The North Words Writers Symposium kicked off this Wednesday in Skagway. This year is the 10th Anniversary of “Writing on the frontiers of language.”

Forty writers gathered in downtown Skagway’s AB Hall Thursday morning for the first full day of panels at the annual North Words Writers Symposium. They came from all over Alaska, the Yukon, and even Washington and California.

“We saw no reason that writers and would be writers wouldn’t want to come to come to Skagway and spend some time,” said Dan Henry, the program director and one of the founding fathers of the symposium–along with local legend Buckwheat Donahue and bookstore owner Jeff Brady.

Only about fifteen people turned up for the first event, but lately North Words sells out.

“We just kept rolling and the rest is history,” Henry said.

The symposium has a staff list that read like a who’s-who in Alaska writers. Former Alaska writers laureate Ernestine Hayes and Nancy Lord, poet Emily Wall, historian Terrence Cole, and novelist Don Rearden. Washington writer Jonathan Evison’s recent novel takes place on cruise  in Southeast Alaska. Keynote speaker Susan Orlean is in town from her home in Los Angeles.

Over the next few broadcasts we’ll check in with these writers to hear some north words from the source. North Words will continue through Saturday evening.