Dead Writers Annual Fundraiser

Dead Writers is an annual fundraiser hosted by the UAF English Department. Proceeds from the event support our Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series. For this event, participants dress up as deceased literary figures and deliver readings and performances based on or inspired by their work, winning prizes for costumes and commitment to the writer’s persona. Dead Writers has now become a longstanding tradition in the Fairbanks community. The fundraiser is now in its 30th year!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re holding this year’s fundraising competition in a virtual format. Participants can record and submit their spooky, literary performances from October 15 until November 6*. Our panel of judges will convene the following weekend to choose the best, most committed performances. Viewers will also be allowed to vote for this year’s “People’s Champ” performance.

So put on your best and spookiest literary costume! Dust off that old Norton Anthology of English Literature! Deliver your finest Shakespearean soliloquy dressed as the ol’ Bard himself! We will award prizes for First Place, two Runners-Up, Best Costume, and the People’s Champ as voted by YOU.

*Note: This date has been extended from the original Oct. 30 deadline.

To Submit Your Performance:
Participate by using the Dead Writers Entry Form below, which will ask for your name and contact information, then allow you to upload a video performance and optional costume photo. After that, submit your $3 entry fee plus any additional bribes (i.e. donations) through the link below.

Our judges will be announced soon. And as always, they can be bribed! Send an additional donation to the Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series to get a slight edge against the competition.

All winning performers will receive one of the following prizes:

  • a stay at the Chena Hot Springs Resort (First Place)
  • one of two $50 certificates to Arctic Sun Virtual Reality
  • a Gift Bag from Black Spruce Brewing Company (must be 21 years or older to claim)
  • a $50 Cash Prize
  • signed copy of If the Body Allows It, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, by Megan Cummins
  • signed copy of Bosses of Light and Sound, winner of the Willow Springs Book Prize, by Nickalus Rupert

The 2019 Dead Writers fundraiser was held Friday, October 25 at the UAF Wood Center Pub. The event garnered a full-page spread in the November 2 issue of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “What could be a somber event in celebration of the literary canon is closer to an open-mic night, complete with cosplay,” wrote reporter Cheryl Upshaw. Her photo spread featured Reggie Radotich and David Aubuchon (middle right) and Rebecca Wood (bottom left), as well as Sean Enfield and Adrianne Blackwood. At the event Tom Moran won the grand prize for his reading as Elton John Steinbeck, and Sean Enfield won best dressed for his outfit as Tupac Shakur.