Victoria Lord of the Rasmuson Foundation this week affirmed what our roundup shows - Alaska boasts a lot of talented writers, and they've been very busy.
Here at 49 Writers, our quarterly book club is reading Seth Kantner's Ordinary Wolves for online discussion March 7-8. Our Northern Favorites shelf is open for nominations (one book per person) until February 14. And we're in the processing of selecting monthly featured authors for 2009. We're also separating our growing calendar into "events" and "deadlines," with both to be found in the sidebar instead of way down at the bottom of the page.
AlaskaDispatch.com has also launched a new design, with room to expand and offer a greater range of stories. They encourage Alaskan authors to share commentary for the Talk of the Tundra blog. Think of it as a letter to the editor of up to 750 words. It can be on any topic related to Alaska. Check out the submissions page at AlaskaDispatch.com.
Speaking of the Alaska Dispatch, they'll probably be reporting soon, if they haven't already, that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is edging closer to a book deal. Those of us who aren't tired of such news can read more at Galleycat.
Alaskan publisher Barbara Farris of 40 Below Ink might not be in the running for the Palin deal, but she does announce that their first book, chick-lit/mystery, is nearing release. She plans to distribute advance reading copies to published authors (or people with an Alaskan "platform," i.e. mayor, Iditarod winner, etc.)who might be willing to provide blurbs. If you'd like to be included, email Barbara at email@example.com and she'll provide details.
The Wrangell Mountains Center is pleased to host visiting writer Scott Russell Sanders in McCarthy for 2009's Wrangell Mountains Writing Workshop. Registration for the workshop is open now.
Flight of the Goose by Lesley Thomas will be studied in the world
literature class at UAF Kuskokwim Campus in winter 2009, and again at Boston
University's graduate theology class. Book clubs in Bethel, Glenallen and Juneau have also invited Thomas to attend discussions of her book this spring via
teleconference. She has already teleconferenced with Nome, Vermont and
Milwaukee book clubs and with a scholar in Austria who used the novel for a
dissertation on "Alaska and Identity."
Richard Chiappone was featured Monday (Jan. 19 - sorry, this came in late for last week's update) on the BBC Radio 3 show called The Verb, a program devoted to literary matters. He spoke about the community of writers in Homer, and Professor Ron
Spatz, editor of Alaska Quarterly Review, discussed statewide literary matters including Native Alaskan writers who have been features in AQR. Chiappone also reports publication of a poem in the February/ March issue of
Gray's Sporting Journal.
With L.A. Theatreworks bringing their staged versions of War of the Worlds and The Lost World to Alaska, the Anchorage Concert Association is hosting a contest for high school who write their own ten to fifteen minute radio plays. Radio script submissions are due January 28. For details, call ACA’s Education and Outreach Director, Erynn Smith at 272-1471 or visit http://www.anchorageconcerts.org/works/documents/wowcontest.pdf .
Secret Press USA needs one or two poems by Alaskan writers for their anthology themed "how you see America." Visit www.secretpressusa.org for details. The deadline is January 30th.
Recently, Amazon.com and Penguin Group (USA) announced the second annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA), an international competition seeking fresh new writing voices. One Grand Prize winner will receive a full publishing contract with Penguin including a $25,000 advance. Details, including official rules, can be found at www.amazon.com/abna. Manuscript submissions open on February 2 and close when 10,000 entries have come in, or on February 8, whichever comes first.
Chapter 4 of Whisper to the Blood, Dana Stabenow's 16th Kate Shugak novel, is now available online at Dana's web site.The book launches Tuesday, February 17th at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona. On Saturday, February 21, there's a 6 pm signing at Title Wave Books in Anchorage, and on Tuesday, March 3, Dana will be chatting with the Danamaniacs on Chatzy at 5pm Alaska time/9pm Eastern. For details visit www.danastabenow.com.
Author Ann Chardonet, who lived 34 years in Alaska but retired to North Carolina two years ago, brings to our attention several opportunities related to women and writing. The Institute for the Study of the American West at the Autry National Center seeks applicants for 2009-2010 Butcher Scholar Award, welcoming applications for innovative projects that promise to deepen understanding of the history of diverse women in the historical and contemporary West. Deadline for proposals is March 27, 2009. For details, visit http://www.autrynationalcenter.org/butcher_scholar.php.
Also coming up is the deadline for NEW WOMEN MEDIA ENTREPRENEUR GRANTS
(http://www.newmediawomen.org/index.php/site/proposal_guidelines/)to fund three women-led projects to create new Web sites, mobile news services or other entrepreneurial initiatives that offer interactive opportunities to engage, inspire and improve news and information in a geographic community or a community of interest. Deadline: March 31, 2009.
Chandonnet, author of Gold Rush Grub (University of Alaska Press) will speak at a dinner sponsored by the Robert Mondavi Institute in Sacramento on January 31. She will be interviewed on National Public Radio on January 30, from 2 to 3 p.m. She reports two presses of interest to women writers: PARIS PRESS at
http://www.parispress.org/, a not-for-profit press publishing the work of
women writers that has been neglected or misrepresented by
the literary world, and CHICORY BLUE PRESS at http://www.chicorybluepress.com/, a small feminist, literary press, now focusing on the strong
voices of women over sixty.
Finally, some reminders about events and deadlines mentioned earlier. Promoting his memoir Fifty Miles from Tomorrow, Willie Hensley will be in Ketchikan on Wednesday, January 28 at the Ted Ferry Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. and at the Hangar Ballroom in Juneau on Thursday, January 29 at 7 p.m. Then it's back on Anchorage on February 6 (7 p.m., UAA Bookstore) and Thursday, February 12 (7 p.m., Anchorage Museum). For details, visit http://us.macmillan.com/Tour.aspx?id=246.
On January 31 Mr. Whitekeys will host literary readings from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum - the final literary event for the Freeze Project. On Saturday, January 31 from 2-4 p.m., David Marusek is doing a book launch for Mind over Ship at Gulliver's in Fairbanks, and on Saturday, February 7, he's reading at 6 p.m. at Barnes and Noble, also in Fairbanks. And author Michael Engelhart will be the featured speaker at the Alaska Professional Communicators luncheon at the Golden Lion Best Western in Anchorage on March 5.
February 5 is the deadline for the annual writing/broadcasting/video/photo contest from Alaska Professional Communicators (formerly Alaska Press Women). And the genre for the Alaska Writer's Guild's March Bi-Monthly Contest is horror. Deadline for submission is March 5; only members may submit.