Monday, December 8, 2014
It’s been an interesting journey to this point. Five years ago I decided that I wanted to get an MFA in creative writing and work in a community-based writing program. Less than two weeks later, Deb and Andromeda announced the creation of 49 Writers. I volunteered immediately. I wanted to be part of this new writers’ organization and the evolving community of Alaskan writers. Later that year, I was accepted into the MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) at UAA. Flash forward to summer, 2014. I was nearing completion of the MFA. I retired from my job at UAA and was looking for something interesting to do in the next phase of my life. Then the search for a new Executive Director was announced. When the Universe provides such a clear opportunity, I figure I need to pay attention.
Back in 2011 when 49 Writers was just one year old, Deb Vanasse interviewed me for a series of volunteer profiles. In her final question she asked what I imagined for the writing center in ten years. My reply was, I see the 49 Writers Center with its own building and adequate classrooms, running a full schedule of workshops, programs, and events for writers of all ages, genres, and geographic locations. The Center will foster connections among writers across the state, rural and urban, multi-generational and multi-cultural, using face-to-face and distance delivered formats. As the Center’s growth in this first year has shown, there’s a lot of interest and need. It’s a very exciting future.
Under the leadership of founders Andromeda Romano-Lax and Deb Vanasse, and executive director Linda Ketchum, 49 Writers has grown and expanded while maintaining a solid foundation. We are blessed with a diverse, talented, and highly skilled membership. I've met many of you in workshops, at the Tutka Bay retreat, the member salons, and other events. I look forward to meeting the rest of you in the coming year, personally or virtually. Together, we are capable of doing wonderful things.
It is a very exciting future indeed.