Alaska Writers Guild  - Supporting Alaska's Writers
Log in

2012 Writers Conference

  • 07 Sep 2012
  • 09 Sep 2012
  • Anchorage, AK


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

Registration is closed

Alaska Writers  Conference

September 7, 8, & 9

    Friday, September 7th           3:45pm- 9:00pm
    Saturday, September 8th     8:00am- 7:00pm
    Sunday, September 9th       8:00am- 5:00pm

Come join us at the 2012 Alaska Writers Conference. Enjoy daily sessions with nationally known authors, agents, editors, and
publishers. This three day annual conference brings these literary gurus straight to you, ready to share with you their vast knowledge of how to write well and get published. Many of these distinguished faculty have authored or worked on nationally recognized books, films, television and other media.

The Conference is held at the Coast International Inn on the picturesque Lake Hood, the largest float plane base in the world. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and a variety of snacks are included with your registration. In addition to each day of workshops, we host a variety of after hour events. Panel discussions with Q&A sessions of the entire faculty will be hosted with our partner, the Anchorage Loussac Library. We also host a banquet dinner with our conference speakers, as well as a book auction. Bring copies of your books which will be auctioned off and the proceeds will go to YOU. Book signings by our conference speakers and local authors will follow.

On Thursday, September 6th we will host a tour of the large printing plant at A.T. Publishing & Printing in Anchorage. Drinks and snacks are provided in this tour where you will get to see first hand how books are made.

On Friday, September 7th we host a variety of interactive workshops. Workshops offer a more dynamic experience between the audience and the conference speaker. Learn valuable writing methods, tricks and exercises that will take you to the next level of writing.

We also offer manuscript reviews for authors who would like to get a professional opinion of their work, based on style and marketability. A professional review can be extremely expensive, but we offer an expert evaluation of your work for only $35 by one of our nationally acclaimed conference speakers. If interested, please complete the form here.

Registration Fees: (Guild members will receive $25 discount.)
$225 through midnight, June 30, 2012
$250 through midnight, July 30, 2012
$275 through September 7, 2012 if space available   

$100 Student Rate- High School 

$35 for each Manuscript Submission

$50 to bring a guest to Saturday's Awards Banquet

FREE to sign up for an Interactive Workshop

FREE to attend the A.T. Publishing Tour on September 6th from 3pm to 5pm. Appetizers and drinks will be provided. At A.T. Publishing & Printing, 1720 Abbott Road, Anchorage, AK 99507. 

Interactive Workshops- Friday

Twelve Ways to Write Better and Write Faster--Right Now: A right-brain approach to creating an endless flow of ideas, creating vivid characters, and compelling stories. All the techniques are practical and easy to implement. Taught by Jurgen Wolff.

Click here for a little preview of Jurgen's workshop

Keeping the Reader's Interest: A workshop on how to write so that "action" and "showing" keeps a reader's interest. Taught by Vivian Zabel.

Book marketing: What, When & How: Taught by Jerry Simmons.

How to Register

By Internet- Please click on the registration button on the LEFT side of the screen in the BLUE information box. Follow the prompted steps. Payment will be by Credit Card through a secure payment gateway.

By Mail- Please complete the following Registration Form here. Payment is by Check, Money Order, or Credit Card number. Please mail registration to: Alaska Writers Guild, 9138 Arlon St, Suite A3-910, Anchorage, AK 99507.

By Fax- Please complete the following Registration Form here. Payment is by Credit Card number. Please fax to: Bill Columbus, Conference Committee, 907-277-3656. Please include a fax coversheet.

By Phone- Please call Jim Misko at 907-243-5523. Please review the Registration form here prior to calling. Payment is by Credit Card number.

Sell Your Books

Would you like a chance to sell your book at the AWG Conference in September? If your answer is 'Yes!" here's how you can do it at this year's conference:

On Saturday and Sunday during the lunch hour, tables will be positioned at the front of the main room for authors to display their work. Other attendees will have the chance to meet with you, peruse your books, and purchase directly from you. All the profit is yours; there's no waiting for the guild to cut you a check.

Space is limited! To reserve a place at a table, please e-mail Jen at so we can confirm your registration.

                    Coast International Inn
                    3450 Aviation Ave
                    Anchorage, AK 99502

Scholarships are available. Please complete the Scholarship Application form available here.

If you have any questions, please contact the Conference Chairman, Pat Foster, at

Read a letter from the Conference Chairman here. 

A copy of our 2012 Conference Brochure can be downloaded here.

Download a copy of the Conference Schedule here.

Conference Speakers

Jerry Simmons

Jerry is a book-publishing guide for unpublished writers and small publishers looking for sales growth. His career in publishing began in 1976 as a Sales Representative for Random House. In 1979 he joined the book division at Warner Communications, where he spent more than twenty-three years in sales and management. During that time the company expanded to become The Time Warner Book Group (sold to Hachette Book Group in 2006). Their sales team distributed over a thousand titles a year from a number of large publishing houses and imprints including Little, Brown; Warner Books; Hyperion; Miramax Books; Bulfinch; Back Bay; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; and Disney. He sold books to some of the largest independent booksellers and mass merchants in the country and his sales group generated hundreds of millions of dollars in book sales throughout the United States and Canada. He retired as Vice-President, Director Field Sales.


Saturday -- How to Profit from Trends in Publishing 

There are three basic myths about book publishing, as the industry evolves, writers should understand the basics of the marketplace and how to spot trends that offer opportunities. Successful publishers and authors recognize the direction of the market and how to make changes that allow them to maximize their revenue and profits. This presentation will outline the basics, describe the trends and provide a clear direction on how to profit. 

Sunday -- Book Marketing: What, When & How

Getting a manuscript published is easy. Selling books is hard. There are seven basic areas that writers must know to maximize their marketing budgets. To successfully compete for book sales authors must understand the marketing strengths and weaknesses of their bigger New York competitors. This presentation outlines how any author can compete effectively by taking advantage of their major competitors and what common mistakes to avoid. 

Click here to hear Part 1 of a Guild interview with Jerry Simmons

Click here to hear Part 2 of a Guild interview with Jerry Simmons

Gordon Warnock

Gordon Warnock, Senior Agent with Andrea Hurst Literary Management, combines industry knowledge with a sharp editorial eye and experience as a college-level tutor to provide friendly and respectful aid with polishing manuscripts and book proposals. He is a frequent teacher and speaker in the literary community at events such as the San Francisco Writers’ Conference, the AWP national conference and bookfair, and the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts MFA program. Specific genres Gordon represents include: Memoir, Cookbooks, Political and Current Events, Humor, Career, Self-Help, Pets, Commercial Fiction and Contemporary Realistic YA (that means no vampires).



Will cover, chronologically, the author/agent relationship. Topics covered will include: How to find and approach an agent. What does an agent do? What does an agent look for? What does an agent expect of their clients?


This seminar will be for those who seek to go it alone. It will cover: Which options exist for unagented writers? What is the independent writer’s role? Where do indie writers go for help? What are the expectations?

Click here to hear a Guild interview with Gordon Warnock

Jurgen Wolff

JURGEN WOLFF is an author, teacher, and creativity consultant. His books include “Your Writing Coach” and “Your Creative Writing Masterclass” (Nicholas Brealey Publishing), “Creativity Now!” (Pearson),“Do Something Different” (Virgin Business Books, with a foreword by Sir Richard Branson), “Successful Scriptwriting” (Writers Digest Press), “Top Secrets: Screenwriting” (Lone Eagle Press), and “Successful Sitcom Writing” (St. Martin’s Press). He has written for many publications including the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Broadcast Magazine, and he is the editor of “Brainstorm,” the creativity ebulletin. Next year Nicholas Brealey will publish Jurgen’s next non-fiction book, “Your Screenwriting Coach.”


Saturday-Dickens, Austen and Twain Want to Be Your Writing Coaches.

This is based on my new book, "Your Creative Writing Masterclass." It's built around the writing advice from the great classic writers as well as successful current authors. I will use excerpts from their works to illustrate the points and also will suggest practical ways to implement that advice.

Click here for a little preview of Jurgen's workshop

Sunday - Guerrilla Warfare for the Writer

This is about creative, inexpensive ways to market yourself and your work in today's tough economic climate. It will include innovative ways to use social media (without becoming a slave to Facebook and Twitter), and a variety of other methods. I'll use entertaining examples but the emphasis is very practical. I'll also look at some of the pros and cons of self-publishing an ebook or traditional book.

Click here for a little preview of Jurgen's workshop

Click here to hear a Guild interview with Jurgen Wolff

 Jan Harper-Haines

Jan Harper Haines is Athabascan-Irish-Russian and Dutch. She has written about her family and its rich heritage. Her mother, Flora Jane Harper was the University of Alaska’s first Native graduate in 1935. Jan’s great uncle, Walter Harper, was the first man to reach the summit of Denali in 1913. Her great grandfather, Arthur Harper, was one of the first to discover gold on the Yukon. Jan’s other great-grandfather, John Minook, was the first to find gold in the Rampart area, a discovery that established the town of Rampart. Jan is a graduate of West Anchorage High School and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She taught at Orion Junior High on Elmendorf AFB in Anchorge and has had a twenty-year career in advertising and marketing, and is the author of COLD RIVER SPIRITS. She lives in Northern California with her husband.



Writing personal stories can release the past and free your thinking. You will discover techniques to access your personal stories, shape the material and approach it from different angles. Participants will read a little, write a lot and receive in-class feedback.

Sunday: PLOT AND STRUCTURE – Get Your Story Moving.

Learn the eight basic plots and the difference between plot and story. An outline can help your work move. In-class writing exercises will focus on the nine-point outline used by screenwriters and how to adapt it to your work in progress. 

Click here to hear a Guild interview with Jan Harper Haines


Wilda “Willy” Williams

Wilda "Willy" Williams ( is Library Journal's Fiction Editor. She specializes in popular fiction and editsthe Mystery, Science Fiction, Christian Fiction, and Word on Street Lit columns. Library Journal is the most trusted and respected publication for the library community. Built on more than a century of quality journalism and reviews, LJ provides groundbreaking features and analytical news reports covering technology, management, policy and other professional concerns to public, academic and institutional libraries. Our hefty reviews sections evaluate 8000+ reviews annually of books, ebooks, audiobooks, videos/DVDs, databases, systems and websites. Our team of library and literary experts communicate with our audience through print, digital and live content and continuously strive tostay on the cutting edge of the ever-evolving world of libraries. She also can be found discussing books on Twitter at @willywaldo and on Library Journal's Facebook page :  https://www


Saturday- Getting Your Book Reviewed by Library Journal

How to get a book reviewed by Library Journal. Why LJ is in business; what it does; how it does it; what benefits do authors derive from it; what a review by LJ does for an author; who LJ sends it reviews to; how other publications pick up on LJ reviews.

Sunday-Library Journal: From A to Z

Will cover the process when the books come in; the requirements for review; what the process is from beginning to end; who gets your reviews; what the benefits are to an author to get a library review. How many are done each year and how many are refused; why they are refused; The history of the Library Journal from how it go started to where it is today. How it is funded, etc. 

Click here to hear a Guild interview with Wilda Williams

Susan Meissner

Susan Meissner is the author of thirteen novels including the Shape of Mercy, named by Publishers Weekly as one of the top 100 novels for 2008. She has a background in community journalism and is an award-winning former columnist and newspaper editor. When she's not writing she writes small group curriculum for her San Diego church. A devotee of purposeful prewriting and story building. Susan enjoys teaching at writing workshops and helping novelists write compelling fiction. She and her husband are the parents of four adult children and make their home in San Diego.


Saturday- 300 Pages in 30 Days

Learn how to maximize your writing time and make the muse work for you instead chasing her around your writing space. If you know what you want to say you really can produce ten pages a day over the course of thirty days. This class will look at four key areas to making it happen: Premise, Planning, Preparation and Pact.

Sunday- Build An Arc

What is a story arc? Simply put, it is the sweep of relevant, escalating events in the main character’s life against the backdrop of a conflict that matters to us, and which is fueled by the character’s response to change. In this workshop we will unleash the power of a killer high concept to build your arc, how to get in touch with your theme, and how to manage your content so that your arc soars instead of sags. Bring the first page of your manuscript with you and a two-sentence summary of what your story is about.

Click here to hear a Guild interview with Susan Meissner


Vivian Zabel

As an editor for over thirty-five years, an English and writing teacher for nearly thirty years, an author with poetry, articles, short stories, and novels published (with a few writing awards), and the head of a small publishing company for over four years, Vivian Zabel experienced both sides of the submission experience.

Her publishing company 4RV Publishing produced the Oklahoma Book Award winner in fiction for 2010; “Confessions of a Former Rock Queen” by Kirk Bjorngaard. Other books have received regional awards in their categories. 4RV has released children’s books, middle grade and young adult books, novels, and nonfiction books. 


Saturday- Making a Pitch

Authors need to be prepared to “pitch” their manuscripts to agents, editors, or publishers and to present a finished book to a group. How to design and present your pitch for each person who is between you and the published book.  

Sunday- How to Submit

Tips for writers on how to impress the agents, editors, and publishers with their manuscript submissions and have the best chance of making a good impression.

Click here to hear a Guild interview with Vivian Zabel


Sponsored By--




Alaska Writer's Guild

PO Box 670014

Chugiak, AK 99567

       © Alaska Writers Guild  Members Only

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software