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Next Alaska Center for the Book Board Meeting

Thursday, March 15, 6:00 pm. Loussac Library

Contact us for more information.




Alaska Reads 2017-2018

Fairbanks Arts Association and Alaska Center for the Book are pleased to announce the Alaska Reads 2017-2018 selection is Steam Laundry by Nicole Stellon O'Donnell.

There will be an event with Nicole Stellon O'Donnell at the Lousacc Library Wilda Marston Theater on March 8. More details to come.

Alaska Reads is a statewide reading initiative with the goal of bridging the vast distances of our state by bringing together a living Alaskan author with readers in a variety of communities and, in doing so, fostering interest and pride in Alaskan literature.

Alaska Reads began in 2015 through the efforts of 2015-17 Alaska State Writer Laureate, Frank Soos, and is a biennial program administered by Fairbanks Arts Association in partnership with Alaska Center for the Book. The program emphasizes publications by living Alaskan authors so that excitement is built around stories by Alaskans. During the winter months, the program focuses on garnering enthusiasm around the selected book and encouraging Alaskans to read the story. In the spring, the program culminates with a statewide tour by the author where individuals who have read the book have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with the author of the book.

Steam Laundry is a novel in poems based on the true story of Sarah Ellen Gibson, a miner's wife during the Klondike and Alaska gold rushes. more…


Local Author Fair

In conjunction with the Friends of the Library book sale on Saturday, May 5, Anchorage Public Library will host their first ever Local Author book fair in the Z.J. Loussac library atrium. Author registration opens on Monday, February 12. More information.





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.

Letters About Literature 2018

The deadline for this year's Letters About Literature contest has passed. Students in grades 4 through 12 are invited to enter Letters About Literature 2018, 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

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.

To read past winners of the contest visit our archives.

Contributions to Literacy in Alaska Awards Announced

An Alaska Native language advocate, a longtime librarian, an elementary school publishing program, and a project to give free books to children in Alaska’s airports are winners of the 2017 Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) Awards.
University of Alaska Southeast professor Lance Twitchell, newly retired Anchorage librarian Sherri Douglas, Muldoon Elementary School in Anchorage, and the statewide Read on the Fly program were chosen from nominations submitted from around the state. The CLIA awards have been presented annually since 1993 by Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska’s liaison with the Library of Congress Center for the Book.
The CLIAs honor people and programs that have made a significant contribution in literacy, the literary arts, or the preservation of the written or spoken word. Nearly 80 individuals and agencies have been recognized over the years, ranging from authors, publishers and booksellers, to teachers and teacher aides, historians and linguists, and more.

The 2017 CLIA winners will be recognized at a July 11 reception at Room 150 of the Arts Building on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. A dessert reception begins at 7:30 p.m., with the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. The awards will be followed by readings from authors Erin Coughlin Hollowell and Daryl Farmer, as part of the UAA Creative Writing and Literary Arts summer residency program. The evening events are free and open to the public.

More information on the CLIA award winners.


Max & Ruby Books Author/Illustrator Tours Alaska

Acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator Rosemary Wells swept across Alaska from Sept. 10 to 16 in a tour that she hoped would meet two goals: inspire adults to read more with their favorite kids, and inspire children to nourish their creative impulses as young writers and artists. Here is a link to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman for a story about her visit to the Valley.

Wells, who has written and/or illustrated as many as 120 books, dozens of them bestsellers, and may be best known for her famous Max & Ruby books about two adventurous, curious bunnies, stars of a beloved cartoon spin-off. Her latest release is titled “Hand in Hand,” from Holt & Co.

In an incredibly generous move, after Wells’ tour has ended, she’s donating a selection of two dozen pieces of her original art to keep Alaskans’ imaginations fueled. They will be displayed in public libraries across the state on a semi-permanent basis. Original art from the Max & Ruby books, Stella’s Starliner, the Sophie books, Nora books, and other Bunny books will be on display at her two public presentations in mid-September, and the artwork will then be distributed to smaller venues across the state.


Seth Kantner Wins Whiting Award

Alaskan author has won a Whiting Award for Creative Nonfiction. The grant jury stated:

"An arresting, urgent first-person account of the declining Western Arctic caribou herd and of the Inupiat Eskimos, whose lives are bound up together. With lyrical, precise descriptions of the natural world, Seth Kantner captures a rapidly changing place at a fraught historical moment, embodying issues affecting the whole planet. Kantner is about to take his place among the greatest nature writers of his or indeed any generation. He succeeds in what we hope for from any writer, whether of fiction or nonfiction: through the agency of words alone, he enlarges our experience of the world."

According to the Whiting website, "Seth Kantner was born and raised in the wilderness of northern Alaska. He has worked as a trapper, fisherman, gardener, mechanic, igloo builder, and adjunct professor. He is a Whiting Award winner in Fiction, a Milkweed National Fiction Prize winner, and his debut novel Ordinary Wolves won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award for Fiction. He followed it with a memoir, Shopping for Porcupine, and a collection of essays, Swallowed by the Great Land. He lives in various places in Northwest Alaska."

More about the Whiting Award.

More than 2100 people visited the Loussac Library grounds to celebrate Reading Rendezvous 2017 and to sign up for the Library's Summer Discovery Reading Program. Participants could visit almost 40 different booths staffed by community business, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. There was live music, a magic show, dancing, live animals and a story reading by Mayor Ethan Berkowitz. The Alaska Center for the Book would like to thank all the participants, vendors and volunteers, and especially, the major donors: Friends of the Library, Friends of Pets, Treeline Construction, The Children's Clinic, Anchorage Pediatric Group and Anchorage Public Library.


35th Annual Statewide Creative Writing Contest Winners Announced

Since 1981, the University of Alaska Anchorage and the Anchorage Daily News (now the Alaska Dispatch News) along with the Alaska Center for the Book have sponsored an annual creative writing contest that has drawn participants of every age in every part of Alaska. This year 537 entries were submitted from across the state. Peter Christian of Copper Center won the grand prize and the open nonfiction category with his account of winter in the north country, "Of Snow, Fire and Stars." Christian won $200 for the top prize.

And from Southeast, Helen Decker of Wrangell wrote a vivid account of commercial fishing in her piece, "Living Beautifully." She earned the editor's choice award and a $100 prize.

For more information visit the Alaska Dispatch's article about the contest.

The Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council are pleased to announce that Isabella Weiss, a freshman from Colony High School in Palmer is Alaska's State Champion. Isabella will go on to represent Alaska at the National Competition in Washington, DC in April. Elisa Larson of Petersburg High School is the Alaska Poetry Out Loud Runner-up. more…


Governor's Arts and Humanities Awards

The Governor's Arts and Humanities Awards is an annual partnership between the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation, and the Office of the Governor to recognize and honor noteworthy contributions to the arts and humanities in Alaska.   Each year, these partners select awardees in several distinct categories, based on nominations submitted by the public. The award ceremony will be held this year on Thursday, February 8, at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. More information.

National Endowment for the Arts Published a 2017 Guide

The 2017 NEA Guide provides details on the programs and activities that the NEA supports, as well as funding deadlines for our various grants. Included is information on Grants for Organizations, Literature Fellowships, Lifetime Honors, and Partnerships. January 2017. 20 pp.
This publication is available online at https://www.arts.gov/publications/2017-guide-national-endowment-arts for download.

Americans for the Arts: Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 Impact Report and Resources

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 is Americans for the Arts' fifth study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry's impact on the economy. It documents the economic contributions of the arts in 341 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity during 2015-$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments (a yield well beyond their collective $5 billion in arts allocations).

Visit the AFTA website for access to learning, tools, and other resources related to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, study.

The Short List for the 2017 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize


The Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize is awarded to the best debut novel published between January 1 and December 31 of the award year. The author of the winning book is awarded $10,000 and each shortlisted author recieves $1,000.The winner will be announced at The Center for Fiction’s Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner held on December 5th this year.  

PEN/Faulkner Award Finalists Announced

Judges Chris Abani, Chantel Acevedo, and Sigrid Nunez have announced their list of finalists for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 4th. Following the announcement, the 37th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 6th at 7:00 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library.



Pacific Northwest Book Awards Announced

The PNBA 2017 Book Awards went to Sherman Alexie for Thunder Boy Jr, Kelly Sue DeConnick of Portland, Oregon for Bitch Planet, Book One: Extraordinary Machine, Eowyn Ivey of Palmer, Alaska for To the Bright Edge of the World, Annie Proulx of Carnation, Washington for Barkskins, Alexis M. Smith of Portland, Oregon for Marrow Island, and Lindy West of Seattle, Washington for Shrill, Notes From a Loud Woman. More…

Since 1964 the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association has presented annual awards to recognize excellence in writing from the Pacific Northwest. Rather than soliciting nominations for specific categories, they simply require that the author and/or illustrator reside within the PNBA region (Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and British Columbia) and that the book be published within the current calendar year. In addition, nominations may be submitted for special awards honoring efforts in publishing, illustration, or for a body of work. Special awards are determined at the discretion of PNBA's Book Awards Committee.

The Awards Committee is made up of independent booksellers representing the PNBA region. A new committee is formed each March and the winning books are picked by the committee in mid-October.