Videos from Creative Writing Contest Winners

Joseph Jackson is the Grand Prize First Place Winner in the 2020 UAA/Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest.

See him reading his story, “Slave to the Coho” here.

Lola Whitman is the winner in the Poetry category, Grades 3 – 5. See her read her winning entry, “Artemis,” here.

Videos from Authors and Publishers

Sarah Harrison, Barley the Bear
Barley the Bear is an illustrated soft cover children’s book comprising seven stories, told in rhyme. The main character is an American Black Bear Cub called Barley, and the stories are all about his madcap adventures on Pawlett Island, with his best friend Jack Russell.
Link to video of Sarah reading from the book.

Christiane Allison, owner of Allison Publishing, author of The Infinitus Saga and Where is Uncle Series and President of the Alaska Writers Guild, has two videos about her books:

Video about the Infinitus Saga

Video about the Where is Uncle? Series

Caitlin M.S. Buxbaum of Red Sweater Press reads from her poetry book, Interstitials, in this video of the books’s virtual launch in May.

Author Leon Mensch talks about  his new children’s book, MeNow, The Adventures of Mickey the Mushing Cat and shows scenes of his dog team in action in this video.

Shanyaak’utlaax̱: Salmon Boy, told in Tlingit with English subtitles.

Watch the video here.
Shanyaak’utlaax̱ is a story based on an ancient oral narrative associated with several Tlingit clans including the Kiks.ádi, L’eeneidí and Lukaax̱.ádi. This version is based mainly on the Kiks.ádi story and features Tlingit narrator Ḵaagwáask’ Ishmael Hope and Tlingit illustrator Sheit.een Michaela Goade, both of the Kiks.ádi clan. The book on which this video is based, released through Sealaska Heritage’s Baby Raven Reads program, won the 2018 Picture Book of the Year award from the American Indian Library Association and is available through the Sealaska Heritage Store at Learn more about Sealaska Heritage here:

What is Baby Raven Reads?

Watch the video here.
Baby Raven Reads is an award-winning early education program launched in 2014 by the Alaska Native nonprofit Sealaska Heritage. Offered in 15 Southeast Alaska communities, the program promotes early-literacy, language development and school readiness for Alaska Native families with children up to age 5. Twenty-five books have been published through the program since 2016, all of which focus on Southeast Alaska Native cultures. The project is based on ample research that has shown that Alaska Native students do better academically when culturally relevant content is incorporated into learning materials and classes. The books also help educate non-Native families about Alaska Native cultures and languages, place-based storytelling, and traditional oral literature. Baby Raven Reads books are available through the Sealaska Heritage Store online here: Learn more about Sealaska Heritage here:

Our Grandparents’ Names on the Land: Southeast Alaska place names

Watch the video here.

This talk by Thomas Thornton and Harold Martin given in Juneau, Alaska, focuses on Southeast Alaska Native place names and the landmark atlas published by Sealaska Heritage Institute in collaboration with the University of Washington Press in 2012. The atlas, Haa Léelk’w Hás Aaní Saax’ú: Our Grandparents’ Names on the Land, documents more than 3,000 Native place names and their locations. Nearly twenty years in the making, it was compiled by Dr. Thornton in collaboration with hundreds of Elders and tribal members under several grants administered by Harold Martin through the Southeast Native Subsistence Commission and Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. It is available for purchase through the Sealaska Heritage Store here:

Making Picture Books: Writing, Illustrating and Design. Snowflakes to Glaciers, A Wild Alaska Story, is an award-winning children’s picture book. In this conversation, author Taylor Hoku Hayden, illustrator Molly Trainor, and designer Nanette Stevenson discuss the collaborative effort to create this book. The discussion is moderated by Ember Press publisher, Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan.

View the video here.

In this video Kellie Doherty talks about her published books Finding Hekate, Losing Hold, and Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties, as well as local authors Tamsin Ley, Brooke Hartman, Louise Goulet, Dante Medema and bookstores The Book Shelf, Black Birch Books, The Writer’s Block, BOSCOS, and Mosquito Books. 

Watch the video here.

Dan L Walker readings and interview.

Watch a video reading and interview here.

Watch another video here.

Is it better to write about family as non-fiction or fiction? Author Dan L. Walker has written about family in this novel, Secondhand Summer, and his memoir, Letters from Happy Valley. In this recording, Dan reads from his two books and, with Ember Press publisher Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan, discusses the perils of writing about family and how he navigated the challenges.

Secondhand Summer by Dan L. Walker

A son of homesteaders, Dan L Walker has published in Last Frontier Magazine, Alaska Magazine, and the Journal of Geography. His debut novel, Secondhand Summer, was published in 2016 by Alaska Northwest Books and recounts the adventures of a boy who moves to Anchorage from the bush after his father dies. His latest book, Letters from Happy Valley, Memories of a Homesteader’s Son, uses family letters to tell the story of the Walkers’ journey to homestead in the last frontier. Walker lives and writes in Seward, Alaska. The sequel to Secondhand Summer,  Back Home will be out in April 2021.