Bill Sherwonit has contributed essays and articles to a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, journals, and anthologies and is the author of 13 books. His most recent include Living with Wildness: An Alaskan Odyssey and Changing Paths: Travels and Meditations in Alaska's Arctic Wilderness, both published by the University of Alaska Press. He also contributed the essay that accompanies Carl Battreall's photographs in Chugach State Park: Alaska's Backyard Wilderness (2011). Most of Sherwonit's work focuses on Alaska, with an emphasis on wilderness adventure, wildlands preservation, environmental issues, natural history, wildlife management, relationship with place, and notions of wildness. He also teaches nature writing.
, whose comments inspired this contest back in 2010, is a long-time resident of Homer, Alaska. Nancy holds a liberal arts degree from Hampshire College and an MFA from Vermont College. In addition to being an independent writer, she fished commercially for many years and has, more recently, worked as a naturalist and historian on adventure cruise ships. She is the author of three short fiction collections (most recently The Man Who Swam with Beavers) and three books of literary nonfiction (most recently Beluga Days.) Her work also regularly appears in journals, magazines, and anthologies. She teaches part-time at the Kachemak Bay Branch of Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage, and has also taught in the MFA programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She has won numerous honors and fellowships, including grants from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Rasmuson Foundation, and a Pushcart Prize. She is an active conservationist and enjoys beach combing, berry picking, and bird and wildlife watching. Lord served as the Alaska Writer Laureate from 2008-2010.