Paul Theroux. PHOTO BY WILLIAM FURNISS

A record number of participants have signed on for Skagway’s annual North Words Writers Symposium.

Writer and editor Jeff Brady – who is one of the four co-organizers of the event along with former Skagway Tourism Director Buckwheat Donahue, publisher/marketer Katrina Woolford and teacher/writer Daniel Lee Henry – said North Words will cap participants at 40 this year.

“Our numbers have been between 25-30, so it was great to see that kind of growth this year,” Brady said. “I think a lot of that has to do with having an author of Paul Theroux’s status coming.”

Theroux, a prolific writer who’s scribed almost fifty nonfiction and fiction works set in exotic locales, is this year’s keynote speaker for North Words. The writers are mostly coming from all over Alaska for the symposium, though one participant is traveling from Washington, and another from Mississippi. One participant in the symposium is Denver Evans, a recent graduate from Skagway High. North Words will run from May 31-June 3. The symposium features a mixture of panels where participants discuss the different aspects of writing.

Workshops are blended into the schedule, and on Thursday, June 1, the participants will hold a faculty reading at 7-9 p.m. at the National Parks Service auditorium.

During this event, which is open to the public, each author will read aloud for around ten minutes, either from their published work or from never-before-seen material they are working on.