Round Up of News & Events

The independent bookstore lives.

A couple of years ago, The Atlantic Magazine published an article about Parnassus Books, an independent–and successful–independent bookstore started by author Ann Patchett and two veteran booksellers.

Now Vered Mares is planning a bookstore with a cafe and music stage in Spenard. She envisions a place to enjoy a late night cup of joe, find some reading material (with a focus on Alaskan authors), and meet friends. Something to look forward to! Check out the story on KTVA.

Summer will soon be here, and with it comes the season of writers conferences, retreats, and residencies. Alaska hosts some wonderful opportunities with the Northwords Symposium, Kachemak Bay Writers Conference, the Last Frontier Theatre Conference, the Wrangell Mountains Writing Workshop and residencies, Alaska Writers Guild Conference, and the Tutka Bay Retreat. I wish I could attend them all! Details and links below.

Happy Writing!


  • Historical Research Sources for Writers with Lawrence Weiss, April 4, 9-12pm. Explore online and local sources for historical research of narrative material and images. The focus will be on Alaska materials, but many of the resources are national in scope. We will review national newspaper archives, UAA and State of Alaska historical holdings, federal holdings, community museums and historical societies, interview techniques, and other sources for historical material for writers. Our priority will be free and low-cost resources. 
  • How to Publish Your Book on Kindle with Lawrence Weiss, April 18, 9-12pm. A practical review of how to format a book for publishing on Kindle, how to submit the book for publication, and how to monitor the book once published. We’ll start with a brief overview of the world of electronic publishing. We will also discuss how to format for Smashwords and how to submit. Smashwords is kind of a “middleman” broker that then gets your book onto itunes, Barnes and Noble, and several other sites world-wide. Finally, we will spend a little time discussing marketing your ebook. 
  • Writing in 360 Degrees with Don Rearden, April 23, 6-9pm. No one lives in a setting, a life doesn’t happen in a setting. Learn how to advance your fiction andn non-fiction to the next level by giving your writing a 360 degree transformation. In this workshop you’ll be guided through a series of fun writing prompts that will help you understand and see the world your characters live in a new light. Learn how to craft complex and detailed environments and watch your characters come to life within their new realm of existence.
Savor the Rising Words: 49 Writers and Great Harvest Bread Co. invite you to a Poetry Reading in Honor of National Poetry Month. Thursday, April 16, 7-8:30pm. Great Harvest Bread Co. 570 East Benson Blvd. Poets and artists from across Alaska have submitted original works to the Savor the Rising Words Poetry Broadside Invitational Exhibit on display at Great Harvest through April. Come enjoy this unique opportunity to view the broadsides on display and hear the poets read their work. Broadsides will be available for purchase. Stop by during regular business hours to check out the cool exhibit.
Events at the UAA Bookstore: all events are informal, free and open to the public.
  • April 8, 5-7pm. Gretchen T. Bersch and Carole Lund present No Small Lives: Handbook of North American Early Women Adult Educators, 1925-1950.
  • April 14, 5-7pm. Linda Dunegan, author of The Price of Whistleblowing and one of the highest ranking female officers in the Alaska Air National Guard, presents Scandal of the Military. 
  • April 15, 5-7pm. UAA Undergraduate English Students: Reading and Writings

Author Visit at Loussac: Live via Satellite Join Susan Jane Gilman live via OWL! Gilman is the author of Kiss My Tiara: How to Rule the World as a Smart Mouth Goddess, Hypocrite in a White Pouffy Dress, Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, and The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street. She’ll be speaking about her writing process, the jump from non-fiction to fiction, and more! Thursday, April 16th at 7pm in the Public Conference Room (1st floor) at Loussac. For more information contact Stacia at

Poetry Parley: Join Dorothy Parker & Friends for “A Night at the Algonquin.”
Thursday, April 16th, 6:30-9pm, at the Hugi-Lewis Studio (1800 W. Northern Lights Blvd.), Time Travel Literary Club will join forces with Poetry Parley to celebrate the iconic wits and wisecrackers associated with 1920s and the Algonquin Round Table. FREE! Performance of an excerpt from “Park/Bench,” a play by Jocelyn Paine, introduces Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley, with Appearances by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Edmond Wilson, Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot, Amy Lowell and others, They are looking for a few volunteers to play these characters. Contact for more info.

Beyond the Stacks fundraiser at Loussac Library: The Friends of the Library is looking for authors to be VIP waiters for our annual Beyond The Stacks fundraiser on April 17, 2015. Contact Anna Breuninger (907-301-1233).

Crosscurrents: Alaska Writer Laureate Frank Soos and panelists Eva Saulitis, Susanna Mishler, and David Stevenson. A wide ranging discussion about how writers present themselves on the page in poetry and essay, as opposed to the people they may be in the rest of their lives. Wednesday, April 29, 7pm at the Anchorage Museum.



Revision Intensive with Andromeda Romano-Lax. Sunday, April 5–Saturday, May 16.Online, asynchronous. Register here.

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, 2015. $10 for YARWA members ($20 for non-members). Register:


Side Burns: Homer writers’ social. April 10, 7pm. Upstairs at Alice’s.

Don’t forget to register for 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,


Literary Happy Hour: a new monthly event in Juneau. Sunday, April 26, 4:30-6pm, Coho’s, 51 Egan Drive. Free – No Host Bar. Readings by Libby Bakalar (author of the Juneau-based blog One Hot Mess) and Geoff Kirsch (Juneau Empire columnist and humorist).  These two writers (who happened to be married) are truly funny!  Check out their work by clicking on their names. See you at Coho’s!  


Fairbanks Arts Association Literary Reading Series: UAF Creative Writing granduate student will read from their latest work. April 4, 7pm. Bear Gallery, 3rd floor Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts, Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way.



2015 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) Artist Fellowship. Deadline: April 6, 2015, 5pm PST. For more informaiton:

Call for Submissions: Brandish, a collection of essential writing about life and work in rural Alaska. Projected publication, Summer 2016. Submit your writing of Rural Alaska: memoir, poetry, essay, social commentary, bright ideas, and system critique, (and if you can’t say it straight), try fiction, to:

Call for articles: The next issue of Mystery Readers Journal (Volume 31:1) will focus on Murder on the Menu: Food Mysteries. Looking for reviews, articles and Author! Author! essays. Reviews: 50-250 words; Articles: 250-1000 words; Author! Author essays: 500-1500 words. Author essays should be first person, about yourself, your books, and the ‘food connection’. Think of it as chatting with friends and other writers in the bar or cafe about your work–and food. Add a 2-3 sentence bio/tagline. Deadline: April 10. Send to: Janet Rudolph, Editor.

Kimberlie Grady is a University of Colorado Denver Senior who publishes three online magazines: Kids’ Stories Worth Publishing, Rejected: Stories Worth Publishing, and Denver Stories Worth Publishing. Kids’ Stories Worth Publishing is an online magazine where the stories are written by kids ages 5-17. Submission guidelines here​. Any submissions received before April 10th will be included in the April 17th University of Colorado Denver Research and Creativity Symposium exhibit. She is also accepting submissions for Rejected: Stories Worth Publishing. Contact at if you have further questions.


A Taste of Theatre Festival exposes, educates and entertains a divers audience of professional, intermediate and novice playwrights, thespians and staff members. Playwrights compete by showcasing once scene of their play. October 9-11, Chicago.


Tutka Bay Writers Retreat features two outstanding guest instructors, Ann Eriksson and Gary Geddes! Friday, September 11 through Sunday, September 13, 2015 at the fabulous Tutka Bay Lodge. General registration opens on April 6.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference: Minneapolis, April 8-11.  On Thursday, April 9 at 5pm, The Great Land: Alaskan Writers & Presses, offsite reading, featuring Linda Martin, Jeremy Pataky, Adam Tavel, Sherry Simpson, Eva Saulitis, David Stevenson, and Deb Vanasse. At the Minneapolis Community & Technical College on 1501 Hennepin Avenue, Room L3000. Free and open to the public.

The Wrangell Mountains Center residency program aims to support artists of all genres, writers, and inquiring minds in the creation of their work. Our organization and community will provide unrestricted work time and space to focused individuals. We invite applicants with creative and inquisitive minds who will both add to and benefit from the interdisciplinary efforts at our campus in McCarthy, Alaska and the surrounding Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Visit the website for details.

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, Homer, AK, June 12-16, 2015: 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.

Alaskan teachers, authors, and creative writing students are invited to participate in Summer Passage Writing Workshops: Writing for Alaska’s Assessments. Learn from experienced writing instructors and
gain valuable writing experience, while creating
passages with authentic Alaskan voices and
topics for the assessments in grades 3-10, the
Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP). Workshops are free but limited to 30 participants each. Click here to apply for either workshop, please visit   Participants will be selected based on strength of writing samples and experience. Two separate workshops: June 15-19 at University of Alaska Anchorage and July 13-17 at University of Alaska Fairbanks. Achievement and Assessment Institute, 785.864.1594,

Wrangell Mountains Writing Workshop presents RiverSong with Frank Soos, Michelle McAfee, Robin Child, and Nancy Cook, July 22-27, 2015 – 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 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 eight student writers/ songwriters.

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

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