22nd Annual Oklahoma Book Award Competition Open
Rilla Askew is Lifetime Achievement Winner
Entry forms for the 22nd Annual Oklahoma Book Awards competition are now available, according to the Oklahoma Center for the Book in the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. The Oklahoma Book Award program is designed to recognize and promote Oklahoma’s working writers as well as outstanding books regarding the state. Entries are being sought in five categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children/young adult, and design/illustration.
To qualify, books must have been published between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2010. In addition, the author must reside or have resided in Oklahoma, or the book must have an Oklahoma theme. Finalists in each category will be selected and announced in February; winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on April 9, 2011.
In addition to the five categories listed, the Center for the Book presents the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for a body of work contributing to Oklahoma’s literary heritage. This award was named for the Norman, Oklahoma, historian, Arrell Gibson, who served as the first president of the Oklahoma Center for the Book. The 2011 recipient is author Rilla Askew.
Born in Oklahoma’s San Bois Mountains, Askew grew up in Bartlesville and spent her early adulthood in Tahlequah. She moved to New York City to pursue an acting career, but soon turned her efforts to writing. She is the author of several books including The Mercy Seat, nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and recipient of both the Oklahoma Book Award and the Western Heritage Award in 1998; Fire In Beulah, winner of the American Book Award and the Myers Book Award; and Harpsong, recipient of the Oklahoma Book Award, the Western Heritage Award, the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West, and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas.
Previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners include mystery novelist Tony Hillerman; Librarian of Congress Emeritus Daniel Boorstin; Newbery Award winner Harold Keith; Savoie Lottinville, who served as director of the University of Oklahoma Press for 30 years; Hugo Award winning science fiction writer R.A. Lafferty; Kiowa poet and Pulitzer Prize winning novelist N. Scott Momaday; historian John Hope Franklin; children/young adult author S. E. Hinton; novelist Jack Bickham; author and award- winning reporter Michael Wallis; children’s author Bill Wallace; adult and children’s writer Joyce Carol Thomas; and The University of Oklahoma’s renowned literary journal World Literature Today and its programs. Other winners are Native American poet Joy Harjo; nationally known mystery writer Carolyn Hart; science fiction and fantasy master C.J. Cherryh; noted historian Bob Burke; internationally known Tulsa author and lecturer Clifton Taulbert, and David Dary, well known author and emeritus professor of journalism at the University of Oklahoma. Last year’s recipient was photographer David Fitzgerald.
For more information on the book awards, including submitting entries, visit the website at www.odl.state.ok.us/ocb or contact Connie Armstrong, executive director, Oklahoma Center for the Book, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, 200 NE 18th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73105; or call 1-800-522-8116 toll free statewide. In the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, call 522-3383.