Alaska Center for the Book
Great Reads from Great Places
Books by regional authors selected to represent Alaska at the 2022 National Book Festival
The Alaska Center for the Book selected one youth book and one
adult book by Alaska authors to represent the state at the 2022 National Book
Festival: “Recess at 20 Below” by Cindy Lou Aillaud and “A Thousand Trails Home,
Living with Caribou” by Seth Kantner.
Both titles are part of National Center for the Book’s Great Reads from Great
Places program. Great Reads from Great Places features books and authors
representing the literary heritage of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto
Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Marianas. For
more than 20 years this program has included a highlighted youth title from each
affiliate center. In 2022, “Great Reads from Great Places” is including titles for
adults for the first time.
Click here for more information about the National Book Festival and the Great Reads from Great Places festival, including interviews with the authors, or click the “Great Reads…” tab in the menu at the top of the page.
Alaska Book Week October 1 - 8
CLIA Awards Presented in UAA Ceremony
Efforts to create a better Alaska through the spoken and written word are being honored in the annual Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) awards. The Awards were presented during the Northern Renaissance Arts & Sciences Reading Series on July 15 in the UAA Fine Arts Building. Other events on that week’s schedule are available here.
Link to an Alaska Public Media article about the program in Igiugig.
The 2021 honorees were Anchorage health educator Nyabony Gat, Imagination Library volunteer Elisabeth Jacobson of Bethel, Vered Mares of Writer’s Block in Anchorage, and the University of Alaska Press in Fairbanks.
Award-winning Young Adult Novel Selected for 2022 Alaska Reads program
Surviving Bear Island, Fairbanks author Paul Greci’s young adult wilderness tale, has been selected for the 2022 Alaska Reads program. Alaska Reads is a biennial statewide reading program that features a selected publication by a living Alaskan author. It seeks to build excitement around contemporary Alaskan authors and the stories they tell, through author talks, discussion groups, and other community events.
This year’s program is a partnership among Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska State Writer Heather Lende, the Alaska Library Association, Rasmuson Foundation, the Fairbanks Rotary Club, and Move Books. The initiative began in 2015 through the efforts of the late Frank Soos, 2015-17 Alaska State Writer Laureate. Lende, the current Alaska State Writer, led a selection committee to choose the 2022 book.
Surviving Bear Island is the riveting story of 14-year-old Tom and his father, who are capsized from their kayak into Prince William Sound. What follows is a harrowing 80-day experience for young Tom, as he struggles to survive after washing up on an island with a substantial bear presence.
Greci will make personal appearances in many Alaska schools and libraries in the fall of 2022 to introduce his book and lead discussions with readers. Information will be available at the Alaska Center for the Book website, as plans for author appearances and events are solidified.
39th Annual Statewide Creative Writing Contest
Winners Have Been Announced!
We are pleased to celebrate the winners of the 39th UAA/Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest. The contest began in 1981, the brainchild of newly arrived UAA English professor Ronald Spatz, who wanted to encourage new writers of all ages. He coordinated the contest with the Anchorage Daily News team until 2010. Since then, the Alaska Center for the Book has served as the coordinating partner, providing hundreds of volunteer hours to manage entries, judging, and contacting winners—the best part of all.
This year more than 400 entries were submitted for the 2022 contest. We are always pleased to see entries from classrooms across Alaska, and from writers ages 5 to 84. Entries arrived from writers in Anchorage, Big Lake, Chugiak, Cooper Landing, Cordova, Craig, Delta Junction, Dillingham, Eagle River, Ester, Fairbanks, Gakona, Girdwood, Homer, Juneau, Kake, Kasilof, Kenai, Kodiak, Nikiski, Ninilchik, Palmer, Sitka, Skagway, Soldotna, Sterling, Sutton, Talkeetna, Tenakee Springs, Unalakleet, Utqiagvik, Valdez, Wasilla, and Willow.
Full text of the first-place winning entries for this year’s contest and previous contests can be found online at LitSite Alaska.
Kenai Peninsula Writers' Contest Winners Named
The Homer Council on the Arts announces the winners in its all-age 24th Annual Kenai Peninsula Writers’ Contest. Revived last year by the arts council, poets and writers from grades K-12 and adults were invited to submit their best work in poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Winning entries can be read at the Homer Arts Council website here.
Alaska Literary Awards
The Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation, in partnership with the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA), offers The Alaska Literary Awards, a new program, established in 2014, to support Alaska writers.
The Alaska Literary Awards 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 annually.
The Alaska Literary Awards for 2021 go to:
Alaska Book Week
We are starting to plan for Alaska Book Week 2022, traditionally the first full week in October. Because most events were held virtually or were recorded, you can still access them on the Alaska Book Week website.
Alaska Book Week is a statewide celebration, coordinated by the Alaska Center for the Book, that annually celebrates the multi-faceted ways that we appreciate books, from readings to panels, lectures, discussions, and youth activities. Alaska Book Week takes place around the first week in October.
Visit the website here for more information.
Ernestine Hayes named 2021 Distinguished Artist
Heather Lende named Alaska Writer Laureate
Heather Lende has been named the Alaska State Writer Laureate for the 2021 – 2023 term.
Heather Lende’s many essays and stories, about life in Haines, Alaska have been published widely, including in the Christian Science Monitor, Anchorage Daily News, on National Public Radio. She has written popular memoirs, Find the Good, If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name, and Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs. Find more information here and here.
Alaska Artist Wins Caldecott Medal for Children's Book
Michaela Goade won the Randolph Caldecott Medal for her illustrations in “We Are Water Protectors,” a children’s book that takes a stand on environmental issues. She is a member of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and is the first indigenous artist to win this award. The book was written by Carole Lindstrom.
The American Library Association, which gives this award, also announced other winners in children’s media, including the John Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, the Michael L. Printz Award and others.
PICK. CLICK. GIVE
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.
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.
Cirque and Cirque Press, call for submissions. A literary journal for the North Pacific Rim. Cirque is a literary journal, based in Alaska, soliciting submissions from writers, poets and artists who live in the region loosely referred to as the North Pacific Rim. Cirque invites emerging and established writers and artists living in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Yukon Territory, Alberta, British Columbia and the Russian Far East— to submit short stories, poems, creative nonfiction, translations, plays, and images. See further guidelines by scrolling down. Cirque submissions are not restricted to a regional theme or setting. We are open to compelling work. Submissions are open at this time and the next deadline is 9/21/2022. Click here for more information.
Cirque, A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim, Contest: A Call for Poems. Order, Chaos and/or What’s Happening Now? For More information click here.
Alaska Writers Guild Annual Conference for Writers and Illustrators. Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1. Loussac Library Event Center, Anchorage. Click here for more information.
Seeking Alaska Native Writers Calling all Alaska Native writers, poets, and content creators! We are seeking submissions for stories, poems, photo essays, and other creative works that center what Spring means to you from an Indigenous lens. This is a paid opportunity, and we would like to share your work with our community.If you’re interested, please contact Presley West at email@example.com. Haw’aa!
Hometown Reads is in Anchorage! A website dedicated to locating authors near you, Hometown Reads has a section for Anchorage. Sign up to have your book displayed and join the Facebook page to brainstorm ways to advertise and sell books locally. Check it out at https://hometownreads.com.
Youth Poet Laureate. You probably know that there is a United States Poet Laureate, but you may have never having heard of the Youth Poet Laureate. Here is a link to a excellent article from TheLilly.com that features a conversation with two Youth Laureates. more…
“Baby Raven” Books Wins AILA Award
Sealaska Heritage Institute’s (SHI) Baby Raven Reads book Raven Makes the Aleutians has won a Picture Book Honor award from the American Indian Library Association (AILA).
The AILA, an affiliate of the American Library Association, announced winners of its biennial Youth Media Awards today in Philadelphia, calling the selected books “the best of the best in children’s and young adult literature.” More…