Friday, June 21, 2013

49 Writers Weekly Roundup

Al fresco reading at Kachemak Bay Writers Conference, June 17, 10pm
It's hard to believe another Kachemak Bay Writers Conference has come and gone. We were so privileged to spend time with the incomparable Naomi Shihab Nye, an amazing and inspirational keynote author. She urged us to develop a sense of patience, to stick with a project until it finds a home. Find a local writing community that believes in you as a writer and in your project (hmmm, could that be 49 Writers?). Keep putting your voice out there. Carry a little notebook with you everywhere. Like Iris Murdoch, Naomi believes in "continuous small treats" - they're one of the secrets of happy writing. Experiment! Start with just one line. Set it aside, and add to it next time you're back at your desk with one more line (no more). Keep this up and you'll have several pieces in no time. "Problems," which turned out to a really important poem for her, came into being this way. The University of Toledo even published it with one sentence to a page. See what happens when you give yourself this gift of incremental writing. If you love small increments, they'll feed larger increments.

Besides the great sessions and panels at KBWC, the networking with other Alaskan writers, established authors, agents, editors, and publishers is invaluable. It was great to finally meet some of our members from around the state in person, and to connect with potential partners on future projects. The energy in the room was tangible. One writer from Hawaii commented to me that in her 13 years there she has never encountered such camaraderie and sense of literary community as she did this past weekend. Let's keep building and strengthening these connections.

Tonight, Friday, June 21, 5:30pm at Out North, the Summer Solstice issue of Cirque will be launched. Copies will also be available at Fireside Books in Palmer and at midnight, the journal will go on sale at Cirque is also carried by Homer Books, Cover to Cover (Seward), UAA Campus Bookstore, and New Renaissance Books in Portland, OR.

Thursday, June 27, 6-9pm, the U.S. Raven's Gift book launch takes place at Tap Root, 3300 Spenard. Billed as "the book party to end all book parties," host will be Eskimo Bob, with music provided by Kevin Morgan, Jonathan J. Bower, Burnt Down House, and Stephen Blanchett from Pamyua. Door prizes include sweet swag from Raven's Brew Coffee.

Saturday, June 29, 11:30am, Fireside Books hosts Don Rearden, author of The Raven's Gift. This might be the biggest book event of the year! Jodi Picoult calls The Raven's Gift "a read that opens our eyes and finds the fault lines of a heart in one breathless sitting." A portion of the sales of Raven's Gift will support the people of Galena as they rebuild their lives following the recent flood.

First Saturday Authors, Artists, Crafts event, July 6 & August 3, 11am - 4pm. 2013 is the third year that the Hope Community Library and the Hope Chamber of Commerce has sponsored summer First Saturday Authors, Artists and Craft events on the lawn at the library. This fun-filled event is free to both visitors and participants. Alaskan authors bring their books, autograph and sell them. As a courtesy and thanks to the authors who come, the Hope Library Gift Shop purchases books for resale and becomes an (albeit small) outlet for the authors. The Sherritt Fine Art Gallery hosts a wine and cheese tasting party and hosts artists on this day and the Hope library erects tents on the lawn and fills them with crafters. This year in addition to posters, Facebook, and email invitations, Anchorage radio stations will air public service announcements on the Friday before the event. Another draw for the public is the live music at the 100+ year old pub on the inlet Saturday evenings.

Early Bird Registration ends June 30 for the Alaska Writers Guild annual conference. The conference will feature nationally acclaimed editors, agents, and authors, and will offer a children's literature track in conjunction with the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Click here for more information.

The Island Institute has a job opening for an Associate Director. The Institute's programs focus on the nexus between the literary arts and community resilience. The full job announcement is available on their website: Closing date for applications is 7/15/13.

Mystery Readers Journal is calling for articles. Themes in 2013 are Environmental Mysteries; Chicago; Murder in Transit, Medical Mysteries. 2014: Weather in Mysteries; (and more to come). If you have a mystery set within one of the upcoming themes, consider writing an Author! Author! essay. 500-1500 words, first person, about yourself, your books, and the 'theme' connection. Email Janet Rudolph for more information at

Quirk Books has announced its "Looking for Love" fiction contest and invites writers to submit unpublished novel-length manuscripts containing a love story. The prize is publication by Quirk Books and a $10,000 advance against royalties.

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