Alaska Literary Awards

About the Alaska Literary Awards
The Alaska Literary Awards were established in 2014 by the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation, through a generous gift from Peggy Shumaker and Joe Usibelli. The Alaska State Council on the Arts administers the program.  The Alaska Literary Awards recognize and support writers of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, and mixed genres. Any Alaska writer over the age of 18 who is not a full-time student is eligible to apply. Quality of the work submitted is the primary consideration in determining who receives the awards. There are no restrictions on the writer’s use of the award and no formal report is required.

A select number of $5,000 awards will be awarded annually.

2024 Applications open July 2024

To Apply 
Applicants must complete and submit the application using the CaFE system, including uploading a resume and work samples (see below for specific work sample requirements).

Review Criteria
A panel will review applications using the following criteria: 

  • Literary quality of the applicant’s work, as demonstrated in the submitted work samples 
  • The level of demonstrated artistic activity and focus as described in the applicant’s resume 
  • The extent to which the award will further the development of the applicant’s literary career 

Review Process
ASCA Staff will review applications for completeness. A panel comprised of writers in the disciplines being awarded will review the qualified applications. The decision of the panel will be final. Award recipients will be notified by December 19, 2022.

Fellowship Requirements
Recipients must:  

  • Expend the fellowship funds by December 31, 2023. 
  • Maintain Alaska residency throughout the fellowship year. 
  • Provide a letter to the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation by December 31, 2023 with a brief description of how the award supported your work. 

If you have questions regarding your eligibility or preparing your application, contact Andrea Noble at the Alaska State Council on the Arts at

Please note: The IRS allows some fellowships to be excluded from taxation under certain circumstances. If you receive an award, you should contact your local IRS office for detailed information on tax implications.  

Application Details
Applicants will need to provide: 

  • A brief description of how the Alaska Literary Award will advance your writing career 
  • Your current resume or brief CV 
  • An indication of genre for your writing sample 
  • Work Samples 

Work Sample Requirements: 

  • Work samples should reflect work completed within the last two years. All work samples must be uploaded through CaFE. Written work samples will be uploaded directly within the Alaska Literary Awards application, not through the “My Portfolio” section of CaFE. 
  • Applicants can submit published or unpublished work samples. 
  • All work samples must be combined into one Word document or PDF file. 
  • Applicants must include their name on the first page of their work sample document. 
  • Poets: Submit up to 10 poems. 
  • Prose Writers: Submit up to 15 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction. 
  • Playwrights/Screenwriters: Submit up to 15 pages of one script or multiple brief scripts. 
  • Mixed Genre Writers: Submit up to 15 pages of literary writing. 

Participation is limited to literary artists living in Alaska and pursuing their art form on an ongoing basis.  Applicants must: 

  • Be a legal resident of Alaska 
  • Be 18 years of age or older 
  • Not be a full-time student or enrolled in any art-related degree or certification program 
  • Apply as an individual artist, not a collaborative group or team

Alaska Literary Award Winners

Please click on any of the award-winning writers listed below for more information and samples of her or his work:


Annie Wenstrup – Poetry, Fairbanks

Emily Wall – Poetry, Douglas

Carolyn Kremers – Mixed Genre, Fairbanks

Paul Greci – Fiction, Fairbanks


Richard Chiappone – Fiction, Homer

Linda Martin – Poetry, Homer

Christy NaMee Eriksen – Mixed Genre, Juneau

Mistee St. Clair – Poetry, Juneau


Mary Odden – Creative non-fiction, Glenallen

Vivian Mork – Poetry, Juneau

Laureli Ivanoff – Creative non-fiction, Unalakleet

Christopher Miles – Poetry, Fairbanks


Chaun Ballard – Mixed Genre, Anchorage

Rosemary McGuire – Creative Nonfiction, Cordova

Kirsten Ritter – Fiction, Anchorage

Caroline Van Hemert – Creative Nonfiction, Anchorage


Mary Katzke, Anchorage, screenwriter

Lily Tuzroyluke, Point Hope, fiction

Vivian Prescott, Wrangell, poetry

Matthew Komatsu, Anchorage, creative nonfiction

Don Rearden, Anchorage (raised in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta), fiction


Daryl Farmer, Fairbanks, creative nonfiction

Sara Loewen, Kodiak, creative nonfiction

Lucas Rowley, Anchorage, playwriting

Nicole Stellon O’Donnell, Fairbanks, poetry


Christine Byl, Healy – non-fiction/fiction

Alyse Knorr, Anchorage- poetry

Kyle Mellen, Fairbanks- fiction

Jill Osier, Fairbanks- poetry


Ernestine Hayes, Juneau- fiction/non-fiction, poetry

Erin Coughlin Hollowell, Homer- poetry

Joan Kane, Anchorage, King Island and Mary’s Igloo- poetry

Susanna Mishler, Anchorage- poetry

Frank Soos, Fairbanks- fiction/non-fiction