Entries are now being accepted for the 25th annual Oklahoma Book Award competition.

Entries are now being accepted for the 25th annual Oklahoma Book Award competition. The deadline for entering is January 8, 2014, 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 writers, as well as outstanding books about 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, 2013, and December 31, 2013. Moreover, 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 late February; winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on April 12, 2014.

In addition to the five categories listed, the board of directors of the Oklahoma Center for the Book presents the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for a body of work contributing to Oklahoma’s literary heritage. The award was named for Norman, Oklahoma, historian Arrell Gibson, who served as the first president of the Oklahoma Center for the Book. The 2014 recipient is noted historian and poet Alvin O. Turner.

Born in Guthrie, Oklahoma, Turner received his doctorate degree in history from Oklahoma State University in 1977. During his career, he held many teaching and university administrative positions, including Dean for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Professor of History at East Central University, in Ada, Oklahoma, from 1997 until his retirement in 2006. Prior to coming to ECU, Turner served as Dean of the School of Social Science at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Alva, Oklahoma, and also taught at Redlands Community College, in El Reno, Oklahoma, for ten years. As a noted authority on Oklahoma history Turner held positions with the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Oklahoma Museums Association, and was assistant project director for the Oklahoma Image state-wide heritage project.

As editor for Letters from the Dust Bowl by Caroline Henderson, Turner was named a finalist for the non-fiction category in the 2002 Oklahoma Book Awards. Turner is the co-author of The First Family: A Centennial History of the First Baptist Church; Oklahoma at the Crossroads; and he authored L.W. Marks: A Baptist Progressive in Missouri and Oklahoma, 1862-1943. Turner also is a published poet. His works include Hanging Men; Re-membered Journeys; and Waiting for the Rain. Turner, and his wife, reside in Norman, Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Book Award ceremony will be April 12, 2014, at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. Winners in the five book categories will be announced at the ceremony. 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, OK 73105, or call 405/522-3383.