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Collaborative Reflections & Book News By and About Alaskan AuthorsAndromeda Romano-Laxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16988887975016816552noreply@blogger.comBlogger1999125
Updated: 10 hours 47 min ago

Andromeda/Alaska Writer Abroad: About the ants, and not really about the ants...

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 8:00am
A person very close to me is dying, suddenly and horribly. (We are all dying, of course, which I remind myself nearly every day, but strange creatures that we humans are, we react mostly to the suddenness  and horribleness of things, and are peculiarly offended when mortality strikes close to home, even while knowing that in the world at large, mortality is striking literally every second, somewhere.)
But that is personal, and hard to discuss, even parenthetically.
So I begin – I must begin – with ants.
Not one but three different species are running wild in our new apartment. Of course, we did decide to move to the tropics (Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico). I was always aware, as an Alaskan, that one benefit of our colder climes is how few bugs we deal with on a daily basis, further noth.
It could be worse. In rural Taiwan we had an even bigger problem: an entire nest of ants that had taken over some drawers inside our bed. Individual biting ants ran over my body, night after night, before we discovered the nest. When we did discover the nest, after many sleepless nights, and dragged the drawers outside (but not quite far enough), thousands spilled out and swarmed us, and the outer walls of our home, trying to run back inside. For a few brief but horrifying, slow-motion moments, ants which had crawled onto a porch overhang were raining down on us, as we stomped and screamed and brushed away the biting bodies.
Can an attack by ants cause shock? I now believe so. When we’d cleaned up the last of the ant invasion, I was shaking and suddenly, strangely tired. Though it was only two in the afternoon, I poured myself a gin and tonic with shaking hands and then fell promptly asleep in the relatively bug-free living room.
But I digress.
These Mexican ants – especially the two smaller species that are in love with our kitchen counters – don’t bite. They just crawl and search and gather in the presence of the tiniest crumb or the faintest trace of any food residue.
I have spent several days now, wiping down counters and re-spraying with vinegar (to neutralize the ant trails) and re-layering the window sill with fresh cinnamon (which evidently, ants hate) on an hourly basis. Yes, an hourly basis.
Every time I poke my head back into the kitchen, or go to refill my coffee or get a snack (I snack a lot on writing days), there they are: rallying the troops. And at dinner time, one can barely cut vegetables or bread on a cutting board before there are tiny ants rushing in to join the action. So, you have to fight back. Or at least try to keep the kitchen really, really clean.
That is one upside, I have decided – while looking desperately for upsides.
We used to leave a big pile of dishes in the sink. Tackling them would become a long morning job for my husband, or a mid-afternoon job for me.  Now, we all clean as we go. If I use a spoon, even just to stir the coffee in my cup, I have to immediately wash.
Just as I am waging an hourly battle with ants, I am coping with a more serious distraction. It feels exhibitionist to share these details here, at a blog, or on Facebook (I have so far resisted, questioning my own need for public disclosure, my own cravings for sympathy), but the facts remain: a family member, who has already battled breast cancer, has now been struck with brain cancer. It’s still fresh news. We are thousands of miles apart. I will be visiting to assist with 24-hour  home care soon. But the facts – and the distractions – remain. Every day, there are emails, text messages, and some phone calls. Updates. Increasingly dire reports. Attempts to reach out. Attempts to hold it all in.I want to do what I did after the Taiwan ant attack. I want to pour a gin and tonic, and fall asleep. I’ve been running a lot instead. Running, plus gin. A compromise, at least.
I am physically well, and I can’t claim that my own suffering in this approaches anywhere near the farthest-outside limits of the suffering of the person who is dying, but here at this blog, we are all writers. We don’t judge each other, I hope, for bringing it back to the writing. We talk about these things: about how hard it is to do the work, and especially to stay focused. I will be honest. Focusing has been a major problem. A family phone call may take 30 minutes, but I have found, pretty much like clockwork, that I’m no good for two to three hours after the phone call. An email shouldn’t take long, but I start writing back an email, to one of my sisters, say, and it turns into a long tome. Because we are all struggling to accept this news. To make decisions. To deal with our own feelings and the complicated nexus of relationships that surrounds this terrible diagnosis.
I am a metaphor maker. We all are. So each day, inbetween the dire emails and worrisome phone calls, and inbetween the hourly vinegar-wipe downs and ant battles, I ask myself: what am I learning here? What are the ants—and this other stupid, horrible, inescapable thing— teaching me?
Clean up. Stay on top of things. Be healthy; go for a run. Share the latest bad email news with family. Accept the terrible feelings.
Then try again. Go back to that essay one more time. Go back to that screenplay which is only 10 or 15 pages from the end. Try to work one hour. Try to work twenty minutes. Catch up on emails, and not just the family ones. Forgive oneself for not writing, or not writing well.
Resist the feelings of futility. Of course, those ten ants I just removed from the counter are a small  loss to the enormous colony that must be living outside my kitchen window. (Shudder.) But I just have to work with the surfaces I can see.
Resist the feelings of futility. Who cares about my silly essay, about my experiences living abroad and learning a foreign language? Who cares about my crappy screenplay, about Mexican drug traffickers and Ultra-orthodox wheat farmers? (Yes. Seriously.) Who cares?
I can’t answer that today. I will hold off answering.
I will go back and wash my lunch plate and make sure the watermelon rinds are out of ant territory. I will go back and open that essay file again. I will submit this blogpost because it’s what I do the first Thursday of every month. I will notice the wordcount – look at that, almost 1000 words– why can’t I do that so quickly, with such ease, in my essay or screenplay? Maybe because I was writing about the real distraction(s), and not hiding from them. But I do have to hide from them, or nothing else will get written.
I will try again, as soon I end this blogpost.

Andromeda Romano-Lax is the author of Behave, a novel about science, motherhood and the 1920s (Feb 2016), as well as The Spanish Bow, The Detour, and Searching for Steinbeck’s Sea of Cortez. She is a co-founder of 49 Writers, teaches in the UAA MFA program, and is a private book coach. www.aromanolax.com.

Categories: Arts & Culture

Guest Post: James Engelhardt on Working for Authors

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 7:32am
James EngelhardtAs I start this project, I want to thank 49Writers for the opportunity to be a guest on their blog. 

I arrived in Alaska in early June, 2011. I had just driven from Lincoln, Nebraska, and I was dizzy with light. Over the next few months, I had a crash course in Alaska: people, history, politics, literature, and so much more. I brought with me very few preconceived notions (I believe in letting the place teach you about itself) and a sense that I was at the University of Alaska Press to work for Alaska authors—academic and not. 

During my stay, I’ve made my share of mistakes (from the first summer: When are the Fourth of July fireworks? Answer: New Year’s), but I’ve spent my time learning Alaska. While I haven’t done a lot of quintessential Alaskan things—too much time behind a desk, reading—I have had experts and artists and visionaries come to me to teach me about their love of the state. It has been an extraordinary education, and I expect to keep learning more for years to come. 

What has kept me behind the desk, too, has been that desire to work for authors. Also with authors, but I’d like to explore that “for” a bit. I don’t know about every press, but at UAP we do a lot of work to help authors succeed. And not just our authors but Alaska authors. We’re trying to find great books in order to stay in business, of course, but we’re also thinking about the long haul, and our books will succeed if the name “Alaska” means something more than what we see on reality TV. So we think of our books as a way to keep telling the rest of the world about the great stuff happening up here.

Of course, we also spend a lot of time working with authors. We’re a small publisher, so when I say we work with an author, I mean we’re talking a lot. First with my office, then in production, on to marketing, and even well after the book is finished. What that means—and this is useful to understand—is that finding an author carries a bit of match-making with it. Publishing is like a marriage, so authors and editors need to be comfortable with each other. It’s important for authors (as well as editors) to remember that.

Over the years, I’ve met amazing Alaska authors. Great people with great projects. Some of the projects weren’t for us, but they did get published in other places. And I continue to be happy for them as their dreams get realized and Alaska gains a new voice. With each new voice, I get a chance to learn, too, about this great state we all call home.  

James Engelhardt is the acquisitions editor at the University of Alaska Press and a former managing editor of Prairie Schooner. His scholarly and creative writing appears in numerous literary journals and anthologies.
Categories: Arts & Culture

Alaska Shorts: "Nome, 1953" by John Tetpon

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 6:10am
This excerpt comes from Tetpon’s memoir-in-progress.
SOON AFTER GRANDMA was buried, our family moved to Nome, a small Northwest Alaska town with a long history of gold fever, frontiersmen, lawlessness, taverns, bars, cars, and churches. In 1953, the atmosphere of a rowdy frontier town still hung heavy in the air. Some bar owners wore cowboy hats, chewed tobacco, and wore fancy cowboy boots — like the one who allegedly kicked a Native man to death in front of his bar. The owner said the man had made a pass at his wife. Some said that in exchange for a $250,000 bribe, the bar owner got off.
The town’s newspaper, a tabloid-sized publication called the Nome Nugget, rarely ran a story about Native people. It was as if Native people didn’t exist. In Nome, Native people were like background noise — and looked upon as nuisances. Shopkeepers, restaurant owners, bar owners, and owners of seedy hotels hung signs on their windows that said No Eskimos or Dogs Allowed.Nome was a small town, and everybody seemed to know everybody else’s business. Dad would always remind us we were to keep the family name clean. He and Mom never drank like lots of other Native people did in town. So we didn’t grow up in a home that was terror-filled as our neighbors did. Which is probably a good thing. But we were tied to a religious lifestyle, with dysfunctions similar to those of families crippled by alcohol.
In Nome, the Evangelical Covenant Church, of which I was a member since birth, practiced an acceptable form of racial division — white members sat on the left side, and Native members sat on the right side. I didn’t think much of it then. It was normal. And although “love thy neighbor as yourself” was preached from the pulpit, the all-white leadership never said a word about prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination in Nome, which was everywhere.
Having grown up in the small, protective village of Shaktoolik, I was unaware of the evil that people can visit upon others, especially evil from those who hide behind religion and Jesus. One such man was a choir director at the church, a man who also was a radio announcer at the local Armed Forces Radio Station, AFRS. He would spend time at our home, eating with us and visiting. 
One day he asked my parents if I could spend the night with him at the Covenant Church parsonage. I didn’t think anything of it because he was supposedly a man of God, a good person. Upon getting to the home where he lived, he undressed me and placed me up on his bed and covered me and crawled in beside me. I felt his hands on my private parts. That night he introduced me to feelings I had never before felt. I was at once ashamed and dirty. He told me to never let anyone know.
Other times, he would bring me to the radio station and touch me where I knew deep inside there was something wrong. I began to hate seeing him in church and having him at our house, laughing and talking with my parents as if there was nothing wrong. I grew to hate him. I knew deep within that something was taken from me, something that was sacred. 
I could not tell my parents. What would they think? What would they do? I kept that experience buried deep inside. In my adult years, I drank a lot. The pain never went away. It was always there.
After attending the University of Alaska in Anchorage and Fairbanks, John Tetpon was awarded a year’s fellowship at Yale University. A former reporter for the Anchorage Daily News and the Anchorage Times, he also worked for the Alaska Federation of Natives, the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, and several Native organizations. After forty-plus years in public service and the private sector, he is now retired and spends his time as an artist, writer, and musician.
Categories: Arts & Culture

From the Archives: Deb Vanasse on That Glint of Light

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 10:54am

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov
Description has a bad rap: bland, boring, basic. But it's also true that description is often overdone, or done badly. 
In Thanks, But This Isn’t for Us, literary agent Jessica Page Morrell explains that good description should get readers out of their worlds by anchoring them in the setting and creating mood. Good description also reveals character and develops emotions. It establishes credibility for future events, and it intensifies scenes, slowing the pace and causing the reader to linger. In short, it’s primarily through description that the abstract is made understandable and that readers are able to suspend disbelief. 
Good description is beautiful, and as Mark Doty says, “Beauty is simply accuracy, to come as close as we can to what seems to be real.”
An obvious path to good description is attentiveness, which is broader than you might think. Sensory images are lovely. We draw meaning from what we see and intimacy from what we taste and touch. Sounds focus our attention, while smells affect the limbic, primitive part of our brains. 
From sensory images, it’s a short hop to show, don’t tell, that old writer’s adage. It’s among the first lessons writers learn: Telling reads like synopsis, while showing reads like art. 
But it’s also possible to get way too much of a good thing, especially if you think showing happens only through sensory images. In fact, if taken too much to heart, show, don’t tell is bad advice. Study the writers you love, and you’ll find that part of showing is telling: what characters think, how they feel, what it all means.
Consider this passage from one of my favorite authors, Seth Kantner, in his novel Ordinary Wolves:
Dawna stood still.  The morning night and streetlight shared shadows on her face, glinting her eyes, laying dusk caves under her chin.  Frost jeweled the black silk of her hair.  She stood with her knees close, slightly bent in the cold, her stiff hard tennis shoes pressed together.  A smile lifted the top line of her lip, folding it back provocatively.  Behind her the school waited, for me a terribly cold heated place, for Dawna a pasture of popularity.  My chest was full of air and empty.  I loved her.  I wanted to hold her.  The magazines and TV didn’t know; beauty was Eskimo and brown and named Dawna Wolfglove.
We see the shared shadows, the glint in her eyes, her frost-jeweled hair. We see how Dawna stands, how she smiles. But it’s the oblique parts that set this description apart: the dusk caves lain under her chin, the school a cold heated place, the chest full of air and empty. And the telling is crucial : I loved her.  I wanted to hold her.  The magazines and TV didn’t know; beauty was Eskimo and brown and named Dawna Wolfglove.
“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.” If description were only a matter of precise, camera-like attentiveness, we wouldn’t have this beautiful line from George Eliot’s Middlemarch.
“Description is made both more moving and more exact when it is acknowledged that it is invariably INCOMPLETE,” Doty says, invoking capital letters as he points out that not everything can be described, or needs to be. “The choice of what to evoke, to make any scene seem REAL to the reader is a crucial one,” he adds. A few elements to ground the reader, and a few to evoke surprise - these, Doty says, will rescue a scene from the generic – from the bland, boring, and basic. 
Try This: Freewrite a scene showing yourself in your childhood home, revealing specific emotions tied to specific times and/or corners within the place. The scene may be fiction or fact. Do plenty of showing, but don't be afraid to strategically tell, acknowledging what can't be said or evoking surprise.
Check This Out: Poet Mark Doty ponders The Art of Description in a slim volume by the same name from Graywolf Press. The book reads like a lot like a poem, packed with beauty and distilled thoughts and lyrical lines from the masters.


Categories: Arts & Culture

Weekly Roundup of Writing Opportunities for August 28

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 5:00am
Vacation is over, most visitors have left and we have our city back to ourselves. Sitting in my backyard overlooking Chester Creek, every morning I see more leaves turned yellow. While it’s August still, autumn is around the corner and time for us to look for inspiring events. Here are some exciting possibilities to consider. 
Our autumn schedule of classes is now live! Are you interested in writing thrillers? Lyrical language? Spiritual writing? How about writing about love? Maintaining your social media network? How about just needing to jumpstart your writing? Want to work on reflection in personal essays or maybe the use of scene in fiction and nonfiction? There are many different classes available online and in Anchorage, Juneau, and Haines. Check it out and register at the 49 Writers website. 49 Writers is seeking two "blitz team" volunteers, one to hang fliers in six Eagle River locations and one to hang fliers in five Spenard locations. Fliers arrive by mail to be posted two to three weeks in advance of our signature events. Willing to help? Email 49writers (at) gmail.com.
Alaska Book Week will soon be upon us scheduled for Oct. 3 -11. We would like to invite everyone to sign up by clicking the participation form on the right side of the website at www.alaskabookweek.comOnce you submit your form, the coordinator will be in contact with you soon. This year, we are making more of an effort to create lists of Alaskan authors and possible venues so that we can expand on our yearly celebration--and provide more representation for authors and their wonderful books!We would also like to remind Alaska Book Week participants that we are incorporating a YouTube campaign into our yearly celebration.
For questions or comments, please contact the Alaska Book Week coordinator at akbookweek@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
49 Writers Volunteer Seta
EVENTS IN ANCHORAGE
On Tuesday, September 8 at 7pm, Gary Geddes and Ann Eriksson will be be part of a Crosscurrents event at the Anchorage Museum - The Engaged Muse: Politics, Poetry and Narrative - What do these strange bedfellows have in common? Isn’t politics, like sex, verboten at the dinner table or in polite society? If you think of Canadians as passive or “nice,” Ann Eriksson and Gary Geddes are a couple of writers who don’t hesitate to write about social and political issues, without letting content overwhelm their art and without becoming ideologues or partisans. Join these writers and moderator Jeremy Pataky for this live, on-stage discussion.
Meet authorZoe Ferraris presented via teleconference on Thursday, September 17th, 7:00pmat the Innovation Lab in the Lousasac Library.Zoë Ferraris moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the first Gulf War. She lived in a conservative Muslim community with her then-husband and his family, a group of Saudi- Palestinians. Her debut novel, Finding Nouf won the LA Times Book Award. That novel and its follow-ups, City of Veils and Kingdom of Strangers, have been international bestsellers, publishing in over forty countries. A new children’s book, The Hunt for the Pyxis, will be published this summer. It is the first of a trilogy for mid-grade readers.For more information contact Stacia at mcgourtysa@muni.org  Event address: Z.J. Loussac Public Library
3600 Denali Street Anchorage, AK 99503
Nature and Travel Writing ClassAnchorage essayist and author Bill Sherwonit will teach a 12-week nature and travel writing class beginning Sept. 16, in the Sierra Club office downtown. Participants in this workshop-style class will explore and refine their own writing styles, with an emphasis on the personal essay form. The class will also read and discuss works by some of America’s finest nature and travel writers. The cost is $240. To sign up for this Wednesday night class (7 to 9:30 p.m.), or for more information, contact Sherwonit at 245-0283 or akgriz@hotmail.com. Further information about the teacher is also available at www.billsherwonit.alaskawriters.com.
Anchorage Museum has posted their Schedule of Programs for July and August. Visit www.anchoragemuseum.org/media for the full list of events. Below are some of the highlights. To confirm details and dates, call the Marketing and Public Relations Department at (907) 929-9227.
Promote your book at the National Federation of Press Women Annual Conference, September 10 – 12 at the Captain Cook Hotel Anchorage. Alaska Professional Communicators will provide at no charge an opportunity for authors to sign and sell their books. Attendees, conference speakers, and APC members can sign up for a place at the authors' tables on both Fri., Sept. 11, 3:45 - 4:30 PM and Sat., Sept. 12, 4:00 - 4:30 PM. Contact Lizzie Newell at lizzie-n@gci.net to let her know the name of your book(s). We will provide attendees a list of participating authors and their books.
Poetry Parley will be on hiatus for July and August. Starting September 20th at Hugi-Lewis Studio, Parley will kick off a new season with readings from 10 (plus) local poets. There will be no marquee poet. Send a note to poetryparley@gmail.com if you want to be considered. We will hold a few slots for new readers.
Events at the UAA Bookstore Tuesday, September 1, from 5:00pm-7:00pm Addressing Local Needs amid Global Attention to the Changing Arctic  Guest speakers Henry Huntington, Prof. Raymond Anthony and Jennifer Schmidt share their views on emerging scientific, climate change, and indigenous issues in the Arctic. The relationship between local and global interests will be highlighted.  Topics include: Indigenous Science: Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA), Food Security and Climate Ethics, Human Activities and Ecosystems in the Arctic TUNDRA.
Friday, September 4, from 4:00pm-6:00pmIoana Lobontiu presents An Experiment in Nostalgia. She explores in writing and photography her return to Romania, her childhood memories and the overall theme “reality in relation to nostalgia”.  Refreshments will be served. 
Tuesday, September 8 from 5:00pm-7:00pm Guest speaker Larry Ilarion Merculieff , who has been a wisdom keeper and passionate advocate for indigenous rights, will present Moving into the 5thWorld, Indigenous Elder teachings concerning movement into the 5th World, also known as the 5th Hoop.Larry Ilarion Merculieff is an Aleut, raised in a traditional way.  He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Buffet Finalist Award for Indigenous Leadership, the Environmental Excellence Award for lifetime achievement from the Alaska Forum on the Environment, Rasmuson Foundation award for Creative Non-Fiction, and the Alaska Native Writers on the Environment Award.  He is co-author of Stop Talking: Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning, published by UAA and APU in 2008.
Wednesday, September 9, from 5:00pm-7:00pm Prof. Robert Madigan presents How Memory Works—and How to Make It Work for You. Robert Madigan is UAA Professor Emeritus of Psychology. His new book, How Memory Works--and How to Make I Work for You provides skills and techniques for improving memory function. 
Friday, September 11, from 4:00pm-6:00pm Lt Col. Ret. Linda Dunegan, author of the book The Price of Whistleblowingpresents Four Years of My Life. At this event, Linda Dunegan discusses her life, dedication to the Alaska Air National Guard, and the challenges she faces in her new career.
Monday, September 14, from 5:00pm-7:00pm Poets John Morgan and Tom Sexton present Readings from their New Books. John Morgan’s new book Archives of the Air and Tom Sexton’s collection A Ladder of Cranes are featured at this special event.   Monday, September 14, from 7:30pm-9:00pm at UAA/APU Consortium Library, room 307 Playwright Anne Hanley and Poet Stephen Bolen will discuss The Winter Bear,a play that tells the story of an Alaska Native teenager who rises above the traumas of his past to become a leader with the help of Sidney Huntington, a Koyukon elder. The Winter Bear Project has traveled to 31 communities throughout Alaska. For this event, at 7:00pm there is free parking in the Library Lot, Library NE Lot, and East Campus Central Lot.)
Thursday, September 17 from 5:00pm-7:00pm at UAA/APU Consortium Library, room 302ATed Galen Carpenter:  U.S. Foreign PolicyTed Galen Carpenter is Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. His recent books are America's Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan and The Korean Conundrum.  The Cato Institute is known as libertarian think tank that advocates for a U.S.  non-interventionist foreign policy.  This event is sponsored with the Alaska World Affairs Council.  Room cap is 30.For this event, there is free parking in the Library Lot, Library NE Lot, East Garage, South Lot.
Monday, September 21 from 1:00pm-3:00pm at UAA/APU Consortium Library, room 307Instagram and Social Media with Julia O’MalleyCome and learn the tricks of Instagram with award winning journalist and social media expert Julia O’Malley.  Julia O’Malley currently serves as the UAA 21st Atwood Chair of Journalism and is widely known for her column in the Anchorage Daily News from 2009 to 2014.. Over the years her work has appeared in Huffington Post, The Guardian, National Geographic, Al Jazeera America, Eater, the Oregonian and PBS.org. Julia O’Malley is a recipient of the Berger Award, from Columbia Journalism School, the Darrell Sifford Memorial Prize from Missouri School of Journalism, and won first place for general commentary from the Society of Features Journalists.  For this event, there is free parking in the Library Lot, Library NE Lot, East Garage, South Lot.
All UAA Campus Bookstore events are informal, free and open to the public. There is free parking for bookstore events in the South Lot, West Campus Central Lot (behind Rasmuson Hall), Sports Lot and Sports NW Lot.Note: UAA Campus Bookstore podcasts are posted in iTunes or iTunes U –just search UAA or UAA Campus Bookstore.    
Local Library Events
Book Signings
EVENTS AROUND ALASKASOUTHCENTRAL, MAT-SU, KENAI PENINSULAOn Thursday, September 10, Gary Geddes and Ann Erikssonwill be reading at 7pm at the Kachemak Bay Campus of the Kenai Peninsula College. 
SOUTHEASTThis September, 49 Writers and Alaska Quarterly Review are co-sponsoring a tour that will combine live literary events in the Southeast Alaska communities of Haines and Juneau with distance programming, in pursuit of 49 Writers’ goal to serve writers across the state. These events are supported in part by a grant by the National Endowment of the Arts.
The tour will begin in Haines with a free public readingby Melinda Moustakis accompanied by local writers and musicians on the evening of September 18, 6pm, at Haines Public Library. Moustakis will teach two workshops on September 18 and 20; registration information available on the 49 Writers website at http://www.49writingcenter.org/. On September 19 at 1pm, there will be a statewide discussion of Moustakis’s book Bear Down, Bear North on the statewide Online With Libraries (OWL) system and locally at the Haines Public Library. 
In Juneau, Moustakis will teach two workshops on September 22 and 23; registration information available on the 49 Writers website at http://www.49writingcenter.org/. She will end her stay in Alaska with a CrossCurrents event on September 24 at 6:30pm at the Juneau Downtown Library. The event is entitled “Shaped by the North” and will feature writers Moustakis, Ernestine Hayes, Brendan Jones, and  photographer Ben Huff discussing how the landscape has shaped them as artists and shaped their work.
INTERIOR
OPPORTUNITIES FOR WRITERSCONFERENCES, AWARDS, RETREATS & RESIDENCIES
The Alaska Literary Awards were established in 2014 by the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation, through a generous gift from Peggy Shumaker and Joe Usibelli, to recognize and support writers of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, and mixed genres.  Any Alaska writer over the age of 18 who is not a full-time student is eligible to apply. Quality of the work submitted is the primary consideration in determining who receives the awards. A select number of $5,000 awards will be awarded this year. For more information, and to apply, go to :http://bit.ly/2015AKLitAwards. The deadline for entries is August 31st, 2015 at 9:59 AKDT.
The Connie Boochever Artist Fellowship awards recognize and support Alaska emerging artists of exceptional talent. In the 2015 cycle, a select number of $2,500 fellowships will be awarded to individual artists working in visual art, including film, digital and media arts. For more information, and to apply, go to: http://bit.ly/2015BoocheverFellows. The deadline for entries is August 31st, 2015 at 9:59 AKDT.
The 2016 Governor's Awards ceremony will be held in Juneau on Thursday, January 28th. We will also continue the tradition of scheduling CHAMP Day (Culture, Humanities, Arts & Museums Partners), a legislative fly-in day, on Wednesday, January 27th. Please start brainstorming ideas for nominees and consider submitting a nomination! The nomination process will open in August. This year's Arts categories will be: Margaret Nick Cooke Award for Alaska Native Arts & Languages, Business Leadership, Arts Advocacy and Individual Artist. A list of previous awardees can be found at https://education.alaska.gov/aksca/pdf/Past_Recipients_GAAH.pdf.
2016 Statewide Arts and Culture Conference will take place in Anchorage, Thursday, April 28th through Saturday, April 30th. We are in the process of exploring compelling themes, topics and national speakers for the convening. Like our last conference, we will be engaging Alaskan artists in the planning and production of the event. Be on the lookout for the opportunity to apply to be a conference Partner Artist, which will open in the fall. If you have any ideas to share with us, please send them our way by emailing aksca.info@alaska.gov
The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) is conducting a survey to inform its Live. Work. Play. Initiative, which seeks to make Anchorage the number one city in America to live work and play by 2025. If you live in Anchorage and care about the arts, please take a moment to add your voice to this survey-it's just two VERY short questions! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LiveWorkPlayAnchorage
Poetry Out Loud registration deadline for schools is October 15, 2015Click here to hear from the 2015 National Poetry Out Loud Champion from Alaska, Maeva Ordaz. 
Alaska Writers Guild & SCBWI Annual Writer’s Conference, September 19-20, Anchorage. Early registration starts May 2015. www.AlaskaWritersGuild.com
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 info@13chairs.com or visit 13chairs.com.
University of Alaska Press announces the release of Connecting Alaskans Telecommunications in Alaska from Telegraph to Broadband by Heather E. Hudson. The book will be available in September 2015. Cloth Price is $60.00 and it is also available in ebook.
CIRQUE 7.1 Submission deadline: September 21, 2015Publication date: December 21, 2015  CIRQUE is an independent literary journal staffed by volunteers, supported by readers and writers, and publishing in print and online. Cirque publishes the work of writers and artists from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.  We are dedicated to building a larger reading audience for Cirque's contributors bringing their work to the world in a publication of the highest quality.  We publish work in all genres and look forward to reviewing your submissions.  For submission guidelines see www.cirquejournal.comDonations: Please make donations at www.paypal.comto this email address, cirquejournal@gmail.com, or send a check to Sandra Kleven or Michael Burwell (editors) at CIRQUE, 3978 DEFIANCE STREET, ANCHORAGE, AK 99504Incentives: Donate $100 or more and you will be considered a sponsor.  Your name will be listed in the issue and we will send you an 8 x 10 art print from one of Cirque's fine artists. Donate $50 and we will send an art print (8 x 10).  Donate an amount below $50 and we will send a signed "art" postcard with our thanks.  We ask for donations by email, twice yearly.  Your amazing response has made it easy to produce the journal with limited requests for funds. Big prize:Artist, Jo Going, of Homer, Alaska, has donated an original water color to be given to the first person to contribute $1000 to Cirque.  See details on page 4 of the new issue at www.cirquejournal.comSubscriptions:  $40 per year.  Go to www.cirquejournal.comto subscribe.  Or send an email to cirquejournal@gmail.com and we'll work out payment.
The Alaska Quarterly Reviewwill publish Sparks: A Conversation in Poems and Paintings in its entirety in the May 2016 issue. You can see, in order, each of Peggy Shumaker's poems and each of Kesler Woodward's paintings from their year-long collaboration.  
As we all know, back-to-school time is getting close. This also means the issue of author signing is raised at the schools. Barnes & Noble has scheduled school book fairs and fundraising events and is in demand for local children’s book author presenters. If you are interested in participating in these events, please contact Renee Millner, Community Business Development Manager at 907-279-7323 or email her at crm2784@bn.com
Have news or events you'd like to see listed here? Email details to 49roundup (at) gmail.com. Your message must be received by noon on the Thursday before the roundup is scheduled to run. Unless your event falls in the "Opportunities" category, it should occur no more than 30 days from when we receive your email.
Categories: Arts & Culture

From the Archives: Deb Vanasse on What Words Can Express

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 6:17am

“Find the key emotion; this may be all you need know to find your short story.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
Emotion is among the few things we don’t have to be taught, assuming that all the normal synapses are firing. No one has to tell us how to be sad or angry or cart-wheel happy. So when we speak of emotional resonance, or of the emotional core of our work, or of the emotional depth of our characters, we’re talking about what comes naturally, right?
Not exactly. It is true what Ron Carlson says, that “The literary story deals with the complicated human heart…people bearing up in the crucible of our days.”  It’s also true that feelings, translated as empathy, are what make our writing memorable and meaningful. But if the transfer of feelings to words were as instinctive as breathing, we wouldn’t need literature. And you can’t simply season your writing with emotion, like pepper in a pot. In the wrong hands, emotion comes off as sappy or melodramatic, or as toying with readers. 
“I was full of a tense excitement as well as regret,” says Del in Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women, when her father announces he'll have to kill the family’s wayward dog. That won’t do, you say. She’s telling, not showing. Yes, but Munro has earned the right to announce these feelings, through the careful peeling back of who her characters are and the trouble they’ve gotten into.  And in a scene where Del’s brother prays that their dad won’t go through with the shooting, Munro proves she can show emotion, not just tell it: “With the making of his prayer his face went through several desperate, private grimaces, each of which seemed to me a reproach and an exposure, hard to look at as skinned flesh.”
You have to go deep to convey real emotion, boring to bedrock and sometimes beyond. You can’t be lazy or complacent with it. Consider this passage, also from Munro’s novel, in which Del, desperate to not have to view the body of her deceased uncle, bites her mentally challenged cousin, only to be forgiven by her hovering relatives:
“Being forgiven creates a peculiar shame. I felt hot, and not just from the blanket. I felt held close, stifled, as if it was not air I had to move and talk through in this world but something thick as cotton. This shame was physical, but went far beyond sexual shame, my former shame of nakedness; now it was as if not the naked body but all the organs inside it – stomach, heart, lungs, liver – were laid bare and helpless. The nearest thing to this that I had ever known before was the feeling I got when I was tickled beyond endurance – horrible, voluptuous feeling of exposure, of impotence, self-betrayal. And shame went spreading out from me all through the house, covered everybody, even Mary Agnes, even Uncle Craig in his present disposable, vacated condition. To be made of flesh was humiliation.  I was caught in a vision which was, in a way, the very opposite of the mystic’s incommunicable vision of order and light; a vision, also incommunicable, of confusion and obscenity – of helplessness, which was revealed as the most obscene thing there could be.”
Munro starts with a physical sensation associated with shame: “I felt hot.” Avoiding cliché, she expands on it:  “I felt held close, stifled, as if it was not air I had to move through but something thick as cotton.”  She pushes deeper: “This shame was physical, but went far beyond sexual shame,” connecting Del’s feeling with backstory, “my former shame of nakedness,” and goes on to evoke a unique and horrifying extension - organs laid out, bare and helpless. She doesn’t leave us there, shocked, but reels back with a comparison we can all relate to, being “tickled beyond endurance.” A lesser writer might have left it there, but Munro probes deeper, describing the “horrible, voluptuous feeling of exposure, of impotence, self-betrayal.” From emotion comes revelation: “To be made of flesh was humiliation.” To know we can’t escape shame is an anti-vision of confusion and obscenity – one more way for us to feel what Del feels.
Not every emotion must be mined this fully; if it were, the reader – not to mention the writer – would soon grow weary. Like all decisions we writers make, the depth with which an emotion is explored has everything to do with the characters and the spine of the narrative, as well as the style of the writer. In Swamplandia, Karen Russell shows what her main character Ava feels as she tries to deny to her brother that she’s like their sister Ossie, who claims to channel the dead:
“But in fact I was like Ossie, in this one regard: I was consumed by a helpless, often furious love for a ghost. Every rock on the island, every swaying tree branch or dirty dish in our house was like a word in a sentence that I could read about my mother. All objects and events on our island, every single thing that you could see with your eyes, were like clues I could use to reinvent her: would our mom love this thing, would she hate it? For a second I luxuriated in a real hatred of my brother.”
With simple adjectives and verbs, Russell conveys the paradox inherent in most strong emotions: “helpless, often furious love” and “luxuriated in real hatred.” Like all good metaphors, hers have a visual effect, implying action as she heightens our understanding of Ava’s love: ordinary household items are each “like a word in a sentence I could read about my mother,” and “everything you could see with your eyes” contains “clues I could use to reinvent her.”
Emotional depth is of sufficient interest among writers for Ann Hood to have written an entire book about it:  Creating Character Emotions.  In it, she identifies mistakes writers make with regard to emotion, warning especially of vagueness and ambiguity. “Instead of considering the plot of the story and the character’s own emotional place, the writer relies on a nonspecific emotion and hopes the reader fills in the blanks,” she says, noting that ambiguity is often the result of a writer not trusting enough in her own emotional experiences and therefore not being willing to explore them.
To get it right, Hood suggests making an emotional timeline, first for yourself and then for your characters. Another idea is to use props to suggest emotion, or to show a character trying to hide her feelings. Interior monologue can sometimes be used to great emotional effect, as can an unpredictable emotional response, like Uncle Benny in Munro’s novel, who starts to laugh when confronted with the truth about his mail order bride, who beat her child:  “Uncle Benny chuckled miserably…Once Uncle Benny had started chuckling he couldn’t stop, it was like hiccups.” This is the complicated human heart: paradoxical, challenged, and real.
Try This: From Poets and Writers newsletter “The Time is Now” comes this exercise: The term "bewildered" can mean many things--to be perplexed, confused, or mystified; to have lost one's bearings; to be turned around or disoriented; to be baffled or bamboozled, befogged or befuddled. Write about an experience that left you bewildered--focusing not so much on what brought you to that moment but what it felt like once you arrived there. Try to put the feeling into words without using any of  the dictionary's many definitions of the word. 
Check This Out: In Creating Character Emotions, Ann Hood devotes a chapter to each of thirty-six different emotions, offering bad and good examples for each, along with exercises. While her approach is a little too clunky for my taste, it doesn’t hurt to maintain an awareness of all these emotions, and good examples of anything literary are always a plus. 
Categories: Arts & Culture

Blessed Unrest - A guest post by Erin Hollowell

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 6:00am
There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time. This expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.
No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

~ Martha Graham

I don't know what I could possibly add to this quote other than to attest to its truth. If you think that becoming a writer will make you happy – If you think that a day will come that you will feel satisfied and complete – If you think that there is a day when at last you will be the writer you've always imagined, I tell you that day will never come. But if you think that by choosing to devote yourself to becoming a better writer, to sharing your work, and to helping other writers, you will grow beyond whatever you can imagine – that I can promise. I'm so glad that 49 Writers can be part of the journey.
Categories: Arts & Culture

From The Archives: Deb Vanasse on Transcendence

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 5:17am

“I’m in love,” says Reagan Arthur, editor of the eponymous imprint at Little Brown Books. “I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
That’s how Arthur describes her response to exceptional books. Editors, agents, and readers often speak of books this way, with passion. Can this sort of book love be pinned down, described, analyzed? 
Consider Anne Lamott’s enthusiastic endorsement of Kathleen Winter’s debut novel Anabel. “It reads with such caring,” Lamott says. “It’s such a gift.”  How we got here, who we are, what we do now, how we awaken if in fact we do – the novel delves into all of these questions, Lamott says. 
Transcendence. That’s what literary agent Noah Lukeman calls a book that addresses such questions.  Of course, not everyone agrees on what transcendence means or where it applies. Winter’s book, for instance, garnered no starred reviews; in fact, a Publishers Weekly review calls its delivery “heavy-handed,” and its Amazon ranking is nothing to get excited about. Still, who wouldn’t be thrilled if even one writer with the chops of Lamott were to rave about the transcendence of our work, saying in essence that the world needs this book, Amazon rankings be damned.
Timing is everything when it comes to transcendence - not the timing of the project, though it is possible that what’s unappreciated in one era may transcend to another - but the writer’s timing in weighing the value of her work. Too much early concern about transcendence can kill a project before it ever gets off the ground. Too much early conviction regarding its importance breeds grandiosity, leading writers to invest large chunks of time into stuff no one wants to read, at which point the writers typically throw their hands in the air and complain that the world simply doesn’t get their particular manifestation of genius.
In The Plot Thickens, Lukeman warns that there are no formulas for genuine transcendence, but he does point to some of its common elements. Though not vague, transcendent works are open to interpretation. “The more levels, the more there is to work with,” Lukeman says. Transcendent writing also features multidimensional characters and circumstances. And transcendent work feels timeless. Regardless of era, readers will deeply identify with it. In reading, they’ll feel they’ve learned something, especially about themselves.  
“Works that leave lasting impressions are usually greater than the sum of their parts,” Lukeman says. “The greatness lies not in any individual character, or setting, or story twist, but in the coming together of these elements.” The ideal work, he adds, takes the audience through four stages, from curiosity to interest to need and, in rare instances, to action.
Though aiming for transcendence can be counterproductive, we can at least shoot for an awareness of what we mean to achieve. Lukeman suggests checking in with ourselves, at the deepest level, to discover what prompts us to write. If we write from defensiveness or insecurity, we’ll likely come off as aggressive. If we write out of pride, to prove how smart we are, our work becomes a showcase for high language and affected speech.  If at the root of our writing there’s fear, we wind up overstating. Revenge, control, deception – there are any number of poor motives that will show through in our work.  
“It is your job to clear the slate, to create a sacred space in your mind just for the writing, free from all your neuroses as a person. The writing must be about the art as much as possible,” Lukeman says. “No matter what your goal or motivation, you should strive to write from a place of truth and love.”  
When it comes to transcendence, try not to try too hard. Pushing for profundity, writing with an agenda, preaching a moral (or two or three or ten): don’t be fooled by any of these self-important pursuits. Humility, vulnerability – these are among the most transcendent perspectives in writing, because they open a work to its emotional core.
Try This: Lukeman suggests asking yourself and five other readers these questions: Does my work inspire curiosity, interest, need, or action? Why or why not? On a scale of 1 to 10, how inspirational is it in each of these areas? Where it’s lacking, how can it change?
Check This Out: In The Plot Thickens, literary agent Noah Lukeman has a gift for cutting to the chase without coming off as harsh or judgmental. He covers eight aspects of narrative, that deserve our attention, including transcendence. In addition to straightforward explanations, he includes practical exercises.  
Deb's posts are archived at www.selfmadewriter.blogspot.com.
Categories: Arts & Culture

Weekly Roundup of Writing Opportunities for August 21

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 5:00am
Our autumn schedule of classes is now live! Are you interested in writing thrillers? Lyrical language? Spiritual writing? How about writing about love? Maintaining your social media network? How about just needing to jumpstart your writing? Want to work on reflection in personal essays or maybe the use of scene in fiction and nonfiction? There are many different classes available online and in Anchorage, Juneau, and Haines. Check it out and register at the 49 Writers website

49 Writers is seeking two "blitz team" volunteers, one to hang fliers in six Eagle River locations and one to hang fliers in five Spenard locations. Fliers arrive by mail to be posted two to three weeks in advance of our signature events. Willing to help? Email 49writers (at) gmail.com.
Woosh Kinaadeiyí, a local nonprofit organization committed to diversity, inclusive community, and empowering voice, will host a BBQ and a poetry slam on Friday, August 21st at Sandy Beach. The event will be held from 5:00-9:00pm. An open mic and poetry slam will commence at 6:30pm. Participants can sign up to read at 6pm. Poets and performers of all ages and abilities are welcome.  Attendees are encouraged to bring food to share. The event is free and open to the public
Alaska Book Week will soon be upon us scheduled for Oct. 3 -11. We would like to invite everyone to sign up by clicking the participation form on the right side of the website at www.alaskabookweek.comOnce you submit your form, the coordinator will be in contact with you soon. This year, we are making more of an effort to create lists of Alaskan authors and possible venues so that we can expand on our yearly celebration--and provide more representation for authors and their wonderful books!We would also like to remind Alaska Book Week participants that we are incorporating a YouTube campaign into our yearly celebration.
For questions or comments, please contact the Alaska Book Week coordinator at akbookweek@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
49 Writers Volunteer Seta
EVENTS IN ANCHORAGE
On Tuesday, September 8 at 7pm, Gary Geddes and Ann Eriksson will be be part of a Crosscurrents event at the Anchorage Museum - The Engaged Muse: Politics, Poetry and Narrative - What do these strange bedfellows have in common? Isn’t politics, like sex, verboten at the dinner table or in polite society? If you think of Canadians as passive or “nice,” Ann Eriksson and Gary Geddes are a couple of writers who don’t hesitate to write about social and political issues, without letting content overwhelm their art and without becoming ideologues or partisans. Join these writers and moderator Jeremy Pataky for this live, on-stage discussion.

Meet authorZoe Ferraris presented via teleconference on Thursday, September 17th, 7:00pmat the Innovation Lab in the Lousasac Library.Zoë Ferraris moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the first Gulf War. She lived in a conservative Muslim community with her then-husband and his family, a group of Saudi- Palestinians. Her debut novel, Finding Nouf won the LA Times Book Award. That novel and its follow-ups, City of Veils and Kingdom of Strangers, have been international bestsellers, publishing in over forty countries. A new children’s book, The Hunt for the Pyxis, will be published this summer. It is the first of a trilogy for mid-grade readers.For more information contact Stacia at mcgourtysa@muni.org  Event address: Z.J. Loussac Public Library
3600 Denali Street Anchorage, AK 99503
Nature and Travel Writing ClassAnchorage essayist and author Bill Sherwonit will teach a 12-week nature and travel writing class beginning Sept. 16, in the Sierra Club office downtown. Participants in this workshop-style class will explore and refine their own writing styles, with an emphasis on the personal essay form. The class will also read and discuss works by some of America’s finest nature and travel writers. The cost is $240. To sign up for this Wednesday night class (7 to 9:30 p.m.), or for more information, contact Sherwonit at 245-0283 or akgriz@hotmail.com. Further information about the teacher is also available at www.billsherwonit.alaskawriters.com.
Anchorage Museum has posted their Schedule of Programs for July and August. Visit www.anchoragemuseum.org/media for the full list of events. Below are some of the highlights. To confirm details and dates, call the Marketing and Public Relations Department at (907) 929-9227.
Promote your book at the National Federation of Press Women Annual Conference, September 10 – 12 at the Captain Cook Hotel Anchorage. Alaska Professional Communicators will provide at no charge an opportunity for authors to sign and sell their books. Attendees, conference speakers, and APC members can sign up for a place at the authors' tables on both Fri., Sept. 11, 3:45 - 4:30 PM and Sat., Sept. 12, 4:00 - 4:30 PM. Contact Lizzie Newell at lizzie-n@gci.net to let her know the name of your book(s). We will provide attendees a list of participating authors and their books.
Poetry Parley will be on hiatus for July and August. Starting September 20th at Hugi-Lewis Studio, Parley will kick off a new season with readings from 10 (plus) local poets. There will be no marquee poet. Send a note to poetryparley@gmail.com  if you want to be considered. We will hold a few slots for new readers.
Events at the UAA Bookstore
Local Library Events
Book Signings

EVENTS AROUND ALASKASOUTHCENTRAL, MAT-SU, KENAI PENINSULA
On Thursday, September 10, Gary Geddes and Ann Eriksson will be reading at 7pm at the Kachemak Bay Campus of the Kenai Peninsula College. 

SOUTHEAST
This September, 49 Writers and Alaska Quarterly Review are co-sponsoring a tour that will combine live literary events in the Southeast Alaska communities of Haines and Juneau with distance programming, in pursuit of 49 Writers’ goal to serve writers across the state. These events are supported in part by a grant by the National Endowment of the Arts.

The tour will begin in Haines with a free public reading by Melinda Moustakis accompanied by local writers and musicians on the evening of September 18, 6pm, at Haines Public Library. Moustakis will teach two workshops on September 18 and 20; registration information available on the 49 Writers website at http://www.49writingcenter.org/. On September 19 at 1pm, there will be a statewide discussion of Moustakis’s book Bear Down, Bear North on the statewide Online With Libraries (OWL) system and locally at the Haines Public Library. 


In Juneau, Moustakis will teach two workshops on September 22 and 23; registration information available on the 49 Writers website at http://www.49writingcenter.org/. She will end her stay in Alaska with a CrossCurrents event on September 24 at 6:30pm at the Juneau Downtown Library. The event is entitled “Shaped by the North” and will feature writers Moustakis, Ernestine Hayes, Brendan Jones, and  photographer Ben Huff discussing how the landscape has shaped them as artists and shaped their work.

INTERIOR

OPPORTUNITIES FOR WRITERSCONFERENCES, AWARDS, RETREATS & RESIDENCIES
The Alaska Literary Awards were established in 2014 by the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation, through a generous gift from Peggy Shumaker and Joe Usibelli, to recognize and support writers of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, and mixed genres.  Any Alaska writer over the age of 18 who is not a full-time student is eligible to apply. Quality of the work submitted is the primary consideration in determining who receives the awards. A select number of $5,000 awards will be awarded this year. For more information, and to apply, go to :http://bit.ly/2015AKLitAwards. The deadline for entries is August 31st, 2015 at 9:59 AKDT.
The Connie Boochever Artist Fellowship awards recognize and support Alaska emerging artists of exceptional talent. In the 2015 cycle, a select number of $2,500 fellowships will be awarded to individual artists working in visual art, including film, digital and media arts. For more information, and to apply, go to: http://bit.ly/2015BoocheverFellows. The deadline for entries is August 31st, 2015 at 9:59 AKDT.
The 2016 Governor's Awards ceremony will be held in Juneau on Thursday, January 28th. We will also continue the tradition of scheduling CHAMP Day (Culture, Humanities, Arts & Museums Partners), a legislative fly-in day, on Wednesday, January 27th. Please start brainstorming ideas for nominees and consider submitting a nomination! The nomination process will open in August. This year's Arts categories will be: Margaret Nick Cooke Award for Alaska Native Arts & Languages, Business Leadership, Arts Advocacy and Individual Artist. A list of previous awardees can be found at https://education.alaska.gov/aksca/pdf/Past_Recipients_GAAH.pdf.
2016 Statewide Arts and Culture Conference will take place in Anchorage, Thursday, April 28th through Saturday, April 30th. We are in the process of exploring compelling themes, topics and national speakers for the convening. Like our last conference, we will be engaging Alaskan artists in the planning and production of the event. Be on the lookout for the opportunity to apply to be a conference Partner Artist, which will open in the fall. If you have any ideas to share with us, please send them our way by emailing aksca.info@alaska.gov
The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) is conducting a survey to inform its Live. Work. Play. Initiative, which seeks to make Anchorage the number one city in America to live work and play by 2025. If you live in Anchorage and care about the arts, please take a moment to add your voice to this survey-it's just two VERY short questions! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LiveWorkPlayAnchorage
Poetry Out Loud registration deadline for schools is October 15, 2015Click here to hear from the 2015 National Poetry Out Loud Champion from Alaska, Maeva Ordaz. 
Alaska Writers Guild & SCBWI Annual Writer’s Conference, September 19-20, Anchorage. Early registration starts May 2015. www.AlaskaWritersGuild.com
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 info@13chairs.com or visit 13chairs.com.
University of Alaska Press announces the release of Connecting Alaskans Telecommunications in Alaska from Telegraph to Broadband by Heather E. Hudson. The book will be available in September 2015. Cloth Price is $60.00 and it is also available in ebook.
As we all know, back-to-school time is getting close. This also means the issue of author signing is raised at the schools. Barnes & Noble has scheduled school book fairs and fundraising events and is in demand for local children’s book author presenters. If you are interested in participating in these events, please contact Renee Millner, Community Business Development Manager at 907-279-7323 or email her at crm2784@bn.com
Have news or events you'd like to see listed here? Email details to 49roundup (at) gmail.com. Your message must be received by noon on the Thursday before the roundup is scheduled to run. Unless your event falls in the "Opportunities" category, it should occur no more than 30 days from when we receive your email.
Categories: Arts & Culture

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