Third-generation Alaskan Laurel Downing Bill wrote and published the entertaining five-book Aunt Phil’s Trunk Alaska history series, winning the 2016 Literary Classics International award for best nonfiction series worldwide. She also wrote Sourdough Cookery, which features 100 sourdough recipes and a starter that began with her great-grandfather in 1896 Hope, Alaska.
Laurel writes stories for various Alaska newspapers and magazines, as well, and has won several awards for her work from the Alaska Professional Communicators, Eric Hoffer Excellence in Independent Publishing, Best Books, Shelf Unbound and Readers’ Favorite.
Born in Fairbanks, Laurel also lived in Juneau and King Salmon before moving into Anchorage in 1997. She says she’s a late bloomer, as she began her journalism education at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1999. While interning with the Alaska Newspaper chain during her junior year, she wrote a story titled Life or Meth about methamphetamine cooks, sellers and users in Anchorage. It won sixth place in the national 2002 William Randolph Hearst competition.
Laurel graduated with her degree in 2003 and says that this new chapter of her life during “retirement” is the best yet and she’s having the time of her life bringing Alaska’s colorful past to life.