Literary Roundup | April 21-May 4

Have news, events, or opportunities you’d like to see listed here? Email details to info (at), preferably with “Roundup” as the subject. Items might get edited for length. Your message must be received by close of business the Wednesday before the roundup is scheduled to run at the latest. Unless your event falls in the “Opportunities and Awards” category, it should occur no more than 30 days from when we receive your email. Thanks! 49 Writers Statewide Roundup appears biweekly, on the first and third Friday of each month. If your short-notice event occurs between a missed deadline and an upcoming Roundup, email us a heads up anyway, and if we can help spread the word in other ways, we will.  


Michael Engelhard‘s essay collection American Wild just won the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards’ bronze medal for travel writing. Following Bob Dylan’s lead, the author will not travel to NYC to receive the award in person.

Alaska author Rosemary McGuire‘s book Rough Crossing won the Riverteeth Literary Nonfiction Prize and is now available! (See ad in sidebar)

49 Writers has just one class ahead during our Spring term… Screenwriting with Douglass Bourne in Anchorage in May… and our Tutka Bay Writers Retreat will be here before we know it this September, along with a fall and winter line up of classes and events. Stay tuned, and get in touch if you want to propose a class to teach or have any input about what you hope we schedule.

Stream this West Texas Talk radio interview by Laura Copelin with Joan Naviyuk Kane, the current Lannan Fellow. Kane is a poet from Anchorage, Alaska and is the author of the poetry collections Milk Black Carbon (2017), Hyperboreal (2013), which Arthur Sze chose for the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, and The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife (2009). Her honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award and a Creative Vision Award from United States Artists as well as fellowships and residencies from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the Rasmuson Foundation, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and the School for Advanced Research.
We invite submissions to our new Active Voice blog series. Suitable crossposts and formerly published pieces are welcome, assuming you retain the rights.

Anchorage | Monday, April 24 from 5-7 pmKate Troll presents The Great Unconformity: Reflections on Hope in an Imperiled World at UAA Campus Bookstore. The book is an adventure memoir wrapped up in the global events of sustainability and climate change. Kate Troll is an activist on the front line of climate change. With twenty-two years of experience in fish politics, coastal management and energy policy, as well as being an elected official, her insights, advice, and guidance—including “hope spots”– on how to proceed in our changing times will be shared. Free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.

Anchorage | Wednesday, April 26 from 5-7 pmThe Life and Poetry of Randi Owens | A poet since childhood, Randi Owens shares her three collections of poetry dated 1969-1973, 1974-1995, and 1996-2016. As a young child Randi survived the death of both her parents and a disparaging upbringing by writing poems, reading books, and discovering that “there is more to life than what I was living”. Her poetry lives beyond the page and is full of deep thoughts, meaning, and emotion. Everyone is encouraged to attend this event. Free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.

ANCHORAGE | April 27, 2017 at 7 pm, at Great Harvest Bread Co. (570 E. Benson) | National Poetry Month reading featuring poets participating in the 3rd Annual Savor the Rising Words Poetry Broadside Invitational ExhibitMore info about the exhibit and reading.


The 2017 Mat-Su Young Writers Conference, April 29, sponsored by Publication Consultants and the Mat-Su School District

Registration is open for a Screenwriting class in ANC with Douglass Bourne on May 6, 2017.  Learn more and register now! Also, Doug’s screenplay The Mountain in Alaska won an Honorable Mention at the 2017 Mountain Film Festival and also won the Feature-Length category in The West Field Screenwriting Awards (WFSA), who describe this season as being “WFSA’s largest competition to date, with scripts from four continents and over twenty countries!”

3rd Annual Alaska Audiobook Narrator’s Workshop, presented by Basil Sands. “This could be your ticket to making a good living as an audiobook narrator. Thousands of new audiobooks are being produced every year and the demand keeps growing. And with modern technology, narration work that was once only available if you lived in LA or NYC is now available even here in Alaska!” Friday, May 26, 2017, 9 am until 5 pm, Alaska Communications Business Technology Center, Anchorage. $150. If you are interested email to basil at basilsands dot com with your name and an indication of your experience level, if any, in the following areas: audiobooks, stage acting, on camera acting, radio work. | Read his blog post about it



Poetry at the Dredge at ChatanikaApril 29, 2017, 2-4 pm, Mile 29 Steese Highway | Fairbanks Arts invites you to an open air, open mic celebration of poetry and lyrics! Bring poetry to read or an instrument to accompany your song lyrics, a picnic lunch, a cushion or camp chair for comfortable seating, lots of warm clothes, and maybe a blanket or two. Fairbanks Sketchers will also be drawing at the event. Wrap up National Poetry Month in a beautiful outdoor setting. More


JUNEAU | Woosh Kinaadeiyí Open Mic and Poetry Slam occurs every third Friday. The next event is Friday, April 21, 2017, at Perseverance Theatre. Community members of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to attend. Signups to perform start at 6:30 pm. Woosh Kinaadeiyí is a nonprofit organization committed to diversity, inclusive community, and empowering voice and organizes these free to low cost monthly events for the community. Learn more at






Break Up & Break Out of Writer’s Block Retreat for Writers and Illustrators | SCBWI and Alaska Writers Guild, May 5-7, 2017 at Knik River Lodge. More info and registration.

North Words Writers Symposium will be May 31-June 3, 2017 in Skagway, Alaska. This year’s keynote speaker is world world travel and fiction writer Paul Theroux. After writing nearly fifty books of nonfiction and fiction set in the most exotic of locales, America’s greatest travel writer is finally headed for one of Alaska’s most notorious: Skagway. Paul Theroux will lead a faculty of seven acclaimed authors at the 8th annual North Words Writers Symposium. A maximum of 50 registrants at the 2017 North Words Symposium will also engage with a faculty of Alaskan writers that includes John Straley, Sherry Simpson, Deb Vanasse, Tom Kizzia, Andy Hall, and Lenora Bell. Learn more and sign up soon; 50 participants max.

2017 Kachemak Bay Writers Conference will occur June 9-13, 2017 in Homer, Alaska. Keynote speaker will be Jane Smiley. Details and more. SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE: May 1st.

The Wrangell Mountains Center presentes Writing on the River: RiverSong from July 26-31, 2017, a six-day, five-night adventure in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This year’s workshop will feature river sprite and musical poet David Grimes, songwriter and journalist Brad Warren, and workshop director Nancy Cook. Together we will explore the ways wilderness can help inspire songs, stories, poems, and essays. Activities include an opening reading/performance and craft sessions in the comfort of the Wrangell Mountains Center’s facility in McCarthy, followed by three nights and four days of creative inquiry along the Kennicott, Nizina, Chitina, and Copper Rivers. Space is limited to nine student writers/ songwriters. More info

2017 Writers Tutka Bay Writers Retreat will occur September 10-12, 2017. Faculty to be announced very soon. Details.


Anyone in Alaska is eligible to enter Fireside Books’ essay contest, which offers a prize of $500 dollars and $500 worth of books for the best “thoughtful, well-researched, forward-thinking essays that map out a new citizen-based ethic of communication, mapping the porous boundaries between weaponized propaganda and honest, authentic persuasion.” Your essay should be publication ready, about 1000 words, plus a bibliography and notes. Deadline: May 31, 2017. Click here for full details. Click here for Jeremy Pataky’s Anchorage Press column which focuses on the contest.

The 3rd Annual Savor the Rising Words Broadside Invitational Exhibit will be displayed during National Poetry Month. Learn more:

Alaska Women Speak is now accepting submissions till May 15, 2017 for their next issue. Also, check out the Anchorage Press write up of their The Living Room Reading Series event.

The Northern Review seeks submissions for their third literary issue (as opposed to scholarly issues), to be published in Fall 2017. Details below. Submission accepted through May 31, 2017

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Thank you to those who included 49 Writers in your Pick.Click.Give. choices this year! 

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