It’s that time again! The Oklahoma Center for the Book will be honoring the best of 2011 Oklahoma books and authors on Saturday, April 14 at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum.
We’ll be honoring Young Adult author Anna Myers with the Center’s Arrell Gibson Award for Lifetime Achievement, and we’ll also present an award to Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma for their Oklahoma Literary Landmarks project. And, of course, we’ll have the medalists in our five book categories. Gonna be a fun night!
Here’s the official press release…
Finalists Announced for 2012
Oklahoma Book Awards
Chandler Author Anna Myers is Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Thirty-five books have been chosen as finalists in the 23rd annual Oklahoma Book Award competition. Winners in the categories of fiction, poetry, design/illustration, children/young adult and non-fiction will be announced at the Oklahoma Book Awards banquet on Saturday, April 14, at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum in Oklahoma City. Author Jay Wilkinson, son of the University of Oklahoma’s legendary football coach, Bud Wilkinson, will serve as master of ceremonies.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Oklahoma Center for the Book, the awards recognize books written the previous year by Oklahomans or about Oklahoma. Of the 35 book finalists, 25 are by authors, designers or illustrators who reside in Oklahoma. This year some 121 books were submitted in the competition.
In addition to the literary awards, Chandler resident and children’s book author Anna Myers will be presented with the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is named for Norman historian Arrell Gibson, who served as the first president of the Oklahoma Center for the Book.
Myers is the author of 19 novels for young people, all published by Walker Books of New York. Most of her books are historical fiction. The recipient of countless honors over the years, Myers’ awards include four Oklahoma Book Awards, New York Public Library’s Best Books for the Teenaged, New York Public Library’s Best 100 Books to Read and Share, Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Books, Parent Choice Awards, the Crown Award by Christian Schools, the American Library Association’s Quick Pick List, Independent Book Sellers Pick of the List and being included more than 20 times on children’s choice lists for various states.
Born in White Face, Texas, Myers was the sixth child of an Oklahoma oilfield-worker father who had been temporarily transferred to west Texas. When Myers was only a few months old, the family moved back to Oklahoma.
Myers attended what is now the University of Central Oklahoma and became an English teacher, but always dreamed of being a writer. In 1969, she married Paul Myers, a poet whom she credits with having a great influence on her writing. The couple had three children, all born within four years, which Myers acknowledges somewhat slowed her journey to becoming a published author.
It took Myers seven years to sell her first book, which was published in 1992. Since then, she has produced a book a year.
In 1999, after 30 years of marriage, her husband Paul died of cancer.
But with the encouragement of her family, which now includes seven grandchildren, the resilient Myers has continued her writing. In 2002, she married John Calvin, a man with whom she had gone to high school. The couple now lives in a house, built in 1925, in Chandler.
The following books are finalists for the 2012 awards:
“Stealing Kevin’s Heart,” by M. Scott Carter of Oklahoma City, and published by The RoadRunner Press, Oklahoma City.
“Chikasha Stories, Volume 1: Shared Spirit,” by Glenda Galvan of Sulphur, and published by Chickasaw Press, Ada.
“The Revenant,” by Sonia Gensler of Norman, and published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York City.
“Hereafter,” by Tara Hudson of Choctaw, and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, New York, N.Y.
“The Grave Robber’s Secret,” by Anna Myers of Chandler, and published by Walker & Co., New York, N.Y.
“The Snow Blew Inn,” by Dian Curtis Regan of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and published by Holiday House, New York, N.Y
“Mr. Duck Means Business,” by Tammi Sauer of Edmond, and published by Simon & Schuster, New York City.
“The Eugene B. Adkins Collection,” designed by Eric Anderson of Norman, and published by the University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
“Shooting from the Hip: Photographs and Essays by J. Don Cook,” designed by Julie Rushing and Tony Roberts, both of Norman, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Route 66 Sightings,” photographed and designed by Shellee Graham, Jerry McClanahan, and Jim Ross, all of Arcadia; and published by Ghost Town Press, Arcadia.
“Forging a Nation: The American History Collection of Gilcrease Museum,” designed by Carol Haralson of Sedona, Ariz., photography by Robert S. Cross of Tulsa, and published by the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa.
“To Capture the Sun: Gold of Ancient Panama,” designed by Carol Haralson of Sedona, Ariz., photography by Robert S. Cross of Tulsa, and published by the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa.
“Ilimpa’chi’ (We’re Gonna Eat!): A Chickasaw Cookbook,” with photography by Sanford Mauldin of Norman; designed by Aaron Long of Sulphur and Skip McKinstry of Oklahoma City, and published by Chickasaw Press, Ada.
“Cold Glory,” by B. Kent Anderson of Oklahoma City, and published by Forge Books, New York, N.Y.
“Crying Blood,” by Donis Casey of Tempe, Ariz., and published by Poisoned Pen Press, Scottsdale, Ariz..
“The American Café,” by Sara Sue Hoklotubbe of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and published by the University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Ariz.
“Along The Watchtower,” by Constance Squires of Edmond, and published by Penguin Group, New York N.Y.
“Broken Wings,” by Carla Stewart of Tulsa, and published by Faith Words, Nashville, Tenn.
“Strangers & Exiles,” by Marlene Reed Wetzel of Tulsa, and published by Out on a Limb Publishing, Tulsa.
“Dandelion Summer,” by Lisa Wingate of Clifton, Texas, and published by Penguin Group, New York, N.Y.
“The Oklahoma State Capitol: A History of Our Seat of Government,” by Bob Burke of Oklahoma City and Charles Ford of Tulsa, and published by Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund Inc. and Oklahoma Heritage Association, Oklahoma City.
“The Cherokee Syllabary: Writing the People’s Perseverance,” by Ellen Cushman of Okemos, Mich., and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Stories of Old-Time Oklahoma,” by David Dary of Norman, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Forging a Nation: The American History Collection at Gilcrease Museum,” by Amanda Lett, Randy Ramer, Kimberly Roblin, and Eric Singleton, all of Tulsa, and published by the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa.
“Dynamic Chickasaw Women,” by Judy Goforth Parker and Phillip Carroll Morgan, both of Sulphur, and published by Chickasaw Press, Ada.
“An American Betrayal: Cherokee Patriots and the Trail of Tears,” by Daniel Blake Smith of St. Louis, Mo., and published by Henry Holt & Co., New York City.
“David Crockett: The Lion of the West,” by Michael Wallis of Tulsa, and published by W.W. Norton & Co., New York City.
“The Wild West 365,” by Michael Wallis of Tulsa, and published by Abrams Books, New York, N.Y.
“Will Rogers: A Political Life,” by Richard D. White Jr. of Baton Rouge, La., and published by Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock, Texas
“The River White: A Confluence of Brush & Quill,” by Ken Hada of Ada, and published by Mongrel Empire Press, Norman.
“Depending on the Weather,” by Abigail Keegan of Oklahoma City, and published by Village Books Press, Cheyenne.
Leaving Holes & Selected New Writings,” by Joe Dale Tate Nevaquaya of Norman, and published by Mongrel Empire Press, Norman.
“Hail Mary, On Two,” by Jim Spurr of Shawnee, and published by Village Books Press, Cheyenne.
“Dreaming Sam Peckinpah,” by W.K. Stratton of Round Rock, Texas, and published by Ink Brush Press, Temple, Texas.
“In the Shadow of Asclepius: Poems from American Medicine,” by Howard F. Stein of Oklahoma City, and published by Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, Ind.
The more I see about the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, the more I want to be there but Alas, I’ve got a library conference to attend. Good thing, the Oklahoma Library Association is inviting Nathan Brown as a session speaker to promote all things Poetry. Go on over to his website and see his new music and books. I like poetry so I’m particularly glad to see its promotion.
Another reading promotion opportunity, celebrating our young readers was the Oklahoma Center for the Book’s Letters about Literature event at the State Capitol.
To see why Haydn Kirkpatrick, Todd Lamb, our Lt. Governor and OCB Friends Chair, Gini Moore are all smiling, check out the blog entry at Reading Oklahoma.
Yep! It’s that time of year again. Read the press release below for all the scoop, and then book your reservations for the 2011 Oklahoma Book Awards on Saturday, April 9. The Oklahoma Center for the Book promises to show you a good time!
Thirty-two books have been chosen as finalists in the 22nd annual Oklahoma Book Award competition. Winners in the categories of fiction, poetry, design/illustration, children/young adult and non-fiction will be announced at the Oklahoma Book Awards banquet on Saturday, April 9, at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum in Oklahoma City. Master of ceremonies for the event will be former Lt. Gov. Jari Askins.
Sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Book in the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Friends of the Center, the awards recognize books written the previous year by Oklahomans or about Oklahoma. This year some 122 books were entered in the competition.
In addition to the literary awards, Oklahoma-born author Rilla Askew will be presented with the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is named for Norman historian Arrell Gibson, who served as the first president of the Oklahoma Center for the Book.
A fifth generation descendant of southerners who settled in the Choctaw Nation in the late 1800s, Rilla Askew was born in the Sans Bois Mountains in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma. The middle of three sisters, Askew grew up in the oil company town of Bartlesville, where she first encountered the complex forces of race and class that she continues to explore in her fiction.
Askew lived for several years in the Cherokee capital of Tahlequah before relocating to Tulsa, where she graduated from the University of Tulsa with a degree in theatre performance. In 1980 she moved to New York to pursue an acting career, but soon turned to writing fiction.
To date, all of Rilla Askew’s books have been set in Oklahoma. Her collection of stories, “Strange Business,” received the Oklahoma Book Award in 1993. Her first novel, “The Mercy Seat,” was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and received the Western Heritage Award and the Oklahoma Book Award in 1998. “Fire in Beulah,” her 2001 novel about the Tulsa Race Riot, received the American Book Award, the Myers Book Award and was the 2007 selection for Oklahoma’s statewide centennial reading program. Her most recent novel, “Harpsong” (2007), received the Oklahoma Book Award, the Western Heritage Award, the Willa Cather Award from Women Writing the West and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas.
The recipient of a 2009 award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Askew received her master’s degree in fiction in 1989 from Brooklyn College. She is married to actor Paul Austin, and they divide their time between Oklahoma, where she now serves as artist-in-residence at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, and their home in upstate New York.
The following books are finalists for the 2011 awards:
“Portrait of a Generation: The Children of Oklahoma, Sons and Daughters of the Red Earth,” by M.J. Alexander of Oklahoma City, and published by Southwestern Publishing, Oklahoma City.
“‘Cholhkanat Lowak Ishminti’ (Spider Brings Fire),” by Linda Hogan of Tishomingo, and published by Chickasaw Nation Division of Arts and Humanities, Ada.
“Salvaged,” by Stefne Miller of Edmond, and published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, Mustang.
“Mostly Monsterly,” by Tammi Sauer of Edmond, published by Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y.
“Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light,” by Tim Tingle of Canyon Lake, Texas, and published by Cinco Puntos Press, El Paso, Texas.
“Building One Fire,” designed by Carol Haralson of Sedona, Ariz., and published by the Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah.
“Proud to be Chickasaw,” designed by Skip McKinstry of Oklahoma City, illustrated by Mike Larsen of Perkins and published by Chickasaw Press, Ada.
“Oklahoma National Stockyards,” designed by Doug Miller of Tulsa, and published by Mullerhaus Publishing Arts Inc., Tulsa.
“Portrait of a Generation: The Children of Oklahoma, Sons and Daughters of the Red Earth,” designed by Scott O’Daniel of Oklahoma City, photography by M.J. Alexander of Oklahoma City and published by Southwestern Publishing, Oklahoma City.
“Arena Legacy: The Heritage of American Rodeo,” designed by Tony Roberts and Julie Rushing, both of Norman, collection photography by Ed Muno of Oklahoma City, and published by University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
“Stations West,” by Allison Amend of Pittsburgh, Pa., and published by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, La.
“With No Steps to Follow,” by David Allen Barton of Union City, and published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, Mustang.
“Cheyenne Madonna,” by Eddie Chuculate of Iowa City, Iowa, and published by David R. Godine Publisher Inc., Jaffrey, N.H.
“God’s Acres,” by David Gerard of Muskogee, and published by PenUltimate Press Inc., St. Louis, Mo.
“The Insane Train,” by Sheldon Russell of Waynoka, and published by St. Martin’s Minotaur Books, New York, N.Y.
“Chasing Lilacs,” by Carla Stewart of Tulsa, and published by FaithWords, Hachete Book Group, New York, N.Y.
“Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe,” by Kate Buford of Yonkers, N.Y., and published by Alfred A. Knopf Inc., New York, N.Y.
“Chickasaw Removal,” by Amanda L. Paige, Fuller L. Bumpers, and Daniel F. Littlefield Jr., all of Arkansas; and published by Chickasaw Press, Ada.
“Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture,” edited by Dianna Everett of Edmond; Larry O’Dell of Newcastle; Jon May and Linda Wilson, both of Oklahoma City; and published by Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.
“Deadly Kingdom: The Book of Dangerous Animals,” by Gordon Grice of Somerset, Wis., and published by Random House, New York, N.Y.
“Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History,” by S.C. Gwynne of Austin, Texas, and published by Scribner, New York City.
“Race and the University: A Memoir,” by George Henderson of Norman, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Arena Legacy: The Heritage of American Rodeo,” by Richard C. Rattenbury of Oklahoma City, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Luis Ortega’s Rawhide Artistry: Braiding in the California Tradition,” by Don Reeves of Edmond and Chuck Stormes of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Oilfield Trash: Life and Labor in the Oil Patch,” by Bobby D. Weaver of Edmond, and published by Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas.
“Spare Parts,” by Ken Hada of Ada, and published by Mongrel Empire Press, Norman.
“Umberto Eco Lost His Gun,” by Carol Hamilton of Midwest City, and published by Pudding House Publications, Columbus, Ohio.
“Elegy for Trains,” by Benjamin Myers of Chandler, and published by Village Books Press, Cheyenne.
“Seeing Rightly with the Heart,” by Howard Stein of Oklahoma City, and published by Finishing Line Press, Georgetown, Ky.
“Bird Days,” by Sheila Tiarks of Oklahoma City, and published by Village Books Press, Cheyenne.
“Oklahoma Baroque,” by Renata Treitel of Tulsa, and published by Out On A Limb Publishing, Tulsa.
“Oklahoma Cantos,” by Ron Wallace of Durant, and published by TJMF Publishing, Clarksville, Ind.
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.
Finalist Announced for 2010 Oklahoma Book Awards
David G. Fitzgerald is Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Stan Hoig to be honored with Ralph Ellison Award
Thirty-three books have been chosen as finalists in the Twenty-first annual Oklahoma Book Award competition. Winners in the categories of fiction, poetry, design/illustration, children/young adult, and non-fiction will be announced at the Oklahoma Book Award banquet on Saturday, April 17, at the Edward L. Gaylord – T. Boone Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Master of ceremonies at the event will be former Miss America, journalist, and author Jane Jayroe.
Sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Book, the awards recognize books written the previous year by Oklahomans or about Oklahoma. This year one 115 books were entered in the competition.
In addition to the literary awards, photographer David G. Fitzgerald will be presented the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is named for the Norman historian Arrell Gibson who served as the first president of the Oklahoma Center for the Book.
Lifelong Oklahoma resident and award-winning photographer David G. Fitzgerald’s career expands over four decades. Fitzgerald’s work began receiving national attention in the late 1970s. In 1979 the coffee-table book Oklahoma was published, the first of many to come featuring his photographs. Books that followed include Ozarks, Israel: Land of Promise, Oklahoma (the Land Run Centennial edition), Mansion Fare, Oklahoma II, Portrait of the Ozarks, Oklahoma Crossroads, Bison: Monarch of the Plains, Cherokee, Chickasaw: Unconquered and Unconquerable, Oklahoma 3, and Cherokee Trail of Tears.
Award winning author and historian Stan Hoig will be honored posthumously with the Ralph Ellison Award. Hoig began his career writing articles and books on the American West in the 1950s. His first book, The Humor of the American Cowboy was published in 1958 and remains in print today. Hoig published a wide variety of articles in magazines and professional journals such as the Chronicles of Oklahoma and Encyclopedia of the American West. Moreover, he had twenty-five books published and listed with the Library of Congress including The Sand Creek Massacre, The Battle of the Washita, Perilous Pursuit: The U.S. Calvary and the Northern Cheyennes, and The Chouteaus: First Family of the Fur Trade.
The following books which are listed in alphabetical order according to the last name of the lead author, designer or illustrator, have been selected as finalists of the 2010 awards.
Annie Glover is Not a Tree Lover by Darleen Bailey Beard, Farrar, Straus, Giroux publisher
For a Girl Becoming by Joy Harjo, The University of Arizona Press
Paris Pan takes the Dare by Cynthea Liu, G.P. Putnam’s Sons publisher
Time of the Witches by Anna Myers, Walker & Company publisher
Chicken Dance by Tammi Sauer, Sterling Publishing Company Inc.
Night Fires by George Edward Stanley, Simon & Schuster/Aladdin Imprint publisher
Lanterns on the Prairie: The Blackfeet Photographs of Walter McClintock by Eric H. Anderson and Karen Hayes-Thumann, University of Oklahoma Press
Skirvin by Carl Brune, Full Circle Press
Roots from the Cherokees, Promises for our Future: The Chronicle of Northeastern State University by Buffy Cooper, Mullerhaus Publishing Group
Willard Stone by Carol Haralson, University of Tulsa/Gilcrease Museum publisher
Sonic: The History of America’s Drive-In by Skip McKinstry, Cottonwood Publications
Where to Sleep by Kandy Radzinski, Sleeping Bear Press
Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness by William Bernhardt, Ballantine Books publisher
Confessions of a Former Rock Queen by Kirk Bjornsgaard, 4RV Publishing
The Sky Took Him by Donis Casey, Poisoned Pen Press
The Wind Comes Sweeping by Marcia Preston, Mira Books publisher
The Yard Dog by Sheldon Russell, Minotaur Books publisher
The Sound of Honor by Jim Stovall, Hawk Publishing
Sonic: The History of America’s Drive-In by Bob L. Blackburn, Cottonwood Publications
Divided Hearts: The Presbyterian Journey through Oklahoma History by Michael Cassity and Danney Goble, University of Oklahoma Press
Indian Tribes of Oklahoma: A Guide by Blue Clark, University of Oklahoma Press
Coach Tommy Thompson and the Boys of Sequoyah by Patti Dickinson, University of Oklahoma Press
Tar Creek: A History of the Quapaw Indians, the World’s Largest Lead and Zinc Discovery, and the Tar Creek Superfund Site by Larry G. Johnson, Tate Publishing & Enterprises
Choctaw Crime and Punishment, 1884-1907 by Devon Abbott Mihesuah, University of Oklahoma Press
Skirvin by Jack Money and Steve Lackmeyer, Full Circle Press
Another Hot Oklahoma Night: A Rock and Roll Story by Jeff Moore and
Larry O’Dell, Oklahoma Historical Society publisher
Thomas Gilcrease by Randy Ramer, Carole Klein, Kimberly Roblin, Eric Singleton, Anne Morand, Gary Moore, and April Miller, University of Tulsa/Gilcrease Museum publisher
Fault Line: Vulnerable Landscapes by Karen Coody Cooper, Soddenbank Press
Contrapuntal by Carol Hamilton, Finishing Line Press
Work is Love Made Visible: Poetry and Family Photographs by Jeanetta
Calhoun Mish, West End Press
In the Presence of the Sun: Stories and Poems, 1961-1991 by N. Scott Momaday,
University of New Mexico Press
Too Long a Solitude by James Ragan, University of Oklahoma Press
After the Aftermath by Renata Treitel, Out on a Limb Publishing
For more information on the book awards or the award ceremony or to purchase tickets to the event 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, OK, 73105, or call 405-522-3383.
—–Pick your favorites and meet me back here after the Book Award ceremony and we’ll compare notes.
The Daily Oklahoman in the Metro/State News this morning got a few of the facts wrong concerning Letters About Literature and the ceremony to honor our winners, so to set things straight for the Center for the Books folks, here’s the actual press release:
2009-2010 Letters About Literature
Oklahoma Winners Announced
Have you ever read a book that really made an impact on your life? Perhaps you have strongly related to a particular character in a book. Students from across the state were invited to participate in Letters About Literature (LAL), a national writing contest requiring students to write a personal letter to an author describing how a book or character had made a difference in his or her life. Recently, nine Oklahoma students received notification that they had been selected as state winners in the competition.
The national competition is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Target. The state level competition also is sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Book and the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.
“This year over 65,000 students competed in the national competition,” said Oklahoma Center for the Book Executive Director Connie Armstrong. “Oklahoma once again had students from public, private, and home schools participating. It’s amazing how honest these young people are in expressing their own personal circumstances.”
Judges for the Oklahoma Center for the Book selected the top three essayists in the state on each of the three levels of competition: Level I for children in grades fourth through sixth; Level II for grades seventh and eighth; and Level III for grades ninth through twelfth.
Level I winners are: First-place, Grace Barrett, Owasso 6th Grade Center Literature Department, Owasso, OK, for Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren; Second-place, Caleb Kirk, Owasso 6th Grade Center Literature Department, Owasso, OK, for Airman by Eoin Colfer; and Third-place, Hannah Cook, Rush Springs Middle School, Rush Springs, OK, for A Rose for Melinda by Lurlene McDaniel.
Level II winners are: First-place, Daniel Flores, homeschooled, Cushing, OK, for Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac; Second-place, Blake Graham, Duncan Middle School, Duncan, OK, for A War Torn Sky by L.M. Elliott; and Third-place, Connor Webb, Cyril Public School, Cyril, OK, for Beastly by Alex Flinn.
Level III winners are: First-place, Melissa J. Frye, Oklahoma Union High School, South Coffeyville, OK, for A Child Called It by David Pelzer; Second-place, Victoria Jones, Southmoore High School, Moore, OK, for Equus by Peter Shaffer; and Third-place, Sara Panther, Oklahoma Union High School, South Coffeyville, OK, for The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.
State winners will receive cash prizes and a $50 gift card from Target. The awards ceremony will be held in the Blue Room of the State Capitol on March 31, 2010, at 10:30 am to noon. Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins will serve as the event’s emcee.
“We are also inviting members of the state legislature from the winner’s home district, as well as their family members, friends, educators, and local home town news media,” said Armstrong. “This is a wonderful program, and a great opportunity to highlight some of Oklahoma’s best students.”
Moreover, state winners will advance to the national level judging. Judges for The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select six National Winners (two per level of competition), and twelve National Honorable Mention Winners (four per level of competition). The National Winners will receive a $500 Target gift card, plus each will win a $10,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant for their community or school library so that others can experience personal relationships with authors and the stories they tell. Additionally, the National Honorable Mention Winners will each receive a $100 Target GiftCard and a $1,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant for the community or school library of their choice.
For more information, contact Connie Armstrong at 405/522-3383 or carmstrong at oltn.odl.state.ok.us.
This is a great program, sponsored by Target, and supported through the Oklahoma Center for the Book. So if you want to see some very cool kids get awards for their reading and writing skills come by the State Capitol Blue Room on March 31st at 10:30 and applaud their accomplishments.
Young Bill Young here.
Love makes the world go around. No one knows that better than the authors and readers of Romance, one of the most popular genres of fiction. In fact, Romance is the king of the publishing world right now, outstripping sales of most other categories of books in this uncertain economy.
Many Oklahoma writers are riding this wave of success in the Romance field, and librarians and readers enjoyed a chance to meet nine of these authors at Romance in the Stacks last Thursday at Hardesty Regional Library. The event was sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Book.
Tulsa authors participating were Laura Marie Altom, Margaret Daley, Peggy Fielding, Jackie King, Vickie McDonough and Susan Shay. Jaci Burton of Claremore, and Jordan Dane and Malena Lott of Edmond were also on hand.
These are just a handful of the many Romance writers who call Oklahoma home. We’re lucky to have so many talented Romance scribes in the state, and Oklahoma and the rest of the nation is also blessed to have so many Romance readers. According to a New York Times article: Nielsen Bookscan, which tracks retail sales, says Romance sales were up seven percent in 2008, while most of adult fiction remained flat. Barnes and Noble, the country’s largest book chain, expects book sales to fall between four to six percent this year, but Romance sales are up.
InfoTrends, Inc. reports that 74.8 million people read at least one Romance novel in 2008, and that there is a core market of 29 million regular readers of the genre. In addition, the percent of Americans who read Romance has increased from 21.8 percent in 2005 to 24.6 percent in 2008.
The continuing and growing popularity of Romance plays out everyday in libraries according to Hardesty Regional Manager Louix Escobar-Matute. “I would estimate that one out of every three fiction books checked out at this library is a Romance novel,” Escobar-Matute said.
The fact that there are so many writers, and so many different types of Romance stories, means there are always plenty of titles to recommend to people who like a particular style or setting, Escobar-Matute said. That keeps readers coming back for more.
The genre ranges from inspirational Christian Romance, to steamy tomes, and everything in between. Settings range from the Wild West, to modern day suburbia, to historical scenes, to science fiction and fantasy worlds.
But the cental element of all of these books is the universal story of romantic love. Afterall, who doesn’t love a happy ending?