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Alaska Book Week 2012: A celebration of Alaskan authors

Laurel Andrews

Alaska Book Week, an annual celebration of Alaskan authors and books about Alaska, begins this Saturday, Oct. 6, in towns around Alaska and runs through Oct. 13.

Launched in 2011, the week-long series of events and giveaways is the brainchild of 49 Writers. There are “so many wonderful authors here,” Linda Ketchum, executive director at 49 Writers, says.

“The number and variety of books written by Alaskans is definitely growing,” Ketchum says. And while this is only the second year of Alaska Book Week, Ketchum is “excited to see more people participating" this year.

The University of Alaska Press and Epicenter Press, two publishing companies in the state, have partnered with 49 Writers to support Alaska Book Week. Their sponsorship has covered the costs of bookmarks that are being distributed in select bookstores across the state.

Readers can also enter a daily book giveaway.

For bookstores or libraries interested in participating in Alaska Book Week, head to their website for participation forms; 49 Writers can help find authors or volunteers for event coordination.

Scheduled events are as follows. All events are free and open to the public.

Friday, Oct. 5

ANCHORAGE: 5:30 to 7 p.m., APU Grant Hall -- Opening reception for the extraordinary “Liberty & Justice for All” exhibition. This exhibit features the photography and narratives of 68 of the world's best photojournalists from 23 nations.

JUNEAU: 5-7 p.m., Downtown Public Library -- Author and Illustrator Teri Sloat will have her illustrations on display in the large conference room and will present a talk, “Visual Art and Story: connecting with kids” at 6pm.

Saturday, Oct. 6

EAGLE RIVER: 10 a.m. -- Dick Griffith will give a presentation about his wilderness travels followed by a book signing at Jitters in Eagle River, at 10 am Saturday, October 6. Dick Griffith has traveled, by foot and ski, more than 6,000 miles across Alaska and the Canadian Arctic.

Monday, Oct. 8

BARROW: National Book Award finalist Debby Dahl Edwardson, author of “My Name is Not Easy,” will talk about Alaska Book Week on local radio station KBRW.

FAIRBANKS: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., UAF Wood Center -- The University of Alaska Press hosts an event in which multiple departments on campus are participating. They will be selling books and other publications and stage author signings and various other activities.

FAIRBANKS, 10 -11:30 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m., UAF Wood Center -- Meet the publisher with James Engelhardt, Acquisitions Editor, University of Alaska Press. Email him at james.engelhardt(at)alaska.edu if you are interested.

Tuesday, Oct. 9

ANCHORAGE: 5-7 p.m., UAA Campus Bookstore -- UAA alumni and novelist Lawrence Todd Wood returns to UAA to discuss his exciting thriller Currency.

Wednesday, Oct. 10

ANCHORAGE: 5-7 p.m., UAA Campus Bookstore -- Alaska Attorney General John Havelock discusses his provocative book, “Let’s Do it Right: Why We Need an Alaska Constitutional Convention.” Everyone is encouraged to attend and listen to a lively discussion.

ANCHORAGE: 6 p.m., Z.J. Loussac Public Library, Ann Stevens Room -- Anchorage Friends of the Library will be hosting its annual meeting and author event with Carol Sturgulewski, author of “White House of the North: Stories from the Alaska Governor's Mansion.”

Thursday, Oct. 11

ANCHORAGE: 5-6:30 p.m., UAA Campus Bookstore -- Matthew Dickerson on “The Medieval Roots of Tolkien's Philosophical Ideas.” Dickerson, a professor of Computer Science at Middlebury College in Vermont, is the author of several books about J.R.R. Tolkein.

ANCHORAGE: 7:30-8:45 p.m., Z.J. Loussac Public Library, Public Conference Room -- Writers’ Panel: Writing Readable Alaska History. Join local authors Kris Farmen Kaylene Johnson, and Carol Sturgulewski for a discussion of how to translate Alaska history into page turning reading. Co-sponsored by Alaska Center for the Book and Anchorage Public Library. Light refreshments will be served.

Friday, Oct. 12

ANCHORAGE: 1-3 p.m., UAA Campus Bookstore -- Alaska Romance Writers Boone Brux, Jackie Ivie, Tam Linsey, Jennifer Bernard, and Lizbeth Selvig will participate in a panel book to discuss their books, writing, and romance.

Saturday, Oct. 13

ANCHORAGE: 7-8:30 p.m., Out North -- 49 Writers invites you to a special Alaska Book Week Synergies event featuring distinguished poet Linda Gregerson and local playwright Arlitia Jones. NOTE: This play contains adult language and is not suitable for everyone.

Find out the whole scoop on Alaska Book Week’s website.