Round Up of News and Events

We received a card in the mail today. It said simply, “Thank you for the opportunities you provide for Alaskan artists/writers.”

At 49 Writers, we care deeply about providing opportunities for writers to develop as artists in a vibrant community of artists and to grow the community of readers in Alaska. Those opportunities include programs like the Reading and Craft Talks, Crosscurrents, and this blog, all of which are free to the public. They also include classes, workshops, and retreats that are known for their high quality and reasonable prices. And we are thrilled when we are invited to partner on new projects, such as the Anchorage Centennial celebration and the Machetanz Art Festival. We are committed to the vision of a statewide community of writers and have offered programming in Kodiak, Juneau, Barrow, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Soldotna.

It’s your support that makes these programs possible. Here are some ways you can support 49 Writers to keep the programs and opportunities going and expanding across the state:


  • Teach a class
  • Coordinate the blog
  • Write guest posts
  • Interview writers for the blog
  • Bookkeeping
  • Put up posters for events


  • Join 49 Writers
  • Donate directly to 49 Writers or as part of your PFD through Pick.Click.Give
  • If you shop at Fred Meyer, sign up for their Community Rewards program and a percentage of your purchases will go to 49 Writers (non-profit #93933). 
  • Do you buy books and other items from Amazon? Create an AmazonSmile account and 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases will go to 49 Writers when you shop.

I hope you will consider expanding your support of 49 Writers, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Happy writing


49 Writers Spring Classes: Anchorage. You can still register for classes starting this week! Find full information on the 49 Writers website.

  • Ready to Publish with Deb Vanasse. Saturday, February 7, 9am-4pm. $110 members/$130 non-members. Fee includes the textbook for the class, What Every Author Should Know, by Deb.
  • Point of View Intensive: an online class with Andromeda Romano-Lax. 4 weeks starting February 8.

UAA Bookstore events in February. All events at the UAA Campus Bookstore. Click here for details.

  • Wildlife and Alaskans: Life Among Complex Relations, Tuesday, February 10, 5-7 pm
  • Magic Realism in Literature, Thursday, February 12, 5-7pm

Haiku at Poetry Parley: February 19 at 7:00 pm, Hugi-Lewis Studio, 1008 W. Northern Lights Blvd. Send a note to sign up to read your own Haiku or the Haiku of another poet. (There will be an opportunity to write new Haiku, too.)

“What Do We Do When the Lifeboats are Burning?” Songs and Stories about Climate, Community and Courage. Libby Roderick and Kathleen Dean Moore in concert and conversation.February 22, 2 pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2824 E. 18th (18th & Sunrise, Airport Heights). $20 suggested donation. 50% of proceeds go to Alaskan climate organizations. Co-sponsored by UU Fellowship, 49 Writers, and UAA Office of Sustainability.


Workshop at Island Institute in Sitka: Different Geographies: Creativity and Writing From the Desert to the Sea. Saturday February 7th, 10am-4pm – Yaw Chapel, SJ Campus, Sitka
This one-day creativity workshop for adults will inspire participants to deepen their own creative expression using clay, paints, writing and storytelling. Jointly and gently led by Island Institute Resident Fellows Carol Birrell and Jesse Blackadder from Australia, it is a playful journey through inner and outer geographies, from the arid purity of the desert to the teeming abundance of the ocean, exploring joy, grief, and lived experience.
Bring pen and paper, and any art materials you wish (some will be provided).
RSVP by emailing, calling the office at 747-3794, or joining the facebook event.

SOWSEAR comic artists B. Hutton and Chad Meyer will be sitting in at Fireside Books showing off issues of the entire run so far of SOWSEAR,drawing comics and giving tips for publication in the Spring issue. February 14 at 11:30 am, 720 S. Alaska St, Palmer.
B. Hutton is a writer, performer, workshop facilitator, and cartoonist. His cartoons have appeared in a variety of publications and galleries, and on a number of refrigerator doors. He has been visiting Palmer and the Mat-Su Valley for over a decade, facilitating Poetry Slam Workshops in the school system. When he’s not looking for a book to take back to Anchorage from Fireside Books, he’s usually down the block, having a good cup of coffee, maybe reading the book.

Fireside Books invites you to an afternoon of poetry and music with Cirque Magazine on February 15 at 2:00 pm. Featured readers are Sandra Kleven, Jeremy Pataki, Elizabeth Thompson, Eowyn Ivey, Monica Devine, Julie LeMay, Steve Rubinstein, Egan Millard, Jerry McDonnell, David Cheezem, Cynthia Sims, Tonja Woelber, Kathleen Witkowska Tarr, with special guest musician Lulu Small.

Be a part of Anchorage Reads 2015!
Kicking off February 20th and running through March 20th, Anchorage Reads is a one-book/one community reading program promoting literacy, love of reading and facilitating community discussions. The Raven’s Gift by local author Don Rearden is this year’s selection. Community members from ASD and the UAA/APU Books of the Year program helped chose the book and design programming that reflected its themes, including book club groups, a Book and Brew celebration for adults at Anchorage Community Works, fireside storytelling and a visit from Crawford the Raven for younger readers, a readers’ theater performance, and an Author Talk by Don Rearden.

Poems in Place Kickoff Events in Kodiak & Seward February 4th to 7th. Poems in Place places poems by Alaskan writers on permanent signs in two of Alaska’s State Parks each year. This year we are seeking poems for Caines Head State Recreational Area, Seward and Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park, Kodiak. All events are free.

  • An Evening of Poetry, Friday February 6th from 7-8:30pm. Resurrect Art Coffee House and Gallery, 320 Third Ave, Seward. Please join us to learn about this year’s Poems in Place project and to listen to Alaskan poet Joan Kane and local Seward writers read. Music, refreshments and conversation follow the reading.
  • A Conversation Between Alaskan Landscapes and Poetry. Saturday, February 7th from 3 to 4:30 pm, Seward Community Library & Museum Community Room, Seward. Please come help us discover nominees for this year’s Poems in Place project. Wendy Erd will present images of this year’s parks: Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park, Kodiak and Caines Head State Recreational Area, Seward. Then dive into a selection of anthologies and poetry books featuring Alaskan poets to find relationships between a place and a poem. Tea and cookies provided.
  • For more information about Poems in Place please visit
  • For more information about kickoff events please contact

Writers’ Showcase at 360 North, KTOO, Juneau is accepting submissions for their March show. The theme is Journeys. Deadline is February 27. They are fairly liberal with theme interpretations, so if you have any kind of journey: actual, figurative, symbolic, abstract, or theoretical, please let them know. Speaking of theoretical, they tend to receive mostly creative non-fiction so fiction would be most welcome. Essays and short stories should be about 10 minutes long when read aloud. Please submit to arts [at] and let them know of any publication history or rights. Click here for details.

Reading and Craft Talk with Rachel Weaver. March 1, Juneau. Details to come.


Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference: Minneapolis, April 8-11. Discounted preregistration rate available through February 12. Details here.

Win $500 to Attend a Writer’s Conference, Festival, Center, Retreat, or Residency
Each year, AWP offers three scholarships of $500 each to emerging writers who wish to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency. AWP maintains a comprehensive list of these events and opportunities in the Directory of Conferences & Centers. Winners and six finalists will also receive a one-year individual membership in AWP. This year’s judges are Xu Xi for creative nonfiction, Matt Bell for fiction, and Sandra Beasley for poetry. Enter via Submittable now until March 30, 2015.

2015 It’s Always Something Teen Writing Contest: Gilda’s Club created the contest for teens in Washington State ten years ago. During that time we have received more than 1,600 essay submissions and awarded over $90,000 in prize money.
This year we are opening the contest to teens in Alaska in grades 9-12. The contest invites teens to share their stories about cancer or another serious illness in personal essays of 500 to 2,000 words. Their stories can be about their own experience of a personal diagnosis or about the experience with the diagnosis of a loved one, a schoolmate, or a friend. Contest winners will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize. The deadline to enter the contest is March 20, 2015. More information on the contest and the submission form can be found on our website at
The mission of Gilda’s Club is to face cancer together. Gilda’s Club offers a community based program of social, emotional and educational support for men, women, teens and children living with cancer along with their families and friends. Programs are offered with collaborating partners in varied locations such as hospitals, community centers and schools. Services are provided free of charge.

Registration for the Muse & the Marketplace 2015 is now available via a brand-new website here.
The 14th annual Muse & the Marketplace conference takes place May 1st – 3rd, 2015 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. The Muse 2015 features over 110 craft and publishing sessions with an amazing lineup of authors, including Lynne Barrett, Charles Baxter, Richard Blanco, Rafael Campo, Joy Castro, Robert Cohen, Benoit Denizet-Lewis, Rebecca Goldstein, Joe Henry, Alice Hoffman, Ann Hood, Maya Shanbhag Lang, Elinor Lipman, Sue Miller, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Celeste Ng, Qais Akbar Omar, Steven Pinker, Heidi Pitlor, Roxana Robinson, Anita Shreve, Brando Skyhorse, Justin Torres, and many more, including the GrubStreet National Book Prize winner in Fiction, to be announced in early March. These authors will join over thirty “A La Carte” presenters from around the country who proposed a wide range of “muse” and “marketplace” topics from writing the graphic novel to understanding book sales algorithms.

Volunteer Blog Coordinator needed at 49 Writers, training provided: This is a great opportunity to have contact with with a wide range of writers. The volunteer blog coordinator makes sure a post runs each weekday on the 49 Writers blog, along with updating the featured author sidebar and promoting the blog on the 49 Writers Facebook page. There’s a nice system in place, with some regular items like the Friday round-up and the monthly featured author.
On average, it takes ten hours a month to keep the blog up to date, a little more if you end up writing an original post here or there to fill in. If you’re reliable, responsible, pay attention to detail, know (or can readily learn) the Blogger platform, and communicate well, 49 Writers needs you! Before Deb Vanasse, our longtime Blog-ess, moves on to new projects. she will train you! What more could a fledgling (or experienced) blogger want?
So come have a turn at keeping us connected via the 49 Writers blog. Fill out a volunteer form today, and in the “tell us about you” spot, mention your interest in the blog coordinator position.

2015 Public Invitation for a Poem in Place: For the third and final project year, Poems in Place 2015 seeks one poem to place in Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park in Kodiak, and one poem for Caines Head State Recreation Area in Seward. Alaskan residents are invited to submit up to 3 poems in total. There is no submission fee. Poems should be either original work, a poem written previously or written in response to this invitation; or a nominated poem: the work of an Alaskan poet, either living or no longer living. Submissions accepted Feb. 1 – April 1. Click here for more info.

Mineral School is a new artists residency located in Mineral, Washington. During summer 2015, they will offer three two-week residency periods to writers of poetry and prose, providing accepted applicants with space and time to create new work without the interruptions of normal life. They areaccepting applications from January 15 through February 25, 2015 (Midnight, EST) for the 2015 summer residencies. Notification will be given roughly two months before the residency period for which you’ve applied. More information and applications are available here.

Rasmuson Foundation Awards: The 2015 Individual Artist Award application period is now open. Over the past decade, Alaska artists have received $2.7 million in grants through the Individual Artist Award Program. The Award recognizes the role artists play in bringing inspiration to their communities. Guidelines and application materials are available here. The deadline is March 1.
There are three award types:

  • Project Awards of $7,500 support short-term projects in all disciplines that have a clear benefit to the artist and development of their work (visit page 5 of the application for more information. Disciplines include: choreography, crafts, folk and traditional arts, media arts, music composition, discipline/new genre, literary arts/scriptworks, performance art, presentation/interpretation, and visual arts).
  • Fellowship Awards of $18,000 are available to mid-career and mature artists of rotating disciplines. For 2015, Fellowships will only be awarded in choreography, crafts, folk and traditional arts, literary arts/scriptworks, and performance art.
  • Distinguished Artist Award, a single award of $40,000 (selected through a separate nomination process).

The deadline for this year’s UAA/Alaska Dispatch Creative Writing Contest is fast approaching. Go to for complete rules, list of prizes, and submission guidelines and send your best fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Deadline is Feb. 10, 2015, 5:30pm. Winners will be announced in mid-May.

Statewide Poetry Contest 2015: Alaskan poets of all ages are encouraged to enter up to four poems. Contest includes divisions for Elementary, Middle School, High School and Adults. Winners will receive cash prizes and be featured at the Poetry Contest Winners Literary Reading. Joan Kane, award winning author from Anchorage, will judge the contest this year. Deadline is March 2, 2015 at 6 pm. More information here.

Savor the Rising Words: Poetry Broadside Invitational in honor of National Poetry Month, Members of 49 Writers and past or present participants in 49 Writers workshops are invited to submit poetry broadsides for display at Great Harvest Bread Co. throughout the month of April 2015 in honor of National Poetry Month. Featured poets will be encouraged to read their works during a public event at the bakery at a date and time to be determined. Broadsides in the exhibit will be available for sale and proceeds will be donated to 49 Writers. Deadline: Friday, March 20, 2015. Click here for details and the entry form.

Going to Left Coast Crime: Crimelandia? Portland, March 12-15. Here’s what’s new: Author/Reader Connections. Left Coast Crime wants to make it easy for authors to connect with readers and vice versa! So we’ve created Author/Reader Connections. It might be lunch or dinner, a quiet drink, a walk through town or something equally fun. These connections are free.Check out all the opportunities and sign up now.

Cirque was founded to give writers (and artists) of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest more places to publish their work – and as a vehicle to bring the best writing of the region to the world. The next Cirque deadline is March 21st (the equinox). The submission address is

Scroll to Top