Friday, May 13, 2016

Weekly Roundup of Writing Opportunities for May 13


16th Annual Reading Rendezvous 
Saturday, May 14th, 12-4 PM, Z. J. Loussac Library
Kick off Summer Reading with this fantastic family event on the library lawn. There will be live entertainment and activities. This can't-miss event is a traditional way to start your summer reading adventures. More info. 

Alaska Quarterly Review Book Launch Celebration  
Saturday, May 14th, 7 PM | Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center 
Alaska Quarterly Review (AQR) celebrates its 34th year of publication with the Spring and Summer 2016 edition dedicated to the living memory of Eva Saulitis and Marie Sheppard Williams, marvelous writers and poets whose works graced our pages manytimes over several decades. Peggy Shumaker and Kate Partridge are the evening's featured poets. The program also includes music performed by Sharman Piper (oboe), Linda Ottum (cello), and Laura Koenig (flute) and commentary by Susan Derrera and Editor Ronald Spatz. More info

Poetry Parley
Wednesday May 18th 7:00pm, at Great Harvest Bread Company 
570 E Benson Blvd, Anchorage, Alaska
Poetry Parley returns this month with a reading of new work by emerging poet E D Turner followed by a group reading of poems from this month’s marquee poet: Naomi Shihab Nye. This will be their last meeting until regrouping in September. 

Book Release Celebration of Made of Salmon with William L. Iggiagruk Hensley, 
Don Rearden, Julia O’Malley, Kirsten Dixon, and  Carol Sturgulewski. 
Thursday, May 19th, | Readings, book signings, and discussion. 11:30 am - 1:30 pm 
Made of Salmon is the newest book from The Salmon Project, edited by former Alaska Writer Laureate Nancy Lord, and published by University of Alaska Press. It blends a unique and powerful collection of stories, essays, poems and photography that explore our shared connections to salmon—and how salmon connect to our values, families, hopes and fears. The Salmon Project is a co-sponsor for the event. Free parking in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, Sports Campus West Lot.  Everyone is encouraged to attend. For more information about UAA Campus Bookstore events contact Rachel Epstein at 786-4782 or

Bear Stories
Thursday, June 9, evening show, time TBA at Bear Tooth Theatrepub
Music by Todd Grebe & Cold Country | Tickets: $12, available May 24
Hosted by the International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA) with Arctic Entries volunteers and Bear Tooth. Proceeds benefit bear conservations.


The Fairbanks Arts Association is the host of the oldest Literary Reading in the State. Every month, the public is treated to writers reading their own work and a community meet-up where people can connect with other lovers of literature. Readings are held on the day after First Friday, usually the first Saturday of the month at 7 pm. Most reading are held in the Bear Gallery in Pioneer Park, although occasionally in the summer (June, July, and August) the weather is beautiful reading are held outside to another spot in Pioneer Park.

June 4: Community Writers Group and Alaska Writers Guild 
July 9: Nicole Stellon O’Donnell
August 6: Paul Greci
September: UAF Faculty Reading
October: TBA
November: TBA
December: Rosemary McGuire
Additional readings and literary events may be held, but the First Saturday Literary Reading Series will always be at 7 pm the day after First Friday (Except February). 


49 Writers is pleased to partner with the Machetanz Arts Festival at the Mat-Su College on June 4 and 5 to facilitate six writing workshops and two panel discussions. Register today!

Full schedule: 
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Session I (9:30 – 11:30 am)
Julie LeMay | Finding Yourself in a Poem
While focusing on poetic techniques like metaphor and repetition, this workshop will use writing exercises to create poems about the self. Whether you’re a beginning or experienced poet, you’ll find this workshop a playful approach to getting some poems on the page. Open to all levels. 

Session II (12:30 – 2:30 pm)
Alyse Knorr | How Shall I Begin? Starting Your Piece with a Bang 
How do writers keep readers reading? What’s the best way to begin your short story, novel, memoir, or poem to set the mood, establish themes, and introduce conflict? This workshop will explore the art of beginnings, introductions, and first words. We will look at some top-notch examples, work through craft exercises, and finish class with several new beginnings and approaches to beginnings!

Session III (2:45 – 4:45 pm)
Don Rearden | The Sphere of Writing
Learn how to advance your fiction and nonfiction to the next level by giving your writing a 360-degree transformation. In this workshop you'll be guided through a series of fun writing prompts that will help you understand and see the world your characters live in a new light. Learn how to craft complex and detailed environments and watch your characters come to life within their new realm of existence.

Panel Discussion (5 – 6:30 pm)
Panel: Julie LeMay, Alyse Knorr, Don Rearden | "You've Written Something, Now What?" 
You’ve written your masterpiece, now what? This panel will explore the different ways to get feedback on your written work and how to decide where to submit your work for publication. We’ll discuss literary journals, agents, developmental editors, and all the behind-the-scenes work you need to accomplish between your first draft and getting your words in front of readers.

Sunday, June 5, 2016
Session I (9:30 – 11:30 am)
Lynn Lovegreen | Playing With Description
Good writers use description to set the scene or reveal character. We’ve all read a great line or sentence that describes perfectly, or cringed when a writer does too much or not enough. But how do we do that effectively? This workshop will explore description through reading and discussing examples, playing around with writing exercises, and finding what works for the writer in a specific audience, genre, and style.

Session II (12:30 – 2:30 pm)
Martha Amore | Capturing Character: The Mechanics of Writing Great Characters in Fiction and Nonfiction
Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, crafting complex and emotionally moving characters is critical to a successful piece of writing. This workshop focuses on how to develop your characters while advancing your story.

Session III (2:45 – 4:45 pm)
Susanna Mishler | Walking the Line
What exactly is a poetic line made of? What difference does it make where the line "breaks"? In this workshop participants will examine lines by contemporary English-language poets that are used to achieve very different effects. We will also experiment with lineation strategies and types with in-class exercises. Our exercises and guided discussion will help illuminate what makes a strong poetic line, and how an understanding of poetic lines can enhance our own writing and reading. Suitable for poets and prose writers, as well as readers, who would like to broaden their knowledge of poetic craft.

Panel Discussion (5 – 6:30 pm)
Panel: Lynn Lovegreen, Susanna Mishler, Martha Amore | Writing About Alaska Without Moose
How do you write authentically about a place that has inspired so much clichéd literature? We’ll explore how to develop written work imbued with place that doesn’t descend into overly-familiar themes and images.

Skagway | May 20th, 7 pm, Dedman Stage, Seven Pastures. The Chance Ensemble presents John Muir: University of the Wilderness -- A Narrative Concert. Opening act: Buckwheat Donahue. Sponsored by Skagway Arts Council and National Park Service. More.


Rasmuson Foundation Announces 2016 Individual Artist Award Recipients | Literary awardees include Brian Fierro and Joan Naviyuk Kane (both of Anchorage) and Seth Kantner of Kotzebue. Full list and more info

Award nominations due May 31 for 2016 Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) Awards. The program is a statewide effort to recognize people and agencies who support literature and literacy in the north. The awards, presented by Alaska Center for the Book annually since 1993, honor individuals and institutions who have made a significant contribution to literacy efforts, to the literary arts, or preservation of the written or spoken word in Alaska. Past winners include librarians, teachers, writers, tutors, learning programs, volunteers and others dedicated to making the world a better place through the gift of language. 

Last years’ winners were historian Dee Longenbaugh of Juneau: Barrow author Debby Dahl Edwardson; Dr. Edna McLean of Anchorage, author of an Inupiaq-English dictionary; and “Alaska Spirit of Reading,” a literacy program based in Sitka.
Although the initial deadline was in April, the deadline has been extended to May 31. Nomination forms are available on-line at Alaska Center for the Book’s web site, or by calling 907-786-4379

Awards will be presented in July during the University of Alaska’s Northern Renaissance Arts and Sciences reading series, held in conjunction with UAA’s MFA program in Creative WritingAlaska Center for the Book is Alaska’s affiliate to the Library of Congress Center for the Book. The non-profit, all-volunteer board partners with literary, educational, arts and humanities organizations to host and sponsor events across the state, including Reading Rendezvous, Alaska Reads, Poems in Place, Letters About Literature and more. Contact: Carol Sturgulewski (907) 764-1604

Seeking Storytellers On the evening of Thursday, June 9, the International Association for Bear Research and Management is hosting a Bear Storytelling Night at the Bear Tooth Theatrepub. The format will be inspired by Arctic Entries. The theme for the show is bears: bear encounters, bear lessons, bear observations, bear obsessions, bear ANYTHING. Bear biologists, Alaskans of all ages, visitors, anyone who has a good bear tale – are welcome to tell us their best bear stories!
Arctic Entries volunteers will help with story selection and story coaching for the show. This event will feature seven storytellers who will be selected based on the range of stories submitted – from the funny to the scary, adorable to the bizarre, and everything in between. Once a story is submitted, they will follow up either in person, on the phone, or through email. Arctic Entries volunteers will work with you on developing the story, fleshing out the parts that elicit a range of reactions from the audience, and finding a storytelling technique that works for you. They also provide assistance with stage fright. Please submit stories to Include your name, email address, and phone number along with your story pitch. Thank you!

Seeking Writers and Photographers for New Alaska Food Magazine
Edible Alaska, a new magazine focused on food culture and practices in Alaska, will hit the newsstands in June. Currently they are getting ready to launch their website with lots of new content. They seek writers, photographers, recipe writers, and local chefs (who want to be a resource to them). Article pitches should fall (loosely) into the categories: eat, drink, and food for thought. Web articles will be between 250-400 words and will pay about $50 per piece and an additional $25 for an accompanying photograph. The rate is somewhat negotiable for more experienced writers/photographers and for longer pieces. 

They seek original recipes that can include your standard recipe and a "how-to" video. They are not looking for another profile about a great microbrewery or reviews of well-known restaurants. They want to expand what people know and think about food (and food culture) in Alaska while creating an archive of food practices throughout the state (both urban and rural).

Please email your pitch to with the subject line: Edible Article Pitch.  Please include in your pitch sample writing clips, if you have any. The magazine is particularly interested in recruiting writers from outside of Anchorage and writers who live in rural/bush areas of the state.  Don't let a lack of writing experience deter you from pitching a story, they are interested in cultivating new writers who have great stories to share.”


Skagway | Scholarship to North Words Writers SymposiumThe Skagway Arts Council offers Arts Scholarships of up to $300 to individuals who have lived in Skagway for at least one year. More information and applications are available on the SAC blog.

The sixth annual North Words Writers Symposium will be held May 25-28. Novelist/essayist/editor and storyteller supreme Brian Doyle of Portland, Oregon (Mink RiverThe PloverMartin Marten, and the forthcoming Chicago) will be the 2016 keynote author. He will be joined by Alaskan authors Kim Heacox, Eowyn Ivey, Heather Lende, Lynn Schooler, John Straley, and Emily Wall. Learn more and register. 

Salmon Life Haiku Contest | Love salmon? Submit haikus about your Salmon Life to win sweet prizes, including a gift card, 'Made of Salmon,' a salmon t-shirt & other goodies. More info.

The fifteenth Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference will be held on June 10-14 in Homer. This year's keynote is Pulitzer Prize winning, National Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, who will be joined by Miriam Altshuler (agent), Dan Beachy-Quick, Richard Chiappone, Jennine Capó Crucet, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Forrest Gander, Lee Goodman, Richard Hoffman, Erin Coughlin Hollowell, Sarah Leavitt, Nancy Lord, Jane Rosenman (editor), Peggy Shumaker, Sherry Simpson, Frank Soos, and David Stevenson. For more information and to register go to the website

David Lynn Grimes, Michelle McAfee, Robin Child, and Nancy Cook will lead the second annual Riversong Workshop, a Wrangell Mountains Center program. This July 20-26th program for writers and songwriters includes four nights on the Kennicott, Nizina, Chitina and Copper Rivers. Info and registration at

Debra Magpie Earling
Register now for the 2016 Tutka Bay Writers Retreat, a 49 Writers program which will take place on September 9-11, 2016 at the fantastic Tutka Bay Lodge. Faculty instructor award-winning writer Debra Magpie Earling will lead fiction writers in an in-depth writing workshop. Emphasizing in-class writing supportiveness, collegiality, and constructive atmosphere, the engaged student will emerge with improved techniques for further work. Early registration fee is $600 for members and $650 for nonmembers. Learn more and register.

Storyknife Writers Retreat submissions window for its inaugural Storyknife Fellow closes May 15th. Women writers (over 21) can apply for a 2 week to 4 week residency during the month of September 2016. The successful candidate(s) will receive a $250 per week stipend at the end of their residency. This money can be used to cover the costs of travel, food, and a rental car if the resident is from out of the drivable area. The resident will need to purchase and prepare their own meals, with the exception of a welcome dinner and a farewell dinner, at the beginning and end of their stay. Learn more and apply

Alaska Magazine seeks pitches from new and established writers. They are a publication for Alaska enthusiasts and need a wide variety of articles. The best section to break into the magazine is KtoB (formerly Ketchikan to Barrow), which includes everything from cool job profiles to End of the Trail obituaries to a short write up about an Alaska-made product. They’d also like to see queries about culture, history, nature, interviews with Alaskans and feature articles ideas. Review recent hard copy issues of Alaska magazine and visit to learn more, and then send short, descriptive pitches to freelance contributing editor Susan Sommer at

13 Chairs Literary Journal, a new literary journal publishing short stories and poetry from new and emerging authors, seeks submissions and volunteers. They are currently composing their flagship issue, straight out of JBER, AK. To learn more, and to submit, email or visit

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