Round Up of News and Events

Across the country, indie bookstores are celebrating Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, May 2. And there’s a lot to celebrate. In 2009, at the low point of the recession, membership in the American Booksellers Association dropped to 1401, Borders closed, and it looked like brick and mortar bookstores were endangered enterprises.

Instead, independent bookstores started popping up all over. In the last six years, the numbers have increased by 25%. That’s something to celebrate. So on Saturday, visit your local indie bookstore and buy a book!

Happy writing


May events from the UAA Bookstore. All UAA Campus Bookstore events are informal, free and open to the public. There is free parking for bookstore events in the South Lot, the West Campus Central Lot (behind Rasmuson Hall), the Sports Lot and the Sports NW Lot. For more information call Rachel at 786-4782 or email

  • May 7, 4:30-6:00pm: Photographer Ben Huff presents his book The Last Road North
  • May 8, 4:00-6:00pm: Author Stuart Archer Cohen presents his book This Is How It Really Sounds
  • May 10, 4:00-6:00pm at UAA/APU Consortium Library room 307: Glenn Kurtz presents Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film. 

Special event for Poetry Parley: Former Alaska Poet Laureate, Joanne Townsend, will be in Alaska the last week in May. We are moving the May Parley to 4th Thursday to allow her to read as our Alaska poet. She has selected Louise Gallop as the marquee poet. Louise is also of Alaska but died summer of 2013, in her nineties. The date is May 28, 7pm, Hugi-Lewis Studio, 1008 W Northern Lights Blvd.
Joan says this about Louise, “Louise was a fine poet but she never had a book– did so much for the community. She and Bell Benton years back founded the poetry program for the Anchorage elementary schools. Every year the classroom teachers would collect the poems of students, grades one to six. Bell and Louise would choose and edit the poems, lay them out for publication, and the school district would publish Pencils Full of Stars. When Bell passed away, Louise carried on the work alone as a labor of love until the final issue 2006 or 2007. Louise’s fine poems were published in many small journals. Louise and her father had a gold claim for many years way up the road that leads to the peak of Denali and was finally deeded to the national park. She had come to Alaska in 1959 and never left. The big gold nugget in the Anchorage museum is from there; she was a very active museum volunteer until her last days.”



Lynn Lovegreen will lead an online workshop on writing YA/NA historical romance sponsored by Young Adults Chapter of Romance Writers of America (YARWA). Writing YA/NA Historical Romance. Online: May 4-22. $10 for YARWA members ($20 for non-members). Register here.


Meet Linda Dunegan. Friday, May 1 at 4pm at Fireside Books in Palmer. If you’ve been reading the news this past year, you’ve probably seen allegations of corruption and abuse in the Alaska National Guard. Linda Dunegan’s book The Price of Whistleblowing is her own story of working in that institution. It’s an unflinching narrative about standing up in a hostile environment, and it’s a stark commentary on the impact of corruption on national security — and on individual lives.

An All-Day Independent Bookstore Day Party at Fireside Books in Palmer! May 2nd.
They’re celebrating with some some really special bookstore “swag” — collectibles that will only be available at participating independents on May 2nd. They’ll have broadsheet posters created by Stephen King just for the occasion, literary tea cloths and onesies, socks from Christopher Moore. They even have a stencil from Margaret Atwood. And a full day of events. Click on the links to find out more:

10:00 AM Book Art with Anne Prevost
11:00 AM Story-time with Deb Bohm
12:00 Noon One-minute Portraits with Julie Meer
1:00 PM Panel Discussion:“Relationship Advice from Writers with Deb Vanasse, Timothy Bateson, Kris Farmen, and Jackie Ivie
2:00 PM Bluegrass music with Anna Lynch
3:00 PM For Writers: A panel discussion on publishing with Eowyn Ivey, Deb Vanasse, and Vared Mares.
4:00 PM Booksigning with Heather Lende.

Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, June 12-16. 2015’s keynote speaker is Andre Dubus III, and there are a host of amazing writers on the faculty this year (as there are every year). This year’s post-conference workshop at Tutka Bay Lodge, Finding the Geography of Our Work, will be led by 2014 Kingsley Tufts Award winner Afaa Weaver, June 16-18,


Perseverance Theatre and the Juneau Public Library, and 49 Writers invite you to meet Madeline George, author of Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England. May 1, 12pm at the Juneau Public Library Downtown. Bring a bag lunch and chat with Madeline about the play, writing, and her life as a writer. Madeline is the author of two young adult novels as well as several plays. She is a resident playwright at New Dramatists. The event is free and open to the public. Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England opens May 1 at Perseverance Theatre and runs through May 24. Tickets are available at Hearthside Books and the JACC and by calling 463-TIXS. Visit for information about pay-as-you-can and preview performances.



Now accepting submissions! Compassion = commiseration, mercy, tenderness, heart, clemency. Compassion is the Summer 2015 theme for Alaska Women Speak. The deadline for entries is May 15th. Also seeking cover art for this issue. Please email:


The Tutka Bay Writers Retreat is half full. Don’t miss out on a fantastic retreat featuring two outstanding guest instructors, Ann Eriksson and Gary Geddes! September 11-13 at the fabulous Tutka Bay Lodge.

The Wrangell Mountains Center residency program aims to support artists of all genres, writers, and inquiring minds in the creation of their work. Their 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 their campus in McCarthy, Alaska and the surrounding Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

North Words Writers Symposium, May 27-30, Skagway. Keynote speaker is Mary Roach, plus a bevvy of Alaska’s best authors.

Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, June 12-16, 2015 in Homer: keynote speaker is Andre Dubus III, and there are a host of amazing writers on the faculty this year (as there are every year).

Last Frontier Theatre Conference, June 14-20, in Valdez, features new work by playwrights from around the country. There are evening performances, 10-minute play slams, even a fringe festival. The deadline is past for play submissions, but they may still need actors.

Wrangell Mountains Writing Workshop presents RiverSong with Frank Soos, Michelle McAfee, Robin Child, and Nancy Cook, July 22-27, McCarthy to Chitina. The Wrangell Mountains Writing Workshop is pleased to partner with McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters to host a six-day, five-night adventure in the fabulous Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This year’s workshop will feature poet and essayist, Frank Soos, who is currently serving as Alaska’s Writer Laureate, joined by accomplished singer-songwriter Michelle McAfee, backcountry banjo-diva Robin Child, and workshop director Nancy Cook. Together they 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 eight student writers/ songwriters.

Alaska Writers Guild & SCBWI Annual Writer’s Conference, September 19-20, Anchorage. Early registration starts May 2015.

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