Literary Roundup | May 5-18, 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.  


Fairbanks author Nicole Stellon O’Donnell‘s next book, You Are No Longer in Trouble, a memoir built around her experience as a public school teacher in the US, has been selected by the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and will be published in March 2019.

Congrats to Erin Hollowell who joins the UAA MFA creative writing program faculty!

Storyknife Writers Retreat in Homer has raised enough funds that with a 2-to-1 matching donation from Peggy Shumaker and Joe Usibelli, the main house can be built and dedicated to Homer writer Eva Saulitis. Starting in November last year, donations were solicited via a crowd-funding campaign to build Eva’s House, the main house where the chef/site manager will provide meals for residents throughout their stay. Eva’s House will also contain a dining/living area, office, and library/classroom for public presentations. When complete Storyknife Writers Retreat will have six cabins and host multiple residencies throughout the year. Storyknife is seeking funding for the remaining three cabins as well as the infrastructure, furnishings, and landscape development. The vision of author Dana Stabenow, Storyknife seeks to support women writers by providing uninterrupted time for development of their craft.


Seward | May 5, 2017, 6 pm | Contributors to Volume 2 of Seward Unleashed will have a book launch event at the Seward Senior Center as part of Seward’s First Friday Art Walk. Contributors will read at 6:30. In this new collection of local stories eleven contributors wrote on a range of personal subjects. If interested in purchasing a copy for $10 please email Sean Ulman,

ANC | 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. 

ANC | Thursday, May 11, 9:30—11:30 AM, UAA Campus Bookstore presents Seldovia-based outdoor adventure author Erin McKittrick, author of Mudflats and Fish Camps: 800 Miles around Alaska’s Cook Inlet (Mountaineers Books). McKittrick, the acclaimed author of A Long Trek Home, paddled and hiked the 800 miles around the Cook Inlet with her husband Hig and their two young children. In Mudflats and Fish Camps, she writes about their adventures, the history of the inlet, the culture of the area, and their observation and experiences with wildlife. McKittrick has a master’s degree in molecular and cellular biology and writes regularly for Alaska Dispatch News. In 2007, she and Hig founded Ground Truth Trekking, a nonprofit organization that combines “ground truth” with “researched truth,” using science and adventure to further the conversation about Alaska’s environmental issues. This event is held in conjunction with UAA Appreciation Day and UAA Staff Council. There’s free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot

ANC | Saturday, May 13, 1-3:00 PM, UAA Campus Bookstore presents Putting Mom back in Mother’s Day: A Mother’s Day Author Event with Lael Morgan, Lizzie Newell , LaVon Bridges and Alice Wright | Celebrate an early Mother’s Day with local Alaskan authors as they read and discuss their books and writing. Topics include “Cookbooks Versus Those in Plain Brown Paper Wrappers for Mom” and “Matriarchy: Putting Mothers First”. Guest authors include Lael Morgan, co-founder of Epicenter Press, and author of Good Time Girls of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush whose new book is Kitchen Stories Cookbook: Comfort Cookin’ Made Fascinating and Easy (coauthored with Linda Altoonian); LaVon Bridges and Alice Wright (M.A. Special Education), retired teacher and author of Alaska Animals, We Love You 2, a children’s book of songs and poems; and science fiction author Lizzie Newell (B.F.A. Studio Art) whose newest book is The Tristan Bay Accord. There is free parking at UAA on Saturdays.

ANC | Monday, May 15, 4:30-6 PM, UAA Campus Bookstore presents philosopher Alexis Shotwell, author of Against Purity, Living Ethically in Compromised Times | According to Alexis Shotwell, “The world is in a terrible mess. It is toxic, irradiated, and full of injustice. Aiming to stand aside from the mess can produce a seemingly satisfying self-righteousness in the scant moments we achieve it, but since it is ultimately impossible, individual purity will always disappoint. Might it be better to understand complexity and, indeed, our own complicity in much of what we think of as bad, as fundamental to our lives?” Alexis Shotwell is Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Department of Philosophy, at Carleton University. She is the author of Knowing Otherwise: Race, Gender, and Implicit Understanding. There is free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.

ANC | Wednesday, May 17, 7 PM, Poetry Parley will occur at the Alaska Humanities Forum office. Featured poet: Justin Wetch. Marquee poet: Walt Whitman.

ANC Wednesday, May 17, 7 PM at Barnes and Noble Alaska Writers Guild presents Lizbeth Meredith, Carmen Davis, David Onofrychuck, and Brooke Hartman in a panel discussion and Q&A focused on grants for writers.

ANC | 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.

ANC | 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.

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


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.








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. SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE: May 1st.

The Wrangell Mountains Center presentes 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 will occur September 10-12, 2017. Faculty to be announced soon, with application details. More.


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.

Alaska Women Speak is now accepting submissions till May 15, 2017 for their next issue. Also, check out the Anchorage Press write up of their The Living Room Reading Series event.

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 16 to appear in the next Roundup, scheduled to post May 18. Send an email with “Roundup” as the subject to 

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