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Barbara Shepherd

Award-Winning Artist & Writer

    Painting in oils and watercolor, sculpting in porcelain clay, and writing in fiction, non-fiction, screenplay, stage play, and poetry, Shepherd is the recipient of many art awards and more than 500 writing awards in local, regional, national, and international contests. She has been named the Poet Laureate 2019 by the Poetry Society Oklahoma and its second runner-up in 2020. She was the American Christian Writers’ Writer of the Year (twice) and received a Readers' Choice Award from miller’s pond, the Creme de la Creme from Norman Galaxy of Writers (three times), and a Creme de la Creme from Mid-Oklahoma Writers. She has been a Creme de la Creme Finalist for OWFI 13 times and a 24-time Creme de la Creme Finalist for Oklahoma City Writers. Rose State Writers Conference awarded her a trophy in 2016  for its Outstanding Author Award. She won First Place/Best of Show at the 2017 Oklahoma State Fair and was named the "Voice of the Fair - Poet" and received the same award and title in 2019. She is also a "Lone Stars Poet" and a "Woody Guthrie Poet" and is honored to be a former Nominee for Poet Laureate of the State of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. (OWFI) recognized her as an Honorary Life Member in 2012.

     Shepherd has authored: River Bend, The Potbelly Pig Promise, Vittles and Vignettes, Patchwork Skin,  Patchwork Skin, Second Edition, and co-authored Reach for the Clouds. She has edited and/or published many books for fellow writers and writing organizations. Her one-act stage play - "Night of Terror" - was one of eight plays chosen in a competition including international entries. The true-crime play has been performed twice in the round.

     She is a recipe tester for TV’ programs and cookbooks for America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country. Shepherd has been a field editor for Taste of Home magazines and cookbooks and has tested products for Cooks Illustrated. She is a freelance contributor to other magazines, including, Preview, Edmond Outlook, Oklahoma D.O., Oklahoma Woman, Shawnee Shopper, Edmond Life and Leisure, miller's pond, Bella, and ArtBeat. Shepherd's poems, short stories, and articles have been published in numerous anthologies and online. Some titles are listed below.

Supporting The Local Arts Community

   Giving back to the arts community, Shepherd volunteers in more than a dozen local and national literary and art organizations and teaches occasional workshops in painting and writing. She founded Art Affair Annual Literary Contests, sponsoring its categories for poets and writers for more than a decade, and co-founded Fiction Writers Retreat. 

Professional, Creative, & Technical Writing

    Shepherd has been published by traditional publishers. In addition, she compiled, edited, and published four anthologies of poetry and prose by members of three writing organizations and published a cookbook and two editions of a personal poetry chapbook. She also designed the covers for her self-published books in addition to books she published for other writers. 

    Versatile in both creative and technical writing, Shepherd co-compiled a 335-page cookbook, writing the master index for more than 800 recipes. Over $30,000 profit from sales of that ("State Cops") ten-dollar cookbook was donated to the OKC Murrah bombing victims and families. She also edited essays and ghost-wrote chapters for a book about women during World War II and one on quilting. 

Her books:

  • The Potbelly Pig Promise (Doodle and Peck Publishing, Oklahoma)

  • River Bend (The Wild Rose Press, New York)

  • Vittles and Vignettes

  • Patchwork Skin

  • Patchwork Skin, Second Edition

  • Reach for the Clouds - co-written with Shelley Anne Richter (Doodle and Peck Publishing, Oklahoma)

Her stage plays and screenplays:

  • Night of Terror - short stage play (Performed in 2018 by actors & director at Town & Gown Theatre, Stillwater, Oklahoma, after placing in the Top Eight in an international competition)

  • The Cover-Up - short stage play

  • Wanted - short screenplay

  • 4 more screenplays in process

Her writing has also appeared in:

  • State Cops Cooking in the Heartland - More Than We Can Say Grace Over - charity cookbook

  • Adventures In Food - cookbook

  • Women’s War Memoirs - an anthology

  • Heavenly Patchwork - an anthology

  • miller’s pond - literary journal (published in 2 issues)

  • Voices In Time - (Maria's Writing Group) anthology

  • Candle Flames: PSO’s 70th Anniversary Anthology - Poetry Society of Oklahoma anthology

  • Oklahoma Centennial Heritage Collection - Poetry Society of Oklahoma anthology

  • Harp Strings - a literary journal

  • A Centennial Celebration of Oklahoma Stories - Wordwrights OKC-Christian Writers anthology

  • travelin’ music: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie - Woody Guthrie Poets anthology

  • Elegant Rage: Woody Guthrie Centennial Anthology - Woody Guthrie Poets anthology

  • Poetry Is For Everyone - Poetry Society of Oklahoma anthology

  • Imagination Turned Loose - Mid-Oklahoma Writers anthology

  • Beads On a String – Peace, Joy, and Love - Wordwrights-OKC Christian Writers anthology

  • From the Heart of Galaxy - Norman Galaxy of Writers anthology

  • Ain't Gonna Be Treated This Way - Woody Guthrie Poets anthology

  • 2017 Garden Gourmet - A Holiday of Hacks - The Wild Rose Press - anthology

  • 2018 A Baker's Holiday Garden Gourmet - The Wild Rose Press - cookbook

  • Prosateurs: Tales & Truth - Prosateurs anthology

  • The Untamed West - Western Fictioneers anthology

  • Poets to Come - A Poetry Anthology: Walt Whitman Bicentennial - Walt Whitman's 200th birthday anthology project

  • A Christmas Anthology - Doodle and Peck Publishing anthology

  • Yule Tidings - Prosateurs anthology

  • Under Western Skies - Western Fictioneers anthology

  • 2020 Holiday Garden Gourmet - Cookies - The Wild Rose Press - cookbook

  • Cooking Up Stories - An Anthology of Recipes & More - Lisbeth McCarty

  • Conclave 2021 Vision Quest - a literary journal

  • 2022 Holiday Garden Gourmet - The Wild Rose Press - cookbook

  • The Working Man's Hand: Celebrating Woody Guthrie Poems of Protest and Resistance 2023 - Woody Guthrie Poets anthology

  • Numerous magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and online publications 

What The Future Holds

    After the release of her debut novel and debut picture book by traditional publishers in 2017 and 2018, Barbara is working on two new novels - an action/suspense and a YA mystery.

Current books available: The Potbelly Pig Promise in hardcover, softcover, and digital, River Bend in paperback and digital, cookbook - Vittles and Vignettes, four pieces in the anthology, Prosateurs: Tales and Truth, and a short-short story in the anthology by Western Fictioneers The Untamed West.

Her goals for 2019 were: Completing novels and picture books; scheduling book signings; continued participation in writing and critique groups; and making at least four quilts. (She did all of these except, the novels are still in progress, and she made 2 pillows, 4 patchwork pillows, and 5 quilts instead of the 4 she'd hoped to make. She was also published in anthologies and won more writing awards.)

    Her goals for 2020 were: Completing novels and picture books; publishing a short story in the anthology, Under Western Skies, by Western Fictioneers; scheduling book signings, and continued participation in writing and critique groups when the pandemic subsides. She also planned to make a crazy quilt for this 2020 crazy world we live in and salvage enough "memory fabric" from a family's over-loved quilt to make two oversized sofa pillows for them. (She did all of these except the novels and the book signings. due to the continuing pandemic. She won more awards and completed one novel - the YA mystery, and participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time, which meant starting a new novel - a western.)

    Her goals for 2021 included publishing two short pieces in Conclave literary magazine, completing the two novels already in progress, and searching for representation by a literary agent. She will also make a baby quilt for a new great-grandchild! (She was twice published in Conclave - juvenile and inspirational pieces. She made the baby quilt, won more awards, restarted oil painting after a decades-long hiatus, and did not complete the novels.)

    Her goals for 2022 included revising a co-written-with-Shelley-Anne-Richter YA novel now under contract with a publisher, participating in the Red Dirt Quilt Show, the Spring Creek Art Show and Sale, and the Women Writing the West Conference. She will continue to write, paint, sew, and recover from two new serious surgeries. (Wow. She did accomplish this list of goals and completed the YA "Secrets from None Such Road" mystery novel.)


    Her goals for 2023 include the (title-pending) coming-of-age YA novel above to be published by Doodle and Peck Publishing, submitting the YA mystery novel - "Secrets from None Such Road,"  completing and submitting the adult suspense novel - "Just Call Me Jill," and continuing to research and write a western novel. She also plans to paint and sew.


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