Sunday we returned from the Border Queen Book Festival in Comanche, Oklahoma. It was pleased to learn that the name of the book festival was taken from the history of Comanche. It seems that the town was once known as Border Queen and the volunteers who put on this fantastic festival thought that an apt name. The name originated because the town sits almost on the border of Texas and Oklahoma.
There were 47 writers signing books and visiting with those who passed through Asbury Center. Upon parking, we were greeted by several young people in jackets with Comanche, Oklahoma emblazoned on the back. The delightful volunteers unloaded our books and other paraphernalia and led us to our table. We were soon greeted by the mayor of Comanche who was a vigorous and personable young woman.
As the tables filled up, I recognized several writers and was pleased to be seated beside the hot new thriller writer, Jordan Dane. On the other side a writer of children’s books played a variety of wooden flutes, the tunes providing a pleasant and soothing background. During the day the crowd was entertained by a trio of drummers, and later Miss Comanche presented awards to students who had entered and won the essay contest sponsored by the South Oklahoma Arts Council. Lunch was prepared by the fifth grade class as a way of raising money to travel to Washington, DC. The spaghetti was delicious, by the way.
Thanks to Tonya Shook, who organized the book festival, which was presented that day and followed by a chautauqua and country music that evening.
Tonya would like to see these book festivals put on all over her home state. It was very well organized and supported by the entire county. I too would like to see such book festivals in my home state of Arkansas, but wonder who would have time to volunteer.
Our critique group here sponsors an all day conference once a year, and have been doing so for 7 years. Everyone in our group pitches in to do a job. It’s amazingly easy to do, and we’ve been privileged to have some terrific speakers. Writers who give of their time because someone helped them along the way. It’s amazing how many speak for free.
We are looking forward to our conference March 14.