Andromeda: Quick answers from the PNBA — Alaska longlist nominees

Thom Chambliss, executive director of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, provided some very quick answers to our questions yesterday about Alaska representation among PNBA nominees. While there are no Alaska books in the 2010 shortlist, there were some in the longlist of nominees. (And congrats to those Alaska writers!)

Thom writes, “Yes, every year a bunch of AK titles are nominated for a PNBA Award, as you can see in the list of nominations. Seth Kanter has won a PNBA Award twice, and this year William L. Iggiagruk Hensley’s “Fifty Miles from Tomorrow” was featured at our fall show as well as nominated for an Award. Nancy Lord’s “Rock, Water, Wild” was also nominated. …”

Looking at the list, I see also Miranda Weiss’s “Tide, Feather, Snow,” Mattox Roesch’s “Sometimes We’re Always Real Same Same,” and a book called “Alaska and Beyond” by M.D. Kincaid. There may be other Alaskans on the list that I am not recognizing by title or author, but at least this shows us that Alaska booksellers and publishers are getting Alaska books into judges’ hands, and that’s a good thing. (It seems to me that it wouldn’t hurt to ask one’s publisher if they participate in this particular awards process. If a publisher doesn’t supply books, a title can’t be considered, as Thom kindly explains below.)

Thom’s email continues, “ANYONE may nominate a book for a PNBA Award. We encourage our bookstore members to nominate books, because they tend to know more about the good local titles than we do. The burden, however, is really on the publisher, because, in order for a book to be given the most consideration by the Committee, it must be put into the hands of all nine Committee members. Usually only the publisher has the means to do that. When a bookseller nominates a book, I then have to contact the publisher, determine the correct publicist, contact him/her and ask them to send copies of the book to each of the members of the Committee. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

Most publishers know our Awards now and contact me directly for the list of Committee members each year. If you or one of your colleagues know of any titles that you would like our Committee to consider, let me know, and I will contact the publisher and ask them to supply copies to the Committee.”

3 thoughts on “Andromeda: Quick answers from the PNBA — Alaska longlist nominees”

  1. Long time ago, but my novel Flight of the Goose was among the top six PNBA finalists in 2006. Also I remember Marybeth Holleman's wonderful "The Heart of the Sound: An Alaskan Paradise Found and Nearly Lost" was nominated; that's how I found out about the contest. If anyone wants to find out what the process was like I have lots of info. The good news is the PNBA is way better organized now and they list the finalists now in October (in time for publishers/stores to get the books ready for Christmas sales).
    ~Lesley Thomas

  2. Excellent info! I like the idea that anyone can nominate titles, and will add the PNBA nomination deadline (Oct. 31) to our calendar. Lesley – maybe a short guest post on the process from a writer's POV?

  3. Hm, Deb, not much to say from a writer's pov about it but to use our best skill: patience. As a publisher I entered a regional history title "Orchards of Eden" by Alaskan Nancy Mendenhall another year, and it went great except for steep mailing costs sending out the 10 copies (for a micropress it stung).
    The benefit even if your title doesn't win is: it gets exposed to a lot of booksellers in the NW who might never find out about it otherwise, if your publisher is tiny without major distribution or Library Journal reviews and so on.

    I wanted to remind people of another great contest good for Alaskan writers: The Kirayama Pacific Rim Contest. Past winners or finalists from AK and the NW or with connections to these regions have been the amazing "The Golden Spruce", "Inside Passage" by Richard Manning, Sherman Alexie's "Toughest Indian", the extraordinary "The Reindeer People" by Piers Vitebsky, and my favorite: "Dream of Polar Fog" by Chukotka's Rytkheu, which I want to nominate next time for book club :). 90% of the other winners over the years have been from Asia.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top