Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

The summer season of literary gatherings is officially underway with the North Words Writers Symposium in beautiful Skagway, Alaska, May 28-31! We look forward to reports from faculty and attendees but early posts on Facebook suggest a good time is being had by all. If you’re there, say hello to 49 Writers board members Katrina Pearson and Joan Pardes, and 49 Writers co-founder Deb Vanasse.
After North Words, Deb will be teaching a class for us in Juneau, Perspectives and Viewpoints: Exploring Point of View, on Monday, June 2, 6-9pm. There are still a couple of slots open so if you’re interested, click here for more information and to register.

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. Writers may submit one or two stories, each 750-1500 words in length. You can find information and guidelines for submitting online at For the latest news, check the 49 Writers website at, or contact Anchorage Remembers coordinator Cheryl Lovegreen at AnchorageRemembers (at) This project is supported by a Centennial Community grant awarded by the Alaska Humanities Forum and Anchorage Centennial Committee. Click here for more information and to submit.

The new Cirque will be out June 21 (Summer Solstice). Go to Cirque on Facebook today for a sneak peak at the cover. If you are the first to guess what is depicted in the cover photo, you’ll win a free one year subscription. Remember to “like” Cirque!

Events in Anchorage

Friday June 6, 4-6pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: Attorney Lee Goodman presents his just released crime thriller Indefensible, the perfect book for summer reading! “Complex and intelligent, fantastically well-plotted. Indefensible is as good as it gets.” John Lescroart (New York Times bestselling author of twenty-four novels). Lee Goodman’s work has appeared in the Iowa Review, where it received a nomination for the Pushcart Prize in fiction, and Orion Magazine, among other publications. During the summers, Goodman works as a commercial fisherman in Prince William Sound, where he operates his own salmon fishing boat. Publishers Weekly gave Indefensible a starred review!

Friday, June 6, 6-9pm, Anchorage Museum: The VoxVan will be recording community stories. Tell your story: What does living in Anchorage and the North mean to you? This TV studio on wheels stops throughout the community collecting stories. The resulting videos will be shown in an Anchorage Centennial Celebration exhibition, to reflect Anchorage residents’ diverse personalities, perspectives, histories and cultures. This partnership with Alaska Public Media is part of the Anchorage Museum’s Polar Lab. For more information on VoxVan and upcoming locations, visit Free

There are several opportunities coming up in Anchorage to meet Mike Holloway, author of the newly released Dreaming Bears: A Gwich’in Indian Storyteller, a Southern Doctor, a Wild Corner of Alaska. To see a book trailer and more information visit:

  • Saturday, June 6, 1-2:30pm, DeBarr Costco 
  • Wednesday, Jun. 11, 4-6pm, UAA Campus Bookstore

Around the State

Friday, June 6, 4pm, Fireside Books, Palmer: Author, photographer, and 49 Writers guest blogger Kim Heacox will sign copies of his latest book, John Muir and The Ice That Started a Fire, as well as copies of many of his previous books. Originally, Kim didn’t plan on writing for a living. He was having fun exploring the world, especially Glacier Bay. But on one trip through Glacier Bay in a kayak, he finally revealed his love of writing and turned his focus on making it a career. Now living in the small town of Gustavus right in Glacier Bay, Kim splits his time between photography and writing.

Juneau author Annie Boochever (Bristol Bay Summer) will be making this following appearances:

  • Friday, June 6, 5-7pm, book signing at Hearthside Books Downtown
  • June 16, 6:30pm, Annie will present at the Valley Library.

Mike Holloway, author of Dreaming Bears: A Gwich’in Indian Storyteller, a Southern Doctor, a Wild Corner of Alaska, has appearance coming up in Fairbanks too:

  • Today, Friday, May 30, 12-1:30pm, Barnes and Noble, 421 Merhar Avenue, Fairbanks
  • Today, Friday, May 30, 5:30-6:30 pm, to benefit the Northern Alaska Environmental Center, 830 College Road, Fairbanks
Upcoming deadlines

If you are interested in teaching for 49 Writers and meet the instructor criteria, we’d love to see a course proposal from you – deadline is June 15.

June 30: Early registration deadline for the 2014 Alaska Writers Guild Conference (Sept. 13 & 14, Crowne Plaza Hotel) featuring  nationally acclaimed agents, publishers, and authors. Once again, the conference includes a children’s literature track in conjunction with the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. The conference brings writing industry professionals straight to you, ready to share their knowledge of how to write well, get published, and market your books. Click here for a full list of speakers. Visit the AWG website for more information and to register. Early registration (deadline June 30) is $90 for AWG/SCBWI members, $120 for non-members.

Author news

The winner of UAF’s 1st Annual Permafrost Book Prize in Poetry has been announced! Congratulations go to Adam Tavel for Into the Primitive. Adam Tavel received the 2010 Robert Frost Award and is the author of The Fawn Abyss (Salmon, forthcoming) and the chapbook Red Flag Up (Kattywompus). His recent poems appear or will soon appear in The Massachusetts Review, The Journal, Quarterly West, Passages North, Southern Indiana Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Salamander,among others. He is an associate professor of English at Wor-Wic Community College on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

​This week Illumination Arts, Inc, of Kirkland, WA, finalized a contract with Oak Tree Books Co. Ltd. that will lead to a version of Talk About Touch in Simplified Chinese for release in China, next year. Alaskans Sandra Kleven and Patrick Minock collaborated on this sexual abuse prevention storybook based in an Alaska village. Oak Tree is an affiliate of Qingdao Red Tomato, which has been selling Kleven’s other prevention book, The Right Touch throughout China for the past five years, resulting in 330,000 copies sold.

Literary happenings in Alaska this summer

June 6-8, Tonglen Lake Lodge, Denali: Writing workshop with Sherry Simpson, Tiny Masters: Turning Personal Experience Into Personal Essays. Click here for details.

June 8-14: Prince William Sound Community College hosts the 2014 Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez. The invited 68 plays include writers from across the United States and internationally from the United Kingdom. There are 8 Alaskans invited to present their work, including 3 from Anchorage, 2 from Juneau, and 1 apiece from Fairbanks, Ketchikan, and Valdez. Alaskan playwrights include Jill Bess (Anchorage, AK), Simple Melody, Linda Billington (Anchorage, AK), A Duct Tale, Clint Jefferson Farr (Juneau, AK), The Kindness of Strangers, P. Shane Mitchell (Anchorage AK), Veritas, Tom Moran (Fairbanks AK), God On Our Side, Mollie Ramos (Valdez, AK), Snowmageddon, Barbara Shepherd (Juneau, AK), Ghost Stories, Norma Thompson (Ketchikan, AK), Missing Something?, and alternate Mark Muro (Anchorage, AK), Nocturne on 166th Street.

Scott Russell Sanders

June 13-17Kachemak Bay Writers Conference takes place in Homer, with keynote speaker Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones). 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.

June 26-29: Stillpoint 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 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.

Scroll to Top