Round Up of News & Events

Hearty congratulations to Fireside Books in Palmer, recipients of a $7500 grant from author James Patterson! They plan to use the money to promote Alaskan authors. Click here for the article at

Juneau is a stunning place, a narrow strip of land snuggled between the mountains and the sea. That’s where I am this week to connect with the vibrant community of writers. Tuesday evening we had an informal meet and greet with 49 Writers members at the Silverbow Wine Bar. We had a lively conversation about their work and the kinds of programming they want to see in their neck of the woods. If they are a representative group, Juneau has a lot of poets who want to know more about getting published in journals!

In September, 49 Writers will sponsor a literary tour of Haines and Juneau featuring Melinda Moustakis, author of Bear Down Bear North. This project is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. I’m meeting with our Juneau partners: the Juneau Public Library, KTOO, and UAS. We get to associate names and face while exploring the details of this exciting project.

Yesterday I attended legislative advocacy training sponsored by Museums Alaska, the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Alaska Arts & Culture Foundation, and the Alaska Historical Society. The main point of the training was to be proactive about advocacy: build relationships with elective official and their staffs to let them know what we do and how it impacts peoples’ lives. I’d love to hear how 49 Writers has impacted your life. After the training I dropped in at the offices of Rep. Lance Pruitt and Sen. Anna MacKinnon and had a great conversation with a legislative aid.

49 Writers events to check out this week: a new Crosscurrents with Andy Hall and David Stevenson, and Deb Vanasse’s Ready to Publish class. If you didn’t catch yeaterday’s blog with Deb’s detailed description of the class, scroll down now and check it out! This looks like a great class for anyone who wants to publish.

What an Opportunity! Do you want to correspond with writers of all kinds? 49 Writers is looking for a new volunteer blog coordinator. Details below.

Happy writing!


Crosscurrents: Andy Hall (Denali’s Howl) joins David Stevenson (Letters from Chamonix) for an onstage conversation about their processes of creating an engaging narrative in prose. What are the unique affordances and challenges of each genre, and where can writers learn from the strategies employed in other genres? February 5, 7-8:30 pm at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center.

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

  • Cultural Roots of Lithuanian and Jewish History, Tuesday, February 3, 5-7pm
  • Wildlife and Alaskans: Life amongs Complex Relations, Tuesday, February 10, 5-7 pm
  • Magic Realism in Literature, Thursday, February 12, 5-7pm

“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.

49 Writers Spring Classes: Anchorage. Registration is open. Find full information on the 49 Writers website.

  • New Class: “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.
  • NEW DATE: Historical Research Sources for Writers with Lawrence Weiss: Saturday, April 4, 9am-12pm. $50 members/$60 non-members.


Cabin Fever Pop-Up Film Series: Homer Edition The Bunnell Street Arts Center in Homer will host the second of three off-site film screenings associated with the Anchorage Museum’s Cabin Fever exhibition. Like Alaskans who suffer through long winters, American experimental filmmakers often work in darkness and isolation. The event features poetry by Erin Hollowell, Bruce Farnsworth, Jeremy Pataky, Eva Saulitis, and Miranda Weiss; films by George Kuchar, Claude, Peter Rose, Renato Umali, Michael Walsh, and Martha Colburn, and Performance by Easy D. Curated by Michael Walsh. January 31, 7 to 9 p.m. Bunnell Street Arts Center, Homer. Suggested give-what-you-can donation.

Juneau’s 49 Writers (Members-Only) Writing Group will meet next Thursday, February 5, from 7-9pm This month, we’ll gather at Missy McMillan’s home located off the Back Loop in the Mendenhall Valley. Along with readings, socializing, eating and drinking, we’ll have several (okay –oodles of) back issues of Literary Magazines and Journal for sale. It’s a great opportunity to see what kind of journals are out there and what they are looking to publish. Have questions about Juneau’s Writing Group or other Juneau-based events? Email:

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.

  • Alaska Poetry Old and New – A Fireside Exploration: Sharing of 100 Years of Alaska Poetry   Wednesday, February 4th, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Kodiak Public Library, 612 Egan Way Lila Vogt will present images of this year’s parks: Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park, Kodiak and Caines Head State Recreational Area, Seward. Explore a selection of anthologies and poetry books featuring Alaskan poets to find a relationship between place and poem. You’re welcome to bring you own books to share. Tea and cookies provided. 
  • Poems in Place Kickoff: An Evening of Poetry. Thursday, February 5th, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Kodiak Public Library, 612 Egan Way, Please join us to read past poems in place and learn about this year’s project. Please bring your own poems to share. Refreshments and conversation after the reading.
  • 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.

Writing the Three-Dimensional Novel or Memoir, a 49 Writers class with Rachel Weaver. March 2 & 3, 6-9 pm. $95 members/$115 non-members. Details and registration here.


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 are accepting 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.

Interested in self-publishing or micropublishing? Larry Weiss wants to connect with other folks who share this interest for a possible discussion group. Contact him at ldweiss at

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 1-15. 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

Pick.Click.Give. to 49 Writers! PFD application time is right around the corner, and that’s your opportunity to Pick.Click.Give.! Your Pick.Click.Give donations support 49 Writers programs around the state. We received almost $2,500 in our first year as a Pick.Click.Give organization. You can help us double that in 2015. Plus, have a chance to double their dividends.
To show our appreciation, 49 Writers is offering incentive gifts to donors:
  • $75 donors will receive an original Alaskan art card from Shorefast Editions in Juneau
  • $150 donors will receive an autographed book by an Alaskan author.
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