Round Up of News & Events

Congrats to Deb Vanasse, whose novel Cold Spell was a Montaigne Medal finalist for the current Eric Hoffer Award season! The Montaigne Medal is given in honor of the great French philosopher and awarded to the most thought provoking titles each year.

As we head into the glorious long days of summer, most folks’ head turn toward the Alaskan obsession: all things outdoors. Writerly events slow down for the summer, but keep an eye out for some fun things coming up in July.

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


Official Anchorage Centennial Legacy Book Signing: Charles Wohlforth, author of From the Shores of Ship Creek, will be signing books at Barnes & Noble, May 8, 6pm.

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 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 presentsThree 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. 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.



Former Anchorage journalist and current professional blogger Donna Freedman has launched an online course called Write A Blog People Will Read. “Your blog can do more than merely entertain. It can be a translator, hand-holder and game-changer – but only if it gets read,” says Donna, who wrote blogs and columns for MSN Money and Get Rich Slowly for seven years. She’s now on staff at Money Talks News and freelances for numerous other websites and for magazines like Consumers Digest and Woman’s Day; in addition, she blogs about writing at and about midlife and money at 
The 12-part course may be accessed online at any time, and you can move through the lessons as quickly or as slowly as you like. Normally it costs $147, but Donna is offering a 49% discount to 49 Writers. Request this discount by e-mailing  


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.



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 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.

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