Literary Roundup | November 24-December 7, 2017


ANCHORAGE | Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 7 PM 49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk Series presents Crazy Russian Stories Alone Don’t Make a Book with author David Ramseur | Just five years after a Soviet missile blew a civilian airliner out of the sky over the North Pacific, Russia and Alaska citizen diplomats braved Cold War tensions to join hands across the Bering Strait. Their dramatic efforts to melt the “Ice Curtain” launched a 30-year era of perilous yet prolific progress, a model in bridging the gap in superpower relations sorely needed today. Alaska journalist and political aide David Ramseur discusses his book, Melting the Ice Curtain: The Extraordinary Story of Citizen Diplomacy on the Russia-Alaska Frontier. Ramseur describes how he chronicles this important era in Alaska history through more than 130 interviews and archival research and how he is marketing his book during the 150th anniversary of the US purchase of Alaska from Russia. After just six weeks on the market, Melting the Ice Curtain sold out its first printing through University of Alaska Press. More info | Facebook eventANCHORAGE | Tuesday, November 28, 2017 from 5-7 PM | The UAA Campus bookstore is hosting Emily Madsen’s The Curious Case of Metlakatla, the Alaska Native Community Led by England’s Only Missionary to Alaska, in which she will discuss her research on the relationship between English missionary William Duncan and the Tsimshian people of Metlakatla. Madsen teaches at UAA in the Department of English. She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Free.

ANCHORAGE | Ecodrama Playwrights Festival & Symposium is accepting new proposals, deadline November 30, 2017. The symposium, hosted by UAA Theatre Department, is searching for creative and challenging proposals for workshops, roundtables, and a variety of other events centered on the environmental crises. Topics include but are not limited to climate change, animal representation, eco-literacy, and indigenous performances. Submit proposals here. For questions, contact Dr. Brian Cooke at

ANCHORAGE | The Anchorage Museum presents a series of readings and discussion on the diversity of languages in Alaska. The event will explore the challenges and possibilities of translation through conversation with local experts, scholars, and educators who will share their work. Next up:

  • Unbound: Present Tense Friday, December 15, 2017 from 6 PM | In another part of Anchorage Museum’s Unbound series, Juneau-based author Ernestine Hayes and Anchorage-based scholar Maria Williams will read and discuss their work. Free with admission which is half price on Polar Nights.

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, Dec 2, 2017 at 1 PM | Screenwriter Forum is being held in the Port View Room of the Alaska Experience Theater. Visiting producers, directors, and AIFF Screenwriter competition finalists will provide their knowledge on what makes a good script, how to refine your pitch, and what to do with a finished script. Bring your ideas and questions, this event is open to writers from beginners to professionals. Panelists include AIFF award-winning screenwriter Jason Mott, script doctor Jay Burns, and actor and industry professional Ron Holstrom. Moderated by award-winning screenwriter and writing professor Doug Bourne. For more information, click here. Free.

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, December 2, 2017 from 6-8 PM | The Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is hosting What are The Humanities and Why Do They Matter? Gary Holthaus and Kameron Perez-Verdia, first and current directors of the Alaska Humanities forum, engage in discussion moderated by Jackie Cason and Emily Madsen. Free.

ANCHORAGE | Monday, December 4, 2017 from 5:30-7 PM at UAA Campus Bookstore | UAA students from Professor Don Rearden’s Creative Writing class will read and discuss their current work at the campus bookstore. Rearden is the author of The Raven’s Gift and co-writer of Never Quit, the memoir of Alaskan Pararescue Operator Jimmy Settle. Free.

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, December 9, 2017 from 1-3 PM at UAA Campus Bookstore | Author Leland Jones discusses his book Living a Purposeful Life, A Guide to Starting and Succeeding as an Entrepreneur. In the book, Jones shares experiences that led him to start two small businesses: .T-Quotes LLC and Multi-motivation. His life as an entrepreneur and philanthropist coupled with his global experiences and strong Christian faith are topics highlighted. Free.

ANCHORAGE | 49 Writers workshop: Fear and Loathing in Writing: How to Write Using Your Primal Emotions as Inspiration with Don Rearden | Saturday, December 9, 2017, from 2-4 PM | Waitlisting Prepare to get your blood pressure up and palms sweating in this two-hour creative writing workshop designed to get you all worked up. Learn how to tap into your primal emotions and turn that raw energy into something productive and powerful in your creative writing. Author Don Rearden will reveal an innovative way to transform your own anger, fear, sadness, happiness, and other feelings into something useful for your poetry, fiction, or memoir. Bring a laptop or notebook and come ready to write. Instructor bio: Don Rearden spent most of his childhood on the tundra of Southwestern Alaska. A professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, he is the author of the 2013 Washington Post notable novel The Raven’s Gift, a screenwriter, and co-author of the recently released memoir Never Quit. He lives in an undisclosed location somewhere on a mountain outside of Anchorage. More details and registration

ANCHORAGE | 49 Writers workshop: Disrupting Nonfiction: Adventures in Open Form Essays with Matthew Komatsu | Saturday, December 9, 2017, from 4:30-7:30 PM | In recent years, essays have taken on surprising shapes and sizes, advancing from lyric into new and surprising forms. Together, we’ll explore examples of open form essays, discuss how the varieties of structure inform the piece’s narrative, and try some things out ourselves. Writers of all experience levels should bring a laptop and a short piece of their own writing that describes a scene which they are willing to subject to some varieties of writerly experimentation. A sense of wonder is mandatory; husky poet-voice optional but always welcome. Instructor bio: Matthew Komatsu has published open form essays in BrevityThe Normal SchoolSoutheast Review, and even snuck one past a New York Times editor one time. He’s a graduate of the University of Alaska MFA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) program, has essays forthcoming in two anthologies due out in 2018, and is a Nonfiction Editor for the literary journal War, Literature and the Arts. | More details and registration

December 15-22, 2017 | Meagan Macvie Southcentral Alaska Book Tour
49 Writers is proud to welcome Meagan Macvie back to her home state on tour with her debut book, The Ocean in My Ears, with support from the Alaska Humanities Forum. Details below. Meagan Macvie was born and raised in Soldotna, Alaska. Her debut novel, The Ocean in My Ears, is set in her hometown. The novel was published in 2017 by Portland State University’s Ooligan Press and was a finalist for the 2016 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest. In their starred review, Kirkus calls The Ocean in My Ears an “unforgettable journey to adulthood.” Meagan is a former government communications director and college composition instructor who now writes full-time and teaches writing workshops through her local schools and libraries. She earned her MFA in fiction from Pacific Lutheran University and a BA in English Literature from the University of Idaho. Her work has appeared in NarrativeBarrelhouse, and Fugue, as well as the regional library anthology, Timberland Writes Together. In 2017, her short story, “Dinosaur Guys,” was awarded second place in the Willamette Writers Kay Snow Writing Contest. Meagan now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and daughter, as well as a dog, two goats, and seven chickens. Find her online at and on Twitter and Instagram as @meaganmacvie.

PALMER | December 15, 2017 | YA debut novelist Meagan Macvie will sign copies of The Ocean in My Ears at Fireside Books at 4 pm. A ticketed Dinner and Discussion with Meagan will occur at Turkey Red at 6:45, with tickets available at Fireside or online soon here.

ANCHORAGE | 49 Writers workshop: I’m Just Being Myselfie: How Young Narrators Come Alive on the Page (Without Seeming Like Posers), a workshop with Meagan Macvie, Satuday, December 16, 2017 from 3-5 PM | Good stories bring readers close in and make us care about—even feel—what is happening to the characters. Workshop participants will investigate how writers use Immediacy, Voice, and Transformation to accomplish this great feat of sensory and emotional osmosis. This workshop focuses on young adult first-person narrators. Meagan Macvie will share short excerpts from classic and contemporary young adult literature (including Sherman Alexie, Laurie Halse Anderson, Gayle Forman, John Green, Karen Hesse, and J.D. Salinger) to demonstrate techniques writers can use to compel readers to feel along with a story’s teenage main character. Participants will then have the opportunity to write their own compelling paragraphs during guided writing exercises. More details and registration.

ANCHORAGE | 49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk Series presents Meagan Macvie, “Writing from a Big, Small Place” at 7 pm, Indigo Tea Lounge. Being from a small community is wonderful in so many ways, but it can also be difficult and scary for those born and raised in rural areas to find their way outside that community. In her new novel, The Ocean in My Ears, Alaska-born writer Meagan Macvie explores the beauty and heartache of growing up in Soldotna during the 1990s. Her main character, Meri Miller, wants to make her way out into the big world but is terrified of the unknown. Plus, being a teen girl in Alaska isn’t easy. Meri grapples with emerging conflicts between herself and her faith community, family, and friends, all while dealing with her own guilt, profound grief and blooming sexuality. Macvie will discuss the challenges of writing young protagonists, setting a novel in your hometown, and interrogating your own experiences through fiction. In their starred review, Kirkus calls The Ocean in My Ears an “unforgettable journey to adulthood.”

COOPER LANDING | Meagan Macvie appears at the public library. Reading, Q&A, and book signing. 2 pm, Sunday, December 17, 2017. 

SEWARD | Meagan Macvie appears at Resurrect Art Coffee House Gallery… details TBA

SOLDOTNA | Meagan Macvie appears at the public library for a reading, Q&A, and book signing. 4 pm 

ANCHORAGE | January 3-31, 2018 | Author Lynn Lovegreen is leading an online workshop on Writing Young Adult/New Adult Historical Romance. The course will practice writing romance grounded in historical fact considering setting, character, and plot points, and ensure the language is appropriate for the story. Lynn will provide lectures and short homework assignments, and participants will be encouraged to add to the conversation with their own ideas and knowledge. Learn more at Fee: $15 members / $25 nonmembers.

ANCHORAGE | Wednesday, January 17, 2018 from 7-8:30 PM | The Alaska Writers Guild presents “Speaking Volumes; Audiobooks & Narration.” Alaska-based audiobook narrators Basil Sands and Suzie Althens will discuss their roles as narrators, and how to turn your own published works into audiobooks available to the public. Located at Barnes and Noble. Free.



FAIRBANKS | DATE CHANGED TO Saturday, December 2, 2017, 10 AM-5 PM | Fairbanks Arts is hosting the workshop Writing in the Dark: Worldbuilding for Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors, led by award-winning science fiction author David Marusek of Counting Heads and The Wedding Album. Building an absorbing world is the underpinning of strong fantasy and science fiction. This two-day workshop will explore the issues and techniques of worldbuilding for science fiction and fantasy short stories, novels, and screenplays through lecture, discussion, exercises, individual writing time, sharing work, and one-on-one consulting with the host. New and experienced authors both welcome. Fee: $125 for Fairbanks Arts members; Non-members $150. Located at the Bear Gallery of the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts. For more information contact 9078-456-6485 ext. 226 or



WRANGELL | Flying Island Writers & Artists group meets every other Monday 6:30-8 PM. Contact Vivian Faith Prescott for more information

WRANGELL | Monday, November 27, 2017 | Author & poet Vivian Faith Prescott is celebrating the release of her books, The Dead Go to Seattle and Traveling With the Underground People. Food, signing, & reading. Held at the Nolan Center.

KETCHIKAN | Ketchikan Writes literary magazine seeks submissions for their first issue. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and short plays welcome. Submission deadline is November 15, 2017 at 8 PM. Email to

SKAGWAY | May 30 – June 2, 2018 | North Words Writers Symposium in Skagway is now taking registrations for 2018. Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, is the keynote writer. Other faculty include Juneau Writer Laureate Ernestine Hayes, Portland novelist Willy Vlautin, Juneau poet Emily Wall, Ketchikan writer-artist Ray Troll, Washington writer Colleen Mondor, and Fairbanks writer Frank Soos. Features include author panels, writing workshops, and outdoor activities. Limited to 40 participants. Organizers include Buckwheat Donahue, Jeff Brady, Daniel Henry, and John Straley. For more information, see








SKAGWAY | November 15, 2017 – February 15, 2018 | Alderworks Alaska Writers and Artists Retreat is taking applications for next summer’s residencies. Three cabins along West Creek in Dyea will be available during two summer residency sessions: mid-May to late June, and mid-July to late August. Take a tour, view residency requirements, and apply at

HOMER | Storyknife Writers Retreat is currently being developed on ten acres of land outside of Homer, Alaska. They just can’t wait for all six proposed cabin and main house to be built, so the Board of Directors of Storyknife is beginning with a single Storyknife resident who will live in the beautifully appointed cabin on the property. Women writers can apply for a two or four week residency during the months of June, July, and August 2018. Successful candidates will receive a $250 per week stipend at the end of their residency. This money can be used to cover the costs of travel, food, and a rental car if the resident is from out of the drivable area. The resident will need to purchase and prepare their own meals, with the exception of a welcome dinner and a farewell dinner, at the beginning and end of their stay. Application period active until December 31, 2017. Notifications will be sent by the end of February 2018 at the very latest. Learn more at Submit at

HOMER | Registration is open for the seventeenth annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, June 8-12, 2018. Held in Homer, Alaska, this nationally recognized writing conference features workshops, readings and panel presentations in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and the business of writing. Keynote presenter Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize winner and National Book Award finalist, will be joined by fifteen other writers, poets, and publishing industry professionals. Optional manuscript reviews, agent/editor meetings, post-conference workshop and boat cruise. Scholarships available. All information and faculty bios at our website:

WASHINGTON | Friday and Saturday, March 2-3, 2018 | Artsmith is presenting Writer Island: Generosity and Joy with Peggy Shumaker. The workshop will focus on language that opposes hatred and fear, using curiosity and pleasure as a way to heal trauma and pain. Held on Orcas Island, Washington. Visit for more information and to register.

HOMER | Applications are open now through December 31, 2017, for the 2018 Storyknife Writers Retreat. Fee: $250 / week. For info and questions, visit Submissions to at:


Bona Fide Books seeks literary essays about national parks for Volume 2 of Permanent Vacation: Twenty Writers on Work and Life in Our National Parks. Volume 1 included Alaskan writers Christine Byl, Jeremy Pataky, and Tom Walker. Now, Bona Fide Books seeks more work for Volume 2, covering any national park (no regional focus this time). Each writer whose work is selected will receive $100 for their essay and one copy of the collection, which will publish in spring 2018. Deadline: December 1, 2017. E-mail Full details.

ANCHORAGE | Tuesday, December 5, 2017 | Deadline for the Alaska Writers Guild Bi-Monthly Writing Contest; “Rhyming Poetry.” For details and guidelines, visit the writing contest page.

What’s missing? Submit your event or announcement to appear in the next Roundup. Send an email with “Roundup” as the subject to Deadline Wednesday prior at the latest.

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49 Writers, Inc. is supported, in part, by a grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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