I’m scooping this story, just got in from the Oklahoma Center for the Book Awards dinner, and I know who the winners are!!!
But First, the coolest thing that has happened to me in a long time was Joseph Shaw, who wrote To Honor the Dead , which I reviewed right here on OkieReads, sat at my table and was looking for me because a friend had shared my review with him. He was very gracious; we talked Fairview and it’s proximity to I-40 or maybe not, and small town Oklahoma.
Authors are rock stars, like Britney Spears or Madonna (oh wait she thinks she’s an author) to readers. In light of instant communication I think readers will begin to have more influence on the publishing industry like music buyers have had on the music industry. Readers will dictate rather than be dictated to by the publishers. It will be interesting that’s for sure. It’s also fun to meet authors to see if they’re nice or arrogant or way too impressed with themselves. I’m obviously a Joseph Shaw fan and he’s one of the nice ones, besides being one hellava writer.
OK, back to the Book Awards and off my soapbox. First award out of the chute, Children/Young Adult goes to….the Young Adult novel, Spy by Anna Myers .
Next the heavy duty Non-Fiction category. Lordy, there were 10 finalists and all an impressive lot. It went to Full-Court Quest: The Girls from Fort Shaw Indian School, Basketball Champions of the World by Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith. Unfortunately they couldn’t be there to accept but Alice Stanton from the University of Oklahoma Press did a good job and reminded us of our own OU girls basketball dreams.
Awards for Design/Illustration were given out in both categories. One to Placing Memory: A Photographic Exploration of Japanese Internment. Design by Eric H. Anderson and Karen Hayes-Thumann. Photography by Todd Stewart.
The other award in Illustration went to Kandy Radzinski for her illustrations in What Dogs Want for Christmas.
Nathan Brown took the award in Poetry for Two Tables Over. His best work yet, IMHO.
And as they say, last but certainly not least, the Fiction Award went to Carolyn D. Wall for Sweeping up Glass. If you’ve been reading my blog you already know how I feel about this one.
And drum roll please…. The Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Robert Conley. But I’m not going to say much now, it’s after my bedtime and Robert Conley deserves a clear head and much more attention. Suffice it to say, the Oklahoma Center for the Book “done good” with this choice.
So I hope I beat everyone to the punch with the announcement of the winners unless some tweeters beat me to it.