Entries are now being accepted for the 24th annual Oklahoma Book Awards competition. The deadline to enter is Jan. 7, 2013, according to the Oklahoma Center for the Book in the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.
Executive Director Connie Armstrong said the Oklahoma Book Awards are designed to recognize and promote Oklahoma’s writers, as well as outstanding books about the state. Entries are being sought in five categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children/young adult and design/illustration.
To qualify, books must have been published between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2012. In addition, the author must live, or have lived, in Oklahoma, or the book must have an Oklahoma theme.
Finalists in each category will be selected and announced in early February. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on April 13, 2013.
Arrell Gibson award
In addition to the five categories listed, the board of directors of the Oklahoma Center for the Book will present the 2013 Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award to Tulsa resident and award-winning author Billie Letts. Named for Norman historian Arrell Gibson, who served as the first president of the Oklahoma Center for the Book, the award recognizes a writer for a body of work contributing to Oklahoma’s literary heritage.
Author of four screenplays and numerous short stories, Letts is best known for four internationally acclaimed novels: “Where the Heart Is,” “The Honk and Holler Opening Soon,” “Shoot the Moon” and “Made in the U.S.A.” Her novel, “Where the Heart Is,” was selected for the Oprah Winfrey Book Club and later became a popular motion picture starring Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd and Stockard Channing.
In 1994, Letts won the prestigious Walker Percy Literary Award, and she won the Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction in 1996 and again in 1999.
In 2011, she was honored by the Association for Women in Communications at their national conference with their International Matrix Award.
Ralph Ellison Award
Legendary Creek poet and author Alexander Posey will be honored with the Ralph Ellison Award, which is given posthumously to an Oklahoma author.
Posey, a prominent poet, journalist, and political satirist, was the owner and editor of the “Indian Journal.” He is best known for his “Fus Fixico” letters that described everyday life in the Creek Nation with political commentary.
Posey once said, “The Indian talks in poetry; poetry is his vernacular — not necessarily the stilted poetry of books, but the free and untrammeled poetry of nature, the poetry of the fields, the sky, the river, the sun and the stars.”
The Oklahoma Book Awards ceremony will be held at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.
For more information on the book awards, including submitting entries, visit the website at odl.state.ok.us/ocb or contact Connie Armstrong, executive director, Oklahoma Center for the Book, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, 200 NE 18, Oklahoma City, OK 73105, or call 522-3383.