KK editor, former ADN writer seeks Queer Alaska stories

Remember the local lesbian newsletter, Klondyke Kontact? Kim Wyatt, an editor of the KK and board member of RAW, has co-founded Bona Fide Books and wants to publish your stories of being gay or lesbian in the Great Land.

Queer in the Last Frontier is an anthology of literary essays that explore the experiences of LGBT Alaskans, the challenges and pleasures of being queer - for both newcomers and old-timers - in a place that is "isolated, conservative, and impossibly beautiful." Bona Fide is also seeking essays for an anthology called Permanent Vacation: Living and Working in Our National Parks. The two calls for submission were posted earlier this month HERE.

Kim gave Bent Alaska the scoop on Queer in the Last Frontier:

Q. Why did you choose an anthology of literary essays on Queer Alaska?
A. I've always loved nonfiction anthologies, and received an MFA in nonfiction from UAA. Also, I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and living in Alaska was an eye-opener. I felt like I had a better understanding of queer life and the importance of community after my time here. (Plus, I really love the title!)

Q. What queer and writing activities were you involved in when you lived in Alaska?
A. I edited the Klondyke Kontact for a while, and one of my goals was to make it a newsmagazine. I did shepherd it from rainbow-hued Xeroxed paper to newsprint with art, and tried to bring some consistency to the columns and layout. I applied for grants from the Gill Foundation and other organizations to upgrade materials. I had a lot of fun working on the KK, and had the help of some great Alaskan women. I was also on the board of Radical Arts for Women. And as I mentioned above, I got an MFA at UAA, and wrote for the Anchorage Daily News.

Q. What qualities are you looking for in the essays?
A. Honesty and transcendence are ideal, but I'm probably partial to stories that make me laugh or cry. We're really just looking for well-written explorations of queer life in Alaska. Or life in Alaska as it is experienced by someone who happens to be queer. You can write about relationships, the Northern Lights, or working on a fishing boat. Just tell your story.

Q. Will you be visiting Alaska to promote the book?
A. Absolutely. I try to get up there whenever I can.

Kim has a special greeting for all the Alaskans who remember her, especially the KK readers:

"Hello, Alaskans! I just got back from a backpacking trip with another former Alaskan, Val Garrison – the friendships I made there are lasting, because that's just the kind of people Alaskans are. (And I would like to give a shout-out to the Wesleyan Wimmin's Writing Wetreat!)"

photo: Bona Fide Books Publisher Kim Wyatt & Val Garrison goofing around in Yosemite 9/09.

The deadline for submitting an essay to Queer in the Last Frontier is February 5, 2010 and the word count is limited to 5,000. Writers will receive $100 for their story and one copy of the collection. Send to Bona Fide Books submissions with "Alaska" and the title of the work in the subject line.

For more information, please visit Bona Fide Books.

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