The contest began in 1981, the brainchild of newly arrived UAA English professor Ron Spatz. This 2019 contest is the 36th since the beginning with only three breaks. In 2010, the Alaska Center for the Book took on the role of coordinating partner, providing hundreds of volunteer hours to manage entries, recruit and coordinate judges, communicate with winners, and distribute certificates to winners.
This year more than 650 entries were submitted for the 2019 contest. We were pleased to see an increase in entries from classrooms across Alaska. Entries arrived from writers in Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan, Unalaska, Healy, Kodiak, Anchor Point, Fairbanks, Kenai, North Pole, Holy Cross, Cooper Landing, Sitka, Galena, Soldotna, Homer, Port Alsworth, Valdez, Wasilla, Palmer, Eagle River, Anchorage, Chugiak, Tok, Glennallen, Ninilchik, Dillingham, Denali, Cantwell, Sutton, Kotzebue, and Bethel. Winners ranged in age from 6 to 81.
Special thanks to the following individuals who made this contest possible:
Kate Allhof, Teresa Palmer Ascone, Teeka Ballas, Chaun Ballard, Tara Ballard, Anna Bjartmarsdottir, Robin Brooks, Tricia Brown, Cami Dalton, Sherri Douglas, Debby Dahl Edwardson, Mei Mei Evans, Yosselyn Gheen, Trish Jenkins, Hannah Johnson, Mary Kancewick, Erin Kirkland, Kari Lovett, Marie Lundstrom, Kyle Mellen, Kristin Nevin, Michelle Mitton, Elise Patkotak, Marissa Palmer, Sarah Preskitt, Dawnell Smith, Katy Spangler, Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan, Carol Sturgulewski, Lila Vogt, Louise Dekreon-Watsjold, Mark Weber, & Toby Widdicombe
GRAND PRIZE/EDITOR’S CHOICE JUDGES
Victoria Barber, Anchorage Daily News
Sara Juday, Alaska Center for the Book
Ronald Spatz, University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Quarterly Review
VOLUNTEER COORDINATORS FROM THE ALASKA CENTER FOR THE BOOK
Christina Gheen, Jana Gwynn, Gabriela Halas, Camille Oliver