Membership has its perks! On Thursday, Jan. 16, 49 Writers members will gather for an informal “Resolve to Write” event that includes a fireside chat featuring Lael Morgan and me. Our topic: Strategies for Success in Writing and Publishing. (If you’re not a member, it’s easy to join: you’ll be supporting a great organization, and you’ll get invited to great events like this one, along with other benefits.)
If anyone knows about success in writing and publishing, it’s Lael Morgan. She has sixteen published books to her credit, including Good Time Girls of the Alaska Yukon Gold Rush, which in 1998 placed seventh on the Los Angeles Times best nonfiction list and also won her the distinction of being named Alaska Historian of the Year. Her most recent works are Eskimo Star: From Tundra to Tinseltown: The Ray Mala Story, and Wanton West: Madams, Money, Murder and the Wild Women of Montana's Frontier.
But that’s only the start of her expertise. After earning her master's degree from Boston University with a focus on publishing, she co-founded Epicenter Press, a regional house with more than 100 books to its credit. That same year she joined the Department of Journalism and Broadcasting, University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she taught writing, photography, and multimedia.
Prefer writing short pieces to books? Lael has done that, too. She’s done freelance writing for Alaska Northwest Publishing, the Washington Post, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, and National Geographic Magazine. From 1974 to 1987, she visited on assignment nearly every Alaska village named in the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement. Of the 220 that qualified, she only missed thirteen.
For the hard-to-impress, a few more facts:
- After sailing halfway around the world in a 36-foot schooner, Lael wrote Women's Guide to Boating and Cooking, a pre-women's lib classic
- She was once named Photographer of the Year award for best photo feature in the Los Angeles Times
- She has won a Rockefeller Foundation grant and a Fulbright to Fiji
- She occasionally utilizes her California private detective's license
- She teaches media law
- She continues to acquire manuscripts for Epicenter Press