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Next Alaska Center for the Book Board Meeting

Next meeting, Thursday, October 27, 6:00 pm., Lousacc Library, Salmon Room, 2nd floor.

Contact us for more information.


Alaska Book Week October 1 - 8

Something for Everybody during Alaska Book Week

From mere book-lovers to all-out bibliophiles, Alaskans of all ages can look forward to a whole week devoted to the enjoyment of the written word. The statewide event called Alaska Book Week, organized by the Alaska Center for the Book, annually celebrates the multi-faceted ways that we all appreciate books, from readings, to panels, lectures, discussions, and youth activities. Held from Oct. 1-8, this year’s event promises a broad array of offerings:

Sat., Oct. 1

10:30 a.m.: Children’s Books Day – Sitka kicks off the week with nonfiction author Debbie S. Miller  presenting at the Sitka Public Library, 320 Harbor Dr.

1-3 p.m.: The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Bookstore, 2905 Providence Dr., hosts nine authors with new books released by Publications Consultants.

1:30-3 p.m.: Children’s Books Day – Fairbanks is set at the Noel Wien Library auditorium, 1215 Cowles St., with readings and activities by authors Chérie Stihler, Cindy Lou Aillaud, and Beth Peluso Grassi.

4-6 p.m.: Alaska Book Week’s grand opening event in Anchorage showcases a panel of authors who contributed to a collection titled Building Fires in the Snow. Moderated by Libby Roderick, the gathering is planned at the Mountain View Library / Community Center, 120 Bragaw St.

Sun., Oct. 2

1:30-3:30 p.m.: Children’s Books Day – Anchorage will feature multiple authors in three separate locations within the Loussac Library, 3600 Denali St. Presenting authors include those writing for young adults: C.M. McCoy, Lynn Lovegreen, and Dan Walker. For the early and middle-elementary students, Amy Meissner, Tricia Brown, and Shelley Gill. And the youngest book lovers will hear from Bernd Richter, Libby Hatton, and Barbara Brovelli-Moon, who’ll also engage kids in some creative fun.

Mon., Oct. 3

            6:30-8:30 p.m.: “Breaking Trail: Mapping Your Route toward Independent Publishing” will feature a panel of four experts in traditional and non-traditional publishing, from idea generation to writing and editing, manufacturing, and publicizing. The panel includes Lael Morgan of Epicenter Press, Flip Todd of Todd Communications, Gerhard Aichelberger of Friesens Books, and author/editor Tricia Brown. The gathering takes place in the Innovation Lab, on the 4th floor of the Loussac Library, 3600 Denali St.

Tues., Oct. 4

            5-7 p.m.: The UAA Bookstore, 2905 Providence Dr., welcomes author Clive Thomas as he reads and discusses his book Alaska and the World: Politics and Public Policy.

            6-8 p.m.:  “Books and Wild Women in the Kitchen” is the title of this foodie event featuring Lael Morgan, Elissa Brown, and Helen Howarth. It is hosted by the Blue Hollomon Gallery / Fromagio’s Artisan Cheese, at 3555 Arctic Blvd.

Wed., Oct. 5

            7-9 p.m.: Author Liz Meredith reads from her recent work, Pieces of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters, at the UAA Bookstore, 2905 Providence Dr.

Thurs., Oct. 6

            7-9 p.m.: Poetry Reading with Alaskan poets Don Rearden, Anne Caston, and Susanna Mishler. The event will be held at Alaska Pacific University’s Atwood Building.

Fri., Oct. 7

            4-6 p.m.: Fireside Books at 720 S. Alaska St., Palmer, will host a book-signing by Chuck Sassara, the author of Chuck Sassara’s Alaska: Propellers, Politics & People.

            7-9 p.m.: The Alaska Quarterly Review presents “A Voice against the Culture of Rape,” with a dramatic reading of Eliese Goldbach’s courageous essay, “White Horse,” featured in the current issue of AQR. A panel discussion will follow with Heather B. Adams, Lindsey Blumenstein, Elsie Boudreau, Sarah Davies, and Meg Simonian. This special event will be held at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, 625 C St.

Sat., Oct. 8

            10 a.m.-5 p.m.: The Great Alaska Book Fair connects readers with dozens of Alaskan authors as they browse among book-laden tables. Organized by Publications Consultants, the fair will be held in the Sears Mall, 600 E. Northern Lights Blvd.

            4-6 p.m.: Family Reading Day at Barnes & Noble, 200 E. Northern Lights Blvd., will feature three members of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, Alaska chapter: Dan Walker of Seward, Ann Dixon of Homer, and C.M. McCoy of Anchorage.

            7-9 p.m.: Alaska Book Week’s closing event, featuring author Chuck Sassara, will be held at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307. The evening will include a silent auction to benefit the non-profit Alaska Center for the Book as well as presentations to award-winners of the annual UAA/Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest. The library is located at 3211 Providence Dr.

Alaska Book Week 2016 is sponsored by Friesens Books, Alaska Northwest Books and Graphic Arts Books, Arctic Cliffhangers, University of Alaska Press, Todd Communications, Epicenter Press, Custom Mousepads, 49 Writers, Anchorage Public Libraries, Alaska State Library, and the Alaska Center for the Book.

Letters About Literature

Students in grades 4 through 12 are invited to enter Letters About Literature 2017, a national writing contest sponsored by Alaska Center for the Book and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in partnership with Target Stores. The contest deadlines are December 2, 2016 (Level 3) and January 9, 2017 (Levels 1 and 2).

To enter, students must write a letter to an author—living or dead—explaining how his or her work changed their view of the world or themselves.

The contest has three competition levels: Level 1 is open to students in grades 4 through 6; Level 2 is open to students in grades 7-8; and Level 3 is open to grades 9-12.

Each letter must be accompanied by an official entry coupon or copy of one. Entry coupons will be available at your local participating library or online here. Guidelines and teaching supplements are also available for teachers, parents, or librarians at the site.

Alaska state winners at each level will receive a $100 cash prize. They also advance to national competition. Runners-up receive $50 cash.

Six national winners (two per competition level) and 12 national honorable mentions (four per competition level) will be selected. National Winners in each competition level will receive a $1,000 cash award, and

National Honor Winners in each competition level will receive a $200 cash award.

The 23rd annual writing contest for young readers is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries and other organizations.

Entry Coupon link.

Teachers' Guide

Alaska LAL Winning Letters Archive

2016 CLIA Winners Announced

Three Alaskans with a passion for the spoken and written word are the winners of the 2016 Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) Awards. Regan Brooks, Kathryn Ohle and Don Rearden were recognized in a July 12 presentation held in conjunction with UAA’s MFA program in Creative Writing.

Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska’s liaison with the U.S. Library of Congress Center for the Book, has presented the awards annually since 1993. More than 75 previous winners from across the state include librarians, teachers, writers, tutors, learning programs and others who foster literacy, the literary arts and preservation of language.

Regan Brooks is the founder of Story Works Alaska, an all-volunteer organization that provides storytelling workshops to several Anchorage-area high schools. Storytellers and coaches work with students on skills that transfer to reading, writing and public speaking. Story Works Alaska also encourages connections among students and their communities. A former high school science teacher, Brooks began the program in 2014 with support from Vik Patel of Arctic Entries and teachers Temperance Tinker and Rachel Kittoe of West Anchorage High School; more than 1,000 students have taken part since then.

Kathryn Ohle, PhD, is the recipient of CLIA’s Sue Sherif Literacy Award, named for a longtime Alaska librarian pivotal in supporting literacy efforts through the state library system. Ohle, assistant professor of Early Childhood Education at UAA,  spearheaded “Supporting the Preservation of Native Languages and Encouraging Early Literacy with Children’s Books.” The collaborative project works with United for Literacy, students and families to provide free children’s books in Alaska Native languages via a free digital library with translated texts.

Don Rearden was raised in southwest Alaska, which is the setting for much of his writing. He is the author of the award-winning novel “The Raven’s Gift,” chosen as book of the year for the Anchorage Reads program in 2015. He describes himself as “a screenwriter, a novelist, and when the mood hits, a poet and tundra philosopher.” He is also a well-regarded associate professor at UAA and was founding board president of 49 Writers. A former Native Youth Olympics coach, he continues to work with rural Alaska youngsters in video and other writing and suicide prevention programs. His debut work of non-fiction, Never Quit, will be published by St. Martins in March 2017. 

The CLIA Awards were resented on July 12 in conjunction with UAA’s MFA program in Creative Writing.


Alaska Literary Awards Applications

The Alaska Literary Awards were established in 2014 by the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation, through a generous gift from Peggy Shumaker and Joe Usibelli, to recognize and support writers of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, and mixed genres.  Any Alaska writer over the age of 18 who is not a full-time student is eligible to apply. Quality of the work submitted is the primary consideration in determining who receives the awards. A select number of $5,000 awards will be awarded this year. The application opens July 14, 2016 on and the deadline for entries is September 1st, 2016 at 9:59 AKDT.

Creative Writing Contest Winners

Winners of the 34th annual creative writing contest sponsored by the University of Alaska and Alaska Dispatch News along with the Alaska Center for the Book have been announced.





ALA Announces Book Awards

The American Library Association recently announced the Caldecott and Newbery Medal winners.

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by  Sophie Blackall, written by Lindsay Mattick and published by Little, Brown and Company, an division of Hachette Book Group, Inc., was the Caldecott Medal Winner.
Finding Winnie is an incredible account of the friendship and love shared between a soldier and the real bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. Blackall beautifully interprets this multi-dimensional family story through her distinctive Chinese ink and watercolor art, capturing intimate and historical details perfect for a child’s eye. more…

Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, is the Newbery Medal Winner.

CJ’s journey with his Nana is not just a simple bus ride; it is a multi-sensory experience through which he discovers that beautiful music, nature and people surround him.  CJ’s questions are familiar, and Nana answers him with gentle wisdom.  Right up until their arrival at the last stop on Market Street, Nana guides CJ to become “a better witness for what’s beautiful.” more…


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Federal Support for Creative Writing Fellowships Announced

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will award individual creative writing fellowships of $25,000 each to 37 fiction and creative nonfiction writers from 17 states as part of its first FY 2016 grant awards. Through its creative writing fellowships program, the NEA gives writers the time and space to create, revise, conduct research, and connect with readers. This year’s writers were selected from among 1,763 eligible applications by 23 readers and panelists.

“Since its inception, the creative writing fellowship program has awarded more than $45 million to a diverse group of more than 3,000 writers, many of them emerging writers at the start of their careers,” said NEA Director of Literature Programs, Amy Stolls. “These 37 extraordinary new fellows provide more evidence of the NEA’s track record of discovering and supporting excellent writers.” more…



Pacific Northwest Book Awards Shortlist Announced

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association has announced the 2016 Book Awards Shortlist, selected by a committee of independent booksellers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. From more than 250 nominations, the committee chose 12 finalists, written by Northwest authors and published in 2015.

For more author and title information on the finalists, visit PNBA's 2016 Shortlist page. Shortlist titles will be honored with original Book Awards Committee features on over the next several weeks.

PNBA will announce the six winners of the 2016 Pacific Northwest Book Awards in early January.


Librarian of Congress Appoints Juan Felipe Herrera Poet Laureate

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington recently announced the appointment of Juan Felipe Herrera as the Library’s 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, for 2015-2016. Herrera will take up his duties in the fall, participating in the Library of Congress National Book Festival on Saturday, September 5 and opening the Library’s annual literary season with a reading of his work at the Coolidge Auditorium on Tuesday, September 15.

"I see in Herrera’s poems the work of an American original—work that takes the sublimity and largesse of "Leaves of Grass" and expands upon it," Billington said. "His poems engage in a serious sense of play—in language and in image—that I feel gives them enduring power. I see how they champion voices, traditions and histories, as well as a cultural perspective, which is a vital part of our larger American identity." more...





The Alaska Center for the Book is included in the Permanent Fund Dividend’s Pick.Click.Give. charitable contributions program.
It’s a secure and easy way to make a donation to an organization that stimulates public interest in literacy through the spoken and written word.

When you file for your PFD online, you will be given a chance to donate money from your PFD. When you do, please remember The Alaska Center for the Book.

Just check the box that authorizes the State to send your name, contact information and the amount you give when it sends contributions to an organization so we can recognize your support.

Alaska's 2015 Pick.Click.Give program raised $800 from 13 donors.

Thanks to all who contributed. Your help allows the Alaska Center for the Book to continue its programs, events and unique projects to support and build literacy in Alaska.

For more information click here:  Pick. Click. Give.

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