Weekly Roundup of News and Events

Frank Soos teaches the Art of the Essay

We were delighted by the announcement that Frank Soos has been selected to serve as the next Alaska Writer Laureate. Frank has worked with many of our writers over the last year, helping them to to develop their work and ‘the art of the essay.’ He has become a much loved member of the 49 Writers faculty for his expertise, enthusiasm, and encouragement of each writer. We know he will bring a unique stamp to this role and advocate for writers across the state.

A big thanks to those of you who attended the meet and greet last Friday evening at Orso with the 49 Writers board (apologies from Katrina Pearson, who couldn’t be there after a last minute change to her travel schedule from Juneau). Our board members were pleased to have the opportunity to meet you all and get to know more about your involvement and your literary aspirations. The board retreat that followed on Saturday was a resounding success, with exciting plans laid for the coming year and beyond. The transition to our new executive director, Morgan Grey, is almost complete, with Linda posed to bid adieu at the end of the month. Keep following this blog for news and information about 2015 happenings at 49 Writers!

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. It’s good for all of us.

But wait, there’s more! To show our appreciation, 49 Writers will give 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.

Thank you for your support.

Drum roll, please! Here is the calendar schedule of spring classes in Anchorage. We will be opening registration a little earlier this year, since the first course begins in January. Find full information on the 49 Writers website. Registration will open on Monday, Dec. 29.

The Spiritual in Writing: Across Faith, Genres, and Time with Kathleen TarrJanuary 21, 6-8:30pm; January 30, 6-8:30pm; January 31,
9am-12pm; February 4, 6-8:30pm; February 7, 9am-12pm; February 11, 6-8:30pm (16
hours). $255 members/$305 non-members. Do consider taking this class while Kathleen’s still in Anchorage, she’s a writer on the move!
‘What Chu Talk’n ‘Bout Willis?” with Bryan Fierro: Saturday, February 21, 9am-4pm (6 hours). $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 (6 hours), $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 (12 hours). $190 members/$230 non-members.
Historical Research Sources for Writers with Lawrence Weiss: Saturday, March 21, 9am-12pm (3 hours). $50 members/$60 non-members.
How to Publish Your Book on Kindle with Lawrence Weiss: Saturday, March 28, 9am-12pm (3 hours). $50 members/$60 non-members.
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, 12 hours over 4 weeks, online, asynchronous. $195 members/$250 non-members.
Anatomy of Scene with
Andromeda Romano-Lax: Sunday, March 8–Saturday, April 4, 9 hours over 4 weeks, online, asynchronous. $195 members/$250 non-members.
Revision Intensive with Andromeda Romano-Lax: Sunday, April 5–Saturday, May 30
18+ hours over 8 weeks, online, asynchronous. $295 members/$350 non-members.
Our Juneau schedule will be announced before the end of the year. 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.

Looking for the perfect gift for a writer friend this festive season? Why not surprise them with a 49 Writers membership? A Matanuska membership costs only $49 for 12 months! Click here to purchase a gift voucher.

Events in Anchorage

Monday, Dec. 22, 4-6pm, UAA Campus Bookstore: Kseniya Melnik presents Snow in May, which introduces a cast of characters bound by their relationship to the port town of Magadan in Russia’s Far East, a former gateway for prisoners assigned to Stalin’s forced-labor camps. Comprised of a surprising mix of newly minted professionals, ex-prisoners, intellectuals, musicians, and faithful Party workers, the community is vibrant and resilient and life in Magadan thrives even under the cover of near-perpetual snow. Born in Magadan, Melnik moved to Alaska in 1998. She received her MFA from NYU. Snow in May was short-listed for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.

Wednesday, Jan. 21, 7pm: Nature and Travel Writing Class begins. 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.

Events around Alaska

Friday, Dec. 19, 6:30pm, Kindred Post, 145 South Franklin, Juneau: Woosh Kinaadeiyí–Conor Lendrum and Christy NaMee Eriksen–will host this month’s open mic and poetry slam 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. Contact: Christy NaMee Eriksen, Woosh Kinaadeiyí President, christynamee@gmail.com.

Literary News

Congratulations to Sitka author John Straley for leading off the Boston Globe’s list of 2014 Best Crime Books with Cold Storage, Alaska!

We were delighted to learn that not one but two of our members, Karen Benning and Carol Richards, have been accepted into the Hedgebrook residency program–way to go, Alaska’s women writers!

Opportunities for Writers

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 us your best fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Deadline is Feb. 20, 2015, 5:30pm. Winners will be announced in mid-May.

The Alaska Sampler is an annual ebook anthology of prose by Alaska’s finest contemporary authors. It’s free to the reader. For the author, it’s a proven discovery tool for increasing readership. Running Fox Books is currently seeking fresh fiction and non-fiction by Alaskan authors that reveal the unscripted, everyday Alaska. Works may be original or already published, whole or excerpted. Illustrations and photos for the cover are also being considered. Submissions must be received by Jan. 10, 2015. To learn more, visit http://www.runningfoxbooks.com/submit.html.

Jan. 1, 2015 Fairbanks Arts Association will begin accepting entries for the 2015 Statewide Poetry Contest, deadline 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. 

Jan. 31, 2015 Ooligan Press is proud to announce their seventh Write to Publish conference, to be held at the Smith Memorial Student Union located at 1825 SW Broadway, Portland, Oregon. P
anel 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.
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