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Pioneer Library System

225 N. Webster

Norman, Ok 73069

Phone: 405-701-2673

Fax: 405 -701-2649

Contact: Galyn Cresap Hembree

Public Relations Specialist

Phone: 405-701-2674


Registration Opens for Regional Red Dirt Book Festival

The fourth biennial Red Dirt Book Festival will be held in Shawnee November 6 -7, 2009, at the Expo Center and on the campuses of Oklahoma Baptist University and St. Gregory’s University. The Festival’s web site, is now accepting registrations to attend the free festival and a number of ticketed events included in the activities.

“Registering to attend the festival is easy and free; you can go online and take care of everything including reserving tickets for meals and paying for them through PayPal,” said Julia Harmon, festival director. “Or, anyone not comfortable using the internet, can go to their hometown library and ask their librarian to help them register. There is a form available on the website to download and use to register by mail.”

Shawnee has been home to Pioneer Library System’s Red Dirt Book Festival since 2003. Imagine Oklahoma – Join the Conversation is the theme for this year’s free, public book festival, which continues to have tremendous community support.

The Red Dirt Book Festival has been a creative home in Oklahoma for nearly 1,500 readers, writers, illustrators, publishers, storytellers, scholars and performers since 2003.
Special events planned for the festival include a keynote address by author Billie Letts, best known for her New York Times bestseller, “Where the Heart Is,” a writing workshop for area high school students, appearances by Oklahoma personalities Galen Culver, Ron Stahl, and Susan Miller, and a tea and scone reception followed by a guided tour of OBU’s Raley Chapel stained glass windows.

The festival continues to have tremendous community involvement with major support from the Pioneer Library System, the Oklahoma Humanities Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Other major contributors include the Shawnee Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma Baptist University and St. Gregory’s University, the Ar-Hale Family Foundation, the Dougherty Fund, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, and the FireLake Grand Casino as well as many other local donors and volunteers.

For more information about the authors who will be presenting, the exhibit hall, the programs and their descriptions, as well as a album of past festival photos and a Red Dirt promotional video, visit the website or call your home town Pioneer Library System branch library.



Joan Billings has a new Bible Study that will be released soon. Joan and her husband, Tom Billings are formerly from Duncan, OK where Tom was a church Director of Missions. She will be one of the new authors attending the first Chisholm Trail Book Festival in Duncan on Oct. 24th with a trilogy that had been her dream for thirty-five years.

It is almost completed and ready for the public. You can contact Joan for preorders. A Mixed Bouquet: A Bible Study Featuring Dramatic Interpretation of Women of the Bible has a DVD and a Book of Monologues accompaning the main Bible Study. It will soon be available on Amazon as well as at the book festival in October.


Welcome to “A Mixed Bouquet”! by Joan McGehee Billings; BIBLE STUDY BOOK
With DVD and Book of Monologues

Purchase from author at: or from Amazon.
Bible Study Book, $12.00; - Book of Monologues, $15.00



Quilted Love Letters for America—Thanking Our Troops
In this 45-90 minute quilt trunk show program designed to honor our military and veterans’ families, award winning author Judy Howard tells stories of heroism and sacrificial love of God and Country from her new book Thanking Our Troops—God Bless America Touring Quilts.

Judy displays fifty or more of the 200 winning quilts submitted by children and adults across the nation in her contest “How Do I Love America—Let Me Quilt the Ways.” These little quilts have cheered troops in Baghdad and have brought rave reviews from prestigious quilt shows like AQS and HMQS and are crisscrossing the U.S. to blanket America with the Fabric of Hope to unify our torn nation by returning to our founding fathers’ values.

All profits from Judy’s books, programs and $100 quilt exhibit rental fees go to nonprofits who provide quilts for wounded troops and the families of our fallen heroes who have defended our freedoms. This exhibit is free when you schedule Judy’s quilt trunk show program. Many groups take advantage of Judy’s Fund-Raising opportunities by ordering books by the case to sell or give as gifts.

“ Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world—indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Meed



OKC ZOO , Saturday July 25 will host authors of books about animals 9 a.m. to noon.

Ooook-lahoma, where the pen comes sweepin down the page! Come and mingle
with the wildest writers in Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Zoos Animal
Author Expo. This event will be held on Saturday, July 25 from 9 a.m. to
Noon, in the Zoos Global Plaza. Both fiction and non-fiction authors will
be present to showcase their books, meet-and-greet fans and sign
autographs. Plus, additional books will be available for fans wishing to
purchase these storybook classics.

Authors from across the state have bound together to take part in the
Zoos Animal Author Expo. Writers attending this event include: Anna
Myers, Tammi Sauer, Una Belle Townsend, Stacey Nyikos, Richard Trout,
Glenda Carlile, Susan Meyers and many more! Plus, meet the Zoos own Amy
Dee Stephens as she showcases her book, Oklahoma City Zoo: 1902-1959. This
event is free to attend.

Amy Dee Stephens
Naturalist Instructor & Certified Interpretive Guide



Dr. Reggies Wenyika, V.P. of Academic Affairs for Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, Oklahoma, was part of a major work called "Engaging Our World: Christian Worldview from the Ivory Tower to Global Impact" (W&S Academic Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-9819526-9-7). He served as an editor and co-wrote one chapter ,"Religion of the Heart: Expelled from the American University."

It is available from, and various other book outlets.

From the cover: " What difference does a worldview make?" These eclectic essays from nearly trwenty scholars show how embodying a biblical Christian worldview helps transform mere existence into fullness of life." Scholars from institutions around the world share insights from several academic disciplines on what a Christian worldview means in the 21st century. The essays are based on papers delivered at the International Institute for Christian Studies Conference.


[The following is based on a workshop presented by Border Queen Book Festival program coordinator and author, Tonya Shook. It is presented here to be used free of charge and copyright free for anyone who wishes to promote book festivals of this nature. It is not to be reprinted or transmitted in any format known now or in the future. It is not to be included in any books, newsletters, or other formats without the express permission of Tonya Shook. This statement must accompany any copies made for planning of such events.]Organization for Author Friendly Book FestivalsAn All Voluntary EventA Director in place will receive and coordinate the whole of the committees, set up meeting times during the year as the event formulates.Committees Needed For:Author ContactsFacilityAdvertisingFund Raiser MealsGuest Speaker and/or WorkshopsManual LaborAuthor Gift BagsAwards – Sponsoring Entity InvolvementParking Sound SystemsAuthor Contacts CommitteeSeek authors in various places. Some suggestions are below.1.Blast Emails – i.e. OWFI 2. Colleges and Universities English/Drama Depts.3. Book Clubs from surrounding areas and outside the state via Internet4. Library Announcements for authors5. Network with known authors for other contacts than yours.6. Historical/Genealogical Societies7. Research is accessible for networking at Workshops and Conferences8. Continual updates to authors.9. It is imperative to have name registration at least at the beginning of the release of the upcoming book festival. You set the cut off date when the fee if any is required for the author to submit. Focus on this list of authors throughout the year as things materialize for the event, personal touch with individuals. All of them matter, every one!10. Low fees to author are imperative!11. Awards for the best table or author display – presenter for the awards.SUGGESTIONS(1) Author Friendly Book Festivals (AFBF) need to relate to the authors the necessity for conversation with the general public and opportunity to visit one-on-one. Book festivals do not guarantee an author will sell. It depends on their(a.) personality, (b.) the topic of their publication, (c.) the method they use to interact with the public to become a successful salesman/woman.(2) AFBF need judges, usually anonymous, for best author display.Facility Committee1. Determination of the size needed, parking availability, accessibility for handicap etc. (the number of authors and crowd estimation will help determine this)2. Information can also be found from the Chamber of Commerce should you live in a large city.3. Civic Centers a possibility4. Fair Grounds & others(a.) The Facility Committee should investigate the possibility of Sponsorship Entities if needed to secure a facility that charges a fee. Since this is an all Volunteer Effort, select a sponsor that has a 501C status with grant money opportunities.(b.) This could come from Literacy Awareness funding using their guidelines or from some other entity that benefits the state of Oklahoma or would like to. (BQBF had a donated hall for two years and done so in order to make people aware of the new facility in Comanche, The Asbury Complex Center. The idea is not to charge the book fest goers or the authors to fund this event. You will have an author draw every year for an event such as this if you take care of your authors.(c.) The facility can make or break a book festival. It needs food preparation or catering opportunities. It needs to be large enough to have aisle tables for authors. You will make decisions as you grow as to your needs in your particular locality. This is just a base to build from.Advertising CommitteeYou may find abilities to advertise through:1. Libraries2. Radio Stations (Public Service Announcements)3. Television Stations (PSA)Ron Stahl Integris Discover Oklahoma Ron.Stahl@OklaTourism.gov120 N. RobinsonSuite 600Oklahoma City, OK 73102405-230-8391Shel WagnerExecutive ProducerDiscover Oklahoma405-230-8431shel@travelok.comCall Local TV Stations and ask if they could do a story on your book festival. If they know it is an all-volunteer type thing, you will have more opportunity to get this out.4. Newspapers(a.) Cotton Electric(b.) Local newspapers, Comanche Times donated two full pages of author jpgs/bios as well as ads during the weeks prior to the book festival.(c.) Contact newspapers from surrounding towns and ask for them to do a story on your event in Lifestyles or Front Page.(d.) If your festival is including essay contests from schools (really necessary to get a local pull) Contact Sandy Garrett to see if she would send out blast emails to all the Superintendents of Schools so that their teachers might be able to use this event as one for Personal Development Certification Points. Some of the schools have done this with BQBF. It increases Literacy Awareness in the Community and State.(f.) Notification about this event should be made to the Activities Director ofSenior Citizen Retirement CentersVA Retirement CentersSenior Citizen Activity CentersSchools (flyers at school for the children to take them home in their backpacks for parents)Colleges & Universities etc. –Most all this can be done through the Internet.5. It is important to have a Complementary Breakfast for the Authors as they set up their tables and if you have had some special group donate these foods, have a placard for who the compliments came from. This applies to any foods or treats made available at this event.6. It is good to have help for the authors to unload to their tables with some school organization – Comanche used the members of the Comanche FFA who wore their special FFA attire and were easily recognized. This creates good advertising for this author event. Word gets around how well authors get treated!7. Provide Table Set-Ups: Table and Chairs, they do the decorations. To make it aesthetically pleasing, have all tables look alike as your chairs.8. Author Placards for each author at the table set-ups.9. Printed Author Name Tags10. Special recognition brochure for all the committee members under Activity Headings to be dispersed at this All Volunteer Book Festival.Fund Raiser MealsMeals can be planned and prepared by and to support a1.Civic Club2. School Trips3. Local entity – human-interest eventa. Table set-ups.b. Decide the prospective turn out and prepare planned menu for it.c. Have a plan where to take what isn’t sold should there be left over food.d. Have cooks and clean up groups in place, set table, clean off, clean upe. Sell tickets at the door or at businesses, ticket taker in place at the event.Guest Speaker or Workshop for a Two-day Event1.Research topics of current interest in your community/schools2.Consider Fee or Free for guest speaker/workshop director.3.Consider accommodations for Speaker/spouse whether it is for a workshop or program.Work Shop4.Must be free to the public5.Could be a number of things:Beginning Creative Writing,How to Publish, Marketing Your Book,Seminar on Expanding a Book Festival to Another Area, etcThis also may include the extra community involvement by having a number of guest authors to speak to different school classes on the day prior to the book festival. All this involves Literacy Awareness and helps the students discover another aspect to writing by meeting a published author and hearing things of particular interest that the teachers suggest they might need addressedThe committee needs to research this out to have this in place and have the author contacts they need with this expertise. They will find this from the Author Contact Committee.Manual Labor CommitteeVarious things require manual labor when setting up for a book festival. Many people can help in this category knowing nothing about book festivals and you might find high school boys willing volunteer for this, or boy scouts.1.Table and Chairs put into place for the authors and take down after the book festival.(this may require them to be put on a dolly of some sort and moved to and from a location.)2.Physical sign-forms built for posters to be put on the highways and streets or to have hand lettered signs painted.3.Should there be a need for any other heavy-duty type of thing one might need, a group of people should be available to call on for this support.Author Gift BagsThis is very good Public Relations to have a handy Author Gift Bag on each table for each individual author. Items for it may be found at different stores as free hand outs for advertising of their store.Some Ideas are:Note padsPensPackets of tissueBottled WaterStationary NotesPost-ItsBook MarksGift coupons from Chain StoresGift coupons from Chain RestaurantsEnvelope openersMini-first-aid kitsPackets of hand-cleanse wipesPens and/or pencilsEtc.This will take effort going from place to place to ask for and pick up these items.Bags must be considered. Should there be a tax exempt sponsor with funds bags might be considered a legitimate expense for the author’s tables.Awards – Sponsoring Entity Involvement“School Essays”This Committee will devise a topic for the essay; set the guidelines1.Contact for Cash Prizes may be some Funded Sponsor, who is interested in bettering the community/town, for this highlight of the book festival.2.The Superintendent of Schools needs to be contacted for this interaction as well as the Librarian. Either one of them will be responsible for selecting the teachers involved who will be used as the judges of the essays.3.A cut-off date when the essays are due must be set in order to get this opportunity to be involved in this contest.4.The Essays need to be in the judge’s hands early enough for them to make a decision (2-4 weeks in advance of the announcement) of the winners at the book festival. Below are the guidelines for the awards given at the 2009 BQBF sponsored by S.O.A.C. but set up by the Awards Committee.The topic of this essay, The History of Comanche is a wide range topic that allows the middle school students an unlimited field to inspire creative juices for this essay. The only boundary is it must be about the history of Comanche. There is no word limit.Having said this, the essays will be judged by:1. The maturity of the topic they write about,2. The expertise of formulating the concepts into an interesting read,3. The level of work put into the essay4. The presentation of work in a neat and clean finished fashion.Their Name, Address, ph #, and grade must be on the top left hand corner of the first page, their initial and last name at the top right hand corner of page 2 and thereafter.They may choose to write about:The very first settlement of Comanche proper,The history of stores and business in Comanche,A pioneer story from the memoirs of any person/relative as long as it is nonfiction.The first Tractor used to plow the fields.Animals used in farming, their care, needs.Everyday acceptances of outhouses, or the like i.e. butter churns, lamp light, butchering times and rendering lard for soap at Comanche homesteadsHanded down oral history.Model A car races (if such existed)Horse races in the town (if there were such, there was such in Hastings)Etc.The topic is limitless, open to imaginations and interests of the student as long as it has something to do with the history of Comanche. They may interview old timers and pick their brains about what their grandparent's shared with them in an oral type history. Whatever the writer chooses belonging to the history of Comanche is open to their research and writing their essay on.This wide range has been chosen for several reasons.The need to support literacy awareness should first find that corner stone of interest in the student. Interest then becomes a vital part to fuel the energy needed to follow through with a good and entertaining essay. It is our goal that the need to read becomes so vitally important that each child will feel it a must to strive for excellence to learn more, be more and dream more.The teacher judges will take into account the grade level with the above criteria being the yardstick to judge essays by. It should be up to the Superintendent or School Librarian to select these judges of essays (suggested – 3), and for teachers to gather up essays and get them to the anonymous judges. It is competitive. It will be rewarding.Parking CommitteeThis committee is responsible for safe parking, valet service for authors who have to walk a way from author parking to the facility.Provision needs to be in place should there be large vehicles such as tour busses or vans of people attending the book festival, unloading, and directions for the larger vehicles to park.The responsibility of safety of parked vehicles fits into the realm of this jurisdiction whether it requires police help or not.Sound System Committee1.During the announcement of awards, other interests, a Sound System needs to be in place and someone who can work this apparatus.2. Electrical Cords or other electronic equipment needed for the event would follow under this committee’s jurisdiction.3.Care of the sound equipment follows under the care of this committee and gathering up anything that needs to be stored afterward is the responsibility of this group.Why A Book Festival Like This?1.There are few authors in the “big top” but there are thousands of authors with wonderful books that need to be read.2.Monopolies from large Publishing Houses, Agents, Conferences sponsored by different groups, and Workshops have laid out worn guidelines that “this is the way one must go to become a successful author, to be able to sell their work. They must take in all the workshops and conferences if “one is to become successful.”Blindly following their guidelines the new author spends his/her 401K in hopes that this is true. They are pumped, excited and broke after attending; return home in the same circumstance when they started most likely, less money and no books sold. One can network at such places but I also know there is a way authors can take charge of their talent and market better.I believe it’s time to “re-invent the wheel.” It is time for authors to take charge of their own interests and destiny and not leave it up to a dangling carrot on a string. This volunteer book festival has been tested in Comanche, Oklahoma and it does work. I also have discovered how difficult it is for “one person” to direct everything with so few in place to help. This has been proven it is too good an idea to die and needs a vision planted in others to continue.a. This new type of volunteer book festival promotes Literacy Awareness in our state.b. It promotes new money for local businesses.c. It gives children an opportunity to see new possibilities in writing.d. It can also offer teachers an opportunity for Personal Development Certification Points if this event fits their school’s guidelines.e. From a sea of authors in their midst the book festival gives the populous an opportunity to select and purchase an autographed book directly from the author.f. Businesses benefit, Teachers benefit, Literacy Awareness benefits, and Children and Scholastic interest benefit, Authors from all over benefit and our state of Oklahoma can benefit from a new concept -- “The Book Festival State.” This is a far cry from “The Grapes of Wrath” and Illiteracy. Other authors have asked for my guidelines to start this process in their areas of Oklahoma. Authors will fill their event calendars if it does.This Author Friendly Book Festival is a Win-Win Event. A funded sponsorship is needed to implement a (1) facility, (2) advertising, and (3) essay awards. If interested, please contact:Tonya Holmes ShookRt. 1 Box 69-KHastings, OK 73548shookum@pldi.net580-439-6912


2010 Writers Conference - Oklahoma City

Keep up at:

2010 OWFI Writers Conference: tba
OWFI will hold its forty-second annual conference on April 29 - May 1, 2010 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Details of the conference will be forthcoming.



Press Release
Coming To Amazon Soon!
Now you can have a compilation of Frank L. Barnes writing addressing four (4) questions:

1.What would Jesus have me do after accepting Him?
2.What if controversy should arise among my new
Christian family?
3.How can the Holy Spirit help me grow and just who is
the Holy Spirit?
4.How can I be an effective witness to other people?

Concluding with the History of the Church
Every pastor needs this book; every Christian whether a new convert or older Christian needs this book; every seeker needs this book because “the Lord seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” I Samuel 16:7.
Through His Eyes
Tonya Holmes Shook - 580-439-6912 - Amazon



Book Signing for Narcissa Historian

A public book signing will be held at the Dobson Memorial Center, Sunday, July 12, 2009, from 2-4 PM. The museum will be open during their regular Sunday hours of 1-4 PM.

The author, Luretta E. Armagost Williams, will be available for signing and historical conversation concerning her new book, Narcissa, Oklahoma Through the Years: Life Along the Mother Road - Route 66. Copies may be ordered from the author, or Gregath Publishing Company in advance. All reserved copies will be available that afternoon.

The Narcissa volume is the author's first solo publication and contains 282 pages in an oversized 8.5x11" format. The full color perfect bound book includes subject index, photos, maps, and numerous transcriptions and original newspaper clippings. The book has been organized into sections focusing on the church, school, and community.

As an active genealogist, historian, and scrapbooker, the author correctly identified the need to record at least some of the history contained in the tiny hamlet of Narcissa, before it completely faded into individual memory. A collector of Narcissa history for quite some time, she hopes that this information is shared, through this publication, far and wide.

Williams is one of two daughters born to John and Marie Armagost. She grew up in the Narcissia community and attended church and school there. She and her husband, Anthony Williams, live on the Armagost Farm today. Luretta and Anthony have three grown children.

[see earlier entry for more details]