Literary Roundup | May 19-June 1, 2017

Have news, events, or opportunities you’d like to see listed here? Email details to info (at), preferably with “Roundup” as the subject. Items might get edited for length. Your message must be received by close of business the Wednesday before the roundup is scheduled to run at the latest. Unless your event falls in the “Opportunities and Awards” category, it should occur no more than 30 days from when we receive your email. Thanks! 49 Writers Statewide Roundup appears biweekly, on the first and third Friday of each month. If your short-notice event occurs between a missed deadline and an upcoming Roundup, email us a heads up anyway, and if we can help spread the word in other ways, we will.  


Louise Erdrich, 2017 Tutka Bay Writers Retreat Guest Instructor

We are very pleased that Louise Erdrich will lead our 8th Annual Tutka Bay Writers Retreat this September. Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, a National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and more. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore. Applications are rolling in… learn more, and apply soon:

Kachemak Bay Campus Director Carol Swartz was inducted into the Alaska Women Hall of Fame. More details. Congrats!


Anchorage | May 6-31, 2017 | A silent auction featuring large-format visual art from the pages of Cirque will be up at Great Harvest Bread Co. 

Anchorage | Monday, May 22, 4-6:00 pm, UAA Campus Bookstore presents poet Ishmael Hope, author of Rock Piles Along the Eddy, the second poetry collection by the Inupiaq and Tlingit poet, storyteller and playwright. Through his poetry, Ishmael Hope “elevates Indigenous thought and lifeways, intermingling the landscapes of personal experience, cultural knowledge, stories, and familial connections and the spirit and character of land and sea.” Ishamel Hope served as a lead writer for the award-winning video game Never Alone and he is author of the poetry collection Courtesans of Flounder Hill. He is also a board member of the Before Columbus Foundation. He attained a BLA from University of Alaska Southeast and is currently enrolled with the Institute of American Indian Arts Low Residency Creative Writing MFA Program. He lives in Juneau with his wife Lily and four children. There is free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.

Anchorage | Thursday, May 25, 2017, 4-6:00 pm, UAA Campus Bookstore presents Dr. Miklos Vassanyi: The earliest Reports of Encounters with the Inuit in the Old Icelandic Sagas, Medieval Norwegian and North-European Chronicles and Greenland Deeds. Dr Miklos Vassanyi holds a PhD in Philosophy (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and a PhD in History (ELTE University of Budapest). He is Associate Professor at Karoli University Budapest, Department of General Humanities, currently working as a Fulbright Visiting Researcher at the University of Minnesota‒Twin Cities, Center for Austrian Studies.  In Budapest, he teaches on the MA program of Karoli University in Religious Studies. His areas of research include Inuit history and Inuit religious phenomena with a concentration on shamanism. He coedited Indigenous Perspectives of North America (Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2014) and has published a number of articles on Native American anthropology. This presentation is conducted through the Fulbright Scholar Program’s Outreach Lecturing Fund (OLF).  It sponsored with the UAA Alaska Native Studies Department. Free, open to the public.  Free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.

Anchorage | 3rd Annual Alaska Audiobook Narrator’s Workshop, presented by Basil Sands. “This could be your ticket to making a good living as an audiobook narrator. Thousands of new audiobooks are being produced every year and the demand keeps growing. And with modern technology, narration work that was once only available if you lived in LA or NYC is now available even here in Alaska!” Friday, May 26, 2017, 9 am until 5 pm, Alaska Communications Business Technology Center, Anchorage. $150. If you are interested email to basil at basilsands dot com with your name and an indication of your experience level, if any, in the following areas: audiobooks, stage acting, on camera acting, radio work. | Read his blog post about it

McCarthy | Sunday, May 28, 5 pm, McCarthy-Kennicott Historical Museum presents historian and author Katie Ringsmuth during their 2017 Season Opening Celebration. Ringsmuth is the author of At Work in the Wrangells: A Photographic History 1895-1966, which underscores the interconnected work of humans and nature that together made history in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Ringsmuth has also authored several other books on Alaska history and lives in Eagle River.

Anchorage | Tuesday, June 6, 4-6:00 pm, UAA Campus Bookstore presents Bonnye Matthews: How to Sell to Libraries and Readers in the Digital Age | How to Sell to Libraries and Readers in the Digital Age shows how to set up email systems for libraries from an online source and another for readers from emails gathered at book signing events.  The number of libraries is a large one. It is a wonderful place to market books, but for the author new to this attempt, it can be daunting. Bonnye Matthews found a way to reach librarians who would forward her email to their acquisitions people. This book cannot guarantee a library will buy your books, but it will give you a solid path through the maze and with a huge effort, you can develop an email list that you can use for book after book you write. Bonnye Matthews is the author of the award winning Winds of Change novel series on the peopling of the Americas before the last ice age glaciation. Her current research focuses on archaeological sites in the Americas before the end of the last ice age glaciation. All UAA Campus Bookstore events are free, open to the public. Free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.

Seward | June 8, 2017, 7 pm | Seward area writers will host a Writers’ Showcase at Zudy’s Cafe, 501 Railway Ave in Seward. Anyone interested in reading can contact Dan Walker

Anchorage | Friday, June 9, 2017 from 12-2:00 pm, UAA Campus Bookstore | Major General Kenneth Privratsky, USA Retired, presents The Falklands Today: 35 Years After the War. For over 175 years, an archipelago, known as the Falkland Islands to the British and the Malvinas to Argentines, has been a source of tension. Some in Parliament were pushing for a shared agreement for the islands, when Argentina’s military Junta surprised the world by invading the Falklands in 1982. Under Margaret Thatcher’s leadership at the time, the British military overcame tremendous challenges to retake the islands, which led to the collapse of the Junta and restoration of democracy in Argentina.  Yet today, 35 years after the surrender, tensions over sovereignty remain. This lecture will highlight the long-standing dispute, summarize what happened during the war in 1982, and discuss the situation today. Major General Kenneth Privratsky, USA Retired, served in the infantry in Vietnam before becoming a logistician. He taught at West Point, was a National Security Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and commanded organizations supplying U.S. forces worldwide. In civilian life, he was an executive in the ocean transportation industry. He has lectured on military subjects to both national and international audiences and is the author of the book Logistics in the Falklands War, now in its third printing. He lives in Anchorage. All UAA Campus Bookstore events are free, open to the public. Free parking across UAA on Fridays.

Anchorage | Wednesday, June 14, 2017 | Reading featuring Rachel Rose and Joan Naviyuk Kane. Details to be determined and announced.

Anchorage | Monday, June 19 from 4-6:00 pm at the UAA Campus Bookstore | Author Sheila Kelly presents Treadwell Gold An Alaska Saga of Riches and Ruin. Sheila Kelly has spent decades researching her family’s history and the people of Treadwell for her book, Treadwell Gold, An Alaska Saga of Riches and Ruin. In the early 1900s, her father and four aunts were born and raised in Treadwell, Alaska, a hard rock gold mining town on Douglas Island across the Gastineau Channel from Juneau. Treadwell became the largest gold mining operation in the world–one that created much more wealth than the infamous Klondike Gold Rush. Then in 1917, catastrophe hit when the mines caved in, flooded, and closed. Today, one hundred years later, only remnants of buildings along the Treadwell Mine Historic Trail remain. Treadwell Gold, published by University of Alaska Press, includes numerous historical photos. All UAA Campus Bookstore events are free, open to the public. Free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.

Anchorage Sunday, July 9 through Tues, July 18, 2017. Public reading series from UAA’s creative writing MFA program. Public reception with Jo Ann Beard on Saturday, July 15. Details to come.


Fairbanks | The next Fairbanks Arts Association literary reading will be June 3, 7 pm in the Bear Gallery, featuring Frank Soos and Rosemary McGuire. No FAA literary reading for the month of May, in lieu of A Fairbanks Arts Gala: Golden Anniversary Fundraiser.

Fairbanks | Alaskana Raven Bookstore is looking for local authors for First Friday events. Contact James at or 347-8302.

Denali National Park | July 21 – 23 – My Wilderness: Storytelling Workshop, a field course offered by Alaska Geographic through the Murie Science and Learning Center. Do you have a story to share about an experience in Denali or another wild land? Join expert story coaches from Anchorage storytelling program ARCTIC ENTRIES as they reveal the secrets to capturing and keeping an audience’s attention just by talking about yourself! Your story can be funny, inspiring, humbling, or something else entirely. Immersed in the wilderness of Denali, we will explore storytelling principles, share our own stories, and learn how to make our story the best it can be. The workshop will culminate with a group storytelling performance — starring you — on the final evening of the course, on the theme of “In the wilderness: stories of being outside, finding yourself, and the trail less traveled.” Course will stay at a field camp located 29 miles inside Denali National Park along the Teklanika River. The Field Camp includes rustic tent cabins and a common dining tent. All meals, accommodations, transportation, and instruction are included in the $400 course fee ($360 for Alaska Geographic members). Professional development credit is available through UAA. For more information or to register, go to, email or call 907-683-6432.


Juneau | May 21, 2017, Sunday 1-4 pm | The poetry nonprofit Woosh Kinaadeiyi will teach a performance workshop for spoken word poetry, taught by Erika Bergren and Naaweiyaa Tagaban, at Beast Flow Studio at 215 Ferry Way. All abilities and ages are welcome to come and hone their performance skills. Tickets are $20, or $35 with our Season 7 t-shirt, but if time are tight, send us an email at

Juneau | May 26, 2017, 6-9 pm, Hearthside Books Annual Authors at Sea Whale Watching Cruise featuring Bob Fagen, Ishmael Hope, Eowyn Ivey, Mark Kelley, and Kate Troll. $65.

Juneau | Sealaska Heritage will sponsor a new workshop on digital storytelling this summer for Alaska Native students in grades 8-11. It will cover film production techniques including interviewing and stop-motion animation. All supplies will be provided and there is no charge. The Voices on the Land Digital Storytelling Workshop is scheduled 9 am-4 pm, June 26-30, at the Vocational Training Resource Center in Juneau. Apply: Flyer:







North Words Writers Symposium will be May 31-June 3, 2017 in Skagway, Alaska. This year’s keynote speaker is world world travel and fiction writer Paul Theroux. After writing nearly fifty books of nonfiction and fiction set in the most exotic of locales, America’s greatest travel writer is finally headed for one of Alaska’s most notorious: Skagway. Paul Theroux will lead a faculty of seven acclaimed authors at the 8th annual North Words Writers Symposium. A maximum of 50 registrants at the 2017 North Words Symposium will also engage with a faculty of Alaskan writers that includes John Straley, Sherry Simpson, Deb Vanasse, Tom Kizzia, Andy Hall, and Lenora Bell. Learn more and sign up soon; 50 participants max.

2017 Kachemak Bay Writers Conference will occur June 9-13, 2017 in Homer, Alaska. Keynote speaker will be Jane Smiley. Details and more.

Food writing retreat with Julia O’Malley and NYT’s Kim Severson at Tutka Bay LodgeJuly 21-23, 2017. $875 inclusive. Details.

The Wrangell Mountains Center presents Writing on the River: RiverSong from July 26-31, 2017, a six-day, five-night adventure in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This year’s workshop will feature river sprite and musical poet David Grimes, songwriter and journalist Brad Warren, and workshop director Nancy Cook. Together we will explore the ways wilderness can help inspire songs, stories, poems, and essays. Activities include an opening reading/performance and craft sessions in the comfort of the Wrangell Mountains Center’s facility in McCarthy, followed by three nights and four days of creative inquiry along the Kennicott, Nizina, Chitina, and Copper Rivers. Space is limited to nine student writers/ songwriters. More info

2017 Writers Tutka Bay Writers Retreat with Louise Erdrich will occur September 10-12, 2017. More.


Alaska Women Speak is accepting submissions for Fall 2017: Berry Picking/Cherry Picking. Deadline for Submission: August 15, 2017. Guidelines:

Anyone in Alaska is eligible to enter Fireside Books’ essay contest, which offers a prize of $500 dollars and $500 worth of books for the best “thoughtful, well-researched, forward-thinking essays that map out a new citizen-based ethic of communication, mapping the porous boundaries between weaponized propaganda and honest, authentic persuasion.” Your essay should be publication ready, about 1000 words, plus a bibliography and notes. Deadline: May 31, 2017. Click here for full details.

The Northern Review seeks submissions for their third literary issue (as opposed to scholarly issues), to be published in Fall 2017. Details below. Submission accepted through May 31, 2017Alaska Book Week will be October 1-7, 2017. Authors interested in participating are encouraged to contact Elizabeth Waetjen at

September 30, 2017 is the deadline to apply for a 2018 artist residency at Denali National Park. Visual artists, writers, and composers are eligible.

What’s missing? Submit your event or announcement by May 30 to appear in the next Roundup, scheduled to post June 1. Send an email with “Roundup” as the subject to 

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