Friday, April 20, 2012

Ela: 49 Writers Weekly Round-up

A HUGE thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of our 2012 Write-a-thon! We are profoundly grateful to our writers and fundraisers, our donors, our business sponsors, and the wonderful volunteers who came together to stage this event.

Altogether 75 people registered this year, with 45 writers raising $7,499 from 219 donors – and the money is still coming in! Five more writers participated informally in Homer (see report below). Twenty-two registered at Snow City Café, and we were delighted to see the strong showing from our young writers – 16 under the age of 20 took part.

The businesses that continue to support our event with prize donations are Snow City Café, Spenard Roadhouse, Moose’s Tooth/Bear Tooth, Title Wave Books, Raven’s Brew Coffee – and this year the Homer Bookstore provided the prize for the top “outside Anchorage” fundraiser. Do take the opportunity to express your personal thanks to them too. Special recognition goes to the amazing staff at Snow City Café, who could not have been more helpful and good-humored. 

 Maia Nolan-Partnow did a superb job as Write-a-thon MC, and even stepped in at a moment’s notice when one of our celebrity contestants was unable to compete in the Pen-under-Pressure after-party game. Not only that, she emerged as the final victor! A big thanks to party MC Mark Muro and our other two contestants, Peter Porco and Warren Weinstein, who took some challenging vocabulary (try “scabies” and “pumpernickel”) and turned it into poetry and the beginnings of a novel or memoir. Our guest judges for the evening—Don Rearden, Susanna Mishler, and Joan Wilson—were sparing in their praise, however, with memorable critiques including, “Your limerick was an inspired cross between Shakespeare and Car Talk,” and “That first paragraph of a novel was so hot that if it were written on a grain of rice it would cook itself!”

Please take the opportunity too to thank the members of our Write-a-thon team who came together to plan and organize this year’s fundraiser: Michelle Saport, Sandra Kleven, Andromeda-Romano Lax, Louise Freeman-Toole, Hillary Walker, Lucian Childs, Karen Benning, and Lorena Knapp. They worked quietly and diligently in the background to take care of the numerous tasks and details that contribute to a successful event. And thank you to Stefanie Tatalias for leading our yoga stretches.

We have already received many suggestions for next year, and will be distributing an e-survey to Write-a-thon participants today to solicit your ideas too. One request that came through loud and clear was the desire to socialize more often, so look for information soon about upcoming 49 Writers social gatherings. 

Seven of us gathered in Homer at the Homer Council on the Arts Building. Everyone said how much they enjoyed the quiet, sustained writing time, punctuated with snacks, interesting conversation, and occasional breaks where one of us read some of what we were working on. We also connected with the team writing down in Edmonds, WA, via Skype--they had balloons there!

On Tuesday, April 24 at 7:00 pm, Mary Albanese will be giving a Reading and Craft Talk on writing her memoir, Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon, the story of her years traveling Alaska as a geologist and adventurer. To learn more about Mary, visit the recent blog post by Lizbeth Meredith. We look forward to seeing you at our new venue, Great Harvest Bread Company on Benson.

Congratulations go to Stefanie Tatalias, 49 Writers youth instructor, volunteer, and WYAK coordinator, who has just been appointed the Regional Advisor of Alaska for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. SCBWI is one of the largest non-profit organizations for writers and illustrators. It is the only professional organization specifically for individuals writing and illustrating for young adults and children's literature, film, magazines, television, and multi-media. As RA, Stefanie plans to foster a strong community of published authors and those writers learning the craft. Expect to see community events ranging from informal critique groups, to workshops with local and lower 48 authors/illustrators, and retreats with agents and editors. She is actively recruiting members and will be seeking help in planning events. Please contact her at: statalias@me.com if you are interested. Or check out SCBWI.org for more information. 

Tonight, Friday April 20, 4-6pm Howard Weaver will present and sign copies of Write Hard, Die Free at the UAA Campus Bookstore

Also tonight, Friday April 20, 6:30pm, there will be a celebration of spring and Fundraiser for the Wrangell Mountains Center.Connect with WMC community members, and support their efforts to foster understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of wildlands and mountain culture in Alaska through scientific and artistic inquiry in the Wrangell Mountains. This party and fundraiser features live music from the Piggy Note Playboys (Pilot Cracker Playboys meets Whistle Pigs meets the C-Notes), beer donated from the Moose's Tooth, catering by Everyday Gourmet's Kirsten Richardson, a silent auction, information about their summer programs, a play room for kids, and good times. $25 suggested donation.

Also tonight, Friday April 20, 7pm, the UAF English Department presents fiction writer Dana Spiotta as part of the 2011-12 Midnight Sun Visiting Writer Series. Wood Center Ballroom, UAF Campus.

On Saturday, April 21, 10am, a Writers Critique group will meet at Title Wave Books, Northern Lights Mall, Anchorage. Open to all types of writing, genre and levels. For more information, call Mary at (907) 569 5075.

Also on Saturday, April 21, 7pm, Fairbanks Arts Association sponsors the Ego Reading, by UAF's MFA Candidates. Featuring Aaron Bauer, Jody Hassel, Jen Hoppough, Cody Kucker, Christopher Lee Miles, Molly Murray, Sally Rafson, Ryan Ragan, and Elizabeth Sharrock.

Also on Saturday, April 21, 7.30pm, Bunnell St Gallery in Homer presents Voices Unite, stories of strength, healing and hope, a benefit for Haven House in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Featuring performances of writings by survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, plus Sarah Jane Johnson's "Devil in a Box" (recently presented in NYC). $15 suggested/pay as you can.

On Monday, April 23, 5pm, Mary Albanese will be presenting and signing copies of Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon at the UAA Campus Bookstore.

Also on Monday, April 23, 7-8.45, Howard Weaver will present the Snedden Lecture, Noel Wien Library, Fairbanks.

Also on Monday, April 23, 7pm, the students of Nancy Lord and Erin Hollowell's creative writing classes will give a public reading. Kachemak Bay Campus Commons, Homer. Free and open to everyone.

On Tuesday, April 24, 4pm, Mary Albanese will be reading and signing copies of Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon at Fireside Books, Palmer, and then later in Anchorage (see lead-in above).

On Tuesday, April 24, 7pm, the Anchor Park Reading Group will meet at the Fireplace Lounge, Barnes & Noble, to discuss this month's book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson. 200 E. Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage.

On Wednesday, April 25, 6pm, Mary Albanese will be giving a presentation and book signing of Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon at Talkeetna Library.

On Wednesday, April 25, 6.30-8pm, Howard Weaver will present and sign copies of Write Hard, Die Free, Hearthside Books, Juneau

Next Friday, April 27, 4pm, Mary Albanese will present Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon as part of the Annual UAF Author reception, Rasmuson Library, Fairbanks

Next Friday April 27, 7pm, Nicole Stellon O'Donnell will present and sign copies of Steam Laundry at Gulliver's Books, 3525 College Rd., Fairbanks.

Next Saturday, April 28, 2pm, Fairbanks Arts Association and the Chatanika Dredge Company, with special thanks to Jane Haigh and Patricia Peirsol, present the Fifteenth Annual "Poetry at the Dredge," Chatanika Dredge, Mile 29 Steese Highway. This year's theme, "Interior Poets," highlights the work of some of the most celebrated and well-recognized poets in the Interior! Selected readers will include: Cindy Hardy, John Morgan, Amber Flora Thomas, and Peggy Shumaker. Bring poetry, a sack lunch, water, a blanket, a cushion or rug, and warm clothes! More information: call 907 456 6485 ext. 226 or email anna@fairbanksarts.com

Elizabeth Dabney shares this news--Anchorage is the third most e-literate city in the nation! http://priceonomics.com/e-readers/#kindle-index 

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