand The Cadence of Grass. In addition to being elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and receiving a Western Literature Association Lifetime Achievement Award, McGuane is also a member of the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame. and the National Cutting Horse Hall of Fame. You won’t want to miss this! Here is a link to his most recent short story from last week’s New Yorker, with audio: “Motherlode”. 

Saturday, Oct. 4, 2-4pm, Barnes & Noble, Fairbanks: Author Kris Farmen will be signing his books, including his latest novella in the collection Weathered Edge.

Saturday, Oct. 4, 3pm, Fireside Books in Palmer: Come and meet authors Deb Vanasse and Seth Kantner. Deb Vanasse will be signing copies of her latest book, Cold Spell, the story of a mother who risks everything to start over and a daughter whose longings threaten to undo them both. Seth Kantner will be there for his adorable children’s book, Pup and Pokey.

Saturday, Oct. 4, 6pm, Turkey Red, Palmer: Dinner with Alaska Authors, featuring Seth Kantner, Beth Hill, and Deb Vanasse. Ticketed event, $20 (includes dinner), hosted by Fireside Books

Sunday, Oct. 5, 11am, John Trigg Ester Library, Ester: Readers on the Run is a fun 5-kilometer footrace, poetry composition contest, and fundraiser for the John Trigg Ester Library is held every year during Alaska Book Week

Oct. 8-Nov. 12, Wednesdays, 12-2:15pm, Rich Chiappone will teach a class on writing personal esssays at KPC’s Kachemak Bay Campus. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn with a writer “whose rich humor has been a critical ingredient in an alchemy that turned subjects like squirrels and handmade road signs into cultural maps for early 21st century Alaska” (Krestia DeGeorge, Anchorage Press). Register online or stop by the campus off Pioneer Avenue in Homer.

We are pleased to announce the addition to our fall lineup of three events at Kenai Peninsula College. Thank you to 49 Writers member Dave Acheson (Dead Reckoning) for reaching out to make this happen. Friday, Oct. 10, 7pm, in the McLain Commons, Deb Vanasse and Don Rearden will feature in a reading and book talk entitled “Fact and Fiction: Life Into Story.” On Saturday, Oct. 11, each will offer a three-hour creative writing workshop. Don will teach “Complex and Conflicted Characters : What’s in Your Character’s Pocket” from 9am to noon, and you can take “Perspective and Viewpoints: Exploring Point of View” with Deb, 1-4pm. Both take place in Room 132 at KPC. These workshops were both well-received by our membership in Juneau this spring, and you won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from two excellent, long-term faculty of 49 Writers.

News from Alaskan publishers

Shorefast Editions in Juneau has announced the publication of the paperback edition of Leigh Newman’s memoir, Still Points North. Leigh was our featured author for the April 2013 Reading & Craft Talk.

News from University of Alaska Press:

  • Gaining Daylight by Sara Loewen was selected as the winner of the 2014 WILLA Literary Award in creative nonfiction. Upriver by Carolyn Kremers was selected as a finalist for poetry. Winners and finalists represent the best-published literature for women’s or girls’ stories set in the North American West.
  • Mary’s Wild Winter Feast by Hannah Lindoff, illustrated by Nobu Koch and Clarissa Rizal, was reviewed by Kirkus.
  • Yupik Transitions: Change and Survival at Bering Strait, 1900-1960 by Igor Krupnik and Michael Chlenov was one of two titles to receive honorary mention by the Polar Libraries Colloquy in the selection process for the 2014 William Mills Prize.
  • Our new World War II book, Kiska by Brendan Coyle, was featured in an article at
  • Brian Adams’ I Am Alaskan was featured in the January 2014 edition of Printer’s Row, which is the Chicago Tribune’s premium Sunday book section. It was also selected to receive a design award and travel in the Association of American University Presses 2014 Book, Jacket & Journal Show. This show will be coming to UAF in October 2014 and will be exhibited in the Rasmuson Library. 
  • Cold Spell by Deb Vanasse received favorable reviews in Publishers Weekly, Foreword Reviews, and Booklist.
  • Among Wolves also received favorable reviews from Booklist, Huffington Post, andInterdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (ISLE).

Opportunities for Alaskan Writers

NEW! YEA Alaska, which promotes the annual national Scholastic visual arts and writing competition for students in grades 7-12, is looking for writing judges for this year’s competition as well as writers interested in serving on its board. For more information, visit

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 Denali Park Writer-in-Residence application period closes the end of this month. 2014 summer writers included Tom Sexton and Angela Morales. Apply now for winter or summer residencies. Visit to learn more.

Nominations for the 2015 Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities are now open. Learn more at the Alaska State Council on the Arts website. The categories are: Arts Education, Native Arts, Arts Organization and Individual Artist. In addition, the Alaska State Council on the Arts’ Literary Advisory Committee will accept nominations for the State Writer Laureate, who will be appointed by the Governor to a two year term (2015-2016). Deadline for both is October 1.

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. Not sure you’re ready to register, but interested in discussing the program? We will host two, informational teleconferences on Sept. 23 & 30, 3:30pm. You can RSVP for one of these teleconferences here.

After a successful pilot season of Writers’ Showcase, 360 North statewide public television and KTOO News would like to invite Alaska writers to participate in this next season. We’re looking for short stories and creative non-fiction around the following themes: Holidays (Nov. 13); Journeys (Mar. 5); and Writer’s Pick (June 4). Click here for more information.

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