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 2021 Ohioana welcomed 140 authors and illustrators to our second virtual festival.


Purchase books at www.bookloft.com

Use the YouTube playlists below to easily access panels and author content from 2021. 

Panel Discussions and Roundtables

Hear your favorite authors talk about their books and their writing process, and ask them questions in our live sessions. We will be posting panels throughout the weekend, so check below to see when panels will go live. See below for panel descriptions, moderators and panelists.

ThursdayFridaySaturdaySundayIndividual Author ContentOhioana In the CommunityOutreach EventsMedia Appearances

Thursday, April 22


Danger & Intrigue

Join our panelists as they discuss their works of thrilling, chilling fiction full of twists and turns.

Moderator: Dan Best

Panelists: Steve Goble, J.E. Irvin, Kylie Logan aka Lucy Ness, Michael Prelee, Jessica Strawser

Watch on YouTube 

11am, LIVE

Ekphrastic: The Art of Poetry

An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene. The poets on this panel all use their verse to vividly describe a certain subject or style

Moderator: Donald Boozer

Panelists: David Lee Garrison, Kip Knott, DE Zuccone

Presented & Hosted by: Ohio Center for the Book

Re-watch the Facebook Live Event

YouTube Link also coming soon.


Ohio Tales and Trails

From Affrilachia to small and big towns on the campaign trail, to the literary landmarks of the state, Ohio’s rich storytelling heritage is alive and well! Join our authors for a lively discussion of stories from around the Buckeye State.

Moderator: David Weaver

Panelists: Lyn Ford, David Giffels, Betty Weibel

Presented by: Licking County Library

Watch on YouTube 


Writing Exciting Stories for Young Adults

This panel features a group of authors who publish in a variety of genres — all thrilling and dynamic stories meant for a Young Adult audience.

Moderator: Jody Casella

Panelists: Sarah Anne Carter, Krysten Lindsay Hager, Sandra K-Horn, Bryan Prosek, Jennifer Ann Shore

Watch on YouTube 

3:00pm, LIVE

Intrepid Travelers

Join these authors for stories of people and places near and far

Moderator: Linda Feagler

Panelists: David H. Mould, Roger Pickenpaugh, Brad Ricca

Watch the re-play on YouTube


Journey to the Past: Historical Fiction

Reading can be like time travel. Reliving the stories and setting that came before us, and how they shape our lives today. Join our panelists to discuss their stories of tales set in certain historical time periods and how they came to write these popular and exciting novels.

Moderator: Michelle Gubola

Panelists: Pete Beatty, Tonya Ulynn Brown, Jennifer Geiger, Salvatore Scibona, Tonya Mitchell

Watch on YouTube 

5:00pm, LIVE

Writing Nonfiction for Children

Join our authors, who write a variety of nonfiction for readers of all ages, as they discuss their books and writing process.

Moderator: Liz Deskins

Panelists: Mary Kay Carson, Scott Longert, Nancy Roe Pimm, Andrew Speno

Presented by: Ohio Educational Library Media Association (OELMA)

Watch the re-play on YouTube

Friday, April 23


The Art of the Short Story

Writing short fiction can be quite different than writing a novel or longer work. Our panel of experts discusses what makes a great short story and why they choose to write in this art form.

Moderator: Yolonda Tonette Sanders

Panelists: Nancy Christie, Nathan Elias, Gwen Goodkin, Eliot Parker, Don Tassone

Watch on YouTube 

11am, LIVE

Spotlight on Monday Creek

Join this group of panelists, all published by Ohio-based publisher Monday Creek, alongside their publisher, as they discuss their writing process and what it is like to publish with Monday Creek.

Moderator:Gillian Berchowitz

Panelists: Mark M. Dean, Kathy S. Elasky, J.A. Hall, Cristina Sicard

Watch the re-play on YouTube


The Story of a Life: Memoir & Autobiographical Fiction

Writing our own stories and digging into our pasts can be a challenging task. Join four writers as they discuss their process and experience in writing personal narratives told from the vantage point of real-life experience.

Moderator: Gillian Berchowitz

Panelists: Cindy Collins, Eliese Colette Goldbach, John-Michael Lander, Patrick Leber, Denise Monique

Watch on YouTube 

1pm, LIVE

Floyd’s Pick

Floyd’s Pick is a book award developed by the Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO) Advisory Council and presented in memory of children’s literature expert, advocate, and librarian Floyd Dickman. It is given annually to a book written by an Ohio author or a book illustrated by an Ohio illustrator that is representative of high-quality literature created for children. 2021 winner Aiko Ikegami will be joined by previous winners of this award to discuss their work.

Moderator: Desiree Thomas

Panelists: Aiko Ikegami, Oge Mora, Jackie Woodson

Presented by: CTRO

Watch the re-play on YouTube


True Crime

From defending a notorious gang to some of Ohio’s most infamous crimes – this panel is a true crime lover’s dream.

Moderator: Andrew Welsh-Huggins

Panelists: D.M. Testa, Jane Ann Turzillo, David Meyers & Elise Meyers Walker

Watch on YouTube 

3pm, LIVE

Writing & Illustrating Children’s Books

An exciting panel featuring illustrators and author-illustrators of books for young readers.

Moderator: Ben Sapp

Panelists: Tim Bowers, Terri Libenson, Christina Wald, Lindsay Ward

Presented by: University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum

Watch the re-play on YouTube


Seeing the World in Verse

A celebration of poetry, from a group of renowned poets who tell their truth in verse – how they see the world and the people around them, in a celebration of words.

Moderator: Chuck Salmons

Panelists: Pamela R. Anderson, Darren C. Demaree, Paula J. Lambert, Charles Malone

Presented by: Ohio Poetry Association

Watch on YouTube 

5pm, LIVE

Spotlight on Middle Grade

Join these authors of books for middle grade readers for a discussion on their work and writing process.

Moderator: Kathryn Powers

Panelists: Jenn Bishop, Gary Buettner, Doug Coates, Jason R. Lady, Tara Tyler

Watch the re-play on YouTube

Saturday, April 24


Around the Buckeye State

Whether you’re enjoying some of Ohio’s great museums, or hoping to enjoy some of the best of our state’s beautiful landscape and nature, there is something in this panel for everyone!

Moderator: Bill Eichenberger

Panelists: Carole Genshaft, Megan E. Griffiths, Kenn Kaufman, Robert Kroeger, Norm N. Nite

Watch on YouTube 

11am, LIVE

Cozy Mystery

Grab a cup of tea and your favorite furry friend to enjoy this discussion with a group of Ohio’s most beloved cozy mystery authors.

Moderator: Carolyn Melvin

Panelists: Mary Ellis, Amanda Flower, Eileen Curley Hammond, Olivia Matthews, John A. Vanek

Watch the re-play on YouTube


Cut, Color, Create Contest with Merrill Rainey

A pre-recorded video that launches our Color, Cut, Create Contest with author Merrill Rainey! Watch this video and then come back tomorrow LIVE at Noon to ask Merrill all about the contest and to learn how to register to enter some fun prizes!

Watch on YouTube

1pm, LIVE

Diverse Voices in Poetry

Four poets, with diverse stories and backgrounds, share their experiences as they create art in these changing times.

Moderator: Susann Moeller

Panelists: Zoë Brigley, Teri Ellen Cross Davis, Kari Gunter-Seymour, Philip Metres

Presented by: Ohio Poetry Association

Watch the re-play on YouTube

2pm, LIVE

Speculative Fiction Superstars

Some of Ohio’s most creative and dynamic writers of genre fiction join us for this exciting panel.

Moderator: Jennifer Neruda

Panelists: Matt Betts, Leanna Renee Hieber, E.F. Schraeder

Presented & Hosted by: Columbus Metropolitan Library

Watch the re-play via CrowdCast

3pm, LIVE

Spotlight on Tin House

Join these authors from internationally-renowned publisher, Tin House, as they discuss their writing and the publishing process.

Moderator: Becky Kraemer

Panelists: Eman Quotah, Jeannie Vanasco, Elissa Washuta

Watch the re-play on YouTube


Exploring New Worlds in YA

Explore new worlds, civilizations, and ways of life as these Young Adult writers describe their world-building processes and exciting works of genre fiction.

Moderator: Jacqueline Lipton

Panelists: Cinda Williams Chima, Intisar Khanani, Patricia Miller, D.W. Vogel

Watch on YouTube 

5pm, LIVE

Contemporary Fiction

Join our authors as they discuss how they write stories set in today’s landscape, as well as those authors who influenced and inspired them to become writers.

Moderator: Robin Nesbitt

Panelists: Theresa E. Liggins, Brian Petkash, Gregg Sapp, Aliston Stine, Donna Wyland

Watch the re-play on YouTube

Sunday, April 25

9am, LIVE

Coffee and Conversation with Ross Gay and Kari Gunter-Seymour

Join Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour, in conversation with National Book Award finalist and PEN America Literary Award-winning poet Ross Gay.

Moderator: Kari Gunter-Seymour

Panelist: Ross Gay

Watch the re-play on YouTube


Debut Fiction

These writers may have published in other genres before, but this panel will celebrate their debuts into the world of novels.

Moderator: Claudia Plumley

Panelists: John Bullock, Karin Cecile Davidson, Laura Maylene Walter

Presented by: Paragraphs Bookstore of Mount Vernon

Watch on YouTube 

11am, LIVE

Advice for a Better Life

Whether you are trying to find love or kick your career into high gear, these writers have some advice for you!

Moderator: David Siders

Panelists: Craig M. Chavis Jr., Nita Sweeney, Talzoya

Presented by: Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library

Watch the re-play on YouTube


Cut, Color, Create Contest with Merrill Rainey

Join us for a kick-off event on April 25th with Author/Illustrator/Paper Engineer Merrill Rainey to learn more about the Color, Cut, Create Contest for kids!

Pick up some tips & tricks on how to add that WOW factor to your contest submissions and learn how YOU can be one of the lucky participants to recieve a FREE copy of either Color, Cut, Create • Dinosaur World, or Horse Ranch.

This session includes time with Merrill Rainey to answer all your contest questions.

For more info about the contest, visit https://color-cut-create.com/

Watch the re-play on YouTube

1pm, LIVE 

Thrills and Chills for Teens and Tweens

Our expert panel of award-winning authors of genre fiction for younger readers.

Moderator: Nola Colegrave

Panelists: Mindy McGinnis, Natalie Richards, Maria Romasco-Moore, R.L. Stine

Presented & Hosted by: Columbus Metropolitan Library

Watch the re-play on CrowdCast


Fiction Based on Real Life

Join our panelists for a discussion about their works, featuring fictionalized stories based on real-life people and events.

Moderator: Linda Feagler

Panelists: Tom Batiuk, Linda Kass, Tiffany McDaniel

Watch on YouTube 

3pm, LIVE 

Choose to Read Ohio

Choose to Read Ohio spotlights Ohio authors and promotes reading across Ohio. The State Library of Ohio, Ohioana Library Association and Ohio Center for the Book encourage Ohioans of all ages to read and enjoy books together. Each CTRO booklist highlights selected books for a two-calendar-year promotion. Join current and former CTRO authors as they discuss these fantastic books.

Moderator: Meg Brown & Janet Ingraham-Dwyer

Panelists: Margaret Peterson Haddix, Will Hillenbrand, Tricia Springstubb, Jasmine Warga

Presented by: CTRO

Watch the re-play on YouTube


Historical Mystery

Join our authors as they discuss their works of mystery, all set in specific time periods.

Moderator: Connie Berry

Panelists: Nancy Herriman, Anna Lee Huber, Jess Montgomery

Watch on YouTube 

5pm, LIVE

Lift Every Voice

Join this incredible panel of Black female poets as they celebrate their words and lives

Moderator: Scott Woods

Panelists: Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Carmen Gabriel-Watson, Mabel C. Jones, Kiya Renae

Presented by: Streetlight Guild

Watch the re-play via YouTube

Individual Author Content

Our authors have been hard at work putting together content for you! Please click here after 7pm on Thursday, April 22 for a listing for readings, book trailers, story times and more!

Ohioana in the Community!

Check back for programs and activities featuring Ohioana Book Festival authors that are free and open to the public and take place before the main event beginning on April 22. Some will be streaming live, while others will be pre-recorded. All will be recorded and available for replay in the days following the event.

Outreach Events

Wednesday, March 17 – 7:00pm

Poster Reveal with Tom Batiuk

Tom Batiuk, the creator of Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft, is our poster artist this year! He explains his process and talks about his character, Lillian McKenzie, who has been attending the Ohioana Book Festival in the panels of Crankshaft for five consecutive years!

Moderator: David Weaver

Watch on YouTube

Wednesday, April 14 – 7:00pm

32 Pages, Endless Possibilities – The World of Picture Books

Moderator: Kathryn Powers

Panelists: Frederick Luis Aldama, Tamara Bundy, Erin Alon Brain, Thrity Umrigar

Presented & Hosted by: The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

Watch on YouTube

Saturday, April 17 – 11:00am

Spotlight on Picture Books

This panel features a number of authors who write picture books.

Moderator: Bryan Loar

Panelists: Rebecca Greenfield, Kate Hoefler, Mark Miesse, Samuel Narh & Freda Narh, Frank Tupta

Presented & Hosted by:Cover to Cover Children’s Books

Watch on YouTube

LIVE, Monday, April 19 at 7:00pm

Worthington Authors at the McConnell Arts Center: A discussion featuring 3 Worthington-based authors of Speculative Fiction.

Moderator: Courtney Brown

Panelists: Karin Biggs, Lucy A. Snyder, Dan Stout

Presented by: McConnell Arts Center

Watch on YouTube

Media Appearances

Ohioana Book Festival Goes Virtual for 2021 – by Anne Nickoloff, Cleveland.com (March 18, 2021)

Ohioana’s Director, David Weaver, on Out N’ About Columbus

Toledo Library’s special Blog feature on Ohioana Book Festival authors

Columbus Dispatch special Ohioana Book Festival feature by Nancy Gilson (April 17, 2021 issue)

Ohioana Book Festival Author Elissa Washuta on Writing and Finding Identity – for City Pulse Columbus

R.L. Stine Interview with The Lanternby Clement Kasser (April 20, 2021)

Ohioana Book Festival Author Merrill Rainey on Two Lit Mamas Podcast (April 21, 2021)

Tonya Ulynn Brown on CRAFT with Doug Dangler

Jacqueline Lipton on CRAFT with Doug Dangler

Links coming soon.