Books by the Banks is here!

posted in: David's Blog | 0

One of the things I treasure about fall in Ohio is the number of events celebrating books and authors that happen around the state. Book fairs and festivals, poetry readings, writing workshops – there is something going on every week, and sometimes almost every day!

Tomorrow (Saturday, October 28) is one of the biggest and best of all: the 2017 Books by the Banks: Cincinnati Regional Book Festival, presented by Ohio Humanities at the Duke Energy Convention Center from 10 to 4. Free and open to the public, the event features national, regional, and local authors and illustrators; book signings; panel discussions; and activities for the entire family to enjoy.

Ohioana will be there, too – be sure to stop by our table and get a free copy of the Ohioana Quarterly and other goodies! For more info, visit:  We’ll see you in Cincinnati!

An Ohio Halloween

posted in: History, Holidays | 0

BOO! Did we scare you? Just a little?

It’s that time of year, when pumpkins get carved into jack-o-lanterns and everyone dresses up in great costumes to pretend to be someone (or something) else for a day. There’s plenty of scary stuff right here in Ohio, and fun stuff too — and serious stuff.

A recent article in the Columbus Dispatch, written by Nancy Gilson, featured the work of James Willis. James chases folklore, ghosts stories, and ghosts. He’s the author of three perfect Halloween books: Weird Ohio, The Big Book of Ohio Ghost Stories, and the most recent offering, Central Ohio Legends & Lore. You can follow him on Twitter at @GhostsofOhio to get all of the latest and greatest.

There’s plenty of book offerings in the category of cemeteries in Ohio as well, like Buried Beneath Cleveland: Lost Cemeteries of Cuyahoga County, by Wiliam Krejci. So if you are troubled by poltergeists, it could be that your house or your business is built over the top of a graves that didn’t get moved. Cemeteries that aren’t hidden  are spooky and creepy, for sure, and in older ones if you walk across the grave, the ground might sink under your feet a bit (so DON’T DO THAT! OMG!). But cemeteries  are also full of stories, and one of the few places that ordinary people can be memorialized for posterity.

So if you are looking for spooky thrills on the 31st, check the local paper and see if there’s still time to find a corn maze, a haunted tour, or that perfect pumpkin ready for carving!


The 76th Ohioana Awards

posted in: Awards | 0


Ohioana award winners, L to R:  Marisa Silver, Douglas Brinkley, Teri Ellen Cross Davis, C.F. Payne, Tiffany McDaniel, Ohioana Executive Director David Weaver, Ashley Bethard, and Sally Derby

What a great night! Food, friends, music, awards — and BOOKS! Once again, we gathered in the Atrium of the Ohio Statehouse to honor the recipients of one of the oldest state literary awards in the nation. We were only missing author and speaker J.D. Vance, who had a previous engagement, but he created a wonderful video for us.

There was a surprise video visit, however, from author and Governor John Kasich, who showed his appreciation for the authors and for the literary heritage of the state.

Here are our awardees and their books:

Juvenile Literature: C.F. Payne, Miss Mary Reporting. Sponsor: Margaret
W. Wong & Associates
Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature: Sally Derby, Jump Back, Paul
Reader’s Choice: Tiffany McDaniel, The Summer That Melted Everything
About Ohio or an Ohioan: J.D.Vance, Hillbilly Elegy. Sponsor:
Huntington Bank
Poetry: Terry Ellen Cross, Haint. Sponsor: Ohio Arts Council/Poetry Out
Fiction: Marisa Silver, Little Nothing. Sponsor: Vorys, Sater, Seymour &
Pease LLP
Nonfiction: Douglas Brinkley, Rightful Heritage. Sponsor: Porter Wright

Thanks to all who attended and THANK YOU to our wonderful sponsors:


The Columbus Foundation


Ohio Arts Council




Porter Wright

Table Sponsors:

Crabbe Brown James

Ice Miller

Margaret W. Wong & Associates

Media Associates and In-Kind:

Ohio Channel

Ohio Magazine

90.5 WCBE

PXP Ohio






The Big Give!

posted in: Support, The Big Give | 0


“I am really grateful because I know the people who have won [the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant] in the past go on to do bigger and better things.”

Negesti Kaudo, 2015 Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant winner congratulated by Steven Moore of the Columbus Foundation.



Every day Ohioana Library works to connect readers and Ohio writers. Serving over 150,000 people a year, Ohioana celebrates Ohio’s creativity through its festival and awards while collecting and preserving the state’s rich literary heritage.

Your donation will make a BIG difference! And thanks to The Big Give, it will go farther.  From 10 a.m. Tuesday, October 10th to 12 noon Wednesday, October 11th, your gift will be amplified courtesy of a $1.3 million bonus pool.

Donations help Ohioana continue outreach to children and underrepresented populations, keep the largest festival on Ohio literature free, and provide encouragement to up-and-coming authors like Negesti Kaudo and now Pulitzer Prize Winner Anthony Doerr.

Donating during The Big Give is simple!

VISIT beginning at 10 a.m. October 10.
GIVE securely using a major credit card with a minimum gift of $20.
CELEBRATE as you’ve made a real difference!

All gifts must be made using a credit card or through a Columbus Foundation Donor Advised Fund on The Columbus Foundation’s website.

If you have any questions, please contact Ohioana Executive Director David Weaver at 614-466-3831 or

Thank you for ensuring Ohio’s literary legacy thrives and that authors like Negesti and Anthony can connect with people like you.

David Weaver