Alaska Writers Guild 
  Supporting Alaska's Writers




Annual Writers Conferences

The Alaska Writers Guild conferences features nationally acclaimed editors, agents, and authors, as well as local authors and illustrators.  In the past we have also held a children's literature track in conjunction with The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. This two-day conference brings writing industry professionals straight to you, ready to share their knowledge of how to write well and get published.



We also host a variety of optional interactive 3-hour workshops, which offer a more in-depth experience with faculty on a specific subject. Bring your manuscript and be ready to write!


Many of our conference faculty also offer manuscript reviews for the first 10 pages of your manuscript, including an optional query letter or synopsis. Critiques are then presented in a face-to-face format during the conference. Manuscript Critique participants are automatically entered into the "Most Promising Manuscript" contest. Each reviewing agent, editor, or author, will nominate the manuscript(s) they feel are most promising. Nominees will be announced during the Saturday Evening Awards Reception. Awards such as these not only feel great and validate all those hours spent writing, they also look great on your query letter.



Tours of local publishing & printing houses, Meet n Greets with faculty speakers and local authors, and special hotel rates, silent & art auctions, and conference scholarships are also available.


Registration for the 2014 Alaska Writers Guild & SCBWI Annual Conference is now open. Click here for more information and to register!


Past Interactive Workshops



1. Take the Lead with your Manuscript with East West Literary Agency

A A three-hour intensive about winning ways to begin a novel or picture book, incorporating examples of participant first pages in a kind and constructive workshop with time to re-see and revise your opening words. "If you are not the lead dog, the scenery never changes."

2. “Help! I’m Trapped in the Wrong Body!” How to Convert Your Book into a Movie and Your Movie into a Book with author Robert Masello.

Sometimes a story or idea wants to be a book, and sometimes it wants to be a film. How do you know which one it should be, and what do you do if you want to switch it over? Each format has a dozen advantages over the other, and each has a dozen drawbacks. Robert Masello has been a writer for Early Edition (CBS), Sliders (Fox), Charmed (ABC), and Poltergeist (ScyFy and Fox). He is also the author of "A Friend in the Business: Honest Advice for Anyone Trying to Break into Television Writing" (Penguin Berkley). Several of his novels have been optioned by major studios and production companies.

3. “What Your Reader Really Wants, The 5 Steps to an Irresistible Novel,” including the Triumphs and Pitfalls of Self Publishing with Lisa Cron, author of “Wired for Story.”

Every writer wants two things: to tell a story that hooks readers and never lets them go, and to find a way to accomplish that without going through the long slog of endlessly writing draft after draft. This workshop will give you actionable ways to meet both goals. We’ll examine the five steps to take before you start writing that will save you months (or years) of hard work, not to mention heartache and frustration. Instead of rooting around in your plot for the story, you’ll unearth the key story elements beneath the plot that bring it to life, drive it forward, and give it meaning. These elements have little to do with the surface plot or “writing well” and everything to do with what we’re hardwired to respond to in every story we read. You’ll not only produce a more powerful novel, chances are you’ll drastically reduce your rewrite time.


                         Past Conference Speakers

Deborah Warren & Rubin Pfeffer

Deborah Warren, founder of East West Literary, LLC, became an agent after 17 years at Harcourt, where she first met Rubin Pfeffer, now the "East" Boston-based arm of E/W Literary. With over 60 years of shared experience in the publishing industry, and over 10 years at the helm of the Agency, Deborah and Rubin represent children's authors of all genres, as well as illustrators, and author/illustrators.

The Agency is particularly invested in finding and nurturing new talent and has launched (among others) the careers of debut authors Elana K. Arnold, whose YA two-book series is upcoming from Delacorte; Scott Bly, of Blue Sky Press/Scholastic's upcoming YA techno-thriller SMASHER; Platte Clarke, whose MG trilogy is upcoming from Aladdin; Evan Sagerman, picture book author of GIRAFFE RESCUE SERVICE, forthcoming from Beach Lane Books/S & S; and Tyler Whitesides, whose first in a MG two-book series, JANITORS, has just been released by Shadow Mountain.

In addition, we have a particular strength in the picture book category; specifically, for finding the "write" homes for our author/illustrators ranging from Rubin's Michael Austin, Jeff Mack and Jesse Joshua Watson to Deborah's Gianna Marino, Lucianna Navarro Powell and Andy Myer. Furthermore, work from our illustrators (both debut and established) has been matched with talent ranging from Newbery award-winning Linda Sue Park (Jim Averbeck) and best-selling author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.


Gary Goldstein

Gary Goldstein started his editorial career at Crown Publishing in 1986. He spent two years at Bantam Doubleday Dell (which then became Bertelsmann AG and is soon to become Penguin Random House) from 1988-1990.

He moved to Putnam Berkley Publishing in May 1990. Following his stint at Berkley, in 1997 he moved on to Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books division (where he signed up a then-unknown author named Dan Brown and his novel ANGELS AND DEMONS). He rejoined Penguin USA in 2000 in the Alpha Books Division, editing and acquiring titles for the popular Complete Idiot's Guide series, which was, some say, the perfect job for him).

In October 2003, he joined Kensington Publishing Group, where as an executive editor he acquires and edits both non-fiction for Kensington's Citadel Press imprint and fiction for their Pinnacle Books imprint (mysteries, thrillers, westerns, and suspense), among them NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors William W. Johnstone and Marc Cameron.

A lifelong New Yorker, he currently resides in Manhattan.


Jackie Ivie

Jackie Ivie is a native of Utah and attended the University of Utah on a full scholarship in Fine Art. She relocated to Wyoming for several years before moving to Alaska with her husband and four children. Her children have all grown and left the nest, so Jackie now lives with her husband and three very spoiled male pets: a Tuxedo cat, a Boston Terrier, and a Labrador Retriever who does not take no for an answer when requesting one of his three daily walks - no matter what the weather holds. Jackie is the author of nine Highland Historical Romances from Kensington Publishing. Her tenth, LAIRD OF BALLANCLAIRE, is scheduled for release October 2013. Jackie is also the creator and author of the Amazon best-selling Paranormal series, the Vampire Assassin League, available in ebook and print. Retired from the USPS, Jackie can usually be found either researching all kinds of topics that could get her in trouble with Homeland Security, walking her labrador, or at a keyboard creating all kinds of scenarios and daring-do.


Lisa Cron

Lisa Cron is the author of Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence (Ten Speed Press), and her video tutorial Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story can be found at Lisa spent a decade in publishingundefinedfirst at W.W. Norton in New York, then at John Muir Publications in Santa Fe, New Mexicoundefinedbefore turning to television, where among other things she’s been supervising producer on shows for Court TV and Showtime. She’s been a story consultant for Warner Brothers and the William Morris Agency in NYC, and for Village Roadshow, Icon, The Don Buchwald Agency and others in L.A., and a literary agent at the Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency. She’s featured in Final Draft's book, Ask the Pros: Screenwriting (Lone Eagle, 2004). Her personal essays have appeared on and the Huffington Post, and she has performed them at the 78th Street Playhouse in NYC, and in L.A. at Sit ’n Spin, Spark!, Word-A-Rama, Word Nerd, and Melt in Your Mouth (a monthly personal essay series she co-produced). Her passion has always been story, and she currently works as a story coach helping writers, nonprofits and journalists wrangle the story they’re telling onto the page. Since 2006 she’s been an instructor in the world renowned UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.


Marc Cameron

Marc Cameron is a retired Chief Deputy US Marshal and 29-year law enforcement veteran. His short stories have appeared in BOYS’ LIFE Magazine and the Saturday Evening Post. He has published nine novels, six of them Westerns (several as a ghost writer and two under his pen name, Mark Henry). His present Jericho Quinn seriesundefinedNATIONAL SECURITY, ACT OF TERROR and STATE OF EMERGENCY (from Kensington Publishing) undefined features an adventure motorcyclist, Air Force OSI agent and renaissance man who spends his days sorting out his life and kicking terrorist butt.

Marc is represented by Robin Rue of Writers House Literary Agency in New York

A member of Alaska Writers Guild, he lives in Alaska with his beautiful bride and BMW motorcycle.

Visit him at:


Robert Masello

Robert Masello is an award-winning journalist, a television writer, and the author of many books, including the supernatural thrillers The Medusa Amulet, Blood and Ice, Vigil (a USA Today bestseller), and Bestiary. His articles and essays have appeared in such publications as the Los Angeles Times, New York magazine, People, and Parade, and his nonfiction book Robert’s Rules of Writing has become a staple in many college classrooms. His television credits include such popular shows as Charmed, Sliders, and Early Edition. A long-standing member of the Writers Guild of America, Masello lives in Santa Monica, California.


Doug Grad

Doug Grad, founder of Doug Grad Literary Agency, Inc. The agency opened for business in 2008, after Doug had spent the previous twenty-two years as a senior editor at four major New York publishing houses. Throughout his editorial career, Doug was always an author’s advocate--the kind of editor authors wanted to work with because of his keen eye, integrity, and talent for developing projects. He was also a skillful negotiator, sometimes to the chagrin of literary agents. Now he brings those experiences to the other side of the table in offering publishers the kind of high-quality commercial fiction and nonfiction that he himself was proud to publish.









Deb Vanasse

Deb Vanasse is the author of several books for children and adults, including the Junior Literary Guild selection A Distant Enemy and Battle Books Totem Tale and Lucy's Dance. Her twelfth book, Black Wolf of the Glacier, came out in 2013 with the University of Alaska Press.


© Alaska Writers Guild

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software