Last week we promised great news about our new Executive Director and the unveiling of our Spring 2012 Literary Season.
First, the ED. Since May 1, Deb Vanasse has been serving as 49 Writers Interim Executive Director. While she loves this feisty little nonprofit, it has never been her intent to run it permanently. Enter our dynamic board of directors, which launched a full-scale ED search that yielded applications from a number of distinguished candidates, many holding MFAs, MBAs, PhDs. From this competitive pool, the board is pleased to announce their selection of Linda Ketchum, who’ll start as 49 Writers ED on January 1, 2012. A founding member of 49 Writers and a UAA MFA degree candidate in Creative Writing, Linda brings an incredible background in nonprofit management and a passion for all things literary. We promise a full introduction soon, right here at the 49 Writers blog.
Equally exciting is our Spring 2012 Literary Season. Ready to rev up your writing in 2012? We’ve got an incredible lineup of courses, including a Submission Workshop with visiting writer/editor Katey Schultz and two workshops with nationally acclaimed author Steve Almond. Want to work one-on-one with a published author? That would be our Fiction Apprenticeship with Mattox Roesch. And check out our new “Publish and Promote” series, with workshops in Getting Published, Agents, Self-Publishing, Social Media, and Copyright Basics. Of course we’ve also got a workshop from our popular Elements series, this one on Plot, and a workshop for Intermediate Poets. Finally, for the first time we’ll offer a course in the Valley, “Writing Your Place.” Registration opens on January 1, but you can take a sneak peek at the line-up.
Without getting into too much detail, let’s just say we’ve also lined up an exciting season of events in our popular Synergies, Gatherings, R & C, and Crosscurrents series. You’ll want to mark your calendars now for the first 49 Writers Synergies Event of the year, “Poemgrass: a Poet and a Banjo” featuring poet Peggy Shumaker and musician Robin Child at the Anchorage Museum, Brian E. Davies Chugach Gallery (4th Floor) on Wednesday, January 11, 7-8:30pm. On the eve of the 2012 Alaska Arts and Culture Conference, join current Alaska State Writer Laureate, Peggy Shumaker, (Gnawed Bones, Just Breathe Normally) as she reads from her poetry in the cozy and reflective Chugach Gallery at the Anchorage Museum. Music by local banjo player Robin Child and friends; a book signing will follow. Free admission, but donations are welcome to support this innovative reading and performance series.
And of course don’t forget our statewide Resolve to Write events on or about January 20. If you’d like to host one of these gatherings of writers in your community, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org by December 20. The commitment is small – pick a location (a home or café is fine) plus a date and time on or around January 20 – and tell us so we can help spread the word. The idea is for writers to gather and share their writing resolve for the New Year.
Young writers: Our WYAK young writers group (ages 12-14) meets this Monday, December 19, from 6:30-8pm at Teen Underground, third floor Loussac Library. Bring work to share, or just come hang out with other writers. And don’t forget “Comics: Turning drawings into stories” debuting at Teen Underground December 27-29 from 3-5pm, also for ages 12-14. No special drawing or writing talent is required. Teens need to register soon, as the workshop is more than half full. The workshop is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
Visit www.wyakwriters.com for details.
Speaking of teens, kudos to 49 Writers WYAK volunteer Lizbeth Meredith, who in her day job at McLaughlin Youth Center has helped organize a holiday session called “Bring the Outside In.” The idea is to give incarcerated youth a chance to explore skills they can continue after release. Besides offering our Comics class at Teen Underground, illustrator Lee Post has volunteered to teach “Awesome Drawing” at the McLaughlin event. Contingent on funding, watch for continuing 49 Writers involvement with youth at McLaughlin and Covenant House.
For a comprehensive calendar of literary events throughout Alaska, visit http://www.alaskalitevents.com/.
Tonight, Friday, December 16, 7pm, the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club will host the second of six V.O.I.C.E. Youth Open Mic's. Wang Gat will be the second featured reader. Wang was one of the Brave New Alaskan Voices youth poetry slam team members who traveled to San Francisco this summer to participate in the Brave New Voices national youth poetry slam.
Congratulations to Susan Pope, who has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her essay entitled "Canyon," which appeared in the Spring 2011 Issue of Bluestem, a journal of the Department of English, Eastern Illinois University. Her essays have also been published in journals and anthologies including Pilgrimage, Damselfly Press, The Southeast Review, Crosscurrents North: Alaskans on the Environment, Cirque: A Literary Journal of the Pacific Rim, Persimmon Tree, and others.
Ann Chandonnet's book Write Quick was reviewed last week in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Check it out here!