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The fourth annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival will be April 2 - 4 [THURSDAY-SATURDAY] at East Central University. What began four years ago as a few local writers coming together to share their work has grown into a three-day festival that features over 50 regional authors and is attended by approximately 1,000 people.

This year's three featured authors include Rilla Askew, Elmer Kelton and LeAnne Howe. All sessions will be held in the Estep Multimedia Center on the first floor of the University Center.

Askew graduated from the University of Tulsa in 1980 and went on to study creative writing at Brooklyn College where she received her master of fine arts degree in 1989. Askew's first novel, The Mercy Seat, received the Oklahoma Book Award and the Western Heritage Award in 1998. Her novel, Fire in Beulah, received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and the Myers Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights.

Askew's latest novel, Harpsong, won the 2008 Oklahoma Book Award and Western Heritage Award for Best Novel.

Elmer Kelton is the author of more than 40 novels. Four of his novels have won the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and seven have won the Spur award from Western Writers of America. In 1998 he received the first Lone Star award for lifetime Achievement from the Larry McMurtry Center for Arts and Humanities at Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas.

Kelson also received honorary doctorates from Hardin-Simmons University and Texas Tech University. He was given a lifetime achievement award by the National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, Texas. His book, The Good Old Boys, was made into a 1995 TV movie starring Tommy Lee Jones for the TNT cable network.

LeAnne Howe is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and is an American Indian author, playwright and scholar. Her work primarily deals with American Indian experiences. She attended Oklahoma State University, majoring in English. She received her master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Vermont College in 2000.

Howe's first novel, Shell Shaker, received an American Book Award in 2002 from the Before Columbus Foundation. The novel was a finalist for the 2003 Oklahoma Book Award and Howe was awarded Wordcraft Circle Writer of the Year in 2002 for Creative Prose. Evidence of Redreceived the Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry in 2006.

The Darryl Fisher High School Creative Writing Contest winners will also be announced during the festival.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Ken Hada at 580-559-5557. To view the schedule of readers, visit

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