Women and the Frontier: Memoir writing workshop
with women’s history author Marianne Monson: July 26th - 29th, 2018
In this writing workshop, we will discover some of the women who traversed Alaska’s frontiers with artist-in-resident Marianne Monson. Through a variety of writing exercises, discussion, and on location prompts, we will explore the concepts of wilderness and frontiers in our own lives. The workshop will culminate in a community word jam at the Old Hardware Store—a literary open mic of original poems, stories, songs, and performance art.
Monson's book Frontier Grit came out in 2016. It features twelve incredible pioneer women drawn from all corners of the globe who settled the American West who endured hardships, overcame obstacles, broke barriers, and changed the world. The book profiles women such as:
Abigayle Scott Duniway, who lost her mother on the Oregon trail, but dedicated forty years of her life to fighting for women's suffrage.
Zitkala-Sa, who traveled from her native lands to the East to receive an education--which she used to speak out on behalf of native people.
Clara Brown, who escaped a life of slavery and went onto amass a fortune on the frontier, which she used to fund the underground railroad.
Monson connects these stories with modern day issues, inspiring readers to live boldly and bravely--to live with grit. Frontier Grit is available online and wherever books are sold.
Getting to McCarthy:
McCarthy is approximately a seven hour drive from either Anchorage or Fairbanks (plus time for sightseeing, et cetera). It is possible to fly or arrange shuttles from Anchorage to McCarthy, and occassionally we can help arrange carpools for students, though we make no promises.
McCarthy and neighboring Kennecott, a national historic landmark, are situated within the Kennicott Valley (note the different spellings between the natural features and historical features.) McCarthy and Kennecott serve locals and travelers alike as a gateway to world-class backcountry opportunities and amazing frontcountry hikes and walks (including access to the Root Glacier); the Kennicott Valley also provides a window into some of the most unique chapters in Alaska's history and an authentic, lively contemporary community.
The course will take full advantage of the field from its base at the WMC's headquarters, the Old Hardware Store. Built in 1908 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Hardware Store serves as a cozy, atmospheric place to journal, sketch, and share, and is located just a half mile from the toe of the Kennicott Glacier.
Participants should plan to arrive in McCarthy in time to get settled in (at the lodge, at the campground, etc) in time for a 6:00 pm kickoff dinner on Thursday, July 26th. The workshop ends with lunch on Sunday, July 29th. Detailed schedules will be provided with a welcome packet upon registration.
Meals & Accommodations:
All meals will be provided and shared communally. Every effort will be made to accommodate dietary needs and restrictions with advance notice. Primitive camping is available at no cost to workshop participants. The private site is located just a short walk away from the Old Hardware Store (WMC headquarters). Those who camp are welcome to store gear and food and use our rustic shower and other facilities at the Hardware Store. WMC staff will direct you to the campsite and orient you there upon your arrival.
Other lodging options within McCarthy include the full service McCarthy Lodge and Lancaster's Backpacker Hotel, located just down the street. The Kennicott River Lodge and Hostel is another great option outside of town; it's a short bicycle ride or twenty minute walk each way. If you bring a vehicle with you, Currant Ridge Cabins is located on the McCarthy Road about three miles from the road's end; it's about a half mile walk between the parking area there and the Old Hardware Store. Free shuttles run between the river and McCarthy on a rotation with limited hours. If you bring a camper in or would otherwise like to camp out with your vehicle, there are two commercial campgrounds near the end of the McCarthy Road that will accomodate you without advance reservations.
Cost: $395/person if you register by May 1, 2018; $445/person after May 1st. The workshop price includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and optional food and gear storage facilities.
Register: To register for this workshop, please use the 'register' button on this page. If you prefer to register by phone or on paper, please call Nate Anderson at 907-554-4464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Refund policy: All fees paid will be refundable until May 1st.