Alaska Book Week
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.
Links for many of the activities of Alaska Book Week in 2020, 2021 and 2022 are available in the Archive tab above.
Event Schedule for Alaska Book Week 2023
Every day during Alaska Book Week, look for a poem and a recommended book of poetry by an Alaskan poet, sponsored by Drumlin Poets. Look for these on the Alaska Center for the Book Facebook page as well as the Alaska Book Week Facebook page.
Teachers Turned Writers
Dan Walker and Eric Wade, former high school English teachers, discuss their books and writing those books. They consider how teaching shaped their approach to writing and what teaching helped them learn about writing. In addition, they offer advice for budding writers (particularly memoir writers) and talking about working with the publishing industry.
Alaska author, Dan L. Walker, was raised on the Kenai Peninsula and has more than thirty years in Alaska education. Walker has guided and motivated writers from kindergarten to prison inmates. A son of homesteaders, Walker’s debut novel, Secondhand Summers, was published in 2016 by Alaska Northwest Books. Walker’s memoir, Letters from Happy Valley, uses family letters to tell the story of the Walkers’ journey to their Alaska homestead. Walker lives and writes in Seward, Alaska. Back Home, the sequel to Secondhand Summer was released in April 2021. The final chapter in his Sam Barger story is due out this fall.
Eric Wade, author of Squirrelland:Imagination and the Alaska Red Squirrel; Upstream: In the Alaska Wilderness, and Cabin: An Alaska Wilderness Dream, has spent the past four decades watching dodging wildlife on his homestead in Interior Alaska. It’s a wild and lovely place where bears wander by, eagles soar overhead, squirrels build kingdoms, and mosquitos engage in savage warfare. He has a bachelors in English Education at Southern Oregon University and a masters in Journalism from the University of Oregon. He served as a public-school teacher , principal, and director of nonprofit corporations.
Being the Writer You Are
Jamey Bradbury discusses the daily act of living as a writer in the world and the practical aspects of writing the book (or story or poem or essay) you’re meant to write.
Jamey Bradbury’s debut novel, The Wild Inside (William Morrow, 2018), is available in six
languages. Jamey has an MFA from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She is a faculty member with Alaska Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program, and she teaches creative writing at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center. By day, she works at Cook Inlet Tribal Council and also serves on the board of the Alaska Writers Guild.
The Importance of Reading to Children
Children learn so much about language before they learn to read, so reading aloud to young children is one of the best gifts you can give them. Join Stephanie Schott from Best Beginnings to learn some reasons reading to young children is so important.
Beginning a Literary Career Later in Life
Click here for Martha Amore’s interview with Lucian Childs.
The common wisdom is that you are too old to begin a literary career past the age of forty. Lucian Childs has proven this not to be so. He recently published his debut novel, Dreaming Home (Biblioasis 2023) at the age of seventy-four. Together with moderator Martha Amore (In the Quiet Season and Other Stories, 2018), Lucian discusses the unique challenges and opportunities for older writers. He offers strategies for writers seeking to publish, applicable at any age, but especially useful for older writers. For more information, see his website.
Click photo for biographies.
An Evening of Poetry
Join us for a dynamic evening of poetry by four poets from around the state of Alaska, Erin Coughlin Hollowell, Annie Wenstrup, Na Mee, and Christopher Miles. Each poet will read their own work as well as that of an Alaskan poet that they admire.
Writing True Crime and Travel Mystery Murder—The Research Process
In this video authors James T. Bartlett and Wendall Thomas talk about the research they conducted to write their books. James Bartlett focuses on his true crime book, The Alaskan Blonde: Sex, Secrets, and the Hollywood Story That Shocked America and Thomas focuses on Cheap Trills, her latest book in the travel mystery murder series featuring travel agent Cyd Redondo.
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the UAA/APU COSORTIUM LIBRARY
September 28, Two events
Event #1, 4:00 pm
UAA/APU Library Room 307
Panel Conversation: Ways of Knowing: Poetry, Science and the Environment
The panelists are Poet Jane Hirshfield, Stephanie Holthaus (Climate Action Advisor for The Nature Conservancy Alaska and founder of the Women on Climate Initiative of TNC North America), Nancy Lord (Former Alaska Writer Laureate, Homer), and Marie Tozier (Alaska Native poet, Nome).
Jane Hirshfield is described as writing “some of the most important poetry in the world today,” according to The New York Times and as “among the modern masters” by The Washington Post. She is one of American poetry’s central spokespersons for concerns of the biosphere.
Event #2, 7:00 pm
Anchorage Museum Auditorium
Jane Hirshfield Reading and Book Signing
JANE HIRSHFIELD is the author of ten collections of poetry and two now-classic collections of essays on poetry’s deep workings, and the editor of four co-translated books presenting world poets from the deep past. Hirshfield is one of American poetry’s central spokespersons for concerns about the biosphere and interconnection. Her honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations and from the Academy of American Poets; the Poetry Center Book Award and the California Book Award; her books have been long- and finalist-listed for the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and England’s T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. Her work, translated into seventeen languages, appears in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, and ten editions of The Best American Poetry. A former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2019. Her latest work THE ASKING: New and Selected Poems, will be released on September 12 and copies will be available for sale and signing.
2023 Writers & Illustrators Conference
September 29 & 30, UAA Rasmuson Hall
Workshops and sessions with agents, editors, and authors from across the country to service writers and illustrators at every stage of their careers and creative processes.
Presented by Alaska Writers Guild, Alaska chapters of Romance Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and UAA Department of Writing. Click for website here.
Book Signing with Gerri Brightwell
Saturday, September 30, at Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, Fairbanks
Gerri Brightwellis a British writer who lives in Alaska with her husband, fantasy writer Ian C. Esslemont, and their three sons. Her latest novel, Turnback Ridge, was published by Torrey House Press in summer 2022. She is the author of the novels Dead of Winter (Salt, 2016), The Dark Lantern (Crown, 2008), and Cold Country (Duckworth, 2003). Her short work has appeared in many venues including The Best American Mystery Stories 2017, Alaska Quarterly Review, Southwest Review, Copper Nickel, Redivider, and BBC Radio 4’s Opening Lines. She teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and has been spending the pandemic learning to bake better bread. Click here to reach her website.
CLIA Awards Presentation
Sunday, October 1, 2:30 pm
Writer’s Block Book Store
The 2023 CLIA Awards will be presented at the beginning of the Works in Progress event described below.
The Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) Awards are presented annually by the Alaska Center for the Book, our state’s liaison with the US Library of Congress Center for the Book. For 30 years, the awards have recognized Alaskans who promote literacy, the literary arts, and preservation of the spoken and written word.
This year’s honorees are Anchorage author, editor, and writing mentor Tricia Brown; Erin Hollowell, poet, writer, and director of Storyknife Writers Retreat and the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference of Homer; and the community of Moose Pass, creators of a People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass
Alaska, a multigenerational book project honoring their local history.
Works in Progress
Writer’s Block Bookstore: Sun, Oct. 1 @ 2:30 p.m.
Five Alaska authors discuss their works in progress—the books they are working on at present. Each author will
briefly explain what their book is about followed by a reading from the book. This discussion features Alaska writers
Stan Jones, Keenan Powell, Rich Chiappone, Anne Coray, and Chris Lundgren.
Click on the author photo for a biography.
Informal Chat with Alaska Romance Writers
Monday, Oct. 2, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Zoom link here
Writing has been an expansive journey for C.G. Williams. Worlds of adventure, romance, horror and mystery
have been forged by C.G. through countless keystrokes. The writing journey has led C.G. to the most
interesting places, experiences, fascinating research, and wonderful friends.
Lynn Lovegreen is a longtime Alaskan. After twenty years in the classroom, she retired to make more time for
writing. She enjoys her friends and family, reading, and volunteering for her local library. Her young adult
historical romances are set in Alaska, a great place for drama, romance, and independent characters.
Join us for an evening with Heather Lende, Alaska State Writer Laureate
Tuesday, October 3rd
5:30 Reception | 6:00 Reading and Q&A | 7:00 Book Signing
Wasilla Public Library
500 N Crusey St., Wasilla AK
Wednesday, October 4
6:30 Reception | 7:00 Reading and Q&A | 8:00 Book Signing
Denali Arts Council, Sheldon Community Arts Hangar
22249 D St., Talkeetna AK
Events are free and open to the public. No pre-registration needed.
Copies of Heather’s books will be available for purchase.
Sponsored By: 49 Writers, Mat-Su Health Foundation, Friends of Wasilla Public Library, Wasilla Public Library, Talkeetna Public Library, Friends of Talkeetna Library, Denali Arts Council, Alaska Quarterly Review, Alaska Center for the Book, Fireside Books. In cooperation with Alaska State Council on the Arts and Alaska Humanities Forum
For more information visit 49writers.org/events
APU Low-Residency MFA Program Presents
An Evening with Lily Tuzroyluke and Sarah Birdsall
Wednesday, Oct., 4, 7:00 pm
Carr-Gottstein Lecture Hall,
first floor at the end of the hall, APU Campus
Click photos for biographies.
Thursday, October 5, Noon to 1:00 pm
Tongass Historical Museum, Ketchikan
This is a hybrid event: This event will be both in-person at the Tongass Historical Museum and accessible online via Zoom. Additionally, each Museum Midday presentation will be uploaded to Ketchikan Museums’ YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/@KetchikanMuseums), ensuring that the knowledge, and conversations shared reach an even wider audience.
Zoom Meeting: 81464100968 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81464100968
Ketchikan Museums will start its Museum Midday season on October 5th, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the Tongass Historical Museum, with a program featuring presenters Julie Cajune and Norma Shorty. They will be sharing insights from their book, Our Way – A Parallel History: Native History, Reflection, and Story.
Our Way: A Parallel History dispels the myths, stereotypes, and absence of information about American Indian, Native Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian people in the master narrative of US history. For most of American history, stories of the country’s Indigenous Peoples were either ignored or told by outsiders. This book corrects these errors, exploring the ways in which Indigenous cultures from every corner of the nation have influenced American society from the past into the present, reminding the reader that they have both shaped the US and continue to play a vital role in its story.
Significantly, Our Way: A Parallel History is a collaboration of Native scholars representing more than ten Indigenous nations, sharing their histories and their cultures. Each contributor, either an affiliate of an institution of higher education or a prominent Native leader, provides the reader with an inside account of tribal culture and heritage. The result is a comprehensive resource restoring the histories of Indigenous Peoples and their nations to their rightful place in the story of America.
Author reading and conversation with behavioral ecologist David Scheel and APU professor Rosanne Pagano
Thurs., October 5
5:30 – 7:00, Carr Gottstein Bldg., Room 102
Internationally ranked scientist David Scheel has devoted decades to understanding
octopus, a boneless creature that thrives as a predator, escapes tight places and finds friends despite living a solitary life. Join Scheel for moderated conversation and a reading from his new book, Many Things Under a Rock: The Mysteries of Octopuses with illustrations by the author’s daughter. With a blend of Western science and Indigenous science and stories, Many Things Under a Rock is “page-turning” natural history (Kirkus Reviews). Parking is free.
Book Signing with Four Fairbanks Indie Authors
Friday, October 6, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. – Bagels and Brew, Fairbanks
Join Fairbanks indie authors Elva Birch, Jaclyn Wilmoth, Craig Martelle, and Alex Bates, for snacks, chats, and books. Authors will be signing books and appetizers will be provided.
Exploring Our Collective Histories Through the Lens of Fiction
Thur., Oct. 5, 6:00 pm
Writer’s Block Bookstore
Lori Townsend, Lily Tuzroyluke, Sarah Birdsall, and David G. Brown discuss writing Alaskan fiction, focusing on our collective histories, perspectives, and events. Moderated by Sharon Emmerichs.
Frontier Women Author Panel
Fri, Oct., 6, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Black Birch Books
2901 E Bogard Rd Ste 104, Wasilla, AK 99654
Authors Judy Patrick, Rain Wade, and Denise Saigh discuss their experiences living and writing in the wilds of Alaska. They will delve into the themes of resilience, adventure, and the unique spirit of Alaska that has inspired their work. Q&A session and book signing to follow the discussion.
John Messick is a writer, teacher, husband, and father. He earned his MFA at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and has been awarded an AWP Intro Journals Prize in nonfiction and a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award. He teaches composition at Kenai Peninsula College in Soldotna, Alaska, where he lives with his family. Compass Lines is his first book.
Ethan Jacko Atwater is one of the co-authors for the children’s books How Raven Got his Crooked Nose &
Chia and the Fox Man. Growing up in the small village of Pedro Bay, he heard many stories and fables from
elder’s and relatives, detailing the history of the land and Dena’ina culture. Working with his mother, Barbara Jacko Atwater, the two have worked on creating their Dena’ina fable series, preserving and retelling the
fables to be shared with the world.
Tricia Brown is an author, editor, and book developer who writes for adults and children, with nearly thirty books to her name. Among her eleven books for children, five have been chosen as Alaska Battle of the Books selections for early elementary. Tricia’s newest titles are for middle-graders: Children of the First People (West Margin Press) and Alaska Native Games and How to Play Them (Snowy Owl Press), coauthored with Joni Spiess. She enjoys speaking at schools and libraries, and has been a publishing
mentor to many.
Matthew Lasley grew up in the interior of Alaska, where his family mined for gold both in Alaska, and in the Klondike. He was able to enjoy a childhood full of adventure that most would envy: mushing dogs, hunting,
fishing, trapping, and panning for gold.He currently lives in Anchorage, Alaska where he teaches elementary
students. During the summer months, he still enjoys getting out along the local streams with his friends in
hopes of finding a few flakes of gold in his pan.
Brooke Hartman is an Alaskan mom and award-winning author of fun books for kids. Her books have received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal, been selected as titles for Alaska’s Battle of the Books and the Redbud Read-Aloud award, and have been nominated for multiple best books of the year lists. Last spring, she
released her fifth and sixth titles, Watch Out for the Lion (Page Street Kids) and Klyde the Kraken Wants a
Friend (Hazy Dell Press), with several more books on the horizon. When she isn’t writing, you can find Brooke
flying, fishing, and having fun with her family, enjoying all the magic life has to offer. Follow her adventures
at www.BrookeAHartman.com or on social media @BrookesBooksAK.
Book Signing with Elva Birch
Saturday, October 7, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Barnes and Noble, Fairbanks
Elva Birch is an author of the impossible and irresistible. She is a fire dragon Gemini who belly dances outside to twenty below and lives in a house that she built with her true love in a birch forest in Alaska. Click to visit her website.
Fairbanks Literary Sampler
Saturday, October 7, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. – Bear Gallery, Pioneer Park, Fairbanks
Join us for Alaska Book Week’s Fairbanks Literary Sampler, a tasting menu of some of Fairbanks’ finest writers. Fantasy, memoir, history, science fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, and romance will all be on the menu. Ten local authors give you a taste of their work with appetizers and a meet-and-greet to follow
Click for biographies of participating authors.
Lucian Childs Book Signing, Reading, and Reception
Thursday, October 12, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Georgia Blue Gallery, 3555 Arctic Boulevard, Anchorage
Join the us as we celebrate the publication of Dreaming Home, the debut novel of long-time Alaska resident Lucian Childs. The New York Times called the book “eminently accomplished, often deliciously droll,” while Bryan Bradley in The Toronto Star said “It takes a special book for me to detour from non-fiction, and Childs’ debut novel certainly meets the criteria.” After being Outside for three years, Lucian is excited to
reconnect with everyone. The reception will include a short reading, Q & A and book signing. Books will be available for purchase at the event. For more about Lucian’s work, please go to www.lucianchilds.com.
Read Lucian Child’s biography here.