Alaska Center for the Book

CLIA Award Ceremony
Sunday, July 14, 7:00 pm
Alaska Pacific University, Carr-Gottstein Hall, 4225 University Drive, Anchorage.



     Collaborations among people, literacy, and literature are honored in the 2024 Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) Awards from the Alaska Center for the Book, announced June 24.
Honorees are the Reading Mentors program of the Talkeetna Friends of the Library; the Anchorage Daily News; and authors Ann Fienup-Riordan, Alice Rearden, and Marie Meade.
     The CLIA awards are presented annually by Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska’s liaison with the U.S. Library of Congress Center for the Book. Since 1993, the awards have been presented to more than 100 people and institutions making a significant contribution in literacy, the literary arts, or the preservation of the written or spoken word.
The Reading Mentors Program is supported by Friends of the Talkeetna Library, in collaboration with Talkeetna Elementary School, area homeschool families, Sunshine Transit, Upper Susitna Food Pantry, and Talkeetna Library. Teachers identify students who could benefit from additional reading practice. They engage in one-on-one reading sessions with community volunteers after school. During each biannual 7-8 week session, 15 students are transported to Talkeetna Public Library by Sunshine Transit, enjoy a snack provided by the Food Pantry, spend an hour a week reading to and with a mentor, and choose a new book or two to keep. Now in its sixth year, the multigenerational program provides a comfortable environment for children to gain confidence and encouragement in reading.
     Authors Ann Fienup-Riordan, Alice Rearden, and Marie Meade form another collaboration meriting CLIA awards. The three are tradition-bearers, educators, authors, and translators sharing Yupik culture, tradition, and language. Working sometimes separately, but often with one another, their work is so interwoven that the CLIA awards committee chose to recognize all three, rather than one. Fienup-Riordan, who came to Alaska in 1973, is a cultural anthropologist who has written or edited more than 20 books. Meade, born in Nunapiciaq, is a researcher and translator who also teaches Yup’ik dance, language and traditions at University of Alaska-Anchorage. Rearden, originally from Napakiak, has worked as primary translator and oral historian for the Calista Elders Council and the Alaska Council for Exceptional Children. Some of their joint works are Wise Words of the Yup’ik People: We Talk to You because We Love You; Yup’ik Words of Wisdom: The Way We Genuinely Live: Masterworks of Yup’ik Science and Survival; Time of Warring; and most recently, All the Land’s Surface is Medicine: Edible and Medicinal Plants of Southwest Alaska.
     Anchorage Daily News was awarded a CLIA for stepping beyond the usual mission of print and on-line journalism, promoting literacy and literary arts in Alaska. In addition to news coverage, the paper has co-sponsored the statewide UAA/Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest for 41 years. Two past winners have become State Writer Laureates, and several have become published authors. The paper also hosts the annual Alaska State Spelling Bee, Alaska’s Educator of the Year Program, and provides newspapers and curriculum to students through its Newspapers in the Schools. The paper also provides weekly reviews of books by Alaskans to recognize the efforts of writers across the state.

The CLIA Award winners will be honored at a dessert reception at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 14 at Alaska Pacific University’s Carr-Gottstein Hall, 4225 University Drive, Anchorage. The brief ceremony is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a reading by Nancy Lord, Alaska’s former state writer laureate, and the author of nine books of fiction, non-fiction, and memoir. The event is the kick-off to APU’s low-residency program for Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Founded in 1991, ACB is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. It participates in the National Book Festival, Alaska Reads, Alaska Book Week, and other events.
     For more information, see INFORMATION: Carol Sturgulewski, Alaska Center for the Book, (907) 764-1604,

Thank You

To all those who helped make the 2024 Reading Rendezvous
an Amazing Success.

• Almost 2,500 people attended this free, fun, family event.
• 1183 people signed up for the Library’s Summer Discovery reading program.
• 53 people volunteered giving 145.25 community service volunteers.
• Two radio stations broadcast live from the event.
• Four costume characters visited (Molly of Denali, Alaska Public Media; Dash the Husky, Alaska 529; Seymour the Moose and Eagle.)
• 46 Community groups or businesses staffed booths with free activities and give aways. 

There was a full afternoon of entertainment on the grounds including:
Jim Kerr, Man of Gravity, juggler supreme
• Children’s book author, Brooke Hartman, reading from a new book.
• The Alaska Button Box Gang kept toes tapping with polkas and more.
Timbre Music Studio brought kids into their musical experience.
Anaya Latin Dance showcased their students’ talent.
Zumba instructors from the YMCA taught sessions.
Tomodachi Daiko drummers ended the afternoon with explosive musicianship.

Thanks to the many sponsors who helped make this event possible:

Community Builder – $5+
Alaska Pressure Wash
Anchorage School District
Camp Fire Alaska
Faith Lutheran Church with Wisconsin Lutheran College
Girl Scouts of Alaska
Great Harvest Bread
Jim Kerr, Man of Gravity
Mrs. Hess’s West High School Mathematics Students
Sunshine Custom Promotions LLC
YMCA of Alaska Swim Club
Kaladi Brothers
Donor – $150+
Princess Pages / AK Rhinestone
Anchorage Sand and Gravel
Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria
Music Together Mountain Song

Timbre Music Studio

Supporter – $300+
The Alaska Club
People Mover
Jamie Green
Partner – $500+
Alaska Children’s Trust
Best Beginnings
Credit Union 1

The Alaska Center / Trailside Discovery Camp

Co-Host – $1000+
Alaska 529
Alaska Center for the Book
Alaska Public Media
Anchorage Public Library
Friends of Pets
Friends of the Library
Superman Moving & Delivery

We were thrilled by the response to the 2023 Read Alaska Native Reading Challenge and are pleased to offer the activity as an ongoing reading activity. No deadlines. No entry forms. Just download the bingo cards for your age groups and use as a personal reading challenge or as a group activity. Cards, bookmarks, and resources can be found on the homepage for the Read Alaska Native project.

Click here to go to the Read Alaska Native Project homepage.

Alaska Book Week Has Ended for 2023

Click the Alaska Book Week tab in the Projects menu tab above for information on more than 30 events that took place. Many of the event videos from this year and past years are archived on the site.

We will start programming for 2024 Alaska Book Week soon. You may contact the Book Week Coordinator with suggestions or questions at

Alaska Authors and Books Honored in 2023 Awards

Two Alaskan writers and an entire town are winners of the 2023 Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) Awards from the Alaska Center for the Book.

Honorees are author, editor, and writing mentor Tricia Brown; Erin Coughlin Hollowell, a poet, writer, and director of both Storyknife Writers Retreat and the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference; and the community of Moose Pass, which created a multi-generational book project telling the history of their town.

The CLIA awards are presented annually by Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska’s liaison with the U.S. Library of Congress Center for the Book. Since 1993, the awards have been presented to more than 100 people and institutions making a significant contribution in literacy, the literary arts, or the preservation of the written or spoken word.

Tricia Brown of Anchorage has worked as a journalist, author, editor, book developer, and writing mentor. She has written more than 30 titles, among them 12 children’s books, most recently “Alaska Native Games and How to Play Them.” She travels extensively, speaking at schools, libraries, and workshops for all ages. Starting as a journalist for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in 1978, she also worked with Alaska magazine, Alaska Northwest Books, Best Beginnings, and others. She is the winner of the CLIA Sue Sherif Award, named for a longtime children’s librarian pivotal in supporting literacy in Alaska.

Erin Coughlin Hollowell of Homer has spent years supporting the work of poets and writers in Alaska. She has been involved with Poems in Place, Alaska Reads, and 49 Writers. She is currently executive director of Storyknife Writers Retreat and director of the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference. She is also the author of three collections of poetry, most recently “Corvus and Crater,” and recipient of several literary awards and fellowships.

The Community of Moose Pass worked together to create “People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska.” Edited by Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan, the book includes contributions from local school children, longtime residents, and historic collections. The multi-generational learning project not only preserved local history, but created community pride and friendships that should inspire other Alaskans and communities everywhere.

The CLIA Award winners will be honored at an event at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1 at Writer’s Block Bookstore, 3956 Spenard Rd. in Anchorage. The brief ceremony will be followed by a panel discussion of works in progress by several Alaskan authors, kicking off Alaska Book Week Oct. 1-8 statewide. Local presentations are being set up in Homer and Moose Pass.

Founded in 1991, ACB is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. It participates in the National Book Festival, Alaska Reads, Alaska Book Week, and other events. 

Great Reads from Great Places

Books by regional authors selected to represent Alaska at the 2023 National Book Festival

The Alaska Center for the Book is proud to announce the books chosen to represent Alaska for
the 2023 Great Reads from Great Places, a program featured at the annual National Book
Festival in Washington, D.C.

Since 2002, each state has selected a book written for children or young adults that reflects
their state’s unique character and location. In 2022, a second book, one for an adult audience
was added to the program. Selections are highlighted at the Festival, and are placed on the
permanent list of honored titles online at Great Reads from Great Places.

“We are especially honored to recognize two indigenous creators this year,” said Sara Juday,
co-president of the Alaska Center for the Book.
2023 Selection for Adults:
Sivuliiq: Ancestor by Lily H. Tuzroyluke, (Epicenter Press, 2023)
2023 Selection for Youth:
Berry Song by Michaela Goade,(Little, Brown and Company, 2022)

This year, Lily Tuzroyluke will join authors of selected books for adult audiences in a recorded
video that will be posted on the National Book Festival website as well as the Library of
Congress YouTube channel. Visit the channel here.

Michaela Goade is a featured illustrator at the festival. She joins former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy
Harjo at the Festival to present “A Poem Is a Pocket That Can Hold Your Dreams.” This
program focuses on their book, “Remember,” a picture book adaptation of the work of poetry
inviting young readers to reflect on the world around them.

This year’s festival will be held August 12 at the Washington Convention Center. In an area
called the “Roadmap to Reading,” representatives from the 56 affiliates of the Center for the
Book in the Library of Congress will staff tables to promote their book selections and state

Link to Western Region 1 Great Reads Author Panel.

Link to all of the Great Reads videos from around the country.

More information can be found here.

A full list of participating authors can be found at on National Book Festival website.

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.

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:

Richard Chiappone – Fiction, Homer
Linda Martin – Poetry, Homer
Christy NaMee Eriksen – Mixed Genre, Juneau
Mistee St. Clair – Poetry, Juneau

To apply go to


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.


Kachemak Bay Writers Conference. The Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference is returning for its twenty-first season, May 18-21, 2024 at the beautiful Kachemak Bay Campus of the Kenai Peninsula College. This year we will be exploring writing through the theme “Wonder in the Wounded World.” There will be four days of craft classes, panel discussions, readings, agent and editor meetings, and lots of opportunities for strengthening the supportive community for which the conference is known. More information here.

The North Words Writers Symposium has announced  registration is underway for the 14th annual gathering in Skagway. Joining keynote author Jamie Ford (The Many Daughters of Afong Moy) will be Alaska-NW writers: Lily Tuzroyluke (Sivulliq: Ancestor), Daryl Farmer (Bicycling Beyond the Divide), Melinda Moustakis (Homestead), John Messick (Compass Lines), Christine Byl (Lookout), and Don Rearden (Without A Paddle). Participants actively engage with our faculty in workshops and consultations. Go to the Registration page to link to our form and sign up to secure a spot. Watch for list of panel and workshop topics in our next announcement.

Baby Raven Reads – Sealaska Heritage sponsors Baby Raven Reads, an award-winning program that promotes early-literacy, language development and school readiness for Alaska Native families with children up to age 5. Baby Raven Reads improves early literacy skills by translating cultural strengths into home literacy practices. Baby Raven Reads provides family literacy events, training for care providers, and professional development for early childhood educators. Included on the Baby Raven Reads page are lesson plans, audio resources, and information about purchasing books in the series! Visit for more detailed information and other Student + Families + Educators resources.

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 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

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 that features a conversation with two Youth Laureates.

“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…