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Archived Stories & Briefs
Archived Sept. 8, 2008
Lende in Anchorage July 15
Guild cancels conference;
• Don't call AlaskaWriters member Sandi Sumner a snowbird. Now living in Colorado, Sandi informs us she'll be coming back to visit as one of 35 Alaska authors reading and signing books at Loussac Library in Anchorage on Sunday, December 3rd, 2006, from 1 to 5 p.m. The library is holding the event as part of its 20-year-anniversary – a unique opportunity to find many Alaska authors together under one roof.
• AlaskaWriters member Alaska Press Women recently changed its name to Alaska Professional Communicators to better reflect its mission. The name change comes with a new opportunity: This year, for the first time, the Communications Contest is open to all Alaska residents, not just members. The contest includes 78 categories, and a separate competition for college students. Deadlines are in February 2007. Complete information is available at:www.akprocommunicators.org.
• Welcome to new member Jim Misko, author of “how to” nonfiction as well as two novels set in Alaska. It was real estate that brought Misko to Alaska in 1974. He says it was here he honed his skills in hunting, canoeing, backpacking, — and writing. Jim is also planning a summer workshop (Aug. 10-12) for Alaska writers; see www.alaskawritersworkshop.com for details!
• 12/20/05- What do the following have in common: news of an Alaskan blogging from Iraq; a January nature writing class; and the chance to ask any question of an Anchorage author who recently made a six-figure book deal? All are awaiting you in the new AlaskaWriters forum.
• 12/13/05- Notice anything different? There have been a few changes at AlaskaWriters.com. You can now add your own announcements and tips, or start a conversation in the new discussion forum. Previously posted news and tips items may still be accessed using the links in the left column of this page.
Novelist and AlaskaWriter member Andromeda Romano-Lax is helping inaugurate our new discussion and news area. Give it a look!
your support to Heather Lende
tips — and breakfast too?
wisdom, comes joy, declares Wasilla author
writer Sherwonit launches site
of the Sound recalls oil spill
writer wins Water~Stone
Keillor has ‘Cake’ — reads it, too
historian, author recognized
fired from ADN, teen columnist grows up, gets book deal
wins another $10,000
tells tale of the trip that spawned a murder mystery
• Among winners in the 2005 Alaska Press Club’s journalism contest the Homestead took note of Kodiak writer-photographer, radio producer and marketing maven Marion Owen, who not only won a second place award for a funny dog photo, but who was gutsy enough to enter her (one person!) Web site into the “media Web site” category. She took 3rd, after KTOO and KTVF. It was no fluke; the radio program housed at the site also received two Bronze awards of achievement from the Garden Writers Association.
• Former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins will keynote the 2005 Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference June 10-14, 2005, at Land’s End Resort in Homer. >>Story
• Deadline for the Northwest Playwright Competition is Wednesday, June 15, 2005, reports Lauri Watkins, Managing Director of the Seattle-based Theater Schmeater. Four finalists will have their works showcased during a Theater Schmeater reading series in the fall. The overall winner will have his or her play produced during the company’s 2006 mainstage season. For details, visit Theater Schmeater online.
• Writer Karla Fetrow announces her Web site, Chugiak Ungagged, an online magazine she describes as “the ungagged expression of rural Alaska,” with a focus on politics, art, customs and culture. The next issue, scheduled for late June 2005, will focus on the topic of mind control — with guest writer Nick Begich. She is interested in hearing from other writers who may wish to contribute. Visit www.chugiakungagged.com.
Expat Alaskan Marty Beckerman, whose career began as
a rabble-rousing teen writer with the ADN’s Perfect World section,
sounded like a statesman as he weighed in on his Web site after gonzo
journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s death: “He was one of the
American greats,” wrote Beckerman, “…an inspiration
to millions, and a true friend of freedom. The world is poorer today.”
In February 2003, Marty
interviewed the gonzo journalist. Beckerman’s own gonzo star
appears to be on the rise, with a book and movie in progress.
• Anchorage writer Melissa (Mel) Green announces the “restart” of the Poietes Poetry Workshop, a free community workshop for poets of any experience level. For more information, see http://www.henkimaa.nu/poietes.
• AlaskaWriters.com creator Sonya Senkowsky presented a Web/freelance workshop at Writing Rendezvous 2004.
• Seen on p. 113 of the May 2004 issue of The Atlantic: University of Alaska Fairbanks student Rosemary McGuire received Honorable Mention in The Atlantic’s national student writing contest.
When the Society of Professional
Journalists announced its 2003 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for Excellence in
Journalism, there was one Alaska name on the list: recently named Anchorage
Press editor Tony Hopfinger.
• Jennifer Niven, who has recently
released her second book on Arctic explorers unlike herself, admits to
a warm life in the sunny South in a Jan.
19, 2004 interview with the online literary journal Identity Theory.
Niven writes about her most recent release, Ada Blackjack for the
Jan. 15 edition of National Geographic News.
Shana Loshbaugh favorably reviews Ada Blackjack in a story posted
March 25, 2004 in the Kenai Peninsula Online. Author Jennifer Niven
became intrigued by the tale of the shy, young Inuit woman, sole survivor
of a treacherous expedition north of Siberia.
• On Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004, in the Juneau Empire, Ann Chandonnet reviews British author Isabel Colegate’s The Call of the Solitary Life: A Look at the Lives of Hermits. Of special note, she says, is : the unexpected inclusion of the tale of ill-fated Alaska traveler Chris McCandless.
• Longtime Anchorage Daily News columnist Mike Doogan announced his departure Tuesday, Jan. 20 ,2004, in a farewell headlined “After more than 2,000 columns it’s time to go do something else.” Nevertheless, he steeled himself to write two more, ending his tenure Tuesday, Jan. 27.
• Sunday, Dec. 28, 2004, in the features section of the Anchorage Daily News, George Bryson writes about Nancy Lord and the years she spent devoted to research in preparation for Beluga Days.
• Seen in the Philadelphia Inquirer Saturday, Dec. 27, in the San Jose Mercury News Wednesday, Dec. 24, and surely elsewhere, former Anchorage Daily News sportswriter Lew Freedman writes for the Knight-Ridder newswire about the late outdoorsman Russell Annabel, a Tacoma native who made a career of Alaska adventuring (and writing about it). Lew puts a recently released five-volume collection of Annabel’s writings at the top of his list of 2003’s best adventure books. He also notes Four Against the Arctic, by David Roberts.
• ADN reporter Melissa DeVaughn conducted an interview, published Sunday, Dec. 21, with Outside writer Dan Kennedy, author of Little People: Learning to See the World Through My Daughter’s Eyes. The interview with Kennedy, whose book chronicles his daughter’s dwarfism, added to a feature article on an Alaska family raising a child with the same condition.
• Again from the ADN, theater reviewer Catherine Stadem writes in the Wednesday, Dec. 24 issue about the phenomenon of 24-hour plays in Anchorage.
• For a good example of how to subtly and politely plug one’s book, see the tagline at the end of Judith Kleinfeld’s Friday, Dec. 26 comment piece in the ADN, which — as an aside to an article that is interesting in itself — identifies her as author of the book Finding Your Own Frontier.
• Mentioned in the Juneau Empire Friday, Dec. 26, 2004, a recently formed writers group will meet in that city January 3, with the focus being to listen to and share readings, as well as tips. Previous participants include Ann Chandonnet, Dr. Wally Olson and Nancy Ferrell. For more information, call 790-3038.
• Alaska state writer Anne Hanley highlights the work of Linda McCarriston in the Sunday, Dec. 28, 2004 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
• Randy Zarnke’s series on hockey in Fairbanks continues in the Sunday, Dec. 28, 2004, Daily News-Miner. Zarnke is author of the book, Fairbanks Hockey Pioneers.
• Also in the Sunday, Dec. 28 Daily News-Miner’s Heartland magazine, Fairbanks writer Shana Loshbaugh reviews Waking Samuel (Bloomsbury USA), the first novel by Homer writer Daniel Coyle, formerly of Chicago and a contributing editor at Outside magazine. The mostly glowing review concludes: “Coyle has the right stuff, and we Alaskans are privileged that an author of his caliber has chosen to live among us.” (Unfortunately, the first line of the review posted online is somewhat garbled; just ignore and plow ahead.)
• In the category Why Didn’t We Think of That? is Jake Halpern’s book Braving Home, a series of essays about people who live in seemingly unliveable places, like at the foot of a volcano, on a hurricane-beset island — and in Whittier. A recent interview with Halpern on NPR’s Living on Earth (Friday, Dec. 19) is fun on many levels. One nugget: To get to “remote” Whittier, Halpern takes a taxi from Anchorage.
• One must at least acknowledge the many mentions of the novel Drop City, ( T.C. Boyles; Farrar, Straus, Giroux), which, led by the recommendation of the New York Times Book Review, has found its way to many Best of 2003 lists. Though not written by an Alaska author, an Alaska setting is central.
• Featured in columnist Mike Doogan’s column Sunday Dec. 14, in the Anchorage Daily News: Homer author Nancy Lord, discussing her recently released book, Beluga Days.
•Writing in the Fairbanks News-Miner Tuesday, Dec. 16, Randy Zarnke, author of the book, Fairbanks Hockey Pioneers, recounts Mark Ringstad’s hockey memories from the 1930s. The article is one in a series.
• Also in the News-Miner, columnist Dermot Cole tells a charming story Tuesday, Dec. 2 (the link may die quickly) of a nine-year correspondence between Fairbanks librarian Greg Hill and Patrick O’Brian, author of the Aubrey-Maturin series on which the movie Master and Commander is based. O’Brian died in 2000.
• In the Juneau Empire Sunday, Dec. 14, 2003, Ann Chandonnet reviews the children’s novel Minuk (Pleasant Co.) , the fictional story of a 12-year-old Yup’ik girl set in the 1890s, written by Alaska author Kirkpatrick Hill. Chandonnet commends the book as an “excellent portrait of life in Alaska.” According to the review, author Hill now splits her time between Fairbanks and Ruby.
• In the Peninsula Clarion Thursday, Dec.4, 2003, Shana Loshbaugh reviews Go For It! Finding Your Own Frontier, the latest book by UAF professor and psychologist Judith Kleinfeld (Epicenter Press).
•The Los Angeles Times magazine cover story Sunday, Dec.14, 2003, was an in-depth look at the life and grisly death of “bear whisperer” Timothy Treadwell by ADN Outdoors editor Craig Medred. Treadwell was killed in October along with his girlfriend by a Katmai bear.
• In the National Review Online Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003, writer Michelle Malkin comments on a correction prompted by the writing of New York Times reporter Charlie LeDuff, which she speculates amounts to a “Jayson Blair-like scandal.” The Alaska connection? According to the story, LeDuff’s only newspaper job before the Times was his (1990s?) internship for the Alaska Fisherman’s Journal.
Editor’s note: These are ‘leftover’ posts that I could not bear to delete when I went through an extensive site redesign December 13, 2005. I have removed outdated links, but retained content that I think might still be of interest. Soon, I plan to replace the news page with a blog, which will make archiving and viewing easier. I also invite site guests and members to add their news, announcements and tips automatically to our AlaskaWriters Forum, an online discussion area that will serve as our primary source of news about Alaska writers.
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otherwise noted, all materials Copyright AlaskaWriter LLC 2004. All rights reserved.
Photos of Sonya Senkowsky © 2004 David Jensen / David Jensen Photography.