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Ex-governor Frank Keating wins book award

MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: June 14, 2009 at 12:11 am •  Published: June 14, 2009
Frank Keating has a knack for writing children’s books.

The former Oklahoma governor will be presented his second Western literature award this week. He’s written three nonfiction books for children, each one focusing on a historical Oklahoma character.

Keating, 65, began writing the books after serving eight years, 1995-2003, as Oklahoma’s governor. He will be presented a Spur Award for Western literature Saturday night by the Western Writers of America during its convention, which is this week in the Oklahoma City area.

Keating is winning the Spur Award for the best Western juvenile nonfiction for his book, "The Trial of Standing Bear.”

"I’m really thrilled and excited because it’s an Oklahoma story and that the Western writers of the United States have recognized it as an important story,” Keating said.

He won a Spur Award in 2003 for "Will Rogers: An American Legend.”

Mike Wimmer illustrated those books as well as Keating’s book on former President Theodore Roosevelt. Wimmer will illustrate Keating’s latest book on former President George Washington; the pair also will collaborate on books on former presidents Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

Keating’s award will be among 16 to be presented during the Western writers’ banquet Saturday night at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Most convention activities will take place at the Reed Center in Midwest City.

Two events are open to the public.

Oklahomans will have the chance to sit in on a roundtable discussion and question-and-

answer session this week with some of the top names in Western literature.

"Redefining the Western, the scope of the genre today” is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Ronald J. Norick Library, 300 Park Ave. The event will kick off the Western Writers of America convention, which will take place Tuesday through Saturday.

Scheduled participants at the library discussion include Johnny D. Boggs, Oklahoma native Robert J. Conley, Candy Moulton, and Cotton Smith.

The panel will be moderated by Oklahoma native D.L. Birchfield, children’s author, Choctaw tribal historian and Spur Award-winning novelist for "Field of Honor.”

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