Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Honored author will lead 2 workshops


Award-winning author Melinda Moustakis will lead two creative writing workshops next weekend, including how landscape shapes characters and how to craft an extended metaphor.

Both workshops will be held at the library and are sponsored by 49 Writers, a statewide literary organization. “Place is People with Desire,” a workshop about the connection between landscape and persona, will be held 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18.

“Extending Metaphor,” scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20, will focus on how to weave and build a metaphor throughout a piece of writing.

Moustakis is the author of the short story collection “Bear Down, Bear North: Alaska Stories,” which won the Flannery O’Connor Award and the Maurice Prize.

Her story, “They Find the Drowned,” won the 2013 PEN/O. Henry Award, and her work has appeared in prestigious publications including the New England Review and the Kenyon Review.

Erin Hollowell, executive director of 49 Writers, said Moustakis is teaching workshops in Haines and Juneau as part of a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Moustakis was chosen because of her “strong Alaskan ties.”

Moustakis was born in Fairbanks, but grew up in California. Most of her stories are set in Alaska.

“We really wanted a writer who would talk about the sense of place and how Alaskans can better use place, not as a gimmick but as an integral part of their writing,” Hollowell said.

The second workshop, on extended metaphor, teaches how language and imagery can be invoked throughout a work to draw a new or unusual connection between two seemingly dissimilar objects, people, places or events.

Both of the classes are for fiction and nonfiction writers, Hollowell said.

The library will also host a “Meet the Authors” event at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, with Moustakis, local authors and music.

At 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, Haines residents will join other Alaskan communities in a “virtual book club” discussion of “Bear Down, Bear North” using the library’s OWL video conference system.

Register for the workshops at Each workshop is $45 for 49 Writers members and $55 for non-members.


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