Friday, March 15, 2013

49 Writers Weekly Round-up

It’s hard to believe that AWP Boston has come and gone after the long build-up. Writers and literary groups around Alaska are already planning proposals for next year’s AWP Annual Conference and Bookfair in Seattle, February 26-March 1, 2014, which will feature Annie Proulx as the keynote. The proposal deadline is May 1, 2013. Although Alaska made a good showing in Boston, we will surely take Seattle by storm.

Intrepid writer heading for AWP Conference in Boston?
Back to 2013. AWP is an overwhelming experience regardless of whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned attendee. So many panels, so many readings, so many signings and special events on-site and off-site. Even if you arrive with a full dance card, there’s always the weather factor! Several scheduled authors missed their panels due to flights delayed by the snowstorm. Start with a plan but remain flexible and spontaneous and enjoy being in the company of so many of your “tribe” (even the lady who wore rabbit ears throughout the proceedings, to the puzzlement of Steve Almond at one session).

49 Writers is also part of a tribe within the tribe, the AWP Writing Conferences and Centers group (WC&C), which holds its annual meeting at the conference and this year offered a variety of panels, two of which I had to honor to serve on: Creating a Literary Center and Town and Gown: Partnerships Between Literary Centers and Creative Writing Programs. These are more conversations than anything, as we are all eager to continue learning from each other. Established writing centers such as The Loft in Minneapolis, Grub Street in Boston, and The Lighthouse in Denver are always happy to share their wisdom and to offer support; it’s good to feel you’re part of a strong writing community beyond Alaska. If you’re ever in Boston, do stop by Grub Street – they have a lovely new suite on Boylston Street at the top of the Steinway building, where soothing piano music wafts up the elevator shaft.

For insights into a multiplicity of panels, here are some links to posts by Brevity bloggers who attended the conference: A First Report for the Snowbound Conference; The Innate Shape of AWP Reality; That Genre Thing Again; and The Art of the Ending. (If I hadn’t crushed my camera lens by stuffing the camera in the book bag, there would have been more photos to share on Facebook.)

Needless to say I returned brimming with ideas for 49 Writers programs and events and enthusiasm for building on what we already do. After our spring literary season ends next month, we will be sending you a survey requesting your input on what matters to you and what programming you would like to see in the future.

Alaska writers have been registering for this year’s Tutka Bay Writers Retreat at a record rate! I had the opportunity to say hello to Ron Carlson after the panel he moderated, “Flash, Sudden—Where Did They Come From, Where Are They Going,” and he is looking forward to being with us in September. There are only four slots left and you can register on the Retreats page of the 49 Writers website.

It’s Write-a-thon time! Don’t miss this opportunity to support the literary arts in Alaska by participating in a night of marathon writing on Friday, April 12, 6:00-11:00pm at Snow City Café. We are asking you to write for four hours, nine minutes and then celebrate your accomplishments at our after-party. For more information, including how to register and set up your fundraising page, click here.

Here’s a reminder of 49 Writers classes and events coming up in the next month– details at
  • Friday, March 22, 7:00pm, Great Harvest Bread: AQR and 49 Writers present a Reading & Craft Talk featuring Eva Saulitis.
  • Saturday, March 23, 9:00am-4:00pm: Prose/Poem, a workshop with Eva Saulitis
  • Saturday, March 23: Characters: Real & Imagined, a Juneau workshop with Amy O’Neill Houck
  • Friday, April 5, 7:00-8:30pm, Anchorage Museum: Crosscurrents with Nancy Zafris and Frank Soos, "The Short Story: Alive and Well?"
  • Saturday, April 6: Weekend workshop with Nancy Zafris, Short Story Structure and Brainstorming
  • Sunday, April 7, 2:00-4:00pm: Poetry workshop in Palmer with Julie LeMay
  • Friday, April 12, 5:00-11:00pm: Write-a-thon fundraiser at Snow City Café 
Write Young Alaska (WYAK) has announced its third and final youth writing contest of the year, deadline Friday, April 16. This time we are soliciting poetry, in honor of National Poetry Month, and entries are already coming in. Can you Haiku? How about laughing in a Limerick? Free form poetry, rhyming or not, is welcome too. The winner in each of three age categories will be published in Alaska Out Loud, the WYAK zine, and receive a book of poetry and a critique from a published poet. Click here to submit.

F Magazine will be announcing the winners of the 3rd Annual Alaska Statewide Youth Art & Writing Competition (ASYAWC) at the celebratory awards ceremony March 16, 5:30pm, at Out North Art House in Anchorage and published in the summer issue of F. Everyone is invited to attend to support our creative Alaskan youth. This competition is run entirely by volunteers and made possible by the generosity of donors and grants. Thank you again to 49 Writers volunteer Michelle Saport for coordinating this year’s judging process.

Monday, March 18, 5:30-7 pm, Loussac Library Master Plan Open House at the Z.J. Loussac Library, Wilda Marston Theatre. The recently completed plan sets a vision for a renovated Loussac that is a dynamic and interactive hub for community engagement. Attend for a presentation from the architects and an opportunity to provide your feedback. Visit to learn more.
Poetry Parley is coming up on Wednesday, March 20¸ 7pm at Out North Gallery, 3800 Debarr. Gary Holthaus will be the local poet; the marquee poet will be Robert Hass.
Cirque Journal’s submissions deadline for the Summer Solstice issue is approaching, on Thursday, April 21. Submissions guidelines on the website.
On Friday, March 22, 5pm, Dana Stabenow will be at Fireside Books in Palmer to celebrate the release of her 20th Kate Shugak novel, Bad Blood.

March 22-24 at the Sitka Island Institute, writer-in-residence, Sierra Golden, will be presenting a weekend workshop on The Poetry of Work. $30 for adults, $20 for students. Beginning and experienced poets welcome. More details here.

April 9, 7:30pm, UAA/APU Consortium Library 307 - Don't miss the 2013 Alaska Literary Series/Boreal Books Anchorage Launch. Readers will be:
  • Mei Mei Evans, Oil and Water (novel)
  • Erin Hollowell, Pause, Traveler (poems)
  • Carolyn Kremers, Upriver (poems)
  • Sara Loewen, Gaining Daylight (essays)
  • Peggy Shumaker, Toucan Nest (poems)
Pen the Kenai! Kenai Peninsula residents are invited to represent what “Life on the Kenai” means to them. All submissions will be displayed with the Paint the Kenai murals at the Visitors Center in Kenai. Semi-finalists submissions will be chosen to be published in a Paint/Pen the Kenai book to commemorate the projects. And one winning writer will be chosen to have their submission put on permanent display with the mural. Submissions are solicited from as wide a variety as possible to represent the different experiences of Life on the Kenai — homesteaders, newcomers, fishermen and women, businesspeople, Natives, outdoors enthusiasts, industry workers, from Hope to Seward, Nikiski to Port Graham, and everything and everywhere beyond and in between. Click here for submission information. Deadline is midnight April 15For more information on Pen the Kenai, contact Jenny Neyman at or 394-6397.

1 comment:

Andromeda Romano-Lax said...

So glad to hear that 49 Writers is staying connected with those other great writing centers through AWP. Glad you were there, Linda, picking up lots of new ideas (and putting up with the terrible weather) to bring AK great new literary energy. Thank you!