Announcing the Winners of the 2018 Ohioana Awards

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It’s that time of year again! It’s to the pleasure of everyone at Ohioana to announce the 2018 Ohioana Awards. Every year, the Awards help Ohioana recognize an outstanding title in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, About Ohio/Ohioan, Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature, Juvenile Literature. Readers are also invited to have their voices heard in voting for the Readers’ Choice Award. In addition, a young writer is chosen as the recipient of the annual Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant.

Six of the Ohioana Award winners, as well as the Marvin Grant recipient, were selected by juries. The Readers’ Choice Award was determined by voters in a public online poll. This year, more than 1390 votes were cast for the Readers’ Choice Award.

First given in 1942, the Ohioana Book Awards are the second oldest, and among the most prestigious, state literary prizes in the nation. Nearly every major writer from Ohio in the past 75 years has been honored, from James Thurber to Toni Morrison. The Ohioana Awards will be presented Thursday, October 18, in the Atrium of Ohio’s historic Statehouse in Columbus. Tickets for event, which are open to the public and include a pre-awards reception, will go on sale mid September. The 2018 Ohioana Award winners are as follows:

Fiction: Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

Nonfiction: Deanne Stillman, Blood Brothers

About Ohio/An Ohioan: Brian Alexander, Glass House

Poetry: Ruth Awad, Set to Music a Wildfire

Juvenile Literature: Sally Derby, A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices

Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature: Tamara Bundy, Walking with Miss Millie

Readers’ Choice: Tamara Bundy, Walking with Miss Millie

Announced alongside the book awards, Ohioana named Christopher Alexander Gellert as the 29th winner of the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant, a competitive prize for Ohio writers age 30 or younger who have not yet published a book. Gellert recently completed his master’s in lettres modernes, pensée contemporaine at Paris Diderot. Since September 2016 he has been gathering testimonies of the influence of literature on readers in France, conversations they have over dinners he cooks in their homes. His verse has appeared in Belleville Park Pages & FORH Magazine. He will be pursuing a doctorate in the fall on the investigation as an artistic practice with Vincent Broqua at Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint Denis.

It’s Up to You: 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards

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Dear readers, the fate of this year’s Readers’ Choice award lies in your hands. Yes, YOU can cast YOUR vote to decide which of the incredible books nominated for the 2018 Ohioana Book Awards will be THE book, the ONE book to win a very special kind of nod.

Ohioana began this program in 2016 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of our awards program. This year, we have a poll that will stay open until Friday, June 29, at 3:00 p.m. You can access the poll here  to vote for your favorite of 30 available titles. One vote per computer, please.

Our winner in 2017 was Tiffany McDaniel for her novel The Summer That Melted Everything. For 2016, the winner was Mary Doria Russell for her novel Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral.

The Readers’ Choice award is a great way to include more people in the process of giving awards to those who richly deserve them. We hope you will vote for your favorite too!

Box Office Boffo: Ready Player One

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It’s true: all the best movies come from good books.

Writers know what they are doing: they create conflict and plot and characters that readers love, and then Hollywood options the work and reaps the reward.

Another reaper-of-rewards is author and Ohio native Ernest Cline. Born in Ashland, Ohio (home to a really cool hot air balloon festival every summer!) and former resident of Columbus, Mr. Cline now calls Austin, Texas, home. He owns a DeLorean which means he totally WINS and OWNS and even PWNS (if he wants to) American popular culture from the 1980s.

Cline used to work at CompuServe, which was founded in Columbus in 1969. It was a ground-breaking tech communications company, and the perfect place to work if you loved tech and info and the infinite possibilities they presented. This speculative way of looking at the world found its way into Cline’s first book, Ready Player One, which was published in 2011. Columbus is there too, as the city of escape for protagonist Wade Watts.

A lover of all things tech, geek, nerd, and 1980s, Cline was especially thrilled to work with the great filmmaker Stephen Spielberg, the force behind so many of our cultural touchstones.

Ernie also tweets now and then and can be found on Twitter as @erniecline.

 

 

 

2018 is the Year of Jacqueline Woodson!

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Jacqueline Woodson

 

Our own Jacqueline Woodson has received honors and awards for her insightful work for many years. Ms. Woodson has over 5 million copies of her books in print, four Newberry Honors, and she is the winner of the National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming.

And she owns all of 2018!

In January, Ms. Woodson was named the sixth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, for 2018–2019. Her appointment was official at an inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, January 9 at the Library of Congress, presided over by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

The National Ambassador for Young People program is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council, and CBC’s charitable arm, Every Child a Reader. The Librarian of Congress selects the Ambassador based on the recommendations of an independent committee comprised of various children’s literature experts including educators, librarians, and booksellers. Among the criteria for the Ambassador post are: contributions to young people’s literature, the ability to relate to kids and teens, and dedication to fostering literacy in all forms.

Woodson has chosen the phrase “Reading = Hope x Change,” as her platform as Ambassador. “I definitely believe that reading can change us and shape us in so many ways, and through it we can be exposed to people and places and ideas that we might not otherwise come across or confront in real life,” she said. “A platform about the importance of reading and having conversations across the lines of books is really important to me.”

Check out this super-great illustrated press release from her publisher, Nancy Paulson of Nancy Paulson Books, an imprint of Penguin.

Jacqueline Woodson was born in Ohio, so we are pleased and proud to be able to claim her as our own!

 

Ohioana Announces 2018 Book Award Finalists

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The Ohioana Library is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2018 Ohioana Book Awards. First given in 1942, the awards are the second oldest state literary prizes in the nation and honor outstanding works by Ohio authors in five categories:

Fiction

  • Ford, Jeffrey. A Natural History of Hell: Stories, Small Beer Press.
  • Lang, Ruth Emmie. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance, St. Martin’s Press.
  • Ng, Celeste. Little Fires Everywhere, Penguin Press.
  • Olmstead, Robert. Savage Country, Algonquin Books.
  • Umrigar, Thrity. Everybody’s Son, Harper.

Nonfiction

  • Bahney, Jennifer Bowers. Betrayer’s Waltz, McFarland.
  • Batchelor, Bob. Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel, Rowan & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Logsdon, Gene. Letter to a Young Farmer, Chelsea Green Publishing.
  • Ricca, Brad. Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, St. Martin’s Press.
  • Stillman, Deanne. Blood Brothers, Simon & Schuster.

About Ohio or an Ohioan

  • Alexander, Brian. Glass House, Picador.
  • Blunk, Jonathan. James Wright: A Life in Poetry, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • Chernow, Ron. Grant, Penguin Press.
  • Merry, Robert W. President McKinley: Architect of the American Century, Simon & Schuster.
  • Reston, James Jr. A Rift in the Earth: Art, Memory, and the Fight for a Vietnam War Memorial, Arcade Publishing.

Poetry

  • Awad, Ruth. Set to Music a Wildfire, University of Southern Indiana Press.
  • Fagan, Kathy. Sycamore, Milkweed Editions.
  • Nordgren, Sarah Rose. Darwin’s Mother, University of Pittsburgh Press.
  • Pitinii Davis, Allison. Line Study of a Motel Clerk, Baobab Press.
  • Smith, Maggie. Good Bones, Tupelo Press.

Juvenile Literature

  • Carson, Mary Kay. Photos by Tom Uhlman. Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  • Derby, Sally. Illus. by Mika Song. A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices, Charlesbridge.
  • Daywalt, Drew. Illus. by Adam Rex. The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors, HarperCollins/Balzer and Bray
  • Dougherty, Shawn. Illus. by Leah Busch. Wake, Blue Manatee Press.
  • Rylant, Cynthia. lllus. by Brenden Wenzel. Life, Beach Lane Books.

Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature

  • Bundy, Tamara. Walking with Miss Millie, Nancy Paulsen Books.
  • McCahan, Erin. The Lake Effect, Dial Books for Young Readers.
  • Rogerson, Margaret. An Enchantment of Ravens, Margaret K. McElderry Books.
  • Rubini, Julie K. Virginia Hamilton: America’s Storyteller, Ohio University Press
  • Springstubb, Tricia. Illus. by Eliza Wheeler. Cody and the Rules of Life, Candlewick Press.

 

Ohioana will profile all the finalists in the coming weeks. Beginning Monday, May 21, we will present “30 Books, 30 Days,” a special feature on our Facebook page in which one finalist is highlighted each weekday through Friday, June 29.

Winners will be announced in July, and the 2018 Ohioana Book Awards will be presented at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Thursday, October 18.

“On the road again …”

 

Hanif Abdurraqib, Ruth Awad, Kristen Lepionka and David Weaver at Upper Arlington.

Yes, just like Nelson in his famous song, Ohioana is on the road again!
To be exact, a number of Ohioana Book Festival authors are on the road! Our round of outreach appearances with festival authors kicked off April 4 at Upper Arlington Public Library with Hanif Abdurraqib, Ruth Award, and Kristen Lepionka in a lively “New Voices: Ask the Authors” conversation moderated by Ohioana Director David Weaver.
Next week will bring more live author appearances, all of them free and open to the public, just like the Ohioana Book Festival itself. There will be several appearances by authors on radio, too. You can check out the complete list of outreach and media activities on the festival schedule page – just scroll down to Ohioana in the Community:

 

It’s all part of the fun and excitement leading up to the main event – the 2018 Ohioana Book Festival on Saturday, April 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Columbus at Capitol Square. We’ll see you there!

The Big Reveal ….

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Welcome to the official poster of the 2018 Ohioana Book Festival!

This wonderful and whimsical depiction of book-loving animals in a spring-green landscape is the work of artist Christina Wald. You can also find Christina on Twitter at @yellokat_cwald.

Christina very graciously accepted the challenge of creating a festival poster that that would both inspire and delight. And so she did, with a reading rabbit, a book-bearing giraffe, and a happy bird with a volume clutched in its claws. There’s even a unicorn!

However, unlike unicorns, the authors and artists who will attend this year’s book festival are hardly rare or mythological. You can walk right up to one and shake her hand at the upcoming festival if you want to!

You can also read more about our poster artist  in the next issue of the Ohioana Quarterly, which will be published shortly before the festival, to learn about her creative process. Christina loaned us one of her preliminary sketches for the poster to illustrate the story. It’s always exciting to learn about an artist’s creative process and even to see the steps they take to get to the end!

The woman who loved books

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Ohioana lost a very dear friend this week: former librarian Barbara Meister. She loved books as much as any human on the planet.

Barb starting working at Ohioana back when it was downtown on the river. And because Ohioana moved during her tenure, Barb is the one who moved the books. She personally handled each and every volume in the collection and prepared them for their journey.

Those books could not have had a better caretaker because Barb loved books. She loved them for what’s between the covers and for the covers themselves. She had a grand fondness for beautiful leather and gold-leaf volumes from the early 1900s. It was probably because of her love of the Victorians. As she once told me, her grandparents were Victorians. I think Barb loved the surface orderliness of that era.

Barb also loved Russian authors (who wrote about a world that was anything but orderly) and presented the cats in her care with names like Sasha and Vanya.

She loved the work of our friend and Ohio author Michael Dirda, and was so happy when he would come in for a chat or a program.

Barb was a great mentor and caregiver for our interns, teaching them everything she could about the joys of books and the proper care and feeding of same.

The last time that I saw her, she was talking to Courtney Brown, our Library Specialist. These two professionals were comparing notes about books and all things libraries.

“Isn’t it the best?” said Barb, “Isn’t it great?!”

Truly, Barbara Meister was the right person in the right job. She loved books. And she will be missed.

Anticipation!

Mystery writers D.M. Pulley and Andrew Welsh-Huggins are two of the 120 authors you’ll meet at the 2018 Ohioana Book Festival. (Photo by Mary Rathke)

 

Ohioana is proud and excited to announce the author list for our 12th annual Ohioana Book Festival!

Library Mouse and friends, 2017 Book Festival

 

You can read all about it in Ohioana’s latest newsletter.

This year’s event will return to the Sheraton Columbus Capital Square on April 14. It’s an all-day extravaganza that features panel discussions, activities for kids, and books for sale. It’s also a great opportunity to meet authors and talk to them about their books. You’ll come away with autographed copies and an appreciation for what goes into your favorite fiction, nonfiction, and picture books. With over 100 authors, you’re sure to meet your favorites and also find new ones.

And plenty of your old  favorites will return, like our friend Library Mouse — and FOOD TRUCKS! We’re hoping for a return visit from Schmidt’s (mmmm …. puff pastry!) as well as other TBA food trucks.

The Book Festival is always a good time for everyone. We hope you’ll make room on your calendar for your first visit or for your 12th (or somewhere in between). The energy that YOU bring makes all the difference!

See you soon!

 

 

And the laurel crown goes to ….

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Poet Dave Lucas!

For the second time in Ohio’s history, a poet laureate has been named. Serving a two year term is Dave Lucas, a native of Cleveland, award-winner (including an award from Ohioana in 2012), published writer and teacher.

It is of course a great honor to the individual, but it’s also a great benefit to the people of Ohio. We will be able to learn from this creative writer who will share his love of words during his tenure.“Our state’s poet laureate has an opportunity to engage Ohioans of every age in unique and challenging ways,” said Governor Kasich. “I’m confident Mr. Lucas will fulfill the special calling that comes with this honor, to help us look at our world from a new perspective and I wish him the best in his new role.”

During his time as poet laureate, Lucas said he wants to help Ohioans use poetry to understand and enhance their lives. He is planning a multimedia project involving people from diverse places and backgrounds allowing them to experience a variety of opinions about poetry.

Dave Lucas is the author of Weather (Georgia, 2011), which received the 2012 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. Named by Rita Dove as one of thirteen “young poets to watch,” he has also received a “Discovery/The Nation Prize and a Cleveland Arts Prize. A co-founder of Brews + Prose at Market Garden Brewery and Cleveland Book Week, he teaches at Case Western Reserve University.

 

 

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