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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Ron Chernow

An honors graduate of Yale and Cambridge, Ron Chernow is one of the most distinguished commentators on politics, business, and finance in America today. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has hailed him as “one of the pre-eminent biographers of his generation” and Fortune magazine has dubbed him “America’s best business biographer.” His first book, The House of Morgan, won the National Book Award as the best nonfiction book of 1990 and is considered a modern classic.…Read More

An honors graduate of Yale and Cambridge, Ron Chernow is one of the most distinguished commentators on politics, business, and finance in America today. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has hailed him as “one of the pre-eminent biographers of his generation” and Fortune magazine has dubbed him “America’s best business biographer.” His first book, The House of Morgan, won the National Book Award as the best nonfiction book of 1990 and is considered a modern classic. The Modern Library Board voted it one of the 100 best nonfiction books published in the twentieth century. His second book, The Warburgs, won the prestigious George S. Eccles Prize for the best business book of 1993 and was cited by the American Library Association as one of the year’s ten best works. In reviewing his 1997 collection of essays, The Death of the Banker, The New York Times called Mr. Chernow “as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we’ve seen in decades.” His 1998 biography of John D. Rockefeller, entitled Titan, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award for biography and remained on The New York Times bestseller list for sixteen weeks. Both the Times and Time magazine voted it one of the ten best books of the year, while The Times of London praised it as “one of the great American biographies.”

Mr. Chernow’s much anticipated biography of Alexander Hamilton was published by The Penguin Press in April 2004 to extraordinary acclaim. The New York Times praised it as “moving and masterly…by far the best biography ever written about the man” while USA Today hailed it as “a must-read. Ron Chernow’s masterpiece.” Excerpted by Business Week and chosen as the main selection of both The Book-of-the-Month Club and the History Book Club, the book spent three months on the New York Times bestseller list and was the first recipient of the George Washington Book Prize for the year’s best book about the founding era. It was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in biography.

 

In October 2010, The Penguin Press published Mr. Chernow’s long-awaited biography of George Washington to outstanding reviews. It was the main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club as well as the History and Military Book Clubs. Excerpted by the Smithsonian magazine, the book spent five weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. The Wall Street Journal named the book one of the year’s ten best and The New York Times included it among its notable books of 2010. It has been nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History. Writing in The New York Review of Books, Gordon Wood praised the work as “the best, most comprehensive, and most balanced single-volume biography of Washington ever written.” In March 2011, the New-York Historical Society gave the book the coveted American History Book Prize for the best book about American history published in 2010. The award also endowed Mr. Chernow with the honorary title of American Historian Laureate.

A frequent contributor to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Chernow is a familiar figure on national radio and television shows and has appeared in numerous documentaries. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and recently served as president of PEN American Center, the country’s pre-eminent organization of authors. In recent years, he has received honorary doctorates from Marymount Manhattan College, Hamilton College, and Long Island University.

Photo of Jennifer Chiaverini

Jennifer Chiaverini

Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, Fates and Traitors, and other acclaimed works of historical fiction, as well as the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series. She lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin.Read More

Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, Fates and Traitors, and other acclaimed works of historical fiction, as well as the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series. She lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin.

Photo of Patrick Chiles

Patrick Chiles

Patrick Chiles has been fascinated by aircraft, rockets, and spaceflight ever since he was a child transfixed by the Apollo missions. How he ended up as an English major in college is still a mystery, though he managed to overcome this to pursue a career in aviation operations and safety management. He is a graduate of The Citadel, a Marine Corps veteran, and a private pilot.…Read More

Patrick Chiles has been fascinated by aircraft, rockets, and spaceflight ever since he was a child transfixed by the Apollo missions. How he ended up as an English major in college is still a mystery, though he managed to overcome this to pursue a career in aviation operations and safety management. He is a graduate of The Citadel, a Marine Corps veteran, and a private pilot. In addition to his novels, he has written for magazines including Smithsonian’s Air & Space. He currently resides in Central Ohio with his wife and two lethargic dachshunds.

Photo of Cinda Williams Chima

Cinda Williams Chima

Cinda Williams Chima nearly failed first grade because she was always daydreaming instead of listening. By junior high, she got in trouble for writing novels in class. Yet the magic of books took her from first grade failure to first generation college graduate to college professor to New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the Seven Realms, Heir Chronicles, and Shattered Realms teen fantasy series.Read More

Cinda Williams Chima nearly failed first grade because she was always daydreaming instead of listening. By junior high, she got in trouble for writing novels in class. Yet the magic of books took her from first grade failure to first generation college graduate to college professor to New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the Seven Realms, Heir Chronicles, and Shattered Realms teen fantasy series.

Photo of Nancy Christie

Nancy Christie

Nancy Christie is the author of two award-winning short story collections: Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories and Peripheral Visions and Other Stories (both published by Unsolicited Press), and three non-fiction books: The Gifts of Change (Atria/Beyond Words) and two award-winning books for writers—Rut-Busting Book for Writers and Rut-Busting Book for Authors (both published by Mill City Press).…Read More

Nancy Christie is the author of two award-winning short story collections: Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories and Peripheral Visions and Other Stories (both published by Unsolicited Press), and three non-fiction books: The Gifts of Change (Atria/Beyond Words) and two award-winning books for writers—Rut-Busting Book for Writers and Rut-Busting Book for Authors (both published by Mill City Press). Peripheral Visions and Other Stories was a Bronze award winner in the 2020 Foreword INDIES competition, a finalist in The Eric Hoffer Award 2021 competition, a finalist in the 2020 N. N. Light Book Awards – Short Story category and a second-place winner in the Florida Writers Association 2018 Royal Palm Literary Awards (RPLA) competition. Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories was a runner-up in the 2016 Best Indie Book by Shelf Unbound. Rut-Busting Book for Authors was a finalist in both the 2019 American Book Fest competition and the Independent Author Network 2020 Book of the Year as well as a 2019 Readers’ Favorite 5-Star award-winner. Rut-Busting Book for Writers was a 2018 Notable Indie by Shelf Unbound and finalist in the 2018 American Book Fest competition. She’s also the host of the Living the Writing Life podcast. For more about Nancy, visit her website: https://www.nancychristie.com/.

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Mark Clark

Author and film historian Mark Clark writes about classic movies and TV shows. His works include Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know about the Trilogy That Changed the Movies, Star Trek FAQ: Everything Left to Know about the First Voyages of the Starship Enterprise, which was named to one of Kirkus Reviews Ten Best Books of the Year lists and has gone into a second printing, Sixties Shockers: A Critical Filmography of Horror Cinema, 1960-69, and Smirk, Sneer, and Scream: Great Acting in Horror Cinema.…Read More

Author and film historian Mark Clark writes about classic movies and TV shows. His works include Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know about the Trilogy That Changed the Movies, Star Trek FAQ: Everything Left to Know about the First Voyages of the Starship Enterprise, which was named to one of Kirkus Reviews Ten Best Books of the Year lists and has gone into a second printing, Sixties Shockers: A Critical Filmography of Horror Cinema, 1960-69, and Smirk, Sneer, and Scream: Great Acting in Horror Cinema. He has also contributed essays and articles to many other books and magazines. In 2015, he won a Rondo Award for his movie and book reviews for Monsters from the Vault magazine. Mark is a graduate of the University of Louisville, a former film critic for the Louisville Courier-Journal, and a former teacher of film history and genre theory. He now resides in Mentor on the Lake, Ohio.

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Colleen Clayton

Colleen Clayton is the critically acclaimed author of the YA novel What Happens Next, which was a finalist for the Ohioana Book Award. She grew up outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and worked as a social worker in residential treatment centers for troubled teens and as Program Supervisor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mahoning Valley.…Read More

Colleen Clayton is the critically acclaimed author of the YA novel What Happens Next, which was a finalist for the Ohioana Book Award. She grew up outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and worked as a social worker in residential treatment centers for troubled teens and as Program Supervisor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mahoning Valley. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from the Northeast Ohio Consortium (NEOMFA) and teaches fiction writing and composition at Youngstown State University. She was recently contracted by YSU’s Special Education Department to teach an online summer writing course for 4th and 5th graders. As part of the project, she wrote eight online picture books for the students and then helped them craft their own stories using the free, educational platform Storybird. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoQSxqNyJHkZdqzDo5QOXfg

Colleen can speak on a number of subjects, including date rape, bullying, eating disorders, feminist issues in young adult literature, and ADHD, and can lead an hour-long creative writing workshop for grades 3 through 12 as well as for adults. She has facilitated in-service workshops for librarians and teachers as well.

In-Service Testimonial from Jennifer Holt, Librarian at Willoughby South High School:
“Colleen’s story starting exercise was fun and inspiring! It fostered creative interplay between my original ideas and the surprising places my colleagues took them.”

For more on Colleen, go to her website at colleenclayton.com.

Brian P. Cleary

Born in Lakewood, Ohio, the third oldest of nine children, Brian P. Cleary grew up reading the bouncy rhymes of Dr. Seuss. A frustrated student and reluctant learner, Brian daydreamed from class to class until being introduced to poetry at about age eight. Intrigued, he set on a course to explore the wonder of words. He "grew up" in one of the 5 largest creative divisions in the world—American Greetings.…Read More

Born in Lakewood, Ohio, the third oldest of nine children, Brian P. Cleary grew up reading the bouncy rhymes of Dr. Seuss. A frustrated student and reluctant learner, Brian daydreamed from class to class until being introduced to poetry at about age eight. Intrigued, he set on a course to explore the wonder of words.

He “grew up” in one of the 5 largest creative divisions in the world—American Greetings. He has put words in the mouths of William Shatner and Smokey Robinson, been anthologized with Jack Prelutsky, Kenn Nesbitt, and Lemony Snicket and authored and sold more than 3 million children’s books.

As a humorist, writer, and poet, Brian P. Cleary shows kids how to play with words. He believes that humor is not only a fun way to learn, but an effective way to teach. His best-selling Words Are CATegorical™ series, which introduces young readers to different types of words through rhyming verse and illustrations of comical cartoon cats, has been compared to the likes of Dr. Seuss, while his books of poetry and puns have been honored alongside the works of Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein. Fondly known as the “word nerd,” Brian lives in Cleveland, Ohio. Contact him for keynote speaking and author visits at baberuth60@aol.com .

Photo of Leah Clifford

Leah Clifford

Leah Clifford currently lives in Ohio with her (mostly) blind cat and her roommate, who she’s been friends with since sixth grade. In her spare time she loves to travel and has been known to drive over two hours to get kickass quesadillas. So far for jobs she’s sold corn at a roadside stand, been a pizza delivery girl, a camp counselor, an extreme cave tour guide, a flight attendant, a waitress (x3), a grocery store clerk and a writer.…

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Leah Clifford currently lives in Ohio with her (mostly) blind cat and her roommate, who she’s been friends with since sixth grade. In her spare time she loves to travel and has been known to drive over two hours to get kickass quesadillas. So far for jobs she’s sold corn at a roadside stand, been a pizza delivery girl, a camp counselor, an extreme cave tour guide, a flight attendant, a waitress (x3), a grocery store clerk and a writer. Out of all of them, writing has been the most fun. She’s pretty sure she’s gonna stick with it.

Photo of Doug Coates

Doug Coates

Doug Coates is the author of two middle-grade books used in his engaging classroom presentations. Pitching for Success: Character Lessons, the Joe Nuxhall Way, and Riley’s Winning Catch; Good Character Prevails depict situational examples of good character and sportsmanship. Students learn about good character and sportsmanship nestled in stories about baseball and girls’ softball. The author also just released his first picture book, Bobby Button Goes to School.…Read More

Doug Coates is the author of two middle-grade books used in his engaging classroom presentations. Pitching for Success: Character Lessons, the Joe Nuxhall Way, and Riley’s Winning Catch; Good Character Prevails depict situational examples of good character and sportsmanship. Students learn about good character and sportsmanship nestled in stories about baseball and girls’ softball. The author also just released his first picture book, Bobby Button Goes to School. Please email the author at Doug@authordougcoates.com with questions about school presentations or if you’d like a synopsis of each book sent to you.