Since the first Ohioana Book Festival was held with ten authors in 2007, the festival has given readers the opportunity to connect with their favorite Ohio writers. In 2018 we will welcome 120 authors and illustrators to the festival.

See below for our exciting schedule for the big day, as well as a calendar of author appearances leading up to the festival!


10:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Sheraton Columbus at Capitol Square
75 E. State Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Book Signings 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Visit the Sheraton ballroom throughout the day to meet your favorite Ohio authors and get books signed. The Book Loft, our official bookseller, will be running an on-site bookstore throughout the day.

Panel Discussions and Roundtables

Hear your favorite authors talk about their books and their writing process, and ask them questions.

*Please note that authors and panels are subject to change.

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Ohio Sleuths: A chat on some of the great fictional detectives based in Ohio.

  • Eliot Parker, David Selcer, Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Robin Yocum

Legislative Room A

Writing & Illustrating for Children, Part 1: Writer and illustrator perspectives on creating books for young readers.

  • Mary Kay Carson, C.F. Payne, Julie K. Rubini, Andrew Speno

Legislative Room B

The Poet’s Corner, Part 1: A conversation with some of Ohio’s greatest poets.

  • Ruth Awad, George Bilgere, Teri Ellen Cross Davis, John Matthias

House Room A

Gone to the Dogs: A conversation about man’s best friend, from inspiring stories of photographing rescue dogs to the selfless loyalty of canine service animals.

  • Stephen Kuusisto, Susannah Maynard, Greg Murray

House Room B

Transcending Genres: Writers discuss the differences in writing poetry, fiction, nonfiction, etc.

  • Karen Harper, Tracy Lawson, Margie Shaheed, Lucy A. Snyder

Executive Room C

12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

YA in the Spotlight: A discussion with some of the best and brightest of Young Adult fiction writers.

  • Cinda Williams Chima, Josephine Rascoe Keenan, Kristina McBride, Mindy McGinnis

Legislative Room A

Close to Home: Biographical and autobiographical stories of family.

  • David Giffels, Karen A. McClintock, Sarah Menkedick, Jeannie Vanasco

Legislative Room B

Debut Fiction: These authors published their first novels in 2017 and 2018.

  • Annie Hogsett, Kristen Lepionka, Michael Nye, Nick White

House Room A

Fantastic Fiction: Exploring the supernatural, urban fantasy, and fantasy/science fiction.

  • Laura Bickle, Jillian Kuhlmann, Susie Newman, Linda Robertson

House Room B

Ohio History: From Cincinnati to Youngstown, riots to iron, an examination of Ohio’s rich history.

  • Dan Mendéz Moore, Phillip Obermiller & Thomas E. Wagner, Clayton J. Ruminski

Executive Room C

1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The Impact of Pop Culture in Our Modern World: From reality star presidents to superhero movies – a conversation on how popular culture has influenced nearly every aspect of twenty-first century life.

  • Hanif Abdurraqib, Bob Batchelor, Mark Dawidziak, Dan Gearino

Legislative Room A

Cozy Mystery: Grab a cup of tea and a furry friend and enjoy this chat about the cozy side of mysteries.

  • Debra Sue Brice, Amanda Flower, Olivia Matthews, Lisa Karon Richardson

Legislative Room B

Writing & Illustrating for Children, Part 2: Writer and illustrator perspectives on creating books for young readers.

  • Tim Bowers, Emma Carlson Berne, Michelle Houts, Linda Stanek

House Room A

How We Write What We Write: Every author has a different writing process – our authors will share some of theirs.

  • Gwendolyn Hiles, Tracy Lawson, Stephen Kuusisto, Larry Smith

House Room B

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body: Eating healthy, exercise, and a healthful mindset go hand in hand. These authors discuss how to find ways to do all those things and live your best life.

  • Stacy Windahl, Jill A. Grunenwald, Stepfanie Romine

Executive Room C

2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

The Creative Life

  • Tom Batiuk, David Giffels, Susanne Jaffe, Margie Shaheed

Legislative Room A

Historical Thrills: The exciting world of historical fiction.

  • Casey Daniels, Steve Goble, Karen Harper, D.M. Pulley

Legislative Room B

The Poet’s Corner, Part 2: A conversation with some of Ohio’s greatest poets.

  • Darren C. Demaree, Kathy Fagan, Michael J. Rosen, Rikki Santer

House Room A

Different Worlds: How these authors seamlessly hop and merge sometimes disparate genres within their work.

  • Gary Buettner, Leanna Renee Hieber, Josef Matulich, Tara Tyler

House Room B

Columbus History: A discussion of Columbus’s layered and fascinating history, from existing attractions such as Thurber House to lost and secret places waiting to be rediscovered.

  • Anietra Hamper, Christine Hayes & Doug Motz, Bob Hunter

Executive Room C

3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Middle Grade Masters: Featuring award-winning writers of Middle Grade fiction.

  • Margaret Peterson Haddix, Tricia Springstubb, Carmella Van Vleet, Kathy Cannon Wiechman

Legislative Room A

The World of Publishing: The insiders’ guide to publishing a great book.

  • Nancy Christie, Susanne Jaffe, D.W. Vogel

Legislative Room B

Suspense & Intrigue: Thrilling hard-boiled PIs, political intrigue, missing persons – dangerous, page-turning tales of mystery and the authors who write it.

  • Meredith Doench, John Hegenberger, Dennis Hetzel, Jessica Strawser

House Room A

Danger in the Gilded Age: From princess spies to organized crime and justice.

  • Jennifer Bowers Bahney, David Meyers & Elise Meyers Walker, Richard H. Underwood

House Room B

HERStory: Fiction by and about women.

  • Mary Ellis, Robin Gianna, Sherri Hayes, Lucy A. Snyder

Executive Room C

Kids Room Appearances

11:00AM: Melissa Martin

11:20AM: Judy Carey Nevin

11:40AM: Christina Wald

12:00PM: Jeff Ebbeler

12:20PM-1:00PM: No authors; lunch break

1:00PM: Lindsay Ward

1:20PM: Jan Sherbin

1:40PM: Bill Cotter

2:00PM: Michaela Schuett

2:20PM: Julie Seabrook Ream

2:40PM: Tadgh Bentley

3:00PM: Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton

3:20PM: Tamara Bundy


Teen Room Schedule

Makerspace – 11:00AM – 2:00PM

So You Wanna… Be A Writer – Listen to an expert panel of writers discuss the writing process, editing, and navigating the world of publishing

  • D.W. Vogel, Jennifer Maschari, Mary Willenbrink, Lorie Langdon, Dee Garretson

So You Wanna… Meet Margaret – Enjoy an exclusive session with renowned author Margaret Peterson Haddix , author of the new YA title Summer of Broken Things, as well as the wildly popular Shadow Children and Children of Exile series

1:00PM – 1:45PM
So You Wanna… Be An Artist – Learn from an expert panel of illustrators as they discuss all things connected to creating pictures for books

  • Joe Sutphin, Mark Willenbrink, Christina Wald, Terri Libenson (graphic artist)

2:00PM – 2:45PM
So You Wanna… Meet Mindy – Revel in an exclusive opportunity with YA rockstar Mindy McGinnis, author of This Darkness Mine and Given to the Earth as well as other blockbuster titles

3:00PM – 3:45PM
So You Wanna… Meet An Author – Spend a fast-paced, speed-dating session talking one-on-one with an outstanding selection of Ohio authors

  • Chelsea Bobulski, Natalie Richards, Kerry Winfrey, Krysten Lindsay Hager, and Carey Corp



Ohioana in the Community!

The following programs and activities featuring Ohioana Book Festival authors are free and open to the public and take place before the main event on April 14. Check back for updates and new events as they are added!


Media Appearances

March 28, 8:00 p.m.

Steve Goble

Craft: Exploring Creativity (WCBE 90.5)



April 13, 11:00 a.m. – noon

Stephen Kuusisto and Susanne Jaffe

Morning Exchange (VOICECorps)





Live Appearances

April 4, 7:00 p.m.

Hanif Abdurraqib, Ruth Awad, Kristen Lepionka

Upper Arlington Public Library, Tremont Branch



April 10, 6:00 p.m.

Mindy McGinnis

Cover to Cover Children’s Books



April 11, 6:00 p.m.

Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Upper Arlington Public Library, Tremont Branch