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Finding my Story, Losing My Voice

October 6, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


On Tuesday, October 6th, at the Old Church in downtown Portland, Oregon writer C.B. “Chris” Bernard joins the Willamette Writers meeting to talk about the remarkable journey that became his book, “Chasing Alaska: A Portrait of the Last Frontier Then and Now.” (Lyons Press, 2013)

Telling the story of Chasing Alaska took Chris fourteen years, four cross-country moves, two failed novels, more than a hundred rejections, and a less-than-strategic rethinking of his entire life. Learn from—and laugh at—his mistakes. He’ll talk about his adventures in writing, publishing, and the Last Frontier; the benefits of self-discipline and self-delusion, and the things you should be willing to sacrifice in service to your story.

As a young writer, Chris lashed his canoe to his truck and pointed the bow upstream, north and west, seeking a different life than the one he’d known in his native New England. He found it in Sitka, a small fishing town on an island where Southeast Alaska collides with the Pacific, working as a journalist and exploring the woods and waters of his new home. He’d leapt blindly, and without knowing, had landed on top of his own family’s history.

A century earlier, a distant relative, Captain Joe Bernard, had also left home for a new life in Alaska. For decades he’d sailed the Arctic in his schooner Teddy Bear, living among the Eskimo and Inuit “east of Barrow and north of everything.” His journals recount the shipwrecks and horrific winters he survived, his bouts with scurvy and starvation, and his observations about the land he came to love and the people who called it home.

Chasing Alaska, has received numerous accolades:

· Finalist for a 2014 Oregon Book Award

· Publishers Weekly Top 10 Pick | Amazon.com Bestseller

· National Geographic Top 10 Pick | Bask Magazine Top Pick

· North Shore Magazine Summer Read | Excerpted in the Utne Reader

Peter Geye, writing in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, says “The stories are gripping in the way the best adventure writing is, with enough danger and discovery to keep the reader turning pages way past bedtime.”

A career writer for more than two decades, Chris has worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist, among other things, and lives in Portland with his wife and a temperamental bird dog named Shakespeare. Learn more about Chris and his book at cbbernard.com.

We hope you’ll join us October 6th at the Old Church. The doors open at 6:30 and the meeting begins at 7:00 pm.



October 6, 2015
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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The Old Church, Portland
1422 SW 11th
Portland, OR 97201
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(503) 222-2031