Event Ideas

This page offers some ideas for events that you and your community might plan for Alaska Book Week. If you have an idea to contribute, feel free to send your event description to the ABW coordinator at akbookweek@gmail.com.

#1: Hold a Book Swap

This event could be held at your library, bookstore, or in your home. Invite your patrons/customers/friends to bring a selection of Alaskan books they really like and want to share with others--preferably lesser known titles that deserve a wider readership. It could be set up as a potluck, or the host could provide light refreshments. To cover the cost of refreshments, you can always charge a modest admission fee.
  • Pair attendees with each other and ask them to take turns telling their partner why they think the book the book they want to swap is a must-read. Allow each person 1-2 minutes to talk about their book.
  • When time it up, each person decides to swap or not. If a swap is made, that person withdraws to eat and drink and socialize. 
  • Those who don't swap in the first round move to the next partner. 
  • If there are more attendees than seats, people wait their turn until successful swaps free up a seat. If time allows participants can make more than one book swap.
  • Create your own variations!

#2: Invite an Author to Your Book Club

Even if you don't belong to a regular book club, there's no reason you can't hold one especially for Alaska Book Week. All you need is a group of avid readers and a willing author! If you're looking for an author, contact the Alaska Book Week coordinator for information about authors who have volunteered for events like this. Or you can consult the Alaska Writers Directory, which lists many of the authors working in Alaska.

You don't have to limit yourselves to authors who can attend in person: it's becoming more and more common for writers to talk to book clubs via Skype. The important thing is to assign a book to your group at least a month prior to your meeting during Alaska Book Week.

Check out your favorite author's website, in case he or she has specific information about book club appearances. Both of the following authors make book club appearances, as do many others:
  • Melinda Moustakis, author of Bear Down, Bear North: http://www.melindamoustakis.com/p/book-club.html
  • Deb Vanasse, author of Cold Spell: http://www.debvanasse.com/bookclub.html
If you're a writer who wants to engage with book clubs, contact us by completing the ABW Participation Form and the ABW coordinator at akbookweek@gmail.com will follow up with you.

#3: Hold an Author "Speed Date" Session

This event--not to be confused with an actual speed date--is a great way to introduce groups of authors to the public. You could hold a drawing in which members of the public win a chance to participate in the session, or you could invite the entire community (depending on how many people). A typical author "speed date" session might go something like this:
  • Each person sits down with an author for five minutes and talks about the author's book(s), their experiences in Alaska, being a writer, etc.
  • After five minutes, the "speed date" coordinator has everyone switch to the next author to repeat the process.
Food and refreshments may be served at this event. With participating authors' permission, people may bring books and/or other materials for signings. While this event would function similarly to a speed date, you may call it something else entirely.

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