Only with the help of our fine volunteers is 49 Writers able to serve Alaska's literary community. Here, an interview with volunteer Cheryl Lovegreen, who writes under the pen name of Lynn Lovegreen. Cheryl is pictured here on the beach in Nome, where she was researching one of her historical novels. If you'd like to volunteer at 49 Writers, use the "Get Involved" tab at www.49writingcenter.org to fill out our volunteer form.
Tell us a little about yourself, including your day job and what you do as a volunteer for 49 Writers.
I’m a retired English teacher, currently working as a Student Success Facilitator in UAA’s RRANN (Recruitment and Retention of Alaska Natives into Nursing) program. I have helped with several volunteer efforts for 49 Writers, including creating a flyer and finding speakers for last fall’s Book and Tea Talk, participating in brainstorming for the beginning of WYAK, and posting news on the Alaska Book Week site. I also act as a liaison for the UAA Bookstore and AKRWA (Alaska Romance Writers of America), making sure they are familiar with what’s happening at 49 Writers.
Why did you decide to volunteer at the 49 Alaska Writing Center?
I have participated in many of the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conferences, and I love the learning and camaraderie I experience there. Volunteering at the 49 Alaska Writing Center looked like a good way to extend that feeling throughout the year.
What’s a highlight of your involvement so far?
I enjoyed hearing people I really admire share their favorite Alaska books at the Book and Tea Talk. It was a fun event but also an important one for me personally, to help bring the participants together.
Tell us something about your literary interests or activities.
I am writing a series of young adult historical romances set in the Alaska Gold Rush, under the name Lynn Lovegreen. I am unpublished, and have a manuscript submitted to a literary agency as I write this. I am active in AKRWA (Alaska Romance Writers of America) and the Alaska chapter of SCBWI (the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators). I also love to read, although I don’t read as much as I would like to. Writing takes much of my free time.
What’s the last great book you read?
I finally read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie this summer. I was blown away by the format (so perfect for teens), and the heart and soul of the main character, Junior. My own writing is in a very different style, but I’d like to touch readers the way this book touched me.
When you picture our writing center ten years from now, what do you imagine?
Our writing center will reflect the needs and interests of the members who are present ten years from now, so I don’t have a definite image in mind. But I would like to see a place for writers and literary fans to meet, learn from each other, and share the power of words.