Round Up of News and Events

49 Writers is teaming up with the Machetanz Art Festival to bring writers to the festival on June 6. The day will start with a panel discussion on the current state of writing in Alaska, followed by workshops on fiction, poetry and screenwriting. 

We’re working on the 49 Writers fall class schedule. Let us know if there’s a topic you’d like to see covered, or you’d like to teach a class. You’ll find instructor guidelines on our website.
Happy writing


Alaska Quarterly Review Launch Party: Spring & Summer 2015 Issue. May 15, 7pm at the BP Energy Center, 900 E. Benson Blvd. Readings by featured Alaskan Poets Gary Holthaus & Susanna Mishler, Gaza: The Land Behind the Fence photographs & essay by Eman Mohammed, Music by Sharman Piper. Free admission – Suggested donation $20.

House of the WayWord Poets at In-Tent-City, May 16, 4–10. With open mic, runs amok poetry lounge, Cirque reading, random acts of poetry, poetry behind the curtain, poetry games and more. Located in Ship Creek, the site of the historic Tent City, In-Tent-City will be an event open to the general public paying homage to the original Tent City of Anchorage. In-Tent-City will be laid out with 16 white wall tents activated by artists and community groups. Tents will feature the art, craft, food and history of our town. Come and celebrate the Anchorage Centennial, listen to live music, enjoy local food, beer and wine!

Special event for Poetry Parley: Former Alaska Poet Laureate, Joanne Townsend, will be in Alaska the last week in May. The May Parley will move to the 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.



Author events at Fireside Books, Palmer

  • Tara Willis, Saturday, May 16 at 11:30am. Tara started writing “Carry Me Home” when she was 14. Now, this novel about a family picking up the pieces after a tragedy, and about old secrets coming to light, has grown in scope, and she anticipates two more novels to follow this one. 
  • Roger Woods, Saturday, May 23 at 2pm. Roger first landed in South Central Alaska in 1945. His book, “Treasure Alaska” is the story of a colorful people “with their strengths and their foibles tempered by the environment in which they have lived.”
  • Robert H. Armstrong, Friday, May 29 at 11:00am. Bob Armstrong has pursued a career in Alaska as a biologist, naturalist, and nature photographer since 1960. He is the author of the best-selling book Nature of Southeast Alaska and numerous other popular and scientific books and articles on the natural history of the state. He lives in Juneau, Alaska.
  • Timothy Bateson, Saturday, May 30 at 11:30am. Timothy’s short story appears in the new anthology: .Across the Karman Line. 
Open call for writers in Homer: reading opportunity with Emily Johnson/Catalyst. Deadline: Friday, May 22, 2015 at 5pm. Submit: Between 8 and 10 minutes of finished work (poetry, prose, short story, song, spoken word) related to HOME, PLACE, LAND. This can be interpreted widely. They are looking for work that speaks to our inherent connection to and disconnection from home, place, land, each other. How: Please submit finished work as one PDF to Write SHORE READING SUBMISSION in the subject line. Include a cover page with your name and contact  information (email, phone) and links (youtube, vimeo,etc) to your performed work, if possible. Applicants mus be available to read/perform the submitted work at 7:30pm on June 9th at Bunnell St Arts Center as part of Emily Johnson/Catalyst’s performance project, SHORE in Lenapehoking. 5 – 6 applicants will be selected and paid a performance stipend.
Machetanz Art Festival writing panel and workshops, June 6, at the Mat-Su College campus. Preregistration required.
  • Writers Panel: Is This the Golden Age of Alaskan Writing? 9-10:30am. Panelists: Deb Vanasse, Don Rearden, Julie LeMay
  • Poetry: The Mysterious and the Obscure. 10:30-12pm, Instructor: Julie Hungiville LeMay
  • Unleashing the Screenwriter Within. 1-2:30pm. Instructor: Don Rearden
  • Saturday, June 6—1:00-2:30 PM
  • Windows on Your Characters: Strategies for Compelling Fiction. 2:30-4pm. Instructor: Deb Vanasse
  • Spoken Word Poetry Slam Workshop for High School. 6-7:30pm. Instructor: Trey Josey
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,


Woosh Kinaadeiyí’s 2nd Annual Spring Showcase at Juneau’s Rockwell on Friday, May 15th, 7pm. The event features five local poets who will perform some of their best work set to musical compositions by guitarist and pianist Alex Marvel. Performing poets include Selma Houck, Dee Jay DeRego, Michael Christenson, Ziggy Unzicker, and Kristina Paulick. Tickets include a five course meal from Rockwell. Proceeds from the event benefit Woosh Kinaadeiyí, a nonprofit organization committed to diversity, inclusive community, and empowering voice. Woosh Kinaadeiyí is best known for organizing monthly open mic and poetry slams for the community.  Learn more at Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased at

Literary Happy Hour, May 17, 4:30 – 6 pm, at Coho’s Bar and Grill in Juneau. 49 Writers is pleased to announce that Stuart Archer Cohen will read from his latest novel, This is How It Really Sounds. Stuart, an author of four novels, lives in Juneau. His latest book, along with the three others, has received great reviews. This event is free and open to the public. No-host bar. This event will take place in a private room in the back of the bar/restaurant.

Songwriting Workshop – Source and Setting, Wednesday, May 20, 2015 – 6:30-8:30pm at Sitka Sound Science Center. Resident Fellow Leah Abramson will host her second songwriting workshop, this one about drawing on sources and settings for inspiration in songwriting. The workshop will take place in the Sitka Sound Science Center, and participants will draw on materials there as they craft their songs. During her time in Sitka, Leah is working to draw on research about killer whales to influence her writing, incorporating the vocabulary of the whales into her songs. She’ll talk about her own process in the course of this workshop. All are welcome to attend! By donation.

The Sitka Story Lab is a place where young Sitkan writers ages 7-19 can tell their stories, practice their writing skills, and unleash their imaginations. The programs are free of charge and open to everyone. They believe that storytelling is an essential art form, especially for young people. It builds confidence, fosters important skills, and strengthens interpersonal connections. They aim to empower youth to think creatively and express themselves with clarity and purpose. The Sitka Story Lab is sponsored and created by the Island Institute and is a brand new program for the 2014-2015 school year.


Community Writers Group Critique, May 17,*  1-4 pm, in Bear Gallery, Fairbanks. Learn how to get involved with this dynamic group of Alaskan authors- Email for more info. *Note meeting has been pushed back one week due to Mother’s Day. 

Alaska Writers Guild Meeting, May 19, 7pm, Bear Gallery. Write Your Novel Now- Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Find out how Emma L Haynes generates her story ideas and her strategies for capturing them on paper. Emma has three self-published works; Siobhan, an IA’s Adventure (sci-fi novel), and two poetry collections, Poems from the Heart and Hearts Shatter. She is almost ready to publish the first book in her fantasy series and is currently working on a story/world building workbook to help writers create awesome worlds. For more information about the Alaska Writers Guild in the Interior, contact AWG’s Interior Chapter President, Laura Lancaster for more information at For more information about the Interior Chapter visit  



The Achievement and Assessment Institute (AAI) will be holding two writing workshops in Alaska this summer, one in Anchorage in June and the other in Fairbanks in July. They develop material for the Alaska Measures of Progress as well as other reading assessments, and participation from Alaskan writers helps ensure quality passages that relate to Alaskan students. Writers can apply to either workshop by filling out a brief survey. They’d like to have a mix of educators and established writers as well as students in these workshops and will be selecting applicants based on the strength of their writing samples and background.

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.

Scroll to Top