Alaska Writers Guild 
  Supporting Alaska's Writers



Previous Meetings and Speakers


Jeanne is the author of a collection of poems, Ohio Blue Tips, winner of the Akron Poetry Prize. She regularly teaches creative writing classes with an emphasis in poetry as well as literature classes such as Women Writers and Modern American Poetry. She is interested in community-based education and taught for many years in prisons, nursing homes, homeless shelters, and public schools as an Artist in Education. She is at work on a second poetry collection, tentatively titled The First Good Day of My Life.

Rob Davidson was born in 1967 in Duluth, Minnesota, and was educated at Beloit College and Purdue University. From 1990-1992, he served in the U.S. Peace Corps in the Eastern Caribbean, where he taught secondary-level English language and literature. He is the author of The Farther Shore: Stories (Bear Star, 2012), The Master and the Dean: The Literary Criticism of Henry James and William Dean Howells (University of Missouri Press, 2005), and  Field Observations: Stories (University of Missouri Press, 2001).

Davidson’s honors include winning the 2009 Camber Press Fiction Award, judged by Ron Carlson; a 1997 AWP Intro Journals Project Award; a Pushcart Prize nomination; and having twice been selected Artist-in-Residence at the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony in Woodstock, New York. His fiction, essays and interviews have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Indiana Review, The Normal School, New Delta Review, and elsewhere. He is currently Professor of English at California State University, Chico, where he teaches creative writing and American literature.

Thank you Jeane and Rob for sharing your beautiful works with us and answering some of the questions that perplex us as writers. It was a wonderful evening. Thank you for traveling so far for both us and the Summer Arts Festival.


TERRENCE COLE- June 2012   Professor of History and Northern Studies, Director of the Office of Public History at UAF 

Terrence Cole led a lively discussion about his philosophies on writing both nonfiction and fiction. He brought thought provoking visual aids. One of which was a bike tire with the spokes missing. It illustrated that it is easy to take something apart, but much harder to put it together. He believes writing is similar and it’s no surprise that one topic was the importance of having a good editor and accepting feedback when putting our writing together.


He also discussed the future of publishing. To introduce the topic he showed us an aviation map form World War II. It was centered on the North Pole versus the typical map we think of today which is centered on the equator. He used it to illustrate how aviation and World War II literally changed the way we viewed the world for a time. He believes the internet has changed publishing forever, citing how easy it is to self publish online, yet how difficult it is becoming to gain recognition.


Thank you Terrence for your humor, candor and advice.                                                                                                                         


FRANK SOOS - May 2012  Author, Retired Teacher                       

Frank Soos, a professor emeritus at the University of Alaska since 2004, has published two volumes of short stories, Early Yet and Unified Field Theory as well as one collection of essays, Bamboo Fly Rod Suite.   Unified Field Theory was awarded the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction.  In addition he is co-editor with Kes Woodward of the anthology Under Northern Lights:  Writers and Artists View the Alaskan Landscape.  His most recent book, Double Moon:  Constructions and Conversations, is a collaborative work with his wife the artist Margo Klass.

This evening, Frank tackled the topic of failure. Early in the evening he stated, “If you’re not risking failure, you are not really writing.“ Thank you Frank, for inspiring us to be comfortable with failure, but also helping us determine success in spite of the limits and imperfections of our works.

CINDY HARDY - April 2012 Author, Educator, Advisor, Professor of Developmental English

Cindy showed us the power of metaphor and simile by revealing their roles in poems.  We loved her energetic style, the readings she made of her own and other’s poetry, and how she involved us in her informal and interactive program.                               

We have an amazing opportunity for more of Cindy’s instruction, Cindy will be teaching a class: Creative Writing, Summer Session at UAF, CRN 51351, Mon/Wed/Friday, 6 to 8:40 in the evening, May 29 thru July 3. I highly recommend this class for anyone. Space is still available at this time and Senior Waver applies to Summer Classes.


DARYL FARMER - March 2012 Author, Professor

Professor Farmer was born in Colorado Springs, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.  He developed a taste for the open road at an early age, and has spent a life roaming the country, photographing and writing about the land and people he loves.  He has lived in New Mexico, Oregon, New Hampshire, Mississippi and Texas, among other places.  He received a B.A. in physical education from Adams State College(Alamosa, Colorado) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Recent work has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Laurel Review, Quarter After Eight and Isotope.  His first book Bicycling beyond the Divide: Two Journeys into the West received a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writer’s Award and was a Colorado Book Award finalist. Before moving to Fairbanks, he taught writing at the University of Nebraska, Georgia Tech. and Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas

Recounting his experiences on a cross country bike ride that awakened his awareness of sensory details, Daryl reminded us of the role details play in our writing. Daryl showed us how specific and carefully selected details connect people to emotions and feed the core of the story. Thank You Daryl, you made us want to hit the road and soak in all the beautiful details of our experiences so we can be sure they end up on our pages.


JAMES ENGELHARDT -  February 2012 Author, Poet, Acquisitions Editor at UA Press

James Engelhardt, Acquisitions Editor for UofA Press, provided a February meeting program filled with information about publishing for E-books and other affordable means of getting those writings out of the dark dusty drawer and into light of public awareness. Thank you James, for sharing your expertise and for excellent answers for all of our questions.


CAM ESSELMONT - January 2012 Published Author, Fantasy

It may seem strange to say that attending a meeting at Minus 40 was worth the shivers entailed, but the January Writers Guild might even have been worth a touch of frostbite. I know it would have to me and hopefully for the other thirteen people who came out into the cold. Cam Esslemont gave as impressive a presentation as we have had. He took us to His world of Malazan, I say His since Malazan is his creation along with His co-god Creator. While there we prepared for war and were hauled down an abandoned well on a rope chair and what person there would have missed the trip? I can still feel the dank, the despair, the walls and the elation at what was found as his feet sensed the water beneath. You can learn more about this fantasy world through his many books to be found on shelves at Barnes and Noble or ordered from Gulliver's Books.
I Like to believe our policy of providing the best, most informative programs possible is a large part of the attendance size in such an Arctic temperature, but also I am grateful for the determination of all the members to make this valuable group so successful. Thanks to all of you, we go on month after month gaining new faces, learning new things and finding new friends as we accept the expertise of these generous speakers. - Dick Ourada

November 2011

We had a terrific program with a great turnout on a bitterly cold November eve. Six writers from the Alaska Writers Guild - Interior Chapter read their latest work to the entire group for review/critiquing. All of the work was varied, moving, and left us all waiting in anticipation to hear more. Several times we heard people in the group saying "write more of that piece and please bring it back to us". We all enjoyed, learned new methods and techniques, and shared even more about each other. A special thank you to Dick Ourada for his wonderfully delicious baked dessert. Where else could we have had such a special evening?


  Dr. Gerri Brightwell - October 2011 Published author, writing and literature professor.

Thank you Dr. Gerri Brightwell for joining our October meeting, reading from your wonderful book, answering our questions, guiding us through your processes and ours, and for teaching us to follow our hearts and minds, overcome all obstacles and see our vision through. What a wonderful night for us all!

   Amber Flora Thomas - September 2011 Published author, poet and creative writing professor.

Amber taught, lead and encouraged our members toward higher quality writing and publishing. When you read a few of your poems to us we were all speechless and motivated. Thank you from all of us.


Jean Anderson, Amy Cameron, Sue Ann Bowling, Charlie Deere, James Englehardt - August 2011  Published Writers Panel included writers, illustrator, and editor.


   Jeanne E. Clark - July 2011 Author, poet and creative writing professor.

Excellent readings, teaching and sharing. Jeanne motivated us through her amazing, all encompassing style of writing and unselfish approach to helping other writers. Thank you for sharing your awe inspiring work with us.


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