As the 2015 Anchorage Centennial approached, 49 Writers--an Anchorage-based nonprofit--considered ways in which to celebrate the history of Anchorage in the words of those who have lived it. Anchorage Remembers found inspiration in the successful memoir project and anthology series of Grub Street, the Boston-based creative writing center. An anthology project aligned well with the 49 Writers mission to support the artistic development of Alaskan writers, foster a writing community, and build an audience for literature.
Anchorage Remembers became an official Anchorage Centennial Project and, with the support of a Community Centennial Grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum, Rasmuson Foundation, and the Anchorage Centennial Celebration, 49 Writers launched the project in January 2014. A team of five local instructors offered four free memoir workshops in three different locations during the first quarter of 2014. Workshops took place at the Anchorage Senior Center, Pioneer School House, and Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center. Each consisted of four sessions and totaled eight hours of instruction. Participants who wanted further assistance with their stories were assigned a volunteer mentor who guided them to completion.
Submissions for the anthology were accepted during the second quarter of 2014. An editorial committee then reviewed and selected 36 stories for the print version of Anchorage Remembers. A team of four volunteer editors worked with our writers to polish their work for publication.
It is our honor to present these stories to you on the blogs of 49 Writers and Anchorage Remembers over the next coming months. The printed anthology will be available later in the year. From the celebration of statehood to the 1964 earthquake, from weekly potlucks to fishing expeditions, our community spirit and sense of adventure shine through. These stories provide snapshots of life in our city as a setting of the last frontier, and as a home, whether new or of generations of families. Taken together, they show our history through the eyes of remarkable individuals. We hope you enjoy reading these stories and are inspired by the richness and beauty of this special place.
Cheryl Lovegreen, Anchorage Remembers Coordinator
Linda Ketchum, 49 Writers Executive Director (2012-2014)
Morgan Grey, 49 Writers Executive Director (2015- )