49 Writers in Southeast Alaska

As part of our goal to expand 49 Writers programming to other parts of the state, we are working with local partners to develop a 2014 schedule of creative writing classes and author events in Juneau and other communities. This year the board of directors added three new members from JuneauJoan Pardes, Katrina Pearson, and Amy O'Neill Houck—who bring new energy and a broad range of expertise to the organization.

Clint Farr leads Juneau writers groupAlmost a quarter of our members live in Southeast Alaska, and can be found in Auke Bay, Douglas, Gustavus, Haines, Metlakatla, and Sitka. Our Juneau membership has grown five-fold over the last year, thanks to strong interest from writers in the community. Many of those new members attended our 2014 Resolve to Write gathering, at which we shared our writing aspirations and goals for the coming year. That meeting led to the formation of our regular Juneau writers group, where members meet to share their progress and read from their work.

If you would like to help us bring more authors to Juneau, do consider becoming a member. Your contribution makes it possible for to grow and extend our mission to Southeast Alaska: supporting the artistic development of writers, fostering a writing community, and building an audience for literature.Benefits of becoming a memberin addition to knowing you're supporting our vision of a vibrant community of Alaskan writers coming together to inspire, create, and shareinclude a tuition discount on creative writing classes, the opportunity to participate in the new writers group for 49 Writers members, and Invitations to members-only events with visiting writers.

Click here for more information about the various options available and to join.

Writers Group

Thursday, February 5, 7-9pm The writers group for members of 49 Writers meets every other month on the first Thursday. Email 
49writers (at) gmail (dot) com for details.

Friday Dec. 12, 7pm: Jimmy Riordan presents Le Roman du Lievre (The Romance of the Rabbit). We're excited to announce another unique opportunity for the Juneau 49 Writers community in the form of a potluck event hosted by Sarah Isto (1718 Willow Avenue). In 2008 Jimmy Riordan translated the French poet Francis Jammes’ turn of the century novel Le Roman du Lièvre. At the time Jimmy did not know French. This summer, after 5 years working around the text through a series of collaborative projects he has printed his translation. On Friday 12/12 Riordan will be reading from Le Roman du Lièvre. He will discuss the letterpress printing of the book and recount his history with the text, which he is currently exploring through the creation of a multi-volume graphic novel/comic. The reading will conclude with ceremonial melting of lead monotype used in the printing process. Email 49writersjuneau (at) gmail (dot) com for details.


See the links below for an introduction to Le Roman du Lievre in under 3 minutes!







Riordan is an Alaskan born multidisciplinary artist and educator. Though technically trained in book-arts and printmaking, his practice is not bound by any specific media. Dealing in both images and experience, his work often involves collaboration, asking the audience and other artists for their participation. Community and location play a large role in Riordan's choice of form and development of content.

He is the founder of Rabbit Rabbit Press, an imprint that publishes artist books and comics, co-director of the Girdwood Summer Arts Camp and the editor of SOWSEAR, a quarterly collection of Alaskan made comics. Riordan regularly teaches for the University of Alaska and participate in artist residencies in schools throughout the state. His artwork has been shown internationally and the bookwork comprising the Le Roman du Lièvre project can be found in the library collections of the New York MOMA and the Tate Britain.

Creative Writing Classes

If you would like to go on our Juneau/Southeast Alaska mailing list, please email 49writers (at) gmail (dot) com.

We are busy finalizing our spring schedule, with classes planned in Anchorage, Juneau, and Kenai/Soldotna. After the successful pilot of our first online course in fall 2014, we will be offering a menu of online options this coming season.

Lessons from a Life of Crime with John Straley

All registrations are on a first-come, first-served basis; we do not hold slots. Payment in full is required at the time of registration and before participating in a class. You can register and pay with VISA/Mastercard via our secure server by clicking the "Register Now" links below. If you prefer to pay by check or PayPal (send to 49writers@gmail.com), complete and submit our online form. Class size is limited for some courses, so we recommend you register early to avoid disappointment.


We do not issue refunds if you cancel but if you notify us at least 24 hours in advance, we will provide a tuition voucher in the amount of your registration (valid for one year) less a 10% cancelation fee. If 49 Writers has to cancel a class due to unforeseen circumstances, we will issue a full tuition refund.

At this time we are unable to offer distance options for regular classes (either by teleconference or Skype) and participation must be in person. Dependent on future grant funding, we hope to offer the occasional class at your local library via Alaska OWL. For regular updates on classes and author events, sign up for our newsletter or follow our blog at http://49writers.blogspot.com/.


December 1, 6-9pm
Juneau Arts & Humanities Council
$45 for members of 49 Writers/$50 for non-members

In a poem, it is often the leaps between juxtaposed images that creates meaning and energy, inviting the reader into the space made on the page. The Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges asserted that there is no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one. Dylan Thomas wrote that the poem should work from words, from the substance of words and the rhythm of substantial words set together, not towards words. In this hands-on workshop, writers will explore a way of thinking and viewing language that will illuminate these ideas and feed creativity well into the future.

September 20, 1-4pm
University of Alaska Southeast
Registration free

 “Knowing who you are is impossible without knowing where you are,” says writer Paul Shepard. What does it mean to live in a particular place? How does where you're from shape who you are? Explore these questions and others through storytelling--visual and written--that connects self and place. This workshop is made possible by a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum and the National Endowment for the Humanitites.

October 11-November 22
This class will be taught online
For fiction writers at all levels of experience

$295 members/$350 non-members

This is your chance to jumpstart or re-start a novel using a more organic, generative process that emphasizes quick-drafting. In this online class, we will use daily writing guidance and a weekly discussion forum for considering a few craft topics like planning, premise, the protagonist's dilemma, and basic novel structure in greater depth. Our main emphasis, though, will be achieving liftoff. Your goal will be to write the first 10,000 words (or more) of a rough draft and to learn more about your own best writing processes. Some feedback will be offered but this is not a critique-centered, workshop- or revision-focused class. To get the most out of your investment, plan to dedicate an average minimum of 1 hour per day (or 5-7 hours per week) to drafting new work. And plan to have fun! We will be encouraging each other to write fearlessly. Required text: The 90-Day Novel by Alan Watt.


Monday, March 3, 6-9pm
Juneau Arts & Humanities Council

$45 members/$50 non-members

Whether you're sending out query letters or pitching agents at a conference, first impressions of your fiction matter. It's not just about making sure your commas are in the right places. It's also about the grace of your plot arc, the chemistry between your characters, the uniqueness of your voice, your creativity within the genre, and of course, how you relay all of this in the limited space of a query letter or pitch.

Ali McCart leads this three-hour intensive on making the most of your novel's first impression. We'll cover the tangible elements of industry standards for submitting work as well as the ephemeral elements that make the difference between an agent's request for samples or a template rejection letter. To make the most of our time together, please bring a notebook or laptop to write on as well as your synopsis and first chapter. Rough drafts are okay!Alaska, occasionally taking breaks to hike, photograph, and fish.


Saturday, March 15, 1-4pm
University of Alaska Southeast Egan Library, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau
$45 members/$50 non-members

Registration free for full-time UAS students

Learn how to take your characters to the next level. In this workshop you'll be guided through a series of writing prompts that will help you understand and see your characters in a new light. Learn how to craft complex and conflicted characters and watch them come to life in your stories.


Saturday, April 26, 1-4pm
Juneau Arts & Humanities Council
$45 for members/$50 for non-members

In this three-hour workshop, Alaskan author John Straley (Cold Storage, Alaska) will talk about the different types of discipline you need and when you need them in the process of writing, from staring out the window to the final proof reading and marketing. 

WRITING IN 360º, Don Rearden
Thursday, May 15, 6-9pm
Juneau Arts & Humanities Council
$45 for members/$50 for non-members

No one lives in a setting, and life doesn't happen in a setting. Learn how to advance your fiction and non-fiction to the next level by giving your writing a 360º 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.

Monday, June 2, 6-9pm
Juneau Arts & Humanities Council
$45 for members/$50 for non-members

In this class, we'll review the basics and terms, from first-person to third-person, objective, subjective, and omniscient, looking closely at what introductory approaches leave out: subtleties of psychic distance, transitioning between points of view, and how point of view creates character.