Literary Roundup | May 11-17, 2018

This week we celebrate the arts in Alaska by celebrating the 2018 cohort of Rasmuson Individual Artist awardees. Congratulations, everyone! What an amazing group. In the near future, you’ll hear more about a new collaboration between 49 Writers and the Rasmuson Foundation to profile recipients of individual artist awards.

Did you know that last month’s meeting of Danger Close Alaska sold out? We’d love to have you join us this month. Details below. Applications are coming in for the Tutka Bay Writers retreat with guest instructor Hannah Tinti. Attendance is limited to just 16 participants. Also, if you’re in Juneau, save the date for our upcoming class with Nicole Deiker: Getting Started as a Freelancer on  June 11.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you.



ANCHORAGE | May 11-13, 2018 | Passage Writes: Stories from Alaska Birth-Moms. Passage Writes is hosting an adoption-themed writing workshop. The group is looking for women to fill 20 spots in order to ensure a wide range of voices. The workshop is open to all of Alaska’s birth-moms, regardless of writing ability. Click here for details and here for Facebook page.

ANCHORAGE | Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 7 PM | Poetry Parley: M.C.MoHagani Magnetek will be reading works from poet Maya Angelou. A veteran of the US Coast Guard, Magnetek has a variety of degrees and is working on her MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Arts at UAA. She has published in anthologies such as Building Fires in Snow and Queer Magic: Power Beyond Boundaries.

ANCHORAGE | ThursdayMay 17, 2018 from 6:30 – 8 PMReflections on Attu: Art Show and Reception at Anchorage Public Library. Join USFWS Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge for a slideshow and talk by author Nancy Lord followed by a reception and art show opening.

ANCHORAGE | Friday, May 17 2018, 6:30 pm| Perserverance Theatre is holding an evening of Russian Folktales facilitated by Elena Farkas at the ZJ Loussac Public Library. Tickets to will be drawn for performances of Snow Child.

ANCHORAGE | Friday, May 25 – Sunday May 27 | Perseverance Theatre at the PAC is offering five performances of the musical Snow Child based on the Pulitzer-nominated novel by Alaskan author Eowyn Ivey.

ANCHORAGE | Wednesday, May 23, Danger Close Alaska with Don Rearden We’re proud to present the 2018 offering of Danger Close Alaska, the third year of joint 49 Writers and Alaska Humanities Forum programming meant to build a literary community of civilians and veterans. Everyone is welcome to attend. This year, Danger Close Alaska takes place one night a month for six consecutive months. Advanced registration is open for each session; participants need not have attended prior sessions to participate. Fee includes gourmet pizza.

ANCHORAGE | May-June 2018 | The University of Alaska is holding three literary events in the coming weeks:

  • Tuesday, May 22, from 1-3 PM | Author Ray Hudson presents “Fact and Fable in a Novel about the Aleutian Islands,” where he will read selections from his new novel, Ivory and Paper: Adventures In and Out of Time. Rachel Mason will present “Honoring the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Attu.” Hudson lived in Unalaska from 1964-1992, where he taught various subjects in the public school and coordinated the Indian Education Program. Mason is Senior Cultural Anthropologist at the National Park Service and editor of Nick Golodoff’s memoir, Attu Boy.
  • Thursday, June 21 from 1-3 PM | Tim Kennedy presents “Skyriver Project: Where the Rivers Meet the Sky: A Collaborative Approach to Participatory Development.” The event will highlight how the Lower Yukon Project used film-making as a vehicle for their participatory development goals. Kennedy was the director of the Lower Yukon Project, in Emmonak, in the early 1970s. This experience was the subject of his book, Where the Rivers Meet the Sky: A Collaborative Approach to Participatory Development.
  • Thursday, June 21, from 5-7 PM | Craig Childs presents his new book, Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America. The book chronicles the last millennia of the Ice Age, the violent oscillations and retreat of glaciers, the clues and traces that document the first encounters of early humans, and the animals whose presence governed the humans’ chances for survival. Childs has won the Orion Book Award (among several other awards), holds a BA in Journalism from Colorado University, is a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition, and has taught writing for the UAA MFA Program.


JUNEAU | June 11, 6:30 pm | 49 Writers Workshop – Getting Started as a Freelancer
How do you get started as a freelance writer? Is it possible to turn freelancing into a full-time job? Nicole Dieker is in her sixth year of full-time freelancing, and she’ll teach you everything she knows about how freelancers make money; how to pitch (even when you don’t have clips); how to build a freelancer schedule that combines writing, pitching, networking, and administrative work; and how to grow your earnings over time. Register online.

Instructor bio: Nicole Dieker is a freelance writer, the editor of “The Billfold,” the host of the “Writing & Money” podcast, and the author of The Biographies of Ordinary People. Her freelance work has appeared in “Lifehacker,” Popular Science, “The Toast,” and numerous other publications.

WRANGELL | Flying Island Writers & Artists group meets every other Monday 6:30-8 PM. Contact Vivian Faith Prescott for more information

HOONAH | June 30 – July 6, 2018 | Environmental Rhetoric: A 3-credit course through University of Alaska Southeast. Join professor Dan Henry at Inian Islands institute for this intensive course on environmental Rhetoric and become a stronger, more persuasive environmental leader. 12 participants. Fee: $400. Meals, lodging, and transport from Juneau provided. For more info please contact professor Dan Henry at and include a short paragraph on what the class could do for you.




PALMER | May 11-13, 2018 SCBWI Alaska’s 2nd Annual Alaska Big Thaw Retreat For all Authors: picture book, middle grade, young adult, adult literature, and illustrators at the Knik River Lodge.  Workshops by Stephen Barr of Writers House Lit. Agency, optional critique groups and loads of quiet writing and illustrating time, optional professional critique, AK cuisine, a cabin, a classroom yurt with a wood burning stove, and amazing views, and more. Register

SKAGWAY | May 30 – June 2, 2018 | North Words Writers Symposium in Skagway is now taking registrations for its 2018. Pico Iyer is the keynote writer. Other faculty include Juneau Writer Laureate and Ernestine Hayes, Portland novelist Willy Vlautin, Juneau poet Emily Wall, Ketchikan writer-artist Ray Troll, Washington writer Colleen Mondor, and Fairbanks writer Frank Soos. Features include author panels, writing workshops, and outdoor activities. Limited to 40 participants. Organizers include Buckwheat Donahue, Jeff Brady, Daniel Henry, and John Straley. For more information, click here.

HOMER | June 8-12, 2018 | Registration is open now for the seventeenth annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference. Held in Homer, Alaska, this nationally recognized writing conference features workshops, readings and panel presentations in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and the business of writing. Keynote presenter Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize winner and National Book Award finalist, will be joined by fifteen other writers, poets, and publishing industry professionals. Optional manuscript reviews, agent/editor meetings, post-conference workshop at Tutka Bay Lodge and boat cruise. Scholarships available. All information and faculty bios at our website:  The deadline for “early-bird” registration rate is May 1st.

MCCARTHY | July 26-29, 2018 | Women and the Frontier: Memoir writing workshop. Participants will discover some of the women who traversed Alaska’s frontiers, with artist-in-resident Marianne Monson, the author of Frontier Grit. Through a variety of writing exercises, discussion, and on-location prompts, participants will explore the concepts of wilderness and frontiers in our own lives. Meals and lodging included. Fee: $445. More info and registration here.

TUTKA BAY LODGE | The 9th Annual 49 Writers Tutka Bay Writers Retreat with Hannah Tinti will take place September 7-9, 2018.

This generative writers retreat blends craft talks, in-class writing, readings, and discussion with unstructured time to experience the immersive natural environment or concentrate further on writing.

Your weekend of instruction and inspiration will take place at Tutka Bay Lodge, named by Fodor in 2012 as one of the World’s Top 100 places to stay. Tutka Bay is a remote and rugged fjord characterized by soaring mountains, secluded beaches, old growth forest, and dramatic tidal fluctuations. To get there you fly or drive to the fishing community of Homer on the Kenai Peninsula (225 miles south of Anchorage) then take a 20-minute water taxi ride across Kachemak Bay. On the way you will observe a variety of shore and water birds, and there is always the possibility of sighting sea otters, orcas, and humpbacks.

Hannah Tinti is the author of three books of fiction. Her short story collection, Animal Crackers, has sold in sixteen countries and was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway award. Her best-selling novel, The Good Thief, is a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, recipient of the American Library Association’s Alex Award, winner of the The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club’s New Voices Award. Her new novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, was published in March 2017 by The Dial Press (U.S.A.) and Tinder Press (U.K.), and has been optioned by director Matt Reeves/6th & Idaho, producer Michael Costigan/Cota Films & Endemol Shine. It has been nominated for an Edgar Award, and was named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, The Washington Post and Paste Magazine.

Applications are being accepted now. Don’t delay! 


Alaska Women Speak is accepting submissions for its summer issue up through May 15. Alaska women have stories to tell. Alaska Women Speak is the journal devoted to their expression of ideas, literature, and art. Details and submissions here.


McRoy & Blackburn Publishers of Ester has recently released a new novella by Eric Forrer of Juneau, Colors of the Morning Skyto excellent reviews in Alaska newspapers. The Southeastern-set tale has illustrations by Lue Isaac of Seattle and Juneau.

What’s missing? Submit your announcement for the next Roundup. Send an email with “Roundup” as the subject to 

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2 thoughts on “Literary Roundup | May 11-17, 2018”

  1. Strange I personally know of three Alaskan authors who have had successful books and yet there is no mention of writers who live in Livengood, Fairbanks or the far North of Alaska.

    It must mean all the ‘important’ writers live in the Seattle of the North…… Anchorage.

    1. Amy O'Neill Houck

      Hi, Pete! Thanks for your comment. Our roundup is reader-driven, so we look forward to hearing from you when events are happening in your area. It sounds like you might have missed some events we’ve shared in the past happening all over the state including Fairbanks, Seward, Haines, Sitka, Skagway, Homer, and so many more places. If you want to make sure to see the roundup you can sign up to have it delivered to your email inbox using the form on the right of this page —>. Cheers, –Amy

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