Announcing the 2023 Ohioana Book Festival
Ohioana Book Festival will once again be LIVE and IN PERSON this April . . .
and you’re invited!
Join us as
we present our 17th annual celebration of Ohio books and authors at
the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Main Library on Saturday, April 22, from
10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
It will be a
fun-filled day with panel discussions, conversations, readings, and activities,
plus an on-site book fair with The Book Loft of German Village where you can shop
for books by your favorite festival authors and get them signed!
to the main event, we’ll be presenting a number of outreach programs with
community partners from all around Ohio. As
we like to say, there’s something for every reader of every age at the Ohioana
Our thanks to Will Hillenbrand for creating this year’s festival poster, with its delightful “Buckeye Readers.” Will is just one of the more than 120 Ohio authors and illustrators who will be featured at this year’s event – see the complete list below.*
coming weeks, we’ll be adding more festival news and information on our
website, blog, newsletter, and social media—be sure to check them often!
calendars now for April 22. We’ll see you at the festival!
The 16th Ohioana Book Festival is coming in April
. . . and you’re invited!
The 2022 festival will be held virtually from April 29
through May 1. As we have done for the past two years, we decided to present
the festival in this format to keep everyone safe as the pandemic continues.
We’re delighted that we will still be able to share with you all the things you
love about the Ohioana Book Festival, straight to your home in a virtual format:
a fun-filled weekend featuring panel discussions, conversations, and readings.
We’ll also have a number of virtual outreach programs with community partners
from all around Ohio leading up to the main event.
110 Ohio authors and illustrators will be featured in the festival’s virtual programs. See the full list below. We’re sure you’ll see some of your favorites in this stellar lineup!
In the coming weeks, we’ll be adding more festival news and
information on our website, blog, newsletter, and social media—be sure to check
them often! And don’t forget to mark your calendars now for April 29-May 1. We’ll
see you online as we celebrate 16 years of the Ohioana Book Festival!
Ohioana is excited to welcome author Sophia R. Klein as part of the Ohioana Book Festival this year. Sophia is our youngest-ever festival author, at just fourteen years old. She was motivated to write and illustrate her book, Turtle Tide, by her love of marine life. Her fascination with the sea began at the age of seven when she watched the Dolphin Tale films and learned the inspirational stories of the dolphins, Winter and Hope. She has since journeyed each summer to Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida to attend camps to learn about marine life and aspires to make working on the preservation of marine life part of her future.
Q: Sophia, there aren’t many people
who can say they’ve written and illustrated their own book, especially at the
young age of fourteen! How did the book come to be?
Sophia Klein: This originally started from my Gifted English class in 2020. We had a CCP assignment where we had two to three months to come up with a project that would have an end product. I wanted to incorporate my art into the project while still doing something I’ve never accomplished before. That’s when I decided to do a children’s book. I did ten illustrations within the hundred-page book and could have done more, but I was on a timeline. Plus, I love reading all genres of books and wanted to see what I could do when coming up with my own story.
Q: Turtle Tide is an inspirational story about a young sea turtle. How
did you come up with the story?
SK: My little brother, who is now eight, was the main inspiration for my book. About seven years ago, my fascination with dolphins and other marine animals began, and after that, my brother fell in love with sea turtles. Green sea turtles were his favorite, ergo Tide the green sea turtle became the main character. Even one of the humans (or “no-fins” as Tide calls them) is named Caleb, after my brother. The book’s events, such as Tide’s rescue or the other turtles he meets later in the story, are based on real life turtles, dolphins, and other resident animals at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a rescue facility near Tampa Florida, and home of the Dolphin Tale movies. They currently have eleven residential turtles and many of their life stories are incorporated into the character’s life story.
Q: Have you always been an
illustrator? Tell us a little about your illustration process.
SK: As long as I could ever remember, I loved drawing and art in any form, my main focus in my own art being marine animals. My process for drawing any animal usually starts with studying an animal’s anatomy and skeletal structure to make any of the animal’s poses and proportions look natural and realistic. Then with Turtle Tide being a children’s book, I sometimes pushed proportions such as turtle shells and eyes to give the characters an animated look. I had limited time for the illustrations, so I would sketch the characters in pencil on paper then scan it into an art program to color in so it could look more professional.
Q: Your biography says you would
like to continue to study marine life – do you intend to become a marine
biologist? Do you think we will see more adventures of Tide and his friends
SK: I am currently hoping to take on a career as a marine animal veterinarian. I felt that this book would help express my interests in marine biology, as everything (except for talking turtles) is based on fact. At the moment I have no plans for any sequel to Turtle Tide, but I am currently working on a new writing project. This does not mean it’s impossible for me to make a sequel in the future, but it is just not something I am working on at the moment.
Q: What would you say to other kids
who might want to write a book someday?
SK: As one of the youngest authors to get to participate in the Ohioana Book Festival, I hope for that to be an inspiration for any young artists and writers that they can express their ideas and stories as well.
Thank you to Sophia R. Klein for this interview. You can buy Sophia’s book, Turtle Tide, at www.bookloft.com . Check out our “Author Content” page for more about Sophia (page coming April 22 at 7pm), and enjoy the rest of the 2021 Ohioana Book Festival, this weekend, April 22 – April 25.
Stepping into an exhibit of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s
work is like visiting a multi-layered landscape of colors and textures. Her art
is a combination of 2D and 3D pieces that include paint, writing, textiles and
everyday objects such as beads and buttons – sometimes, all of these at once. Robinson
was born in 1940 in the community of Poindexter Village, in which she spent the
first 17 years of her life and would hold close to her heart forever. She
attended the Columbus College of Art and Design, the Ohio State University,
Franklin University and Columbus’ Bliss College. She would go on to travel
extensively, receive the 2003 Ohioana Career Medal for her paintings, drawings
and sculpture and win a MacArthur Award in 2004. Robinson was skilled in
creating a visual experience that blends the senses to give the viewer a window
into her own personal world.
The Columbus Museum of Art was cherished by Robinson and has
long been one of the most avid collectors of her work. When she passed away in
2015, she bequeathed almost her entire estate to the museum, including her
house in East Columbus. CMA immediately began efforts to use the new collection
to spotlight Robinson’s work in detail. After more than five years of
preparation, CMA debuted Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn
Robinson’s House and Journals in November of 2020, the first major exhibit on
Robinson since her death. Alongside the exhibit, CMA completed a full
renovation of Robinson’s home, preserving and honoring it as a place of
creative freedom by adapting it into a fully-functional artist residence where
artists can live, study and work. A companion book edited by CMA curator Carole
Genshaft was released to accompany the exhibit and includes more than 200 full
color illustrations of Aminah’s work and journals, as well as essays by her
friends, family and fellow artists. Genshaft will be attending the 2021 Ohioana
Book Festival with Raggin’ On; her prior book, Aminah’s World,
was a 2019 Ohioana Award finalist.
The inclusion of Aminah’s journals illustrates that she was
a master of the literary arts as well as the visual arts. The book, the exhibit,
and Aminah’s newly-renovated home (which includes a “Writing Room” on the top
floor) serve to celebrate every aspect of her artistry, including her writing.
The preservation of Aminah’s estate, the exhibition of her work, and all
further projects taken on in relation to Aminah are collectively known as the
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Legacy Project (ABLR Legacy Project). These projects
represent a monumental amount of effort and care dedicated to helping Aminah’s
work find new audiences.
February 18, 2021, marks what would have been Aminah’s 81st birthday. As she completed travels around the world to Africa, New York City, Sapelo Island, Georgia, Israel and Chile, she carried “the spirit of Home” with her wherever she went and maintained Columbus as her permanent residence. In each new place Aminah visited, she picked up techniques and experiences that would inform and shape her art. Much of her work is in fact based on her experiences in the various neighborhoods of Columbus, lovingly brought to life in murals, quilts and illustrations. “My work and life are about Columbus, Ohio…the community, ancestors, and spirits,” Robinson once told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Earlier this spring, we announced postponement of the 2020 Ohioana Book Festival from April 25 to August 29, in the hopes that the COVID-19 crisis would be in the process of passing and it would be safe to meet in large groups once again.
Unfortunately, as we’re sure you are all aware, this has proven to be an unprecedented, and lingering, health crisis. We have made the difficult decision at this time that the 2020 Ohioana Book Festival will not be presented as a live event. We are confident it is the correct direction to go, for the safety of everyone – authors, attendees, volunteers, and staff.
While we’re disappointed that we won’t be able to see you in person, we ARE excited and happy to tell you the Ohioana Book Festival WILL go on – as a virtual event.
The Ohioana staff has been working from home since March, during which we’ve been building up our virtual programs via Zoom, Facebook Live, etc. We’ve been happy with the wonderful response from both authors and attendees to these programs.
We’re working out details, but we can tell you our virtual festival will involve a variety of formats, including panel discussions on Zoom and other programs spread across all of our social media platforms. We feel it will be to our advantage not to hold it all on one day, so we plan to start on Friday, August 28 until Sunday August 30. We are also looking into the possibility of recording some things in advance to share before the official event as outreach, as we do every year. The Columbus Metropolitan Library will also still be involved in helping us to host and promote all of the virtual events.
At this time, we are exploring a lot of exciting ideas as to what a virtual festival will look like for us. As stated above, we are not entirely sure what format everything will fall into, but we anticipate author readings and some interviews in addition to panel discussions. We also do plan to have books for sale, as always.
Obviously this change is not our ideal. However, we are optimistic given the success of our newest virtual events as well as a number of book fairs and festivals that have already taken place online, that we can have a fun and dynamic virtual event to celebrate the literature and authors of Ohio in 2020.
Thank you all for your patience and understanding in this process. We hope that you are all safe and well, and look forward to seeing you – online – during the weekend of August 28-30! Please follow our social media accounts and check our website for more information soon.
Thank you for joining us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and here on the blog today as we took a look back at some of our favorite memories from past Ohioana Book Festivals. We hope you’ve enjoyed it – we certainly did!
Below is a collection of links to everything we have shared today. We’re looking forward to seeing you on August 29th for the 2020 Ohioana Book Festival!
Our debut festival in 2007 was built around ten authors and a single book. Within two years, the number of authors and books had grown to almost 50! Here’s a fun look at the early days of the festival, when it was still being held at the State Library of Ohio, in a 2009 segment taped for WOSU Public Media‘s popular series, ArtZine. #FestivalFlashbackhttps://vimeo.com/10598448
Children’s authors and illustrators have always been popular at the Ohioana Book Festival. Cartoonist Steve Harpster has appeared a number of times at the festival, and will again this August. Steve does a daily 2 p.m. feature called “Draw with Me” on his own Facebook page, Harptoons Publishing – check it out! Here is Steve at his first Ohioana festival, talking with Doug Dangler. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqKOpGH8n7c
Thirteen years of the Ohioana Book Festival wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of our funders: Presenting Sponsor Ohio Humanities, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ohio Arts Council, the Reinberger Foundation, Honda of America Marysville, OH, the Tom E. Dailey Foundation Inc., State Library of Ohio, Ariel Corporation, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers. Thanks also to our festival host Columbus Metropolitan Library, media sponsors The Columbus Dispatch and CD102.5, and our official bookseller, The Book Loft of German Village. Our thanks to all of them for hanging in there with us through this unprecedented crisis!
It’s spring! Along with the season comes fresh flowers, warm sunshine and, historically, the Ohioana Book Festival. Right now in Ohio, we are following a stay at home order to keep our communities safe. As such, the Ohioana Book Festival, which was originally scheduled for April 25th, has been postponed until Saturday, August 29th. That doesn’t mean the fun has to be put entirely on hold, though! We thought today was the perfect opportunity for us to share some of our favorite memories from past Ohioana Book Festivals – we’re calling it a Festival Flashback!
We also figured there was no better time to share the templates for a few crafts from Ohioana Book Festival’s past. Spending time at home is a great chance to get creative and use things you can find around your household to make these fun, literature themed creations. These crafts were all featured at Ohioana Book Festival’s in past years – each one incorporates themes from books by Ohioana Book Festival authors from that year.
As we’re working from the kitchen, doing schoolwork from the couch, and in general doing our part to stay inside and keep ourselves and others safe, we can still stay busy and have fun. Reading is a favorite pastime of Ohioana’s, of course, and so are these crafts! We hope you enjoy.
Images and tutorials for the crafts are below. If you or your family tries out any of these creations, we’d love to see what you’ve made! Share your pictures with us on Facebook and Twitter @Ohioana.
When the American Library Association picked “Find Your Place at the Library” as its theme for this year’s April 16-25 celebration of National Library Week, little did anyone know at the time that we’d be in the middle of an unprecedented world health crisis that would force most libraries to close temporarily. The Ohioana Library being one of them.
Libraries may not have their physical spaces open to the public, so that we can help keep everyone safe and healthy. But they are continuing to creatively serve their communities by providing virtual services and digital content online. If anything, this crisis has shown that libraries are more vitally needed – and more appreciated – than ever before.
And so recently the ALA decided to flip its original text to create a second theme for National Library Week 2020: “Find the Library at Your Place.”
Since 1958, National Library Week has been set aside to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic, and special – participate.
The Ohioana Library is a special library – of course EVERY library is special! But we are special in the sense that we have a very specific purpose and focus: to collect, preserve, and celebrate Ohio literature and other creative endeavors.
To fulfill our mission, Ohioana works with just about every kind of other type of library there is, especially on our largest program, the Ohioana Book Festival. Librarians from the Ohio Educational Library Media Association (OELMA) help put together our teen programming at the event. Several OELMA members help arrange visits to their schools by festival authors. A number of public library systems throughout Ohio partner with us on the festival, including Cleveland, Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Toledo and Lucas County, and right here in Central Ohio the libraries of Bexley, Pickerington, and Upper Arlington. And of course the festival itself takes place at Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Main Library.
These, and libraries throughout the state, sponsor their own programs and events that make literature come alive. The days when a library was only a place where your borrowed a book or other physical item are long gone. Today’s library is a vibrant part of the community it serves. Today’s libraries offer everything from helping adults learn computer skills to teens getting homework help to story time for toddlers and book clubs for senior citizens.
The adaptability of the modern library has never been more evident than in the COVID-19 crisis. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, ZOOM – all are tools that libraries like Ohioana are using. Just this past weekend, Ohioana held its first-ever virtual book club. It was a great success, and we have had many people already asking when we’ll be doing one again!
National Library Week 2020 wraps up this Saturday. But there’s still plenty of time to join in the celebration, and many ways to celebrate. Just check out these ideas on the American Library Association’s website: http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/celebrationweeks/natlibraryweek
Are you an author who was born in Ohio or has lived in Ohio for five or more years? Have you published a book in the last year? Then fill out an application to attend the 2019 Ohioana Book Festival – and hurry, the deadline is coming up on November 15th!
The Ohioana Book Festival is an annual celebration of literature, featuring all authors with Ohio connections. Authors of all genres for all age levels are welcome, from picture books to nonfiction. The 2019 Festival happens to be a very special occasion, as we will be holding it for the first time at the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library in Downtown Columbus. Our new space will allow us to be bigger and better than ever!
At the Festival, you’ll be able to sell your new book, as well as up to four older titles if you’d like to. You will be able to interact with readers, as well as other Ohio authors. In addition, you may be able to tap into your expertise by participating in a panel or children’s room program.
The 2019 Ohioana Book Festival is taking place on April 27th, 2019 from 10am-4:30pm. You can find out more about applying on our application page or if you think you’re ready to apply, go ahead and download and fill out the application here. We hope to see you at the Festival!
Although autumn doesn’t officially start until September 22nd, it certainly already feels as if the seasons have changed. The chilly, rainy weather of this past week might bring to mind thoughts of changing leaves, pumpkin pie and shorter days. Here at Ohioana, it also reminds us of the myriad of literary events that happen around the state during the autumn. Whether you’re looking to hear your favorite author speak about their work, get a book signed, or buy something new to read, there should be something to satisfy you in the coming months. Check out our list below for some literary events around Ohio this fall that you shouldn’t miss.
Cleveland Public Poetry: Featuring Maxwell Shell
When: September 15th, 12:00pm-1:00pm
Where: Literature Department, Main Library, 325 Superior Ave., 2nd FL
What: “Ohio Center for the Book and Cleveland Public Library invite you to celebrate the changing of the season amidst the readings of written and spoken-word poetry, with our special guest reader poet MaxWell Shell. After a brief Q&A, the mic will open for others to read an original or favorite work. Free refreshments and snacks provided. Door prizes, too!”
What: “In partnership with Columbus City Schools, Gramercy Books welcomes award-winning author and journalist, Wil Haygood, to Columbus East High School for his national book tour launch of Tigerland:1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing. Haygood will share the story of Columbus’ own East High School Tigers, who won baseball and basketball state championships in the midst of the racial turbulence and segregation of the late 1960s, and how they inspired a community.”
Admission: Free, but tickets must be reserved through Eventbrite
Where: Schottenstein Theatre at Bexley High School
326 South Cassingham Road
Bexley , OH 43229
What: “Join us in welcoming Columbus’ own, Wil Haygood, for a special afternoon featuring his new book, Tigerland:1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing, an emotional, inspiring story of two teams from a poor, black, segregated high school in Columbus, who, in the midst of the racial turbulence of 1968/1969, win the Ohio state baseball and basketball championships in the same year. This program, to include an author talk, reading and book signing, is presented in partnership with Bexley Public Library.”
What: “Wil Haygood, Pulitzer-nominated journalist and New York Times best-selling author of The Butler and Showdown will be discussing his new book, Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing. Tigerland tells the story of Columbus’ East High School Tigers, baseball and basketball teams from a poor, black, segregated high school that each won two Ohio state championships in the same year, uniting a racially-charged community in the aftermath of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. Haygood is praised for connecting the civil rights movement and its iconic heroes with current events and enduring struggles. Above all, he brings the powerful perspective that this is the history of all Americans, shaping our national identity and common values. Haygood will be interviewed by his friend, Michael Carter, chief diversity officer at Sinclair Community College. Copies of Tigerland, in addition to other titles by Haygood, will be available for purchase. A book signing will follow the presentation.”
What: “This year’s festival will feature accomplished visiting writers, a book fair, a caucus for literary arts nonprofits, panels on many aspects of the literary arts, craft talks, workshops and readings in fiction, nonfiction and poetry.”
When: September 27th-30th, check website for times
Where: Varying locations, check website for more information
What: “CXC is a free, citywide arts festival hosted every year by people and places with a passion for cartoon arts. CXC connects the global family of cartoon storytellers, comic makers, and animators with the people who love and are inspired by their art. Together, they celebrate the stories that can only be told in visual media that are as diverse as the people who imagined them.”
What: “The Ohioana Book Awards are the second oldest, and among the most prestigious, state literary prizes in the nation. Nearly every notable Ohio writer of the past 76 years has been honored. Tickets for the Awards go on sale on September 15th.”
What: “The premiere event is the Books by the Banks Cincinnati Regional Book Festival held annually in downtown Cincinnati. The day-long festival, which is free and open to the public, features national, regional, and local authors and illustrators; book signings; panel discussions; and activities for the entire family to enjoy.”
What: The Pickerington Teen Book Fest is free and open to the public! Add this event now to your calendars, and get ready to spend one incredible day with twelve incredible authors of teen and young adult fiction!