Linda: 49 Writers Weekly Roundup

This week we reached a new milestone: our current membership is more than double what it was this time last year! Thank you to the 28 new members who have joined since the beginning of 2014, who hail from not only Anchorage but also Douglas, Juneau, Skagway, and Wasilla. We’re just a few short of 200, a goal that 12 months ago seemed unattainable but one we look set to surpass in the next month. Your interest and involvement is what energizes us to strive to do as much as we can to support and promote Alaska’s writers. Why not join now?

Wow! The response to the first weekend workshop series for Anchorage Remembers, the 49 Writers Centennial memoir project, was phenomenal. The class filled in the space of a week, and we had to close registration two days prior. The second workshop series, also to be held at the Pioneer School House on 3rd Avenue, is almost full too! Visit our website for more information and to register. Those dates are February 22 & 23, 1-3pm and March 8 & 9, 1-3pm (two-week gap due to AWP). If you live in Chugiak-Eagle River, we’ll be offering a weekend series there, hosted by the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center, on March 22, 23, 29 & 30, 1-3pm. Our Anchorage Remembers team has done a fabulous job of planning and implementing this program: thank you so much to coordinator Cheryl Lovegreen and instructors Sue Pope, Louise Freeman, Cheryl Lovegreen, Judith Conte, and Becky Saleeby. 

Tuesday, Feb. 4, 7-9pm, the 49 Writers Juneau writers group holds its first meeting! If you’re already a member, you’ll know all about it; if you’d like to join the group, email for more information. We now have 28 members in Juneau due to the overwhelming interest in this critique group. Kudos to 49 Writers board member Joan Pardes for making this idea a reality. Our Juneau members rock! If you’re interested in Juneau workshops, we’re planning a couple for spring 2014: the latest information can always be found on the new Juneau page on our website. 

FINALLY! After what seems like months of planning, we launch our spring season in Anchorage next week. And what a busy first week too (how did that happen??) with events featuring Camille Dungy & Sean Hill, and John Straley. Camille and John are also teaching a couple of great classes for us: still one or two spots left if you’re interested so register now. And look for reviews of John Straley’s latest novel, Cold Storage, Alaska, in the New York Times this weekend and Wall Street Journal next week. On Saturday, Feb. 8, 10am-12 noon, author Lynn Lovegreen will teach Journey of a Novel, from Unpublished to Published.

The week after that, Christine Byl will teach our first class in Talkeetna on Feb. 11, 6-8:30pm: The Good, The Bad, and the Buggy: Writing the Complexities of Place. She then comes to Anchorage on Feb. 15, 9am-1pm, for Lyric Tinkering: The Poem as a Tool for Prose Writers. The students in her spring 2013 class said “we want more from Christine!” and she was happy to oblige, so don’t miss this opportunity.

February schedule at-a-glance:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 4, 7pm, Anchorage Museum: Crosscurrents with poets Camille Dungy and Sean Hill, “Writing the Whole Environment”
  • Wednesday, Feb. 5, 6-9pm, Anchorage Museum: workshop with Camille Dungy, “How to Write a Poem: Make a List”
  • Thursday, Feb. 6, 1-4pm, 645 W. 3rd Avenue: workshop with John Straley, “Lessons from a Life of Crime”
  • Thursday, Feb 6, 7pm, Great Harvest Bread Co: Reading & Craft Talk by John Straley, “Lessons from a Life of Crime”
  • Saturday, Feb. 8, 10am-12pm, 645 W. 3rd Avenue: class with Lynn Lovegreen, “Journey of a Novel”
  • Tuesday, Feb. 11, 6-8:30pm, Sheldon Community Arts Hangar, Talkeetna: workshop with Christine Byl, “The Good, The Bad, and the Buggy”
  • Saturday, Feb. 15, 9am-1pm, 645 W. 3rd Avenue: workshop with Christine Byl, “Lyric Tinkering: The Poem as a Tool for Prose Writers”
  • Tuesday, Feb. 18, 6-9pm, APU: Fantastic First Impressions for Fiction Writers. An Alaska Writers Guild workshop with editor Ali McCart, available at member rate to 49 Writers membersClick here for more information and to register.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 19, 6-9pm, APU: Nonfiction Platforms, Proposals, and Pitches that Turn Heads. An Alaska Writers Guild workshop with editor Ali McCart, available at member rate to 49 Writers members. Click here for more information and to register.

If you missed the excellent interview with Katey Schultz on the Camille Conte show yesterday, you can listen to the podcast here. 49 Writers is bringing Katey to Alaska after AWP to teach a one-day flash fiction class on March 8, 9am-4pm, and to give a Reading & Craft Talk on March 6, 7pm. She’ll also be making appearances in Girdwood, Homer, and Palmer. Visit our website for more information about Flash Fiction in a Flash and to register. If you’re not familiar with flash fiction, it’s a delightful short form for stories ranging from 250-750 words. Why not give it a try and unleash your creativty! Katey’s first book, Flashes of War, was named Gold Medal Book of the Year in Literary Fiction by the Military Writers Society of America.

Last night, the Governor’s Awards for Arts and Humanities were broadcast live from Juneau and can be seen here on 360 North.

TODAY, Friday, Jan. 31, 6:30pm: Like bears? Like the amazing Sherry Simpson? Kachemak Bay Campus invites you to hear her read from her new book, Dominion of Bears. Seriously, she’s great–funny, touching, smart. And cute, too! This Friday, be there, or be bear-bait! (Thanks, Erin H.)

Monday, Feb. 3: The deadline is looming for the annual F’air Words statewide writing competition organized by F Magazine. One more weekend to polish your writing and get your entry in! More info at

Entries for the 2014 Alaska State Communications Contest are now being accepted electronically through the National Federation of Press Women website. New deadline is Feb. 3. Visit the Alaska Professional Communicators website to find out more. If you have questions or any issues with the online entry process, contact Diane Walters or Carolyn Rinehart

F Magazine is seeking judges for this year’s Alaska Statewide Youth Art & Writing Competition. If you are interested, please contact Teeka Ballas at Judging must be completed by February 15.

Save the date! Wednesday, Feb. 19, the next Poetry Parley will take place at the Hugi-Lewis Studio in Anchorage. Elizabeth L. Thompson will read from her own work, and the February marquee poet will be Jesse Bernstein. Full details coming soon. Meanwhile, why not like Poetry Parley on Facebook to stay current with their news and events.

Congratulations to Justin Herrmann, MFA alum, on the publication of his debut collection of short fiction, Highway One, Antarctica, forthcoming from MadHat Press!

The Wrangell Mountains Center is excited to announce two new residencies this summer: the Meg Hunt Residency and the ArtSpace Bungalow Residency. The residency program aims to support artists of all genres, writers, and inquiring minds in the creation of their work. The organization and community will provide unrestricted work time and space to focused individuals. They invite applicants with creative and inquisitive minds who will both add to and benefit from the interdisciplinary efforts at our campus in McCarthy, Alaska and the surrounding Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Check the WMC website for more information and to apply.

If you’ve been following the future of Out North with interest, don’t miss this meeting on Saturday, Feb. 8, 5-7pm.

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