Celebrate Banned Books!

posted in: readiing | 0

Books are banned for all kinds of reasons. They might contain graphic depictions of sexuality or violence, or they might be considered unsuitable for younger readers. The language might be offensive to some or the ideas might not fit with the community in which the book is being read (or not read). It’s not always about one group of people trying to make sure that another group of people isn’t going to have any fun — sometimes the reasons that people object are more complicated or nuanced.

Ohio has its share of banned books. Beloved by Toni Morrison is a perpetual favorite. Our own Margaret Peterson Haddix made it on the list in 2005 for Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey. Libraries face the brunt of challenges and parents are the greatest group of challengers.

In this day and age of internet access and digital download, the thought of completely banning a book seems quaint or even impossible. And it seems like banning something just creates a large virtual HEY READ THIS!!! sign post.

Celebrate the week in the way you best see fit! Read something banned!

Ten years ago

posted in: Ohioana Book Festival | 0

It’s a day of nostalgia for us at Ohioana because ten years ago today, September 15, 2007, the very first Ohioana Book Festival was presented, “A ‘Good Roots’ Celebration,” based on the book edited by Lisa A. Watts and published by Ohio University Press & Swallow Press. Ten contributors to the book, including Lisa, came to Columbus for that inaugural event. Pictured here: (l-r seated) Anthony Doerr, Jill Bialosky, Scott Russell Sanders, Jill Salamon, Lisa A. Watts, Michael Dirda, and Elizabeth Dodd; standing l-r, Dale Keiger, James Toedtman, and Dan Cryer.

The picture was taken in the State Library of Ohio, which has been painted and primed and re-carpeted and improved over the past 10 years.

We couldn’t have done it without our supporters, who came in with gifts so that we could support our authors and have an all-around great celebration. We had a party at the Governor’s Residence afterword — and then we did it all again in  May of 2008 in order to get on track and keep the festival in the spring!

We had a lot to learn but learn we did. No one could’ve predicted then that a decade later the event would draw over 120 authors, 3,000-plus attendees and be the state’s largest celebration of Ohio books and authors.





September workshops for writers in Columbus

posted in: Writing | 0

There are two great opportunities for area writers coming up this month, and there’s still time to register!

The Thurber House, where laughter, learning, and literature meet, begins its adult two-session writing workshops on September 11 with Revise Like a Rock Star. Deadline for registrations is soon: September 4. 

SICCO (Sisters in Crime Columbus Ohio), the local chapter of Sisters in Crime, an international organization promoting women in crime writing, is  hosting a day-long forensics writing workshop on Sept. 23. The event is at the lodge at Blacklick Woods Metro Park.

Ohio author Andrew Welsh-Huggins is the keynote speaker along with a U.S. marshal, a state crime investigator and a Columbus police detective. Registration is $60, which includes breakfast, lunch and a reception at day’s end. Buy tickets here.