Literary Roundup | February 16-22, 2018

Hey, folks! We’re switching back to weekly Friday Roundups, as opposed to biweekly. Please email your short news items to by Wednesdays. 

New releases
Heart Berries | Written by Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries is her memoir of overcoming personal trauma, mental trials, and reconciliation with her parents. Mailhot graduated with a MFA in fiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts and has works appearing in The Los Angeles Times and several other magazines. Afterward by Joan Naviyuk Kane. New York Times review

Martha Amore’s In the Quiet Season and Other Stories explores the human landscape of modern-day Alaska, portraying characters who know how to navigate Alaska’s cold terrain, but are lost in mapping a new territory of the heart. (University of Alaska Press) | details

Marilyn Sigman’s Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay (University of Alaska Press) | details | See below for upcoming events and stay tuned for more

Kathleen Tarr’s We Are All Poets Here (VP&D) | details* (49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk in ANC on March 1, details below)

Laura Hartema’s Bering Sea Strong | A memoir: “How I found solid ground on open ocean.” Details

Michaela Goade’s Shanyaak’utlaax̱: Salmon Boy | A Baby Raven Book by the Sealaska Heritage Institute, Salmon Boy has won the 2018 American Indian Youth Literature Best Picture Book Award from the American Indian Library Association (AILA). It was singled out for illustrations by Goade, a Tlingit artist. Full details here

Brian Turner’s The Kiss: Intimacies from Writers | Featuring an entry by 49 Writers board member Matthew Komatsu, The Kiss is a diverse anthology of essays, stories, poems, and graphic memoirs, where writers explore the deeply human act of kissing. For sale on Amazon and orderable from your local bookshop


HOMER | February 20, 2018, 6 PM | Homer Public Library and The Homer Bookstore present Atz Kilcher: Son of a Midnight Land. Free. Facebook event

ANCHORAGE | Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 7 PM | Poetry Parley: an open-mic poetry night. Located at Writer’s Block, 3956 Spenard Rd. Visit them on Facebook to keep up with monthly events. Free.

ANCHORAGE | *SOLD OUT and waitlisting* Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 10-3 PM (bring a snack) | Join Anchorage Daily News writer/editor Julia O’Malley for a half-day 49 Writers workshop called Fancy Seeing You Here on how to write newspaper columns about life in Alaska. The theme: small world-ness, odd connections, and too few degrees of separation. Writers will work on fleshing out narratives and learn strategies for working quickly and structuring complete short pieces. In the weeks following the workshop, willing writers with promising pieces may work with Julia to revise and polish the piece for possible publication in AND. Find O’Malley’s work at Class will occur at the ADN offices, 300 W. 31st Ave. Learn more

ANCHORAGE | Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 7 PM | 49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk Series presents Kathleen Tarr, author of We Are All Poets Here (VP&D House), presenting On the Literary Road with Thomas Merton: Writing As a Pilgrimage | Writers must often dance in the “clarity of perfect contradiction,” as the famous Trappist monk and bestselling writer,Thomas Merton observed. Writers work in quiet isolation, and yet confront and answer the impulse to hit the road, turning themselves into wanderers and explorers. Whether physically or metaphorically, writers become pilgrims. In this 49 Writers Reading & Craft Talk Series event, author Kathleen Witkowska Tarr discusses her newly-released book, part-memoir, part-biography, We Are All Poets Here (VPD House, January 2018), a shared story about spiritual seeking, and a surprising literary pilgrimage.” Held at the Indigo Tea Lounge on 530 E Benson Blvd #8. Facebook event

ANCHORAGE | UAA Books of the Year, Alaska Native Studies and Native Student Services invite you to view an important and fascinating film about the central role of drumming in the Yup’ik village of Emmonak, followed by a discussion with Yup’ik professors Dr. Walkie Charles from UAF and Marie Meade of Anchorage. Thursday, March 1, 2018, 7:30 pm, Rasmuson Hall room 101. Free and open to all.

SEWARD | 49 Writers presents Marilyn Sigman, author of Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay, presenting The Ecology of Desire: A Reading & Talk, March 2, 2018 at 6 pm at Resurrect Art. According to archaeologists, people have lived in Kachemak Bay and the traditional territories of the Alutiiq/Sugpiaq and Dena’ina peoples for around 9,000-10,000 years. According to oral histories, they have been here since time immemorial. The ocean, too, has a history, which serves as the “memory of the climate system.” Marilyn Sigman will describe the insights she gained while researching and writing her book Entangled. The book explores the interactions and entanglements of people as they have fulfilled their needs and desires, and what we might learn about possible human responses to times of rapid climate change. Join us for this reading, talk, and discussion.

ANCHORAGE | The UAA Campus bookstore will host several literary events during March 2018.

  • Saturday, March 3 from 1-3 PM | Jean Anderson presents ShadowPlay: Writing Introspective Fiction in an Action-Oriented World. She will read from her collection, Human Being Songs: Northern Stories and discuss her writing process and explores the notion of introspection as shadow play for fiction writers. Anderson moved to Fairbanks in 1966 and holds BA and MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she taught for nearly ten years.
  • Monday, March 5 from 5-7 PM | Patricia Watts debuts her new noir suspense novel, The Frayer. The novel’s protagonist is a living building in Fairbanks named Big Blue that is plunged into a duel to the death with the Frayer, who seduces Big Blue’s tenants and threatens the existence of Big Blue itself. This event will challenge participants to creating their own inanimate objects as protagonists in a story. Watts has lived in Alaska for more than two decades, raising her children and working as a journalist and a human-rights investigator.
  • Wednesday, March 7, from 5-7 PM | Mystery and suspense authors Stan Jones and Patricia Watts present ThePitfalls and Triumphs of Co-writing a Book. The discussion will cover their collaboration on The Big Empty, a forthcoming book in the Nathan Active series based in the fictional Inupiat Eskimo village of Chukchi.
  • Thursday, March 22 from 5-7 PM | Book Launch: Martha Amore presents In the Quiet Season and Other Stories with local artist Indra Arriaga. Amore’s story collection features modern day Alaskans navigating life’s issues. Arriaga is the co-founder of Green Bee Studios and also co-founded the Day of the Dead art exhibit and celebration that is held annually in Anchorage.
  • Wednesday, March 28 from 5-7 PM | Marilyn Sigman presents Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay. The novel, Entangled, contemplates the patterns of people staying and leaving, nesting her own journey to Kachemak Bay within diasporas of her Jewish ancestors and of ancient peoples from Asia to the southern coast of Alaska. Along the way, Entangled weaves in scientific facts about the region as well as stories told by Alaska’s indigenous peoples.

ANCHORAGE | Thursday, March 8 from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM | Literature with a Listening Heart with Brendan Kiely: A discussion about the intersection of literature, social justice, and the art of listening. Kiely received an MFA in creative writing from The City College of New York. His debut novel, The Gospel of Winter, has been published in ten languages, it was selected as one of American Library Association’s Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015, and it was a Kirkus Reviews selection for best of 2014. Facebook event

ANCHORAGE | Saturday, March 10th, 6:30-8:30 PM | Author’s Reception held in the Z.J. Loussac Public Library atrium. Come introduce your work, sell copies, and meet other artists. Open to authors, writers, illustrators, and creators. Fee for table: $50. Other fees, more information, and registration here. For questions, email program chair Teressa Williams here.

HOMER | Marilyn Sigman appears at Grace Ridge Brewing at 5:30 PM, presenting Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay.

HOMER | Rumor has it that poet Jericho Brown will appear March 28, 2018

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. Held at the Alaska Humanities Forum, 421 W 1st Ave, Suite 200. Fee: $35 / members: $28. Learn more and register here.

ANCHORAGE | On Saturday, May 5, 2018 in conjunction with the Spring Friends of the Library booksale, 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.

SEWARD | 49 Writers presents Nancy Lord, 6 pm, Monday, April 9, 2018 at Resurrect Art

ANCHORAGE | Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 6:30 PM – 8 PM | Reflections 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. | Facebook event


FAIRBANKS | Alaska Reads and Fairbanks North Star Public Libraries present Nicole Stellon O’Donnell, Fairbanks resident and author of Steam Laundry, winner of the 2013 WILLA Literary Award for Poetry. Alaska Reads is a statewide reading initiative with the goal of bridging the vast distances of our state by bringing together a living Alaskan author with readers in a variety of communities and, in doing so, fostering interest and pride in Alaskan literature. During the winter months, the program focuses on garnering enthusiasm around the selected book and encouraging Alaskans to read the story. In the spring, the program culminates with a statewide tour by the author where individuals who have read the book have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with the author of the book. Details and Facebook event.

FAIRBANKS | Friday, February 23, 2018 at 7 PM | Alaskan poet Emily Wall will present as part of UAF English Department’s Midnight Sun: Visiting Writers Series.

FAIRBANKS | Rumor has it that poet Jericho Brown appears March 30, 2018  


JUNEAU | Friday, February 16, 2018 at 6:30 PM | Open Mic and Poetry Slam at the Northern Light United Church downtown on 11th Ave. Feel free to listen at 7 or sign up to share your own at 6:30. Organized by Woosh Kinaadeiyí.

JUNEAU | Monday, March 5, 2018, 7 pm at the APK Building | 49 Writers, in partnership with ASCA and the Alaska State Library, presents Vivian Faith Prescott. Details to come

JUNEAU | Tuesday, March 6, 2018 | Statewide Poetry Out Loud recitation competition.

JUNEAU | Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 5:30 PM | 49 Writers presents a class with Nancy Lord: Science, Nature, and Outdoor Writing. This 3-hour workshop will examine examples of narrative writing (in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry) that brings the outdoors in, and scientific principles and characters to life. This class invites writers of any level, with or without science backgrounds. Lord was an Alaska Writer Laureate 2008-10, is the author of several fiction and nonfiction books including, most recently, pH: A Novel. Member fee: $45 | Nonmembers: $55 | Learn more and register here.

KETCHIKAN | Friday, March 16, 2018, 6 PM | Nancy Lord presents pH: a Novel at the Ketchikan Public Library.

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








Alaskan author Nancy Lord will be presenting her recent novel, pH: A Novel on Wednesday, February 21, 6:30 PM at the Jefferson County Library in Port Hadlock, Washington.


DYEA / SKAGWAY | Alderworks Alaska Writers & Artists Retreat residency application period for our summer 2018 residencies has been extended to 11:59 p.m. Alaska time on Feb. 20, 2018. Learn more about this gorgeous, quiet residency opportunity at and apply online. Decisions on who will fill the two 4-6 week residency periods in the summer of 2018 will be made some time in March. There is no application fee.

McCARTHY | 2018 Meg Hunt Residency Program: applications are open through Wednesday, February 28, 2018 for a 2-week residency program in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve wilderness. Two residencies will be held: July 30 – August 13, 2018, and August 16 – 30, 2018. Designed to foster artistic inspiration, residents will enjoy simplistic dorms and meals, striking natural scenery, and the remote location allows minimal amenities for distraction. Fee: $65/day. Click here for more information and to register.

KETCHIKAN | Deadline: Thursday, March 1, 2018 | Calling applications for the Voices of the Wilderness artist residency program for the Tongass National Forest. Sponsored by the US Services of Forest, National Park, and Wildlife, this residency will pair participants with wilderness specialists actively engaged in research, monitoring, and education stewardship projects. As a volunteer, each artist will assist in light ranger duties such as boat tours or beach cleanups; but emphasis for the participant will be experiencing the wilderness and communicating those experiences through art. Residencies open to artists in all media including visual, audio, and film. The Tongass National Forest has five participating Wilderness Areas. Learn more and register here.

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, see

HOMER, ALASKA | 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 and boat cruise. Scholarships available. All information and faculty bios at our website:

TUTKA BAY LODGE | The 9th Annual 49 Writers Tutka Bay Writers Retreat will take place September 7-9, 2018. Retreat details to be announced soon along with application information.



ANCHORAGE | Saturday, March 10th, 6:30-8:30 PM | Author’s Reception, part of the Alaska Library Association Annual Conference, will be held in the Z.J. Loussac Public Library atrium. Come introduce your work, sell copies, and meet other artists. Open to authors, writers, illustrators, and creators. Fee for table: $50. Other fees, more information, and registration here. For questions, email program chair Teressa Williams here.

Rasmuson Foundation is now accepting Individual Artist Awards grant applications. Project Awards and Fellowship nominations are due March 1, 2018. Learn more

Monthly deadline on the 15th: Awesome Foundation Alaska Chapter | $1,000 grants for awesome ideas. Learn more and apply.

SANTA FE | deadline: June 1, 2018 | The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is currently accepting applications for its low-residency Masters in Fine Arts program. The program is set to begin on July 21, 2018. For details about the program, download the College Catalog here; the program is covered on pages 89-102. Email the MFA director, Jon Davis, with questions at For more information and to apply, click here. Anchorage-based poet and former 49 Writers instructor and presenter Joan Naviyuk Kane is one of the faculty members.The program is open to everyone, with a focus on creativity in Native American arts and culture.

FEBRUARY 15 | Alaska Women Speak is accepting submissions through this date for its publication. Submissions can be in the following genres: non-fiction, poetry, fiction, memoir, creative non-fiction, and essay. This season’s theme will be Vessels. For more information and to submit, click here.

Wildheart, a new print publication featuring Alaskan women’s writing, photography, and art is soliciting work for its first issue. Accepting submissions for its summer issue through March 31. Information and registry here.

Alaska Writers Guild Quarterly Contest | Participants may submit one or more entry to Nonfiction, Fiction, Children’s Literature, and / or Poetry categories, with winners chosen quarterly. First place prize: $100 and certificate. Nonmember fee: $25. Additional fees, prizes, registration, and other information here.

Permafrost Magazine2018 New Alchemy Contest deadline April 15, 2018. All formats welcome. $500, publication, and web feature prizes. More details.

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 

49 Writers, Inc. is supported, in part, by a grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ah, the memories…

Flashback to November 14, 2013: 49 Writers’ Crosscurrents event, “On the Edge of Publishing”. L to R: Vered Mares, Buffy McKay, Kris Farmen, Kate Partridge, and Martha Amore. 

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