Weekly Round-Up of Alaska Writing News and Events

There are a few more weeks left of summer, which means for a lot of us it’s crunch time to write, write, write before the demands of a new school year. If you aren’t bound to the academic calendar, lucky you! What that means is continue writing for the rest of us. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still have some long days of sunshine to enjoy by sitting inside with our manuscripts.

In Juneau, our next member event is on August 6 from 7-9 pm; again, members should watch for details via email. (Not a member? Head over to our website to join.) And stay tuned for the fall schedule including Melinda Moustakis’ (Bear Down, Bear North – 2012 Flannery O’Connor Award Recipient for Short Fiction) NEA-funded tour of Southeast Alaska. 

On July 23, Anchorage readers, writers, and history buffs are invited to the launch of Anchorage Remembers, an anthology produced by 49 Writers in conjunction with the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Rasmuson Foundation, and the Anchorage Centennial Commission. Join us at 7 pm at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson for this free public reading and celebration of the publication of work by 40 Alaska-inspired writers.

Last but not least, we’re looking for authors to get involved with Alaska Book Week Oct. 3 -11. Visit www.alaskabookweek.com and click the 2015 logo to participate. This year, you can also get involved with a video interview.

49 Writers Volunteer J.T. Torres


Poetry Parley will be on hiatus for July and August. Starting September 20th at Hugi-Lewis Studio, Parley will kick off a new season with readings from 10 (plus) local poets. There will be no marquee poet. Send a note to poetryparley@gmail.com if you want to be considered. We will hold a few slots for new readers.

Anchorage Museum has posted their Schedule of Programs for July and August. Visit www.anchoragemuseum.org/media for the full list of events. Below are some of the highlights. To confirm details and dates, call the Marketing and Public Relations Department at (907) 929-9227.
  • Call for Big Wild Bike Stories. The Anchorage Museum invites bicycle commuters to submit their harrowing, funny and interesting stories about using Anchorage’s public trail system. The Anchorage Museum and Bike Anchorage will lead a bike tour on July 25 based on rider submissions. On July 25, 1-3pm, take a tour of Anchorage through the stories of bike commuters. The Anchorage Museum and Bike Anchorage lead a bike tour of Anchorage based on the harrowing, funny, and interesting experiences people have encountered using Anchorage’s public trail system. Riders are encouraged to wear helmets and pack their own water. Register online. $10
  • Call for Stories of Summer Adventure. Are you having the best summer? Prove it and share your tales with a Pecha Kucha style presentation on Aug. 21. Contact lgarrod@anchoragemuseum.org by Aug. 14 if you would like to be a presenter.
2015 Sledgehammer 36-Hour Writing ContestJuly 25–26. The contest begins with an online scavenger hunt that participants can complete from anywhere. Along the way, they’ll collect four writing prompts, all of which must be incorporated into their story, which is due by midnight on Sunday. Writers can compete individually or as teams, and the contest is open to all ages. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best short stories of the weekend in the following categories:
·  Individual
·  Team
·  Readers’ Choice
·  Judge’s Choice
·  Youth (two prizes: elementary/middle school, high school)

Winners will also receive entry to writing-related events and the coveted golden sledgehammers.
Registration is just $25 for adults and $10/$5 for youth. Visit www.sledgehammercontest.com to learn more and register.

Events at the UAA Bookstore

July 27, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Bonnye Matthews presents Mixing DVD Media with Novels to Enhance Communication. Bonnye Matthews is the award winning writer of the Winds of Change Series.  At this event, Tuksook’s Story: 35,000 BC and its setting in Cook Inlet, accompanied by a  20 minute DVD, will be examined. “Cook Inlet — The Setting for Tuksook’s Story, 35,000 BC, DVD” tells the story of how that area of Alaska came to be.  It gives a sweeping time travel from Pangea to the present, describes the dinosaur age, explains what flora and fauna the People might have encountered, and how the land came and comes to be. Everyone is invited to explore Cook Inlet’s past with fascinating research, geologic time and storytelling.

August 4  from 4:00-6:00 pm, Historical
Fiction Author  Lynn Lovegreen

presents Gold Nuggets, the final book
in her young adult Gold Rush, which
includes: Worth Her Weight in Gold  (Juneau 1886); Fools Gold  (Skagway, 1898); Quicksilver to Gold  (Nome, 1900); Golden Days (Fairbanks, 1906); Gold
  (Denali & Kantishna,
1916).   Lynn Lovegreen was raised and
lives in Anchorage, Alaska and has taught at the Anchorage School district.

August 6 from 4:00pm-6:00pm, Anchorage Remembers: A Century of Stories
Contributors to Anchorage Remembers, an anthology of 39 stories selected by 49
Writers, discuss the relationship amongst 
memoir, writing, and history.  Guest
speakers include Betty Arnett, Diane Benson, Mary Katzke, and  Katy Neher. 
This event is sponsored with 49 Writers and the program is made possible
by a Centennial Community Grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Rasmuson
Foundation, and the Anchorage Centennial Celebration.

All UAA Campus Bookstore events are informal, free and open to the public.  There is free parking for bookstore events in the South Lot, the West Campus Central Lot (behind Rasmuson Hall), and the Sports NW Lot. Note:  UAA Campus Bookstore podcasts are posted in iTunes or iTunes U–just search UAA or UAA Campus Bookstore.  Or see http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/bookstore/events/podcasts.cfm.

Local Library Events

Book Signings



Fireside in Palmer is bringing some notable authors to town!




The Alaska Literary Awards were established in 2014 by the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation, through a generous gift from Peggy Shumaker and Joe Usibelli, to 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. Quality of the work submitted is the primary consideration in determining who receives the awards. A select number of $5,000 awards will be awarded this year. For more information, and to apply, go to:http://bit.ly/2015AKLitAwards. The deadline for entries is August 31st, 2015 at 9:59 AKDT.

The Connie Boochever Artist Fellowship awards recognize and support Alaska emerging artists of exceptional talent. In the 2015 cycle, a select number of $2,500 fellowships will be awarded to individual artists working in visual art, including film, digital and media arts. For more information, and to apply, go to: http://bit.ly/2015BoocheverFellows. The deadline for entries is August 31st, 2015 at 9:59 AKDT.

The 2016 Governor’s Awards ceremony will be held in Juneau on Thursday, January 28th. We will also continue the tradition of scheduling CHAMP Day (Culture, Humanities, Arts & Museums Partners), a legislative fly-in day, on Wednesday, January 27thPlease start brainstorming ideas for nominees and consider submitting a nomination! The nomination process will open in August. This year’s Arts categories will be: Margaret Nick Cooke Award for Alaska Native Arts & Languages, Business Leadership, Arts Advocacy and Individual Artist. A list of previous awardees can be found at https://education.alaska.gov/aksca/pdf/Past_Recipients_GAAH.pdf.

2016 Statewide Arts and Culture Conference will take place in Anchorage, Thursday, April 28th through Saturday, April 30th. We are in the process of exploring compelling themes, topics and national speakers for the convening. Like our last conference, we will be engaging Alaskan artists in the planning and production of the event. Be on the lookout for the opportunity to apply to be a conference Partner Artist, which will open in the fall. If you have any ideas to share with us, please send them our way by emailing aksca.info@alaska.gov.

The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) is conducting a survey to inform its Live. Work. Play. Initiative, which seeks to make Anchorage the number one city in America to live work and play by 2025. If you live in Anchorage and care about the arts, please take a moment to add your voice to this survey-it’s just two VERY short questions!https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LiveWorkPlayAnchorage

Poetry Out Loud registration deadline for schools deadline is October 15, 2015. Click here to hear from the 2015 National Poetry Out Loud Champion from Alaska, Maeva Ordaz. 

Wrangell Mountains Writing Workshop presents RiverSong with Frank Soos, Michelle McAfee, Robin Child, and Nancy Cook, July 22-27, McCarthy to Chitina. The Wrangell Mountains Writing Workshop is pleased to partner with McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters to host a six-day, five-night adventure in the fabulous Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This year’s workshop will feature poet and essayist, Frank Soos, who is currently serving as Alaska’s Writer Laureate, joined by accomplished singer-songwriter Michelle McAfee, backcountry banjo-diva Robin Child, and workshop director Nancy Cook. Together they 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 eight student writers/ songwriters.

Alaska Writers Guild & SCBWI Annual Writer’s Conference, September 19-20, Anchorage. Early registration starts May 2015. www.AlaskaWritersGuild.com

Alaska Women Speak is looking for a responsible maven fluent with InDesign (CS6) layout and website savvy to join the all-volunteer crew as Layout Editor. Here’s your chance to create for a 23rd year in the running, statewide, quarterly publication! This is not a site-specific volunteer opportunity, but sound Internet connection is required. Occasional Skype sessions apply. If interested, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us at alaskawomenspeak@yahoo.com

13 Chairs Literary Journal, a new literary journal publishing short stories and poetry from new and emerging authors, seeks submissions and volunteers. They are currently composing their flagship issue, straight out of JBER, AK. To learn more, and to submit, email info@13chairs.com or visit 13chairs.com.

From July 1 to August 15 the Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program will be accepting applications from Alaska artists and writers interested in a fully-funded two-month residency in the Lower 48. The eligibility requirements have changed—Alaska-based artists who have not received a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award are now also eligible to apply. A free information session detailing the program, eligibility requirements, and application process will be held June 26, at 6 p.m. in the Anchorage Museum’s Reynolds Classroom. Potential applicants are invited to attend in-person or by teleconference. More information can be found at rasmuson.org. If you have questions about the program, contact Jayson Smart at jsmart@rasmuson.org or call 907-297-2882


Erin Coughlin Hollowell is the new Executive Director!

Have news or events you’d like to see listed here? Email details to 49roundup (at) gmail.com. Your message must be received by noon on the Thursday before the roundup is scheduled to run. Unless your event falls in the “Opportunities” category, it should occur no more than 30 days from when we receive your email.
Scroll to Top