Literary Roundup | November 2-8, 2018

Happy Winter everyone! At least it feels that way. Daylight savings time ends this weekend, the light is fading quickly, there’s frost most everywhere, and there’s finally snow in parts of the state. As we dip into our darker months, we’re making room for some writing exploration. Coming up soon: John Straley comes to Anchorage (details below) for a reading and a class. In December, Canadian poet and novelist Joanna Lilley will visit Juneau, Cordova, and Anchorage for what we’re calling our first “milk run” literary tour. Are you a member of 49 writers? If so, thank you! Members will be getting invited to our special December literary fundraising fête soon. Not a member? It’s certainly not too late to join and be part of the fun.

49 Writers CLASSES

ANCHORAGE | TuesdayNov. 17, 2018 from 10 am – 4 pm | More Than War Stories: Practical Steps to Write and Publish Your Book with John StraleyLocation to be announced, but it’ll be in midtown/Spenard area. Members or full time students: $69 | General enrollment: $78 Cap: 12 | All experience levels. Registration is open. In this full-day course, novelist and poet John Straley will break down and address the different kinds of discipline necessary to complete and publish your book. We will work on writing pitch letters, which helps one focus on what the book is really about. We’ll examine the importance of opening paragraphs and query letters. We’ll also discuss research, drafting, revising, working with editors, editing on one’s own, and we’ll touch on finding suitable publishers.

Please note: We’ll also present John Straley in a reading and signing on Friday, November 16, 2018, 7 PM at the Writer’s Block Bookstore & Cafe. See below.


ANCHORAGE | November 2018 | The UAA Campus bookstore is holding several events during the month of November 2018. All events are free and open to public. Two events have been announced this week:

  • Wednesday, November 14, 2018 from 4-6 PM | Professor William Schneider presents The Tanana Chiefs: Native Rights and Western Law. The book chronicles the efforts by Alaska Native people to gain recognition for rights under Western law and the struggles to negotiate government-to-government relationships with the federal government and contains the first full transcript of the historic meeting held in Fairbanks in 1915. William Schneider is Professor Emeritus Alaska and Polar Regions Rasmuson Library at UAF. Since 1972, he has worked with Alaska Native elders to preserve traditional oral stories and history through Project Jukebox, Digital Branch of the UAF Oral History Program.
  • Friday, November 16, 2018 from 4-6 PM: Children’s book authors will talk about the Alaska Native traditions they share through writing modern children’s stories. Topics will range from who “owns” a story, to bridging urban-rural and generational divides, to working with illustrators and publishers. Authors present will be:
    • Barbara Jacko Atwater and Ethan J. Atwater (How the Raven Got His Crooked Nose); Barbara was raised in the village of Pedro Bay in southwest Alaska. A retired teacher, she has worked with her son Ethan to share the stories passed on to her by her great-uncle, respected Dena’ina elder Walter Johnson.
    • Phyllis Adams (Gingerbread Moose and Alaska Boots for Chelsea). She was born in Fairbanks and raised in Nenana. A retired Anchorage schoolteacher, her first stories were created for her grandchildren, to share traditional values adapted to contemporary settings.
    • Cindy Baldwin (Sarah’s Days). She grew up in the Athabascan region of Alaska, with Yup’ik, Aleut, German and Russian ancestry. Her children’s picture book is a cautionary tale about enjoying nature within limits.

ANCHORAGE | Friday, November 2, 2018 from 5:30-6:30 PM | Adrienne Lindholm is presenting her new book, It Happened Like This. The book is a coming of age memoir that takes readers on an intimate journey into adulthood, and into the depth and comfort of wilderness. Book launch will be held at Red Chair Cafe, 337 E. 4th Ave. Complementary hors d’oeuvres will be at 5:30 with presentation and cash bar from 6-6:30. Visit for more info.

ANCHORAGE | Friday, November 2, 2018 from 6-7 PM | Alaska Native Heritage Month: 2018 Guggenheim Fellow Joan Naviyuk Kane will read from her sixth book, Sublingual, to be published in November, and from her seventh book, Another Bright Departure, forthcoming in March 2019. This reading will continue the work of indigenous writers across the circumpolar north across political and artistic borders. Kane is an Inupiaq poet who grew up in Anchorage. Reading will be held at the Anchorage Museum at the Rasmuson Center. Facebook event

ANCHORAGE  | November 16, 2018: John Straley Reading & Signing at The Writer’s Block Bookstore and Cafe, 7 pm, FREE. John Straley has written ten Alaska novels plus several books of poetry. Straley has lived in Alaska forty-two years and was the twelfth Alaska Writer Laureate. Born in Redwood City, California, he grew up in the Seattle area and attended high school in New York City. Straley trained, with encouragement from his parents, to be a horseshoer. He attended Grinnell College before transferring to the University of Washington for a degree in writing. After college and a stint in Eastern Washington, he followed his wife to Sitka, Alaska in 1977. After moving through a number of jobs he became a private investigator. In 1985, he became a staff investigator for the Alaska Public Defender’s office in Sitka, a position he held until 2015. As an investigator, he continued to write. After being turned down by numerous publishers, in 1991 he received a tip from friend and anthropologist Richard Nelson that New York City-based Soho Press was interested in detective fiction novels. Upon submitting his manuscript for The Woman Who Married a Bear, Soho Press expressed interest in his work. His successful run of Cecil Younger mysteries has garnered critical acclaim.

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, November 27, 2018, 8-11 PM | Anchorage’s First Annual Zine (fan magazine) show! Come to see a variety of self-published works by various artists. Held at Anchorage Community Works. Facebook page



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

JUNEAU | November 2018 | NaNoWriMo is here! (That’s National Novel Writing Month.) Every November, writers nationwide use this month as inspiration to start and finish a brand-new novel, and the Downtown Library wants to help! See the Facebook event and website for more information.

JUNEAU | November 23-24, 2018 | APK Marketplace: a venue for authors and artists to sell their work. For more information, visit or call Sarah at 907-209-5970.


FAIRBANKS | Saturday, November 3, 2018 from 6:30-8 PM | Voices of the Region: The Alaska Women Speak Journal 2018 Fall Reading Series will feature Alaska women reading their own works. Reading to be held at the Fairbanks Arts Association in the Bear Gallery. For registration to read your work, see the OPPORTUNITIES section below or see their website page here.


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

WGBH Scriptwriting fellowship: learn to write for a TV series! WGBH is a broadcast center in Massachusetts that is seeking out Alaska Natives to use their own experiences to develop narratives. Learn more and apply here. Fellowship will take place in early November 2018. Scripts will be used toward a new children’s animated series called Molly in Denali.

Alaska Women Speak Winter 2018 Submissions: currently accepting prose, poetry and cover art possibilities for the Winter theme “Stoking the Fire.” Deadline November 15, 2018. Visit their website for more information and to submit.

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

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

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