Literary Roundup | July 27 – August 2, 2018

Lots of literary fun this week around the state–we’re pretty excited about the upcoming Comic Drawing and Graphic Novel Intensive offered to youth in Girdwood. We especially wanted to highlight the call for Alaska Literary Award applications by the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation in partnership with the Alaska State Council on the Arts. This annual award recognizes literary excellence in Alaska. Last year’s awardees were Mary Katzke, Anchorage, screenwriter; Lily Tuzroyluke, Point Hope, fiction; Vivian Prescott, Wrangell, poetry; Matthew Komatsu, Anchorage, creative nonfiction; Don Rearden, Anchorage (raised in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta), fiction. The awards began in 2014, and you can find the full list of awardees on the Alaska State Council for the Arts web site. The application deadline for 2018 is coming right up on August 19. Here are details on how to apply.


ANCHORAGE | July-Sept, 2018 | Danger Close Alaska: programming meant to build a literary community of civilians and veterans. One night per month for six consecutive months (three remaining), Danger Close will focus on food, drink, discussion, and writing on different topics, shared between veterans and civilians. See event details and register on 49 Writers website page.

  • August 22: Stay tuned for more information.

ANCHORAGE | Tuesday, July 31, 2018 from 5:30-7:30 PM | The Shadows in My Heart: book presentation and signing event with author Mary Havens, in partnership with AWAIC (Abused Women’s Aid In Crisis). Havens advocates against domestic violence and sexual abuse and is Alaska’s Ambassador for (National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse). Event will be located at Writer’s Block, 3956 Spenard Rd. Facebook eventPlease click image to enlarge. 

  • Mary Havens’ next scheduled event will be on August 17, 2018, from 3-5 PM at the Wasilla Public Library.

ANCHORAGE | August 2018 | UAA has several literary events upcoming in August. All events are free and open to the public, with free parking in the South Lot.

  • Wednesday, August 1 from 12-1:30 PM: Mystery author Keenan Powell presents Deadly Solution with author Stan Jones. Deadly Solution is the story of an Anchorage public defender fighting for an Alaska Native man accused of beating another homeless man to death. Powell herself is a practicing attorney in Anchorage. She received a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Communication Arts from San Francisco State University. Jones is author of Tundra Kill and White Sky, Black Ice, and many others.
  • Thursday, August 2, from 4-5:30 PM: Tom Sexton presents part 2 of “From Verse to Free Verse,” a talk concerning Alaskan poetry from 1867 until 1966. (Part 1 was recorded at the UAA bookstore on October 24, 2017.) Sexton is professor emeritus of English at UAA and was Alaska’s Poet laureate from 1994 until 2000. He has published many books of poetry including For the Sake of Light, from the University of Alaska Press.
  • Friday, August 3, from 12-1:30 PM: Cuba in Poetry: History and images. Caroline Streff and Professor Ray Ball discuss their experiences conducting archival and library research in Havana and writing historically informed poetry. Streff’s poetry focuses on the complex issues related to the Revolution’s redistribution of physical space. She majored in English and International Studies at UAA. She plans to study Latin American rhetoric in graduate school. Dr. Ball’s poetry concerns the ways the history of colonialism intersects with how history is told and retold on the island. She is Associate Professor of History at UAA, a published poet, and author of Treating the Public: Charitable Theater and Civic Health in the Early Modern Atlantic World. Facebook event.

GIRDWOOD | Monday-Friday, August 6-10, 2018 | Girdwood Fine Arts Camp: A week-long class on writing and drawing comics with Anchorage cartoonist Lee Post, journalist Julia O’Malley, and book binder Jimmy Jordan. The camp will be focused on writing and drawing graphic novels and comics: For four hours per day, students will work with experienced comic and writing professionals. They will be introduced to drawing techniques including character design, perspective and thumbnailing. The class will be lead by visiting artist John G. John, a Cleveland based cartoonist known for his work on the Lake Eerie Monster. He will be accompanied by Anchorage-based journalist Julia O’Malley and cartoonist Lee Post. Julia will teach writing alongside John, taking what she knows about breaking down complex stories and finding what is important and compelling, and translating it to plotting graphic fiction. Lee will share his unique style of character design and other drawing tricks, many of which he has honed through other teaching artist gigs. Ages 10-18. Learn more on the community website here.


PALMER | Alaska State Fair 2018 dates: August 23 – September 3 | Alaskan authors, illustrators, and publishers can have their books available to 300,000 Fair participants, and we’re looking for more books to showcase! There will be multiple avenues for book marketing and promotion in addition to sales at the booth. For more information check out:


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


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. Apply now! 

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 MagazineApply now!  


Deadline: Sunday, August 19, 2018 at 9:59 PM AST | The 2018 Alaska Literary Awards Application is open! The Awards recognize and support writers of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, and mixed genres. Any Alaska writer over the age of 18 who is not a full-time student is eligible to apply and quality of the submission is the primary consideration for the award. Deadline for submission is Sunday, August 19, 2018 at 9:59 PM AST. For more information and to submit, visit the Alaska Arts & Culture Foundation website here.

Alaska Writers Guild‘s quarterly writing contest, open to members and non-members alike, is open for children’s lit through August 24, and poetry through November 16, 2018. Sadly, submissions for fiction are closed. More details:

Hometown Reads is in Anchorage! A website dedicated to locating authors near you, Hometown Reads has a section for Anchorage. Sign up to have your book displayed and join the Facebook page to brainstorm ways to advertise and sell books locally. Check it out at

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