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 and 2021 are available in the Archive tab above.

Authors, publishers, teachers, individuals, organizations, and others interested in participating in Alaska Book Week 2022 can contact our Alaska Book Week coordinator at We have now begun facilitating activities and posting them on this website.

Event Schedule for Alaska Book Week 2022

Alaska Reads author Paul Greci presentation

Saturday, October 1, 5:00 – 6:00 pm, Loussac Library, Anchorage

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.

Publishing in the 21st Century

Let’s talk about books: How do you publish and promote books during an era of  pandemics and diminishing publishing houses?
Join writers, poets, and artists Dante Medema, Jamaica Baldwin and Nathan Schafer in a conversation about how to get a book published and seen.
Meet the participants below!

Click on photo for bio.

Live, in-person event
6 pm Saturday Oct. 1
Writer’s Block Bookstore & Cafe
3956 Spenard Road

Nathan Shafer
Jamaica Baldwin
Dante Medema
James T. Bartlett

The Alaskan Blonde

Calling all True Crime and Fairbanks History Fans!

Meet author and journalist James Bartlett as he discusses his research for his 2022 book, The Alaskan Blonde.

Join us in the Noel Wien Library Auditorium, Fairbanks, Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 6:00 pm for insight into a notorious Fairbanks murder. It occurred in 1953 at what was then the ritzy Northward Building.

Known as the most beautiful woman in Alaska, Diane Wells was bruised and bloodied when she screamed for help in the early hours of October 17, 1953. Her wealthy husband Cecil had been shot dead, and she claimed they were victims of a brutal home invasion in their Northward Building apartment.

Journalist James T. Bartlett examines the flawed investigation and uncovers new evidence about the most notorious and baffling murder in the history of Fairbanks.


Click on photo for bio.

A Conversation with Alaska Author Rich Chiappone

Author Martha Amore interviews Rich Chiappone about his new book, The Hunger of Crows, with Martha Amore. He describes the book, along with his experience of writing a novel after so many years of writing short stories and essays. Click here for the interview.

Click on photo for biography.

Martha Amore
Rich Chiappone

A New Vision of the West

UAA English Professor Toby Widdicombe talks with Alaska author Kerry Feldman about his novel Alice’s Trading Post. This novel “is the story of an untamable, unforgettable woman of mixed descent with a wry wit who lives 103 adventurous years. She survives all the west could throw at a woman, fights to be herself, live free, and find love. Treat her with respect, you walk away safe.”

Link to the interview on YouTube.

Click on photo for biography.

Kerry Feldman
Toby Widdicombe

Writing and Editing as Soulful Practice

For many authors, writing is a practice that grounds our center and helps us make sense of the world. Writing shapes the lens through which we see ourselves and others. Editing is likewise a practice that takes skill and intuition to fully fledge an author’s ideas and to find the story’s truth. In this panel, authors Marcia Wakeland, Marybeth Holleman, Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan along with Alaska editor, George Bryson, will discuss how writing and editing can be a soulful practice; and how each panelists’ beliefs and faith inform their work.

Click here for a video of their discussion. 
Click photo for biography

Marcia Wakeland
Marybeth Holleman
Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan
George Bryson
Nanette Stevenson

Alaskans with New Books: 4 Writers, 6 Questions, No Wrong Answers.

Four Alaska authors with new and forthcoming publications discuss their writing experiences, influences, their writing forte, non-writing career aspirations, and contending with hubris. Author David Stevenson moderates this lively discussion. Each author will read from their book. The authors are, Sharon Emmerichs, Emily Wall, Kerry Feldman and Ray Ball.

Click here to link to a video of their discussion.

Click on photo for bio.

Sharon Emmerichs
Ray Ball
Emily Wall
Kerry Feldman
David Stevenson

JRR Tolkien: A Remarkable and Important Writer

JRR Tolkien scholar Toby Widdicombe reads someof his favorite brief pieces from Tolkien’s work and talks with UAA Librarian Page Brannon about what makes JRRT remarkable and important as a writer.

Click link for the discussion.

Click photo for bio.

Toby Widdecombe
Page Brannon

Best Beginnings Introducing Seasons of Alaska books

Best Beginnings is a public-private partnership that mobilizes people and resources to ensure all Alaska children begin school ready to succeed. We have many partners across the state working to see this become a reality. Each of the partners contributes to this through unique programs and efforts that, collectively, serve the whole child and their family. more…

Rural Alaska is a playground for children who are discovering and learning every day. Read with your baby and join this whirlwind tour through Alaska’s seasons in a four-book series created by Alaska Native authors and photographers.

This project was created to fill a gap in Alaska children’s literature by providing a heart-warming glimpse into modern, rural Alaska life through the eyes of a child. Written by first-time children’s authors, each story was inspired by a collection of seasonal photography from Alaska Native photographers, curated by editor Tricia Brown. This collaboration is the first of its kind in Alaska to feature all Alaska Native authors and photographers coming together to produce a series of baby board books.

Click on book cover image for a link to a video of the author reading the book.

Writing About Alaska

In honor of Alaska Book Week, local authors Tom Kizzia and Rich Chiappone continue their discussion of writing about Alaska using non-fiction (journalism) or fiction writing techniques. Deep thoughts and silly jokes guaranteed! Hosted by Homer Public Library. This Zoom event will be an audience-interactive event on Friday, September 23, at 6:00 pm. We will promote the September live session and post the recorded event for viewing during Alaska Book Week.

Link for video of the discussion.

Click on photo for biography.

Tom Kizzia
Rich Chiappone

People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska: How a Community Wrote a Book

They say it takes a village … and in this instance it took the community of Moose Pass to write a book about its own history. Please join panelists Willow Hetrick-Price, Kaylene Johnson Sullivan, Rodger Painter, and Nanette Stevenson, along with moderator Jennifer Stone, to discuss the community project that went into creating and publishing People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska. From its start as a school class assignment to its publication as a book during the middle of the pandemic, the subtitle for this book could have been “The Little Book That Could.”

Link to a video of the panel discussion.

Click on photo for bio.

Willow Hetrick
Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan
Nanette Stevenson
Jennifer Stone

2022 Conference for Writers & Illustrators

The Annual Alaska Writers Guild Conference takes place on September 30 and October 1.
Optional Intensive Workshops and First Page Roundtables are on Friday, Sept. 30 and All Day Conference, Keynotes, Panels, and Sessions are on Saturday, Oct. 1. All conference events will take place live and in person at the ZJ Loussac Library in Anchorage. Link for more information and the conference schedule.

Tanya Ravicz

Land of Bear and Eagle Podcast

At loose ends in his private life, at odds with society, Tanyo Ravicz persuades Martina, his wife, to join him in a reset, a new beginning. Before long, they and their children are living in a wilderness cabin on Alaska’s Kodiak Island, outnumbered by the brown bears.

A celebration of nature and of the peculiarities of the Alaskan bush, Land of Bear and Eagle: A Home in the Kodiak Wilderness builds from personal experience to a rounded, loving portrait of a place, Cottonwood Homestead, and a way of life. In these essays and sketches, by turns humorous, meditative, and lyrical, the author goes beyond the challenges and triumphs of wilderness living to explore his environment and to examine the relationships among the plants and animals and the people he meets.

Along the way, he wrestles with his doubts and reconsiders his assumptions about life. The testament of one of Alaska’s last homesteaders, this book offers a vision of what it means to be wedded to a place and fully alive to the world.

Link to a podcast by the author about the book.

Click on photo for bio.

Creating the Literary Anthology

Three Alaskan writers share their experiences working on literary anthologies. Join panelists M.C. MoHagani Magnetek, MaryLee Hayes, and Lucian Childs discuss their anthology editing and writing endeavors with local writer Martha Amore.

Link to a video of the discussion here. 

Click on photo for bio.

Martha Amore
Lucian Childs
M.C. MoHagani Magnetek
MaryLee Hayes

Interview with interdisciplinary musician-scholar Jessica Bissett Parea.

Dr. Maria Williams interviews Jessical Bissett Parea about her book Sound Relations, Native Ways of Doing Music History in Alaska.

Dr. Maria Williams
Dr. Jessica Bissett Perea

Click on photo for bio.

Click for link to a video of the interview.  Available after midnight, September 30.

Click on photo for bio.

Alaska Fiddler-Poet Ken Waldman

Ken Waldman has several appearances scheduled in Alaska during October.

Event:  Ken Waldman reads from his 2022 novel, Now Entering Alaska Time, plays tunes from the newly released CD that now accompanies that book, and shares poems and fiddle tunes from his many other books and CDs. Expect surprises, perhaps a guest musician or two. Ken Waldman’s only Anchorage metro appearance for Alaska Book Week. Sunday, October 2, at noon, at the Akela Space Gallery, Downtown Anchorage, 320 6th Avenue. Sponsored by Nomadic Productions.

Event: Portrait of an Artist as Santa Claus. Ken Waldman shares from his many books and CDs. After each poem or fiddle tune, Ken Waldman goes into the audience to give away the book or CD in which the piece first appeared. Expect surprises, perhaps a guest musician or two. Thursday, October 6, at 7:00 p.m., at the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar, downtown Talkeetna. $12 general, $10 members, 17 and under are free. Sponsored by Denali Arts Council.

Event: Now Entering Alaska Time. Ken Waldman reads from his 2022 novel, Now Entering Alaska Time, plays tunes from the newly released CD that now accompanies that book, and shares poems and fiddle tunes from his many other books and CDs. He’ll also read his recently published poem for the late UAF Creative Writing professor, Frank Soos, who was chair of Ken Waldman’s thesis committee when he attended and graduated from UAF. Expect surprises, perhaps a guest musician or two. Friday, October 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Murie Auditorium, University of Alaska .Fairbanks. Sponsored by Midnight Sun Writers Series.

A Conversation with Marybeth Holleman

Holleman discusses her new poetry book, tender gravity, with former Alaska writer laureate and book reviewer Nancy Lord. 

Click on link for a video of the discussion. 

Click on photo for bio.

Marybeth Holleman
Nancy Lord, photo by Stacy Studebaker

(Free) Locally-grown homeschool resources!

Local children’s book authors Brooke Hartman and Matthew Lasley present how to find free homeschool resources, activities, and downloads based on their and others’ children’s books. Parents and educators can enjoy the discussion while kids are entertained with sample activities provided by the authors. This event takes place at Roundabout Books (1101 East 76th Ave) on Thursday, October 6, at 7:00 p.m. For more information, check out their website by clicking here.

Click on photo for biography.

Matthew Lasley
Brooke Hartman

Art and Eskimo Power, The Life and Times of Howard Rock, 2nd edition Book Release Party

Georgia Blue Gallery, 3555 Arctic Boulevard, Olympic Center Mall. 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Friday, October 7. This event takes place during the Gallery’s First Friday Opening Art Exhibit Reception.

Emil Notti wrote the forward for the book and he is scheduled to attend and will be available to sign books.

A shaman had predicted that Howard Rock would become a great man. He was born in 1911 in Point Hope, an Inupiat village in northwest Alaska where the people had lived off the land and sea for centuries. Instead of following tradition, however, Howard elected to go to a government boarding school and became a successful artist. Later he defended his people against a government plan to excavate a harbor near his village with a powerful atomic blast.  Then he co-founded and edited the Tundra Times, a newspaper that aided Alaska’s Native people in pressing their aboriginal claims before Congress, ultimately winning a settlement of $1 billion and 40 million acres.

Remembering Lael Morgan

Lael Morgan was the author of this book and she was also  a founder of Epicenter Press. Lael recently passed away. Lael Morgan was a journalist with more than 16 published books to her credit. Born in Maine, she moved to Alaska in 1959 after graduating with a degree in communications from Boston University. Assignments with the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, and other far-flung media have taken her around the world, but Alaska has long been her base. Through her work with the Tundra Times and, later, Alaska Magazine she has lived in or visited all but 13 of the 220 Native villages most prominent on maps of Indian, Eskimo, Aleut land claims settlement. She is also a professor emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and retired from the University of Texas at Arlington. She was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011.


Premiere of Alaska Quarterly Review’s 2022-23 Literary Series
Poets Allison Akootchook Warden, Didi Jackson, and Susan Rich

This Zoom event takes place on October 8 at 7:00 pm. Click here for a link to the youtube video.

Click on photo for biography.

Allison Akootchook Warden
Didi Jackson
Susan Rich

Works in Progress

Join us as five Alaska authors discuss their works in progress–the books they are working on at present. Each author will briefly explain what his or her new book is about, followed by a reading from the book, followed by a discussion of the books among the authors and questions from members of the public who Zoom in. This discussion features Alaska writers Stan Jones, Sarah Birdsall, Eric Wade, Chris Lundgren, and Jamey Bradbury.

Click here for video link to the discussion.

Click on photo for biography.

Jamey Bradbury
Eric Wade
Stan Jones
Chris Lundgren
Sarah Birdsall

Fishhead Soup Comics: A Shared Universe Creating and Designing Alaskan Comic Books

Alaskan superheroes, everyday heroes, reimagined legends, and new universes are shared passions in the Alaskan comic book collective Luk’ae Tse’Taas Comics (Fishhead Soup Comics). The group encourages work by established and upcoming Alaskan graphic artists and authors.
In an October 2022 Alaska Book Week video conversation, collective members Nathan Shafer, David Brame, Dimi Macheras, and Richard Perry discuss their current and future work, and what their collective means to new artists. The panel is moderated by Don Rearden.
This is an Alaska Book Week event, sponsored by Alaska Center for the Book and Luk’ae Tse’Taas

View the discussion here. 

Richard Perry
David Brame
Don Rearden
Nathan Shafer
Dimi Macheras