Weekly Round Up of News and Events

Frank Soos will be honored as Alaska’s new writer laureate at the The Governor’s Awards for Arts & Humanities in Juneau on January 29. I’ll be there along with 49 Writers board member Jeremy Pataky. Join us to make a great showing of Alaska writers! Ticket information here.

While in Juneau, I’ll also participate in CHAMP Day. That’s short for Culture*Humanities*Arts*Museums*Partners. There’ll training in advocacy and meetings with legislators to share the work we’re doing across Alaska. 

Check out the season’s first Reading & Craft Talk with Deb Vanasse, and Crosscurrents featuring Andy Hall and David Stevenson. Great programs from 49 Writers, free and open to the public.
– Morgan


Woosh Kinaadeiyí Open Mic and Poetry Slam is December 16th at Silverbow Inn, 6:30 pm.
The event will be hosted by Bill Merk and Marla Lippard Christenson, with DJ Manu. It is open to poets and performers of all ages and all abilities. Sign up to read at 6 pm.
Woosh Kinaadeiyí is a local nonprofit committed to diversity, inclusive community, and empowering voice. The organization hosts monthly poetry slams and open mics throughout the community. Learn more at www.facebook.com/wooshpoetry.

Poet Jim Hanlen is hosting a William Stafford Birthday event on January 17, 1 pm at the Hugi-Lewis Gallery, 1008 W. Northern Lights Blvd. Bring your favorite William Stafford poem to read or tell us some personal anecdote about him and read one of your own.

Nature and Travel Writing Class, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 7 pm
Anchorage essayist and author Bill Sherwonit will teach a 12-week nature and travel writing class beginning Jan. 21 in the Sierra Club office downtown. Participants in this workshop-style class will explore and refine their own writing styles, with an emphasis on the personal essay form. The class will also read and discuss works by some of America’s finest nature and travel writers, past and present. The cost is $240. To sign up for this Wednesday night class (7 to 9:30 p.m.), or for more information, contact Sherwonit at 245-0283 or akgriz@hotmail.com. Further information about the teacher is also available at www.billsherwonit.alaskawriters.com.

Reading & Craft Talk with Deb Vanasse. Thursday, Jan. 29, 7-8:30pm: Great Harvest Bread, 570 E. Benson Blvd.  “The Self-Made Writer;” As writers, we enjoy the freedom to innovate, in our work and also in the ways we learn and grow. How do we make the most of that freedom? Author of fifteen books, including the recent What Every Author Should Know, Deb Vanasse will discuss creative ways for writers to think about craft, education, and publishing. 

“What Do We Do When the Lifeboats are Burning?” Songs and Stories about Climate, Community and Courage. Libby Roderick and Kathleen Dean Moore in concert and conversation. February 22, 2 pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2824 E. 18th (18th & Sunrise, Airport Heights). $20 suggested donation. 50% of proceeds go to Alaskan climate organizations. Co-sponsored by UU Fellowship, 49 Writers, and UAA Office of Sustainability.

Contributors to Cirque, 6.1 will be reading at Blue.Hollomon Gallery on January 23, 6 pm. There will be literature and door prizes, four artists from the pages of Cirque. And Joe Craig playing music. The next Cirque reading event is February 15, 2 pm, at Fireside Books in Palmer.

UAA Bookstore events in January

  • Imperiled Arctic:Place, Threats, Solutions with Rick Steiner. Wednesday, January 21, 5-7pm
  • Yong Cao discusses the movie Fengshui, Inspirations about Men and Women in the current Chinese Society, Thursday, January 22, 5-7 pm
  • Dr. Lyn Freeman and Dr. Rebecca White present Pain & Neuroplasticity:Why Won’t the Pain Stop? Wednesday, January 28, 5-7pm

All events at the UAA Campus Bookstore. Click here for details.

Crosscurrents: Andy Hall (Denali’s Howl) joins David Stevenson (Letters from Chamonix) for an onstage conversation about their processes of creating an engaging narrative in prose. What are the unique affordances and challenges of each genre, and where can writers learn from the strategies employed in other genres? February 5, 7-8:30 pm at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. 

49 Writers Spring Classes: Anchorage
Registration is open. Find full information on the 49 Writers website.

  • New Class: “Ready to Publish” with Deb Vanasse. Saturday, February 7, 9am-4pm. $110 members/$130 non-members. Fee includes the textbook for the class, What Every Author Should Know, by Deb. 
  • ‘What Chu Talk’n ‘Bout Willis?” with Bryan Fierro: Saturday, February 21, 9am-4pm. $95 members/$115 non-members.
  • Writing the Three Dimensional Novel or Memoir: The Essential Ingredients to Capture Your Reader and Engage an Audience with Rachel Weaver: Saturday, February 28, 9am-4pm, $95 members/$115 non-members.
  • Joining the Conversation: Engaging with Poets Past with Sandra Kleven: Thursdays, March 5, 12 & 19 and April 2, 9 & 16, 6-8pm. $190 members/$230 non-members.
  • NEW DATE: Historical Research Sources for Writers with Lawrence Weiss: Saturday, 4, 9am-12pm. $50 members/$60 non-members.
  • NEW DATE:How to Publish Your Book on Kindle with Lawrence Weiss: Saturday, April 18, 9am-12pm. $50 members/$60 non-members.
  • Cancelled: The Spiritual in Writing: Across Faith, Genres, and Time with Kathleen Tarr. We’re planning to reschedule this in the fall.

Andromeda Romano-Lax will be offering three online courses this spring, expanding our offerings to writers across Alaska. These classes are asynchronous: that is, there are no scheduled meeting times but there will be weekly assignments and expectations, and everyone will complete the work on their own time. Interaction will utilize text-based formats such as discussion boards.

  • Point of View Intensive with Andromeda Romano-Lax: Sunday, February 8–Saturday, March 7, online, asynchronous. $195 members/$250 non-members.
  • Anatomy of Scene with Andromeda Romano-Lax: Sunday, March 8–Saturday, April 4, online, asynchronous. $195 members/$250 non-members.
  • Revision Intensive with Andromeda Romano-Lax: Sunday, April 5–Saturday, May 30. online, asynchronous. $295 members/$350 non-members.


The Governor’s Awards for the Arts & Humanities. January 29, 7:30pm at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.Details here. Frank Soos, will be honored as the new Alaska State Writer Laureate. Frank’s mission during his term is to promote the work of other Alaska authors. Last year he taught several classes for 49 Writers.

49 Writers classes in Juneau: We are still pinning down dates but can tell you that Rachel Weaver will reprise her class there on March 2-3, and poet Jeremy Pataky will be teaching for us in Juneau at the end of March.


The Equinox Project, a digital storytelling project sponsored by the UAA Department of Journalism & Communication and the Alaska Humanities Forum will mentor 10 -19 year olds from across Alaska to create a story from one day, any day, in your communities before the Spring Equinox, March 20, 2015. Stories will be about Spring Equinox – about the change from winter to spring, and about change in your lives, your communities, and our planet. On their own, your stories create an important and lasting document of Alaska as seen by young people. Together, your stories will develop a sense of place by merging your storytelling tradition with the digital age.
Participants will work with mentors to finalize stories to share with the public in Fall 2015. Our goal is to have each major region of Alaska represented.

What’s in it for you?

  • Mentored by experienced stortellers from your region.
  • Four participants invited to Alaska Press Club in Anchorage in April 2015.
  • Your work featured on a national website and in a First Friday Art Show at the Alaska Humanities Forum in Anchorage in Fall 2015.

Application Deadline: January 24, 2015
Acceptance notifications will be sent February 6, 2015

Rasmuson Foundation Awards
The 2015 Individual Artist Award application is now open. Over the past decade, Alaska artists have received $2.7 million in grants through the Individual Artist Award Program. The Award recognizes the role artists play in bringing inspiration to their communities. Guidelines and application materials are available here. The deadline is March 1.
There are three award types:

  • Project Awards of $7,500 support short-term projects in all disciplines that have a clear benefit to the artist and development of their work (visit page 5 of the application for more information. Disciplines include: choreography, crafts, folk and traditional arts, media arts, music composition, multidiscipline/new genre, literary arts/scriptworks, performance art, presentation/interpretation, and visual arts).
  • Fellowship Awards of $18,000 are available to mid-career and mature artists of rotating disciplines. For 2015, Fellowships will only be awarded in choreography, crafts, folk and traditional arts, literary arts/scriptworks, and performance art.
  • Distinguished Artist Award, a single award of $40,000 (selected through a separate nomination process).

Ooligan Press is proud to announce their seventh Write to Publish conference, to be held Jan. 31, 2015, at the Smith Memorial Student Union located at 1825 SW Broadway, Portland, Oregon. Panel topics include how to write about difficult subjects, straight talk about contracts and rights, and how to create a professional platform. Workshops will feature editing and design tips. Authors will be able to sign up to pitch story ideas to publishers and agents.

Correction: The deadline for this year’s UAA/Alaska Dispatch Creative Writing Contest is fast approaching. Go to adn.com/content/creative-writing-contest-rules for complete rules, list of prizes, and submission guidelines and send your best fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Deadline is Feb. 10, 2015, 5:30pm. Winners will be announced in mid-May.

Fairbanks Arts Association is accepting entries for the 2015 Statewide Poetry Contest, Deadline is Mar. 1, 2015, 6pm (hand delivered or postmarked). Hand deliver entries to Fairbanks Arts Association, Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts, Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way. This year’s judge is Joan Naviyuk Kane, author of The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife and Hyperboreal. A 2014 recipient of the American Book Award, and Whiting Writers’ Award recipient, she’s on the faculty for the graduate creative writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Visit www.fairbanksarts.org for more information.

Savor the Rising Words: Poetry Broadside Invitational in honor of National Poetry Month,
Members of 49 Writers and past or present participants in 49 Writers workshops are invited to submit poetry broadsides for display at Great Harvest Bread Co. throughout the month of April 2015 in honor of National Poetry Month. Featured poets will be encouraged to read their works during a public event at the bakery at a date and time to be determined. Broadsides in the exhibit will be available for sale and proceeds will be donated to 49 Writers. Deadline: Friday, March 20, 2015. Click here for details and the entry form.

Cirque was founded to give writers (and artists) of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest more places to publish their work – and as a vehicle to bring the best writing of the region to the world. The next Cirque deadline is March 21st (the equinox). The submission address is cirque.submits@gmail.com.

Pick.Click.Give. to 49 Writers! PFD application time is right around the corner, and that’s your opportunity to Pick.Click.Give.! Your Pick.Click.Give donations support 49 Writers programs around the state. We received almost $2,500 in our first year as a Pick.Click.Give organization. You can help us double that in 2015. Plus, Pick.Click.Give.rs have a chance to double their dividends.
To show our appreciation, 49 Writers is offering incentive gifts to donors:

  • $75 donors will receive an original Alaskan art card from Shorefast Editions in Juneau
  • $150 donors will receive an autographed book by an Alaskan author.
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