Oklahoma Book Awards

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2018 Finalists

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A Celebration of Oklahoma Books and Authors

The following books have been selected as finalists in the twenty-ninth Annual Oklahoma Book Award Competition.  The books are listed in alphabetical order according to the last name of the lead author/illustrator/designer/photographer. Winners in each category will be announced at the Oklahoma Book Award ceremony April 7, 2018, at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City.  For more information, contact Connie G. Armstrong, Executive Director, Oklahoma Center for the Book, 200 N.E. 18th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73105, or email connie.armstrong@libraries.ok.gov or call 405/522-3383.


 Abraham by Frank Keating
Simon & Schuster

Angie Debo: Daughter of the Prairie by Patricia Loughlin
Oklahoma Hall of Fame Publishing

The Cloud Artist by Sherri Maret
The RoadRunner Press

Rules for Thieves by Alexandra Ott

The Survivor Tree by Gaye Sanders
The RoadRunner Press

Brave New Girl by Rachel Vincent
Delacorte Press



The Robson Ranch: Hard Work and Family Ties, designed by Laura Hyde
Mullerhaus Legacy Publishing

Don’t Never Be Afraid of Your Horses: Looking Back, art by Mike Larsen, and book design by Skip McKinstry
Oklahoma Hall of Fame Publishing

Good Night, Trilobite, illustrated by Shanda Willis McDonald, and designed by Gentry Fisher
White Dog Press

Marmie: A Mouse on Main Street, illustrated by Janet Skates
The Museum Broken Arrow Publisher

Oklahoma Winter Bird Atlas, book design by Julie Rushing, and cover design by Anthony Roberts
University of Oklahoma Press

Abraham, illustrated by Mike Wimmer
Simon & Schuster



Justice Returns by William Bernhardt
Babylon Books

The Return of the Raven Mocker by Donis Casey
Poisoned Pen Press

The Bone Picker by Lu Clifton
Two Shadows Books

Burials by Mary Anna Evans
Poisoned Pen Press

Let the Dead Bury the Dead by Joan King
Beating Windward Press

The Bridge Troll Murders by Sheldon Russell
The RoadRunner Press

Live from Medicine Park by Constance Squires
University of Oklahoma Press

Dry Run, Oklahoma by Lucinda Stein
CreateSpace—Lucinda Stein Publisher

Old Scores by Will Thomas
Minotaur Books



Frank Little and the IWW by Jane Little Botkin
University of Oklahoma Press

Oklahoma’s Brown Decision Test Case: A Participant’s Perspective
by Betty Katherine Permetter Falato
Oklahoma Hall of Fame Publishing

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
by David Grann

Killing Albert Berch by Alan Berch Hollingsworth
Pelican Publishing Company

Don’t Never Be Afraid of Your Horses: Looking Back by Mike Larsen
Oklahoma Hall of Fame Publishing

Seat of Power by Douglas Miller and John Hamill
Mullerhaus Legacy Publishing

Dust Bowl Girls by Lydia Reeder
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

John Joseph Matthews: Life of an Osage Writer by Michael Snyder
University of Oklahoma Press

 The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny
by Michael Wallis
Liveright Publishing



Colin is Changing His Name by John Andrews
Sibling Rivalry Press

Zippy Zappy: Diminutive Poetry by Kevin Acers
CreateSpace—Kevin Acers Publisher

Ordinary Monsters by Justin Bond
Mongrel Empire Press

Bring an Extry Mule by Ken Hada
Purple Flag Press

Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry by Dean Rader
Copper Canyon Press

Constant Fires by Rebecca Hatcher Travis
White Dog Press

Church People by Maria Polson Veres
Stonecrop Press

Renegade by Ron Wallace
TJMF Publishing


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See the 2017 winners and the full list of 2017 finalists.

 Or view the 2016 winners and finalists.

View the list of all previous Oklahoma Book Award winners and special recognitions.

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Eligibility for the Oklahoma Book Awards

  • Any individual, organization, or company may enter in any appropriate category.
  • Books considered for this award must have an Oklahoma-based theme, or entrants (authors, illustrators, or designers) must live or have lived in Oklahoma.
  • Books must have been published between January 1 and December 31, of the preceding year. (For example, books eligible for the 2017 award would be published between January 1 and December 31, 2016.)
  • Books—hardcover or paperback—entered in previous Oklahoma Book Award competitions are not eligible.
  • Entries are forwarded to judges upon receipt—please enter as soon as possible.


  • Typically, entries must be received by around the 10th day of January (exact dates will be available on the most recent prospectus or entry form, available for download).
  • Finalists will be notified in February.
  • Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony which typically occurs around the first of April.


A panel of judges will consider all entries. Judges will grant awards at their discretion. Panel members represent a range of expertise in the writing and publishing fields covered by the award categories. Entries in all categories (except the design/illustration category) are principally judged on the quality of writing, with organization and interpretation also playing a role in the decision.

Special Notes

  • $25 entry fee is required for each category entered.
  • Entrants will be responsible for all shipping charges—collect shipments will be refused.
  • The awards committee reserves the right to change the category of an entry.
  • No award will be given in categories where fewer than five entries have been submitted.

For more information, email Connie G. Armstrong, Executive Director, Oklahoma Center for the Book, 200 NE 18 St, Oklahoma City, OK 73105–3205, or call 405/522-3383.

Oklahoma Collection