Ohio Author Profiles
Ohio has a rich literary heritage as well as some wonderful contemporary authors. Learn more about them here! You can sort by various categories and see who has participated in our annual book festival by using the category search on the left, or search by keyword (including partial author names) by using the search field on the right.
If you would like to know which Ohio authors and illustrators are available for school and library visits or workshops, visit our School & Library Visits page here.
We continue to add authors, so check back soon!
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In 1983, Marilyn Sadler created the Alistair series of children’s books for Hamish Hamilton in London, England and for Simon & Schuster in the United States. The books have been featured throughout the years in Cricket Magazine and the Book-of-the-Month Club.
Shortly thereafter, the P.J. Funnybunny collection of children’s books was published under the Dr. Seuss Beginner Books logo for Random House. “It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny” received an International Classroom Choice Award its first year. Since that time, fifteen books have been added to the series.
Marilyn has also had a variety of other characters and series published with Western Publishing and Troll Publishing
Marilyn’s television credits include two PBS Reading Rainbow programs featuring Alistair, an Alistair program for the BBC, three ABC Weekend Specials featuring P.J. Funnybunny, and a show based on her children’s book, Elizabeth and Larry, for Showtime’s Shelley Duvall’s Bedtime Stories.
Between 1999 and 2004, The Disney Channel produced three Original Movies based on Marilyn’s book, Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century. Each of Disney’s Zenon movies had exceptionally high ratings, with Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century and Zenon the Zequel among the highest rated shows in the history of The Disney Channel. According to Nielsen Media Research, the Zenon movies reached an audience of more than 10 million viewers.
In 2004, Playhouse Disney began production on Marilyn’s animated series, Handy Manny. Handy Manny premiered September 16, 2006, as the highest rated Playhouse Disney series premiere of all time. Since its debut, Handy Manny averages approximately 2 million viewers a week, has generated consistent critical acclaim and developed a deeply loyal audience.
In 2009, Marilyn was nominated for an Emmy Award as Executive Producer of Handy Manny in the category of “Outstanding Special Class Animated Program”.
In 2015, Harper Collins Publishers released the first of a series of math-based detective stories featuring Charlie Piechart by Eric Comstock and Marilyn. Titles include, “The Missing Pizza Slice”, “The Missing Hat” and “The Missing Dog”.
Visit Marilyn at: marilynsadler.net
Yolonda Tonette Sanders
Ohio native Yolonda Tonette Sanders is an Essence magazine bestselling author with six novels to her credit, including Shadow of Death. She is also the founder and CEO of Yo Productions, LLC, a theatrical entertainment and literary services company that expanded its repertoire in 2015 to include publishing. A graduate of Capital University and later The Ohio State University, Yolonda once worked for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office until she quit in 2004 to focus more on writing. It’s a move that she has never regretted. As a writer, Yolonda enjoys the challenge of developing and completing projects that interest and inspire readers. As a speaker, she has been invited to address audiences across the country regarding various topics and appreciates the opportunities she has to connect with people from all walks of life. As a business owner, Yolonda seeks to help other writers develop and perfect their works. In addition to writing, Yolonda likes watching movies, exercising, and spending time with her family. Her favorite people on earth are her husband, David, and her two teenage children, Tre and Tia.
Craig Sanders is an author, educator and historian living with his wife Mary Ann Whitley in University Heights, Ohio. He is the author of six books focusing on railroad history. His most recent book, Cleveland Mainline Railroads, was published in February 2014 by Arcadia Publishing. Arcadia also published three others books that he wrote: Canton Area Railroads (2009), Mattoon and Charleston Area Railroads (2008) and Akron Railroads (2007). He is the author two books published by Indiana University Press: Amtrak in the Heartland (2006) and Limited Locals, and Expresses in Indiana, 1838-1971 (2003).
He is a frequent contributor to Trains magazine and is president of the Akron Railroad Club. Aside from writing, he enjoys traveling and photography.
He is a frequent contributor of feature articles to Trains magazine and is president of the Akron Railroad Club. He is the webmaster of the ARRC website, http: akronrrclub.wordpress.com/ which presents news, features and photographs about railroad and public transportation operations in Ohio and surrounding states.
Sanders has been a journalist and taught journalism, public relations and mass communications for more than 30 years. He worked as a reporter and copy editor at daily newspapers in Mattoon, Illinois; Bloomington, Indiana; Evansville, Indiana; and Indianapolis. His essays on the life in higher education and issues in journalism appear frequently on his LinkedIn page.
He has taught at Cleveland State University, Kent State University, John Carroll University, Penn State University, Indiana University and the University of Southern Indiana. He earned a Ph.D. in mass communications and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University, an M.A. in political studies from Sangamon State University (now University of Illinois-Springfield), and a B.A. in history and political science from Eastern Illinois University. For more information about Sanders, check out his website at csanders429.wordpress.com
Suzanne Sanders Overstreet
Suzanne Sanders Overstreet is the Creative Writing Program Coordinator at Oberlin College, and previously wrote special interest stories for a local newspaper. After taking creative writing classes at Oberlin, her lifelong interest in preserving stories was renewed. After her father passed away, she was concerned the stories he told about his childhood and experiences in WWII would be forgotten, so she wrote Wait For Me. As she unearthed facts during the course of her research, there were some disappointing surprises about what truly happened many decades ago. She has seven children and lives on a farm in northeast Ohio with her husband, a dog and four cats.
Rikki Santer’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications both nationally and abroad including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, The Journal of American Poetry, Hotel Amerika, Crab Orchard Review, Grimm, Slipstream and The Main Street Rag. Her work has received many honors including five Pushcart and three Ohioana book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her eighth collection, Drop Jaw, inspired by the art of ventriloquism, was published by NightBallet Press in the spring of 2020.
Gregg Sapp, a native Ohioan, is a Pinnacle Award winning author of the “Holidazed” series of satires, each of which is centered around a different holiday. To date, there are four books in the series: “Halloween from the Other Side,” “The Christmas Donut Revolution,” “Upside Down Independence Day,” and the latest, “Murder by Valentine Candy.” Previous books include “Dollarapalooza” (Switchgrass Books, 2011) and “Fresh News Straight from Heaven,” which is based on the folklore of Johnny Appleseed (Evolved 2018). He has published humor, poetry, and short stories in Defenestration, Waypoints, Semaphore, Kestrel, Zodiac Review, Top Shelf, Marathon Review, Midwestern Gothic, and others. Gregg writes full time and lives in Tumwater, WA.
Robert Sberna is a journalist and author of Badge 387: The Story of Jim Simone, America’s Most Decorated Cop. A graduate of Ohio University’s School of Journalism, he began his career covering police beats for daily newspapers in the Midwest. In recent years, he has contributed to The Washington Examiner, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Neoconomist, Crain’s, and Ohio Magazine. His first book, House of Horrors: The Shocking True Story of Anthony Sowell, was named the 2012 True Crime “Book of the Year” by Foreword Reviews. He has appeared on numerous TV shows, including the History Channel’s America’s Book of Secrets. Visit him at http://www.robertsberna.com.
John Scalzi has written nearly all of his science fiction from a home office in Bradford, Ohio, where he can look out the window and see Amish buggies clopping by. His first published novel, 2005’s “Old Man’s War,” was a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Novel and helped him win the John W. Campbell/Astounding Award for Best New Writer. Scalzi would go on to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2013 for his New York Times bestselling novel Redshirts. His most recent novel, The Kaiju Preservation Society, is a 2023 Alex Award recipient and currently optioned for television. Scalzi also writes for the Emmy Award-winning television series Love Death + Robots, where Ohio features prominently in his episode “When the Yogurt Took Over.” In 2016, Scalzi’s work earned him the Governor’s Award for Arts in Ohio. https://whatever.scalzi.com/
Randall L. Schieber
Randall Lee Schieber is a photographer based in Columbus, Ohio. He specializes in editorial, architectural, location, and travel photography and has published six books and numerous calendars. His work has appeared in a variety of local and national publications.
I grew up in an underground house, next to a graveyard, in abandoned coal lands… with a pet raccoon. Oddly, this tends not to surprise people as much as I think it will. My rural community skirted the poverty line, a place of failed industry and orange rivers, poor health, and poorer access to healthcare. As a result, I spent my childhood reading a lot about disease and going to a lot of funerals. I ended up with a Ph.D. and a career in science history, which is probably a likely thing to happen when you spend your early years in a cemetery.
I’ve worked in an English Department, a History Department, and for a Medical Anthropology journal. I spent five years as a research associate in a medical museum among amputation saws, surgery kits, and smallpox vaccines—and now, in addition to being an author, I’m Editor-in-Chief for BMJ’s Medical Humanities Journal. I tend to fall outside the borders and binaries on every side.
I always liked the line by Walt Whitman: I contain multitudes. Each of us are completely unique sets of data and DNA, blood and bones, bits and pieces of ancient stardust (and some microplastics). We don’t just have fingerprints. We are fingerprints — completely unique phenomenon in the universe, never before and never to be again. I am a truck, a train, a bulldog in a wind-tunnel; I’m also autistic. I live in the middle spaces where the contradictions are, containing bits of astral matter, aspects of both genders and possibly some dragons and vampires. I do history the way most people climb mountains–I get my hands dirty–I end up in catacombs, archives, basements. As you can imagine, this sort of thing doesn’t fit in a box very well. Then again, life is more interesting at the intersections.
***Addendum on that pet raccoon… She eventually figured out how to open the fridge. It was a whole thing.
Check out her website: https://brandyschillace.com/