Round Up of News & Events

Congratulations to Sherry Simpson, who won the 2015 John Burroughs Medal for nature writing for her book Dominion of Bears: Living with Wildlife in Alaska. She’s the author of two previous books, The Way Winter Comes: Alaska Stories, winner of the 1997 Chinook Literary Prize, and The Accidental Explorer: Wayfinding in Alaska. She’s an associate professor in the UAA Creative Writing & Literary Arts program.

Registration is open for the Tutka Bay Writers’ Retreat with Gary Geddes and Ann Eriksson. Details and register online at the website.

I having a great time at the AWP conference in Minneapolis. The Book Fair alone could take days to explore. Exhibitors include journals and publishers offering contests and open for submissions, plus retreats and conferences. In the coming weeks, I’ll include these opportunities gleaned from the AWP Book Fair. 

Happy Writing!


We Came to Stay: Anchorage Untold Stories, two free Anchorage Centennial events. 
Performance, April 11, 7:30pm, UAA Wendy Williamson Auditorium. An evening of dynamic storytelling: our cultures, our dances, our music, our languages, Anchorage our home.  This multimedia performance explores a deeper understanding of what it means to create a sense of place.
Storyshare, April 19, 3-5pm, Loussac Library Innovations Lab, 4th Floor. Bring a dish and your own story to share as we explore how you decided to set roots in Anchorage, created a sense of place, and reached beyond to become part of the larger community. 

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.

Alaska One-Minute Play Festival: 60 New Plays by Alaskan Writers, April 12-14, 8pm at the Sydney Laurence Theatre. The One-Minute Play Festival (#1MPF), a NYC-based theatre company,  is America’s largest and longest running short form theatre company. They have partnered with Perseverance Theatre to bring this amazing festival to Alaksa. #1MPF is a baromoter project, which investigates the zeitgeist of different communities through dialogue and consensus building sessions and a performance of many moments. #1MPF creates locally sourced playwright-focused community events, with the goal of promoting the spirit of radical inclusion by representing local cultures of playwrights of different age, gender, race, cultures and points of career. The work attempts to reflect the theatrical landscape of local artistic communities by creating a dialogue between the collective conscious and the individual voice. Tickets at CenterTix.

Events at the UAA Bookstore: all events are informal, free and open to the public.
  • 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
  • April 28, 5-7pm. Andrea Gregovich, translator of USSR: Diary of a Perestroika Kid, presents Readings and Craft Talk. She’ll  discuss her work with Russian author Vladimir Kozlov, the creative process for literary translations, and her work with contemporary Russian writers.

Alaska Writers Guild, April 15, 7pm, Loussac Public Conference Room. Kathleen Tarr will speak  on “What a Dead Trappist Monk Taught Me About Writing: My Journey Through Spiritual Memoir with Thomas Merton.”

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.).Contact for more info.

49 Writers Classes. Find full information on the 49 Writers website.

  • How to Publish Your Book on Kindle with Lawrence Weiss, April 18, 9-12pm
  • Writing in 360 Degrees with Don Rearden, April 23, 6-9pm
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.



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:


The Living Room: Stories for Grownups, Friday, April 10, 7pm in the back room at Jitters, in Eagle River.  Hear stories and poems from people in our community who love all things literary. Free, with refreshments served afterwards. Come mingle with other writers and readers. Sign up to read or just come and listen. 

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

Fireside Books, Palmer, April 11, 11am. Meet Kaylene Johnson and Dick Griffith. Dick Griffith is the quintessential Alaskan outdoorsman, and Kaylene Johnson has written the definitive biography of him. Here’s your chance to meet them both. Kaylene was last month’s featured writer for this blog.

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,


In honor of Poetry Month (APRIL!), please join the Burn Thompson Writing Group for a Poetry Reading. Sunday April 19, 2-4:30pm, downtown library conference room. They have space for a few more readers. Contact Sarah if you’re interested at Refreshments will be served.

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!  


Statewide Poetry Contest Literary Reading, April 11, 7pm. Admission free. Bear Gallery, 3rd Floor, Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts, Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Rd., Fairbanks, Alaska. Please join Fairbanks Arts Association in celebrating the winners with a literary reading and reception to celebrate poetry. Everyone is invited. The winners will read their poems. All poets are invited to attend and read their poems if time allows. Please RSVP to to read. If you are not able to be in Fairbanks, you can call in. The winners are listed on their website.



Cirque is looking for a poetry editor. If you are interested please send a brief bio siting your poetic and editing experience. If interested, contact Sandy Kleven at  These are the incentives:  1) You can add this role to your bio.  2) You will be listed on the masthead. 3) We try to give a gift always – generally an art print from a Cirque contributor. 4) We introduce you at the launch and other readings. 

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:

Cyclamens and Swords is accepting poetry submissions on relationships for their August edition; also short stories on any subject. Click here for submission guidelines. is looking for submissions for the May issue – fiction of all styles, poetry, essays and other assorted writings, and book promotions. 

Gleanings from AWP

Rock & Sling seeks the highest quality work, work which embraces, wrestles with, argues with, celebrates and brushes up against our ideas of faith, whether it be on the cultural or personal level. In the words of the journal’s founders, “an accepted Rock & Sling submission may not even make explicit reference to Christianity, but it will maintain a universal spiritual curiosity.” Above all, they desire work which seeks beauty and excellence, in form and in meaning, and explores the boundaries of what we know to be true. Seeking poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, graphic art and comics, art and photography, reviews, how to pack for church camp.

Oversound considers submissions between September 1 and April 30. Send three to five poems (of any length) as a single .doc or .pdf attachment to oversoundpoetry at gmail dot com along with a cover letter and short bio. Be sure to include your name and email address in the header of your submission. Simultaneous submissions are ok as long as we are notified as soon as a poem is accepted elsewhere. We do not accept previously published work.
Bodega Magazine is always looking for new fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Send up to 3000 words of prose or up to 5 poems at a time. They read submissions all year.
Trio House Press is an independent literary press publishing three or more collections of poems annually. Submit full-length poetry manuscripts between July 1 and July 31. $20 submission fee per manuscript.


Gleanings from AWP

Essay Press is launching its first open book contest, with Kristin Prevallet as guest judge. The reading period opens January 16th, 2015 and closes at 9 p.m. on May 1st, 2015. For more information, please go to the link.

Trio House Press is an independent literary press publishing three or more collections of poems annually. They are accepting submissions for the 2015 Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence and the Trio Award through April 30.  


Registration is open for the Tutka Bay Writers Retreat featuring two outstanding guest instructors, Ann Eriksson and Gary Geddes! Friday, September 11 through Sunday, September 13, 2015 at the fabulous Tutka Bay Lodge.

National Arts Strategies: Call for Creative Community Fellows. Application deadline for the second cohort: April 26. Around the world there are artists, activists, community organizers, administrators and entrepreneurs working as change-makers in their communities – using arts and culture as vehicles to drive physical and social transformations. During the nine-month fellowship, fellows are given tools, training and access to a community of support in order to fuel their visions for community change, spark new ideas and help propel them into action. Click here for more information.

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.

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.

Gleanings from AWP

Writing Workshops in Greece: Participants can opt for a two-week or month-long combination of workshops and residency. June 9-24 two week workshop; June 9-July 7 month-long workshop. With Christopher Bakken (food and travel writing), Carolyn  Forché (poetry), Natalie Bakopoulos (prose), Joanna Eleftheriou (Greek language and culture).

The Millay Colony for the Arts offers two-week or one-month residencies to visual artists, composers, and wrtiers between the months of April and November. Resident artists get private rooms, studios, and all meals during their stay at the pastoral campus. Application deadlines: October 1, 2015 for April-July, 2016; March 1, 216 for August-November, 2016.

Split this Rock 2016 Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation and Witness, April 14-17, 2016. Call for Proposals: workshops, panel or roundtable discussions, and themed group readings.  Deadline: June 30, 2015.  For guidelines and to submit, visit

Writers Week at Idyllwild Arts (poetry, fiction, nonfiction), July 6-10. Emerging Writer Fellowships include tuition, housing, meals and fees. Fellowship application deadline: April 15.

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