Latest News

Share a writers’ table in F’banks Aug. 16

August 10, 2011

Dick Ourada, of the Alaska Writers Guild Interior Chapter, writes in this week to say that writers in Fairbanks, Tuesday, August 16, 2011, who want to share a “writers’ table” with his group should contact him as soon as possible to reserve a spot.

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Marybeth Holleman’s book on Exxon Valdez Oil spill re-released in paperwork

April 07, 2011

image Part memoir, part literary journalism, this book covers a 15-year period from the author’s move to Alaska through the devastation of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and the subsequent years of attempted restoration, when the larger implications of that tragedy came to light. The original release was named 2006 Great Book Selection by Minnesota Women’s Press. In the wake of the Gulf of Mexico blowout, doubtless the January 2011 paperback release will find a new, wider audience who can appreciate its message.

Part memoir, part literary journalism, this book covers a 15-year period from the author’s move to Alaska through the devastation of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and the subsequent years of attempted restoration, when the larger implications of that tragedy came to light.

For more on the book—and on how Marybeth Holleman and fellow Alaska author Nancy Lord have combined forces to market their books, which share an environmental theme, go directly to the websites of Alaska writers Marybeth Holleman or Nancy Lord. (Note: My apologies to both authors for mashing their names together in my earlier post. This re-posting corrects that error and provides working links to both of their sites.)

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J-Week returns—with attitude!

March 20, 2011

Looks like a good year to check out the Alaska Press Club conference (March 31 to April 2), which appears to be launching some strong outreach this year to help revitalize interest in local journalism. Their 2011 lineup features Susan Orlean as keynote speaker. And even the web site has ‘tude! See what I mean, at http://www.alaskapressclub.com

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AK Professional Communicators contest deadlines near

January 12, 2011

Once again, deadlines for the annual contest of Alaska Professional Communicators (formerly Alaska Press Women, and affiliated with the National Federation of Press Writers) are nearing.  Book entries must be postmarked by Jan. 20, 2011, and all other entries must be postmarked by Feb. 3.

Alaska Professional Communicators, also known as AK ProCom, offers a contest in 81 categories of communications work: print journalism, public relations, broadcasting, electronic media, and literary and educational pursuits. The great thing about this contest is that it gives you a chance for critique (and potential accolades) from peers across the country. First place entries go on to national judging in a competition managed by the National Federation of Press Women. Judges, who give feedback to the entrants, are recognized experts in their fields from outside Alaska.

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Poynter offers effective writing seminar online

January 08, 2011

For you journos (or those who still need to hone the skills), Poynter News University is offering “Becoming a More Effective Writer: Clarity and Organization,” a four-week online seminar starting Feb. 7. Deadline to apply for the Feb. 7-March 4 seminar is this Monday, January 10, 2011. 

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Kenai Peninsula Writers Contest seeks judges

January 07, 2011

Writes Lori Evans ():  Every year the Homer News and the Homer Council on the Arts sponsor the Kenai Peninsula Writers Contest, and every year we seek judges off the peninsula for the final judging. I am looking for judges for the following categories: 10-12th grade fiction and nonfiction and open/adult fiction and nonfiction. 

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Nancy Lord’s ‘Early Warming’ could be year’s ‘most important book’

January 07, 2011

image AlaskaWriter member Nancy Lord has released a new book on climate change. Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North became available beginning in December 2010.
Among those offering early praise for the book is Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and the new Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, who calls it “the up-to-the-second report from the scout furthest out along the front lines.” And Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Wild Comfort, says it is “the most important book I’ve read all year. If you read only one climate change book, read this one. No statistical projections into the future, no doom, no gloom--no debate--just perfectly told stories of northern people who are right now struggling to bear their grief and reinvent their lives as forests die and burn, school buildings wash away, and the once-frozen ground gives way beneath their feet. By telling the stories so simply, so beautifully, Alaska’s writer laureate forewarns the rest of the world.”

Of course, for more info and to buy the book, see Nancy Lord’s website, at http://www.nancylord.alaskawriters.com.

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Learn journalism basics online

September 14, 2010

Poynter’s ‘News University’ announced in its September newsletter the launch of a new certificate program, which appears to involve all online “e-learning modules” to teach journalism skills and best practices. (Wisely, in these post-journo-lyptic times, they suggest these may be helpful “if you’re a writer looking to stand out in a crowded job market, or you’re an editor who wants to vet the skills of staff or freelance personnel.")

The Certificate Program currently features three certificates, Understanding Journalism, Basic Reporting and Writing Skills and Multimedia Basics. Learn More and see a complete listing of courses at http://www.newsu.org"> http://www.newsu.org

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AK Writers Guild Counts Down to Sept. conference

September 08, 2010

A recent message from AlaskaWriters member Jim Misko: “In 13 days the third annual Alaska Writers Conference will begin with interactive workshops on Friday, September 10th at 4:00 pm at the West Coast International Inn in Anchorage. 

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49 Writers Fall workshops now open for registration

September 08, 2010

For those who haven’t heard, 49 Writers’ “Raven Place"-- the dream of Anchorage writers/bloggers Deb Vanasse and Andromeda Romano-Lax--will continue on as a resource for writers, and is due to move to a new home (at yet another darned cute downtown historic property) this November. (The move will be from 415 L Street to 645 3rd Avenue, by the Snow Goose and Marx Bros. Cafe.) Most exciting for me, it is time to register for new fall writing classes at the 49 Writers writing center. 

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Knight Digital Media Center offers workshops

September 08, 2010

The Knight Digital Media Center (KDMC) at UC Berkeley has sent notice that the application period is now open for its next round of workshops: “In case you’re not familiar with our program, we offer free week-long training to working journalists. We teach multimedia storytelling, including how to capture and edit video, photos and audio. We also offer an interactive census workshop, a Web publishing for independent journalists workshop, and Web 2.0 training for journalists.” KDMC covers all food and lodging for the week--everything but travel to Berkeley, California, which is to be paid by the applicant’s news organization. (FYI - It was at Knight workshops that I greatly expanded my knowledge of website creation--and learned about Flash, not to mention got at least 5 years ahead of general knowledge about Bollywood, net accessibility issues, and what would be the next big things in the worlds of virtual gaming and cell phones. I highly, highly recommend going to a Knight workshop.) If you are interested, please see the details that follow or apply at KDMC’s Website.

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Make sure your website offers a way to reach you

September 08, 2010

Is your contact information easy for people to locate on your website? Are you sure? I had an awakening recently (OK, today) when I realized that the phone number that used to be plastered all over my website was now nigh near impossible to find. Argh! I traced the problem to a design change in my site a year ago.

Lesson: When you update your website design, do your best to go over it with fresh eyes. Don’t assume something is there because it used to be there. For future reference (and until I update my template), Sonya’s contact information is as follows: Business line 908-830-7355 (no sales calls, please!) and e-mail .

As you make your own web updates, be sure your site has the following 5 elements, at minimum:

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Dear AlaskaWriter,

Welcome to AlaskaWriters.com, a home on the Web for writers from Alaska, and those who share Alaska's pioneering spirit.

Best,
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Sonya Senkowsky
Author, Alaska Then & Now



sonya@alaskawriter.com * 907-830-7355