Alaska Center for the Book

We’re thrilled to announce the completion of the first-ever Read Alaska Native Reading Challenge. We had lots of prizes, so we were able to send books by Alaska Native authors to 13 entrants, including four adults and nine children. Thank you to all those who supported this project and participated!

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.

More than 2,700 people enjoyed this year’s annual free, family friendly community tradition that celebrates reading and kicks off the library’s Summer Discovery reading program. There were 47 community booths full of activities, live entertainment on the stage, 3 costume characters and so much more.

Full text of the first-place winning entries for this year’s contest can be found at LitSite Alaska.

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 Book Week

We are currently programming new activities for Alaska Book Week 2023. Visit us at Alaska Book Week to see what we have planned. More events will be added in the coming days.

Alaska Book Week is a statewide event that annually celebrates the many ways that we all appreciate books, from readings, to panels, lectures, discussions, exhibits, and youth activities. Participants may include schools, libraries, universities, publishers, authors, bookstores, museums, individuals, and organizations that want to join us in this endeavor.
Visit the archives section on the Alaska Book Week site to see past events. Click the tab in the menu at the top of the page where you will see a link to the archives.

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

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 GoodIf 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.
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.

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.


Storyknife Writers Retreat. The application period for 2024 opened July 1st and closes on August 31. Women’s stories are vital and important. Currently, those stories whether expressed in poems, plays, novels, essays, or memoirs are not published, reviewed, or promoted as often as the work of men. Storyknife provides women with the time and space to explore their craft without distraction. Every aspect of a residency at Storyknife is steeped in a profound generosity of spirit so that each writer knows she and her work are valuable. Storyknife residents carry away both this affirmation and a living community of women writers to assist their valuable work wherever they go.

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…