With school letting out for the summer today in Anchorage and around the state, it might seem odd that we’re getting excited already about our fall term of writing instruction here at 49 Writers. But we love reviewing course proposals (for fall, due June 1) from some of the state’s finest writers and putting together a schedule of courses to help Alaska get (and keep!) writing.
Our course offerings fit (more or less; we like to stay flexible) into one of three categories: Elements courses that are generally 6 to 8 hours long; genre-based workshops that typically run 12 to 15 hours; and special topics that are normally covered in a single session of 2 or 3 hours. Elements courses include cross-genre topics like character, voice, narrative structure, point of view, description, beginnings, revision, and narrative time. We’ll do our best to cycle these as a series so that in a couple of years, a writer could take them all.
Workshops are by genre, alternating between fundamentals workshops for emerging writers (Fundamentals of Fiction, for example) and workshops exploring advanced techniques (such as Advanced Poetry Techniques). In workshops, students draft and revise within their genres. Finally, while we hope all of our courses are feisty and fun, our special topics courses are intended to be especially so, with an exploratory bent.
Of course, we’ve got great summer offerings already scheduled: June 16 Funny Business: Seven Secrets of Writing Humor (Bruce Hale); June 24-27 Memoir Weekend with Kim Rich; and July 18-29 Raven Words Summer Youth Writing Workshops.
Also on the learning front, we’re excited to announce our new Reading and Craft Talk series, replacing our First Friday book signings. Volunteer coordinator Paula Bryner, who so beautifully orchestrated our First Friday events, is launching this series to provide opportunities for published authors to address informal audiences on topics related to writing. Held at Metro Books/Café Felix in Anchorage, these free talks will begin with a 5-7 minute reading followed by a 20-30 minute craft talk followed by a question and answer session and book signings. To schedule a Reading and Craft talk, contact R & C coordinator Paula Bryner.
Congratulations to Alaska writer and 49 Writers friend Ray Troll, who joined an elite group of Alaska artists today by receiving the 2011 Rasmuson Foundation Distinguished Artist Award. Troll is the eighth Alaskan artist to receive the award, which was announced at a morning ceremony in Anchorage. The Distinguished Artist Award recognizes artists with stature, and a history of creative excellence and accomplishments in the arts with $25,000 in unrestricted funds.
Kudos also to 49 Writers member Eowyn Ivey of Palmer (her debut novel The Snow Child will be published in 2012), who received a Project Award from Rasmuson which she plans to use toward a raft trip on the Copper River as part of the research for her novel in progress. A Rasmuson Project Award also went to Mollie Ramos of Valdez to attend the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival and to research a novel. Rasmuson Artist Fellowships were awarded to writer Rosemary McGuire of Cordova to canoe the Yukon River as part of a writing project, and to Jeffry Silverman for a screenplay documentary about Jewish pioneers in territorial Alaska.
On Saturday May 21 at 1pm, the Pulpwood Queens book group share a special storytime, in tiaras. Barnes and Noble, 200 E. Northern Lights, Anchorage.
Also at 1pm on Saturday May 21st, Muldoon Library will host a special storytime event--"Around the World" through stories, songs and crafts. Intended for children aged eight and under.
On Tuesday May 24 from 12.30-1.30pm, the Chugiak-Eagle River Branch Library hosts "Monkeys and Apes," a child-adult learning experience for children aged 4-10, part of "Science in the Library."
On Tuesday May 24 at 7pm, the Anchor Park reading group will meet at Barnes and Noble to discuss this month's book.
On Saturday May 28 at 11.30am, Michael Travis will present Melozi--a 1970's era coming-of-age memoir of his time helping to build a lodge at Melozi Hot Springs. Fireside Books, Palmer.
Alaska State Council on the Arts reports that the Helen Walker Performing Arts Presenting/Touring Grants are now posted, and the next deadline is June 1, 2011. Guidelines are on their website and you are encouraged to call with questions if you're unsure your project qualifies. Contact Charlotte Fox, (907) 269 6607.
Mark your calendars for Thursday June 9th, when the Spenard Jazz Festival at the Hugi-Lewis Studio will feature Poets in Full Meter, Instant Poetry and much more.