Round Up of News & Events

Last chance! Submission deadline for Savor the Rising Words Poetry Broadside Invitational in honor of National Poetry Month is today, March 20.

We’ve got two workshops in Juneau next week. On Tuesday, Jeremy Pataky will lead a Reader’s Approach to Poetry. Thursday, Andy Hall will share insights from his long career as a writer and editor in Writing for the Nonfiction Market. 

In Anchorage, check out local writers discussing their works in progress at the UAA Bookstore this afternoon at 4pm. 
And Alyse Knorr will read love poetry and discuss the impact of place in the lyric love poem at Great Harvest Bread on Thursday, March 26.

Happy Writing!


Alyse Knorr Reading and Craft Talk: Locating Loving: the Impact of Place on the Lyric Love Poem. Great Harvest Bread Co., Thursday, March 26, 7-8:30pm. Free event.
UAA Bookstore events in 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.

  • 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 

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

  • 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.



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


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


Jeremy Pataky Book Tour to celebrate publication of his poetry book Overwinter. 
  • Haines Borough Public Library, March 20, 6:30pm. Reception followed by Reading in the Round and Book Signing. Free. 
  • Skagway Public Library, March 22, 3pm: Craft Talk and Book Signing. 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.
Andy Hall will talk about Writing for the Nonfiction Market, including finding a good story topic, identifying a market for your work, and working with editors (who are your friend, even if it doesn’t feel that way). Andy was editor of Alaska Magazine for 16 years and is the author of Denali’s Howl. Thursday, March 26, 6-9pm. $50 49 Writers members/$60 nonmembers. Register online.

It’s a big weekend for the Island Institute! Friday night is our annual spring auction, and on Saturday we’ll be celebrating the first 30 years of the Island Institute and the work of Carolyn Servid and Dorik Mechau.

  • Auction & Pizza Party, Friday, March 20th, Centennial Hall, 7-9pm. $15 (or free if you’ve purchased a ticket to the Saturday night celebration). Featuring live music by Owen and Connor Fulton, lively auctioneers Stefanie Ask and Cassidy Patnoe, and delicious pizza by the Fly In Fish Inn, this event will be a blast. We have loads of amazing items once again this year, and you can see the list of items and donors on the auction page of our website. 
  • Saturday Night Celebration and Retrospective, Saturday, March 21st, Del Shirley Room (Second floor of Allen Hall on SJ Campus), 6-9pm, $40 **MUST RSVP BY FRIDAY!** This Saturday, March 21st, you’re invited to our Retrospective Dinner to honor and congratulate Carolyn Servid and Dorik Mechau on their retirement as directors of the Island Institute. The evening, catered by Ludvigs, will include a look back at 30 years of Island Institute history with talks from speakers Vernita Herdman, Gary Holthaus, David Chrislip, and Don Snow. The evening starts at 6pm on Sheldon Jackson Campus in the Del Shirley Room. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at Old Harbor books or online: You can also read some touching letters that past Island Institute program participants have sent in for the occasion at that page. Please note that we only have a few spots remaining, and that we need RSVPs by Friday at 7pm. A ticket to the Saturday event will also gain you free entry to the auction. 

The UAS Alumni and Development office is bringing Denali’s Howl author Andy Hall (getting great reviews on Amazon) for a Sound and Motion presentation at the Egan Library as part of their 25th Anniversary Celebration, Friday, March 27 at 7 PM.

Literary Happy Hour: a new monthly event in Juneau. Sunday, April 5, 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!  



Savor the Rising Words: Poetry Broadside Invitational in honor of National Poetry Month, April 2015. 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; those not sold will be retained by 49 Writers for future displays or events. Submission deadline: March 20. Click here for full details.

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: March 21st (the equinox). The submission address is

Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize Accepting Submissions: We think of creative nonfiction as flexible, fluid, and expansive, and so we’re looking for essays—lyrical, graphic, familiar, humorous, personal, environmental, travel—that are exploratory, innovative, self-interrogative, meditative, whimsical…in short, work that knocks our socks off. The 2015 judge is Kate Carroll de Gutes, whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review, Pank, Gertrude, Fourth Genre, and other publications. The winning author receives: $1,000 and publication in an upcoming issue. $20 per entry, up to 6,000 words. Reading period has been extended to March 31; entries must be postmarked by March 31. Send submissions to: Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize, 434 Farm Lane, Rm. 235, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1033. Detailed submission guidelines available at

2015 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) Artist Fellowship. Deadline: April 6, 2015, 5 pm PST. The coveted NACF national award includes support ranging up to $20,000 per artist. Awards will be made in six artistic disciplines, including: performing arts, filmmaking, literature, music, traditional arts and visual arts. To apply, artists who are members of federally and state-recognized U.S. tribes, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities can review criteria and complete an application at The foundation will announce award recipients in August 2015. For questions and technical support, contact Program Officer Andre Bouchardat or (360) 314-2421.

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:


Narrative Magazine: Winter 2015 Story Contest is open to all fiction and nonfiction writers. We’re looking for short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest. FINAL TWO WEEKS. Deadline: Tuesday, March 31, at midnight, PST. The Winter 2015 Story Contest is open to all writers, and all entries will be considered for publication. $2,500 First Prize; $1,000 Second Prize; $500 Third Prize; Ten finalists receive $100 each. See the Guidelines. Read prior winners, and view recent awards won by Narrative authors.

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. Submission deadline: April 1.

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.


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.

The Sitka Fellows Program, which awards six residency fellowships to the most promising national and international applicants under the age of 30. Did you know that an Alaskan has never participated in this terrific program? Applications are strongly encouraged from Alaskans, so if you or someone you know is a visionary thinker under 30, please apply! The deadline is March 29th. As posted on their web site: The Sitka Fellows Program brings together some of the most exciting, promising talent across all fields and disciplines to spend a summer residency at the Sheldon Jackson Campus in Sitka, Alaska. We look for visionaries of all stripes: frame-busting, independent thinkers who wish to immerse themselves in their work alongside smart, enthusiastic young people from radically different backgrounds. Residents will live for seven weeks on Sitka’s 137-year old Sheldon Jackson Campus, a National Historic Landmark. Residents receive studio and research space, food, and a community environment in which they can interact with each other as well as with Sitkans. In sum, residents will be free to dedicate themselves to their work and their ideas. This year’s residency will run from July 15-August 30. To learn more and apply, go to:

Going to AWP in Minneapolis? Please make room in your schedule for an exciting reading. 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. What a great way to start your AWP off with a flourish. Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference: Minneapolis, April 8-11. Imagine 12,000 writers in one place!

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.

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