Round Up of News & Events

Rachel Weaver  is coming to Alaska for readings and workshops. She used to work for the Forest Service in Alaska studying bears, raptors, and songbirds. Now she’s the author of Point of Direction, a highly-praised novel set on Eldred Rock in Juneau. She’ll be in Anchorage and Palmer this coming week, followed by a few days in Juneau. Check out the details below.

The Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference with keynote speaker Andre Dubus III is coming up June 12-16. Now that may seem like a ways off, but this nationally recognized conference sells out every year. Once it’s full, registration will close. So register early!

Happy Writing!

Online Class Schedule

Distance learning with Andromeda Romano-Lax

A co-founder of 49 Writers, Andromeda Romano-Lax worked as a freelance journalist and travel writer before turning to fiction. Her first novel, The Spanish Bow, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and was translated into 11 languages. Along with teaching for 49 Writers, Andromeda is a faculty member of the UAA low-residency MFA program. She is the recipient of grants from the Alaska Council on the Arts and the Rasmuson Foundation, which named her a 2009 Artist Fellow. She received her MFA and post-MFA in creative writing pedagogy from Antioch University Los Angeles.

  • Anatomy of Scene: Sunday, March 8-Saturday, April 4, online, asynchronous. $195 members/$250 non-members.
  • Revision Intensive: Sunday, April 5-Saturday, May 16, online, asynchronous. $295 members/$350 non-members.

Find out more and register here.


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

  • Writing the Three Dimensional Novel or Memoir with Rachel Weaver. Saturday, February 28, 9am-4pm at 161 E. 1st Ave., Door 15. $95 member/$115 nonmember.
  • Joining the Conversation: Engaging with Poets Past with Sandra Kleven. Thursdays, March 5, 12 & 19 and April 2, 9 & 16, 6-8pm at 161 E. 1st Ave., Door 15. $190 member/$230 nonmember

Reading and Craft Talk with Rachel Weaver: Revising Efficiently: Some Techniques to Save Time. February 26, 7-8:30pm at Great Harvest Bread Company, 570 E. Benson Blvd. Rachel writes, “You’ve been writing furiously for months (or years) and that glorious day comes when you write the last sentence. You’ve finished your first draft, you go out to celebrate, the next day comes and you begin to wonder, now what? Often for writers, what follows is a lot of years of inefficient cutting and pasting and rewriting and moving around and moving back. It’s easy to get caught in addressing surface problems rather than evaluating the backbone of the story from a crafting point of view. In this craft talk, we will discuss some solid techniques to make your revisions as efficient and effective as possible to get your book ready to go out the door in fewer drafts.”

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. Events include

  • Book Discussion with Don Readen, Loussac Library, February 21, 3pm and Muldoon Branch Library, March 7, 3 pm.
  • The Raven’s Gift Reader’s Theatre, Loussac Library-Wilda Marston, March 12, 7pm
  • Book & Brew Rondy, Anchorage Community Works, March 13, 8pm
  • Author Talk, Loussac Library-Wilda Marston, Thursday, March 19, 7pm

March 13th – Jeremy Pataky presents his new book. Hugi-Lewis Studio, 1008 W Northern Lights Blvd. Live poetry from Overwinter, music by Molly McDermott, and book signing. Hors d’ouevres and cash beer + wine bar. Live music and poetry start at 7 pm, doors open at 6:30.

“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.

UAA Bookstore events in February & March. All events at the UAA Campus Bookstore. There are many more events on a wide variety of topics at the bookstore: Click here for details.

  • February 23, 5-7pm: Writing About Climate Change
  • March 16, 5-7pm: Logistics in the Falklands War by Kenneth L. Privratsky
  • March 20, 4-6pm: Local Writers Discuss their Works in Progress with Lizzie Newell, Mel Green, Jessica Ramsey Golden, Sheila Sine, Deb Ginsburg
  • March 23, 5-7 Alyse Knorr and Kate Partridge present Time Travel Poetry


Southcentral, Mat-Su – Kenai Peninsula

BookTalk/Reading: Join author Dave Atcheson as he discusses his latest book: Dead Reckoning, Navigating a Life on the Last Frontier, Courting Tragedy on its High Seas, much of which takes place in Homer: Friday, February 20, 6:30 PM, Kenai Peninsula College, Kachemak Bay Branch, Homer, AK.

Fireside Books invites you to Dinner with Rachel Weaver at the Turkey Red Restaurant, February 27, 2015, 6:30 PM. Meet Rachel Weaver, the author of Point of Direction, a pulse-pounding story set in Southeast Alaska. Point of Direction earned an “Indies Introduce” designation by independent booksellers from around the country. It was also featured in Oprah magazine. We find it beautifully written as well as gripping! You can hear Rachel Weaver talk about her novel while enjoying a fine dinner at Turkey Red! We’ll also enjoy live music with the Feral Cats!
Get your tickets here for $25.00 — or at Fireside Books. If you are a member of the new “Read Alaska Rewards Club” you can buy a ticket with your voucher — on a first-come/first-serve basis of course.

Juneau & Southeast

49 Writers Events

Literary Happy Hour with Rachel Weaver. March 1, 4:30-6pm at Coho’s 51 Egan Drive, Juneau. Reading, craft talk, and libations. Rachel discuss “Revising Efficiently: Some Techniques to Save Time.” 

Writing the Three Dimensional Novel or Memoir: Essential ingredients to Capture Your Reader and Engage an Audience: A 49 Writers Class with Rachel Weaver. March 2-3, 6-9pm at UAS Egan Classroom 221. Free to current UAS students; $95 members of 49 Writers/$115 nonmembers. Registration and Full info on the 49 Writers website.

Island Institute, Sitka, February 23, 7 pm, Kettleson Memorial Library: A Reading and Celebration with Jesse Blackadder and Carol Birrell. They’ll share work from their previous books and articles, and their current work in progress. All are welcome. Jesse’s adult and children’s books will be for sale and Story Lab Coordinator Sally Helm will provide information on after school activities. Carol Birell is an academic, writer, teacher, and environmental artist from the University of Western Sydney. Jesse Blackadder is a previous Island Institute Fellow (2007). She is the author of award-winning adult and children’s novels with environmental themes, and an environmental journalist.

Jeremy Pataky Book Tour to celebrate publication of his book of poetry Overwinter. 
  • Haines Borough Public Library, March 20: Reception followed by Reading in the Round and Book Signing. Free.
  • Skagway Public Library, March 22, 3 pm: Craft Talk and Book Signing. Free.
  • Juneau, Heritage Coffee Roasting Co., March 19, 6 pm: Reading and Signing with Emily Wall. Free.
  • Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, March 24, 6-8pm, Workshop: A Reader’s Approach to Poetry. $30 for 49 Writers members/ $35 nonmembers. Register online.   “Reading poetry is an adventure in renewal, a creative act, a perpetual beginning, a rebirth of wonder,” says the poet Edward Hirsch. Poems require different reading strategies than other kinds of writing. In this short course, we’ll ask not what poems mean, but how they mean, as that common dictum prescribes. We’ll explore the concept of “slow reading” and consider its power in an increasingly fast-paced world. This reading course is suited for non-writers and writers alike. Anyone with a genuine interest in poetry is encouraged to participate.


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.

Publication & Production Opportunities

Writers’ Showcase at 360 North, KTOO, Juneau is accepting submissions for their March show. The theme is Journeys. Deadline is February 27. 

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 cirque.submits at

Fairbanks Drama Association and The Looking Glass Group Theatre invite Alaskan residents to send their best 10-minute plays to be considered for the 15th Annual 8X10 Festival of New Alaskan Plays. Eight ten-minute plays will be given rehearsed staged readings at the Festival, which will be held April 24 & 25, 2015, at FDA’s Hap Ryder Riverfront Theater in Fairbanks. Submission deadline: March 15.

Whitefish Review Mythic Beasts and Monsters: Submissions for Whitefish Review’s summer 2015 issue are accepted in art, photography, fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Editors want you to dig into supernatural history. Nessie, Sasquatch, and cousin Yeti-the Brontosaurus still rumbling somewhere deep in the Congo’s swamps. Fairies, Trolls, Dragons, Gods ‘n’ Demons. Montana’s own Flathead Lake Monster. What natural models are these beasts based on? What human hopes and fears? Why do we seem to wish that those creatures are really out there? Dig deep. What monsters lurk inside us? Submission deadline March 15, 2015.

Soap Stone Creek Literary Journal: a Bi-monthly Print Journal for Children of all Ages debuts May 2015. They are looking for fiction, essays, poetry, artwork, and photos. No deadlines given; check the website for details.

The April issue of Cyclamens and Swords Publishing will be a general issue for poetry and short stories on any subject. Humorous and controversial submissions are welcomed. Submission deadline March 15.

Contests & Grants

Rasmuson Foundation: The 2015 Individual Artist Award application deadline is March 1.

Statewide Poetry Contest 2015: Deadline is March 2, 2015 at 6 pm.

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 forCaines Head State Recreation Area in Seward. Submissions accepted Feb. 1 – April 1.

It’s Always Something Teen Writing Contest deadline is March 20, 2015. More information on the contest and the submission form at

Cahaba River Literary Journal Home for the Holidays Poetry Competition: Call for submissions from new and seasoned writers: stories, poems, essays, and color and black and white photography on all subjects, in any form. Submission deadline October 31, 2015.

Conferences, Retreats & Residencies

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). 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.

Wrangell Mountain Meg Hunt Residency Program Application Deadline: March 5, 2015
Artists and writers of all genres and at all stages in their career are encouraged to apply for one of several two-week residencies. Selections will be made through a competitive admissions process. They encourage emerging and mid-level career voices as well as mature professionals. Selected artists will receive room and board for their entire stay in exchange for community outreach or the donation of artwork as a result of the residency. During the residency, the artist will be asked to share their experience with the public by demonstration, talk, or other means.

North Words Writers Symposium, May 27-30, Skagway. Keynote speaker is Mary Roach, plus a bevvy of Alaska’s best authors. North Words Symposium offers a unique opportunity for writers to nurture interrelationships with other writers and thinkers in a spectacular place. They aspire to build upon a tradition of literature that reflects language and life on the frontier.

Ketchikan Teaching Artist Academy:The Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council is offering a Teaching Artist Academy via the OWL Network. Sessions will be held on Saturday, March 7th from 10am to 6pm at OWL sites in Ketchikan, Craig, Thorne Bay, Petersburg, Wrangell, Cordova, Metlakatla and Hollis. This workshop is meant to support the professional development of currently working teaching artists, and professional artists exploring the addition of teaching artist work to their art practices. For complete information, and registration, visit the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council website at If you have any questions about the Teaching Artist Academy or the Artist in the Schools program, contact Christa Bruce, Education Director or 907.225.2211.

Mineral School Summer 2015 artist residency application deadline is February 25, 2015 (Midnight, EST) for the 2015 summer residencies.

Win $500 to Attend a Writer’s Conference, Festival, Center, Retreat, or Residency
AWP offers three scholarships of $500 each to emerging writers who wish to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency. Enter via Submittable by March 30, 2015 deadline.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference: Minneapolis, April 8-11. Imagine 12,000 writers in one place!

The Muse & the Marketplace 2015 May 1st – 3rd, 2015, sponsored by Grubstreet in Boston.

Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference, June 20-26, 2015. Scholarship deadline: March 15. 49 Writers just received a bunch of brochures for this conference.

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