Literary Roundup | April 13-19, 2018

Thanks to everyone who turned out for the fantastic AQR launch last week. We’re excited that Ron Spatz, AQR Editor, is teaching a Demystifying Literary Journals class for us this weekend — lots of folks have signed up, which hopefully means lots of Alaskan work will be landing on editors’ desks in the coming months! 

Also coming up soon is the kickoff to our third iteration of Danger Close Alaska. This six-part series will be a wholly different take on our joint efforts with Alaska Humanities Forum to bridge the military-civilian divide through creative writing. It’s going to be fun and yummy (pizza’s included). Sign up and help spread the word, particularly to your friends and family who serve or have served in the armed forces. 

We’re also excited to have opened up the Tutka Bay Writers Retreat application. This year’s instructor is Hannah Tinti, a fabulous writer and instructor. Don’t delay!



ANCHORAGE | April 2018 | The UAA Campus Bookstore will be hosting three literary events in April 2018.

  • Thursday, April 19, from 5-7 PM: Professor Rebeca Maseda Garcia presents Gender and Violence in Spanish Culture: From Vulnerability to Accountability. The book features contributions from various specialists in violence and gender disciplines and offers an interdisciplinary approach to the debate on patriarchal violence. An editor of the book, Garcia is Associate Professor of Spanish at UAA.
  • Friday, April 20, from 46 PM: George Gee presents Flutters from Side Street: Dry Erase Drawings, Social Discourse, and Political Ramblings. In 1992, George Gee and his wife Deborah Seaton opened Side Street Espresso, on G St. in downtown Anchorage. Soon the daily white boards for the cafe mirrored the intensity of contemporary American culture with social and political caricatures and commentary. In 1997 he began to preserve the artwork, which resulted in the book, Flutters from Side Street: Volume One, Dry Erase Drawings, Social and Political Commentary, and Reflections From A Morning Walk To Work.
  • Saturday, April 21, from 1-3 PM: Author and artist Mary Ida Henrikson presents The Mystery of the Fire Trees in Southeast Alaska, with Dr. Steven Langdon and Lael Morgan. Mary Ida Henrikson, born and raised in Ketchikan Alaska, learned that she had an ancient cedar on her property that appeared to have been altered for fire storage. Soon she discovered dozens of other centuries-old trees with deeply burned interiors. After much research, investigation, and speculation, Henrickson wrote The Mystery of the Fire Trees, An Artists Quest for an Ancient Truth, recently published by Epicenter Press.

ANCHORAGE | Sunday, April 15, 2018 | Demystifying Literary Journals will be a 2-hour class taught by Ronald Spatz, founding editor of Alaska Quarterly Review. With a focus on literary magazines, the class will help students with their own submissions build a strong cover letter, learn about the market, and learn strategies to get noticed by current magazines. All experience levels welcome. Fee: $35 / members: $28. Learn more and register here.

PALMER | Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 5-9 PM | Adrianne Strickland and Michael Miller present their anticipated new book Shadow Call, sequel to the popular Shadow Run. Release and signing will be held at 5 PM at Fireside Books (720 S Alaska St), followed by launch party and hors d’oeuvres at 7:30 PM at Turkey Red. $5 fee for the latter. Facebook event

ANCHORAGE | Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 6 PM | Poetry Slam: The Love Session. Presented by Perseverance Theatre and held at the 49th State Brewing Company, cash prizes for top 3. To participate, contact Shirley Mae Springer Staten at Official advertisement here.

ANCHORAGE | Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 7 PM | Poetry Parley at Writer’s Block. Featured Alaska poet David McElroy presents his new book, Just Between Us, honoring poets of influence Richard Hugo, Mary Oliver, and James Wright. McElroy lives in Anchorage and recently retired as a commercial pilot of small planes in the Arctic in support of wildlife research, industry, and wildfire control. If you would like to join Poetry Parley as a reader or featured poet, email

ANCHORAGE | Thursday, April 26, 2018, 5:30-7 PM | Danger Close Alaska 2018 | 49 Writers and the Alaska Humanities Forum are proud to present the 2018 offering of Danger Close Alaska, the third consecutive year of joint programming with the goal of building a literary community of civilians and veterans. This year, Danger Close Alaska will take place one night a month, for six consecutive months, beginning in the community room at Hearth, next to Middle Way Cafe on Northern Lights. Over an hour and a half of pizza (included) and drink (not included), participants will tackle one craft issue per session and conclude with a generative writing exercise, facilitated by a 49 Writers or Alaska Humanities Forum mentor. Registration is open for each session; participants need not have attended prior sessions to participate.

During this first session, join currently-serving veteran and writer Matthew Komatsu at Hearth for a community-building evening of food, drink, discussion, and writing around the topic of fear. Over Hearth’s outstanding fare and beverage selection, we will discuss ways to write about our fears, read how others have done so, and then turn to some generative writing prompts. During our time together, we’ll cover a couple of techniques, to include the elusive “objective correlative” (writing scene to convey emotion), finding powerful action verbs, and the use of pacing. Finally, we’ll put our learning into practice, so bring your favorite writing tools and at the end of the night, those willing can share what they’ve generated. Learn more and sign up.

ANCHORAGE | Thursday, April 26, 2018, 7 PM | David Stevenson is holding a launch party for his new novel Forty Crows at Writer’s Block, 3956 Spenard Rd

ANCHORAGE | Friday, April 27, 2018 | Anchorage Museum’s Unbound Book Club will meet to discuss The Discovery of Slowness by Sten Nadolny. Unbound Book Club explores art, science, history, design and culture through fiction and non-fiction Friday evenings. Books are available for purchase in the Museum Store. Book club discussion is included with museum admission (free for members) and is part of the museum’s Unbound experimental literary series.

WASILLA | Saturday, April 28, 2018 from 7:30 AM-Noon | Mat-Su Young Writers Conference is in need of several more volunteer writers. Participants will have the option of leading workshops and selling their books. Contact Sharon Russel at 761-4140 (day), or email Event located at Sherrod Elementary School, Palmer. Learn more in this blog post

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, April 28, 2018 from 10AM-12:30 PM | Anchorage Imagination Library Free Family Event: craft activities inside and outside, reading of Little Owl’s Night written by Divya Srinivasan, and book swap. Free for families with children 0-5 yrs. Located at the Campbell Creek Science Center, 5600 Science Center Dr. For more information see the Facebook event or call 907-297-3305.

ANCHORAGE | On Saturday, May 5, 2018 in conjunction with the Spring Friends of the Library book sale, Z. J. Loussac Library will host their first ever Local Author book fair. Authors and illustrators will be featured in the atrium of the library for this one-day local author sale. Authors can begin registering on Monday, February 12 at 10 am. Spots will be on a first come, first reserved basis. Learn more and register here.

ANCHORAGE | May 11-13, 2018 | Passage Writes: Stories from Alaska Birth-Moms. Passage Writes is hosting a writing workshop for birth-moms who have made adoption plans for their children. Their stories need to be told, as they are missing from our public narrative. 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 | 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.








JUNEAU | Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 6:30-8 PM | Bjorn Dihle will read from his book Never Cry Halibut, a collection of humorous and thoughtful short essays about hunting and fishing in Alaska. Accompanied by photographs, each story reflects Dihle’s 3-decade relationship with the wildest places left in North America as he interacts with brown bears, wolves, wilderness, commercial fishing, and the nearly forgotten act of harvesting food from the wild. Located at Hearthside Books & Toys, Nugget Mall & 254 Front St.

WRANGELL | Friday, April 20, 2018 from 7-8:30 PM | Tidal Echoes Launch. Wrangell writer Vivian Faith Prescott will read and Juneau artist Chris Taylor will discuss his recent work. Copies sold at the door for $5. Facebook event

JUNEAU | Friday, April 20, 2018 at 7 PM | Launch reading for Tidal Echoes, featuring Vivian Faith Prescott and writers from all across the region. Located in the Egan Lecture Hall, UAS.

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. Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, 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.

TUTKA BAY LODGE | The 9th Annual 49 Writers Tutka Bay Writers Retreat with Hannah Tinti will take place September 7-9, 2018. Applications are being accepted now; don’t delay! 



Permafrost Magazine | 2018 New Alchemy Contest deadline April 15, 2018. All formats welcome. $500, publication, and web feature prizes. More details.

Scholarships to Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference 2018 | Deadline May 1, 2018, at 5 PM | Scholarships cover $395 registration fee only; transportation, activities, housing, etc. are the recipient’s responsibility. Applicants must submit a letter describing why they want to attend the conference and reasons for scholarship assistance. Details. Email application to:

ANCHORAGE | Tuesday, May 1, 2018 | Deadline for Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) awards is May 1. This award aims to creature a better Alaska through the spoken and written word. Since 1993, the CLIA awards have been presented by the Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska’s liaison with the U.S. Library of Congress Center for the Book. The awards go to people and institutions who have made a significant contribution in literacy, the literary arts, or the preservation of the written or spoken word. Nomination forms, a list of previous winners, and more information are available on ACB’s website at, or call (907) 764-1604.

Alaska Women Speak is now accepting written submission and cover art ideas for the upcoming Summer 2018 issue, Walls. Deadline is May 15, 2018. Details

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 

Thank You for Your Support! 49 Writers members and donors make this blog, our workshops, Crosscurrents events, Readings and Craft Talk series, and other special programs and activities possible. Not a member yet? Join Us

Memories! Elliot Ackerman, an instructor in our 2016 Danger Close Alaska Civilian & Veteran Writing Workshop with some very insightful guidance for our veteran writers. Photo: Matthew Komatsu 

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