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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Cinda Williams Chima
New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima writes fantasy novels set in the magical world of Ohio (The Heir Chronicles) as well as long ago, far away queendoms (The Seven Realms and The Shattered Realms.) All of her books involve wizards behaving badly. In her most recent series (Shattered Realms), she also indulges her lifelong obsession with pirates and dragons
Nancy Christie is a professional writer, whose credits include both fiction and non-fiction. In addition to her fiction collection, TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER, and two short story e-books, ANNABELLE and ALICE IN WONDERLAND (all published by Pixel Hall Press), her short stories and essays can be found in in print publications and online. She is also the author of RUT-BUSTING BOOK FOR WRITERS (Mill City Press) and the inspirational book,
THE GIFTS OF CHANGE (Atria/Beyond Words), which has been translated into several foreign languages. A full-time
writer and editorial consultant, Christie’s work includes corporate writing projects and magazine articles. She also hosts the monthly Monday Night Writers group in Canfield, OH and teaches writing workshops at conferences and for small groups. (For more information about her workshops, go to http://www.nancychristie.com/workshops/writing-workshops-andcourses/.) Christie is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), Florida Writers Association (FWA) and Short Fiction Writers Guild (SFWG), and is the founder of “Celebrate Short Fiction” Day. Contact her by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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. 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 email@example.com .
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.…Read More
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.
Riley’s Winning Catch; Good Character Prevails, is a sequel to the author’s first book, Pitching for Success: Character Lessons, the Joe Nuxhall Way. Both children’s books discuss the importance of good character and sportsmanship nestled in stories about baseball and girls’ softball. The author has brought into each book his past experiences as both a baseball and softball coach for over twenty years. He has several years of grant writing experience for local non-profits. He is a current board member and past treasurer of the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League. Besides writing, he enjoys watching collegiate and pro football and Major League Baseball. The author loves researching ancestry and family histories. He has currently five grand-kids, enjoys beach vacations, classic autos and spending time with his partner, Karen.
Liz Coley has been writing short and long fiction for teens and adults for more than ten years. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos Magazine and several speculative fiction anthologies: The Last Man, More Scary Kisses, and Strange Worlds. In 2011, she self-published the YA novel Out of Xibalba, a story that begins when the world ends. The same week Out of Xibalba launched, Liz sold YA dark contemporary psychological thriller Pretty Girl-13 to HarperCollins for international publication. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, her teenaged daughter, a snoring dog, and a limping old cat. The two older boys have flown the nest for college. Her passions beyond reading and writing include singing, photography, and baking. She plays competitive tennis to keep herself fit and humble. Taped on her computer are her “lucky charms”—the fifteen Chinese cookie fortunes collected over the years which spoke to her writing aspirations and encouraged her along the journey. She’s LizColeyBooks on social media and at http://www.LizColey.com.
Dawn Combs is an ethnobotanist with over 20 years experience in botanical based wellness. Dawn is a nationally respected educator and speaker, an online and in print contributor to several national magazines, co-owner of Mockingbird Meadows and Director of its educational programs. She lives on a farm in Central Ohio with her husband, Carson, and two children, Aidan and Jacy. Dawn is the author of Conceiving Healthy Babies: An Herbal Guide to Support Preconception, Pregnancy and Lactation, and Heal Local, 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it-Yourself Home Healthcare.
Jane Congdon grew up in the mountains of West Virginia. After graduating from Concord College (now Concord University) she made a career of words, working as an English teacher and a newspaper reporter before finding her niche as a textbook editor in Cincinnati, Ohio. She retired in 2009 after 30 years to write and take on selected editing projects.
At age 59, Jane followed Dracula’s footsteps through Transylvania with a guide, resulting in the memoir It Started with Dracula: The Count, My Mother, and Me. She then co-authored her brother’s memoir, Mr. Joe: Tales from a Haunted Life. Mr. Joe was a finalist for the 2014 Ohioana Book Award in Nonfiction.
At 69, Jane returned to the mountains as a backpacker on the Appalachian Trail. To date she has hiked 1,195 miles of the AT in 7 of its 14 states–Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Maine–alone, with friends, and with a glass good-luck charm named Ms. Rabbit. How the WILD EFFECT Turned Me into a Hiker at 69 is the story of Jane’s unlikely journey from the Ohio suburbs to the back country of the Appalachian Mountains.
All three books were published by Bettie Youngs Book Publishers and are available from Amazon and other outlets.