Announcing the 2022 Ohioana Book Award Winners

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Congratulations to all of the winners!

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 81 years has been honored, from James Thurber to Toni Morrison.

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. Nearly 2,000 votes were cast for this year’s Readers’ Choice Award.

Listed below are the 2022 Ohioana Book Award winners. Click on the title to learn more about the author and their winning book.

Fiction: Anthony Doerr, Cloud Cuckoo Land

Nonfiction: Hanif Abdurraqib, A Little Devil in America: Notes In Praise of Black Peformance

About Ohio or an Ohioan: Brian Alexander, The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town

Poetry: Felicia Zamora, I Always Carry My Bones

Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature: Jasmine Warga, The Shape of Thunder

Juvenile Literature: Andrea Wang, Watercress

Readers’ Choice: Manuel Iris, The Parting Present / Lo que se irá

Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant

Named for Ohioana’s second director, the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant is awarded to an Ohio writer age 30 or younger who has not yet published a book. The 2022 Marvin Grant winner is Louise Ling Edwards. Edwards, an essayist and poet living in central Ohio, received her undergraduate degree from Oberlin College in Creative Writing and Neuroscience and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The Ohio State University. During her MFA, she worked as the Production Editor and Online Editor for OSU’s literary magazine The Journal and received the Helen Earnhart Harley Creative Writing Fellowship Award in both creative nonfiction and poetry. She is also the recipient of the Charles W. Medick Scholarship, which is awarded to students with a visual disability.

Her writing focuses on the joys and paradoxes of living as a biracial and bisexual woman by exploring tensions between hunger and abundance, loneliness and belonging. Her in-progress collection of essays, “Paper House,” reflects her experiences living in China’s Shanxi Province for two years, and moves through both haunted and tranquil spaces of a homeland from which she has long been separated. Currently, she advises students at OSU through her role as the Undergraduate Fellowship Coordinator. Her winning entry will appear in this fall’s Ohioana Quarterly.

Award Ceremony

The 2022 Ohioana Book Awards ceremony will be held on October 26 in the atrium of the Ohio Statehouse (tentatively in-person; please watch our website and social media for any possible changes). More information about the Awards and about purchasing tickets is coming soon. Congratulations to all of this year’s Ohioana Book Award winners!

Ohioana Announces 2021 Book Award Finalists

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The Ohioana Library is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2021 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 and illustrators in five categories: Fiction, Poetry, Juvenile Literature, Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature, and Nonfiction. The sixth category, About Ohio or an Ohioan, may also include books written by non-Ohio authors.

Among the literary honors this year’s finalists have previously received are the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Coretta Scott King Book Award, the Newbery Medal, the Kirkus Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. Five authors are finalists for their debut books. Six have previously won Ohioana Book Awards and one is a past recipient of Ohioana’s Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant for emerging writers.

Beginning June 1, Ohioana will profile all of the finalists with “30 Books, 30 Days,” a special feature on our social media in which one finalist is highlighted each day. Later in June, Ohioana will launch its sixth Readers’ Choice Award poll, allowing the public to vote online for their favorite book among the finalists.

Winners will be announced in July. The 80th anniversary Ohioana Awards ceremony will be held at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Thursday, October 14. The finalists are:


Martin, Lee. Yours, Jean, Dzanc Books.

McDaniel, Tiffany. Betty, Alfred A. Knopf.

Nesbit, TaraShea. Beheld, Bloomsbury Publishing.

Schultz, Connie. The Daughters of Erietown, Penguin Random House.

Sickels, Carter. The Prettiest Star, Hub City Press.


Downs, Maggie. Braver Than You Think, Counterpoint Press.

Jones, Saeed. How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir, Simon & Schuster.

Nezhukumatathil, Aimee. World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments, Milkweed Editions.

Ricca, Brad. Olive the Lionheart: Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman’s Journey into the Heart of Africa, St. Martin’s Press.

Sutter, Paul M. How to Die in Space: A Journey Through Dangerous Astrophysical Phenomena, Pegasus Books.

About Ohio or an Ohioan

Backderf, Derf. Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio, Abrams Books.

Genshaft, Carole, ed. Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s House and Journals, Ohio University Press.

Giffels, David. Barnstorming Ohio to Understand America, Hachette Books.

Goldbach, Eliese Colette. Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit, Flatiron Books.

Heyman, Stephen. The Planter of Modern Life: Louis Bromfield and the Seeds of a Food Revolution, W. W. Norton & Company.


Black, Ali. If It Heals at All, Jacar Press.

Chan, Marianne. All Heathens, Sarabande Books.

Gay, Ross. Be Holding: A Poem, University of Pittsburgh Press.

Lambert, Paula J. How to See the World (Harmony), Bottom Dog Press.

Majmudar, Amit. What He Did in Solitary: Poems, Alfred A. Knopf.

Juvenile Literature

Hubbard, Rita Lorraine. Illus. by Oge Mora. The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read, Schwartz & Wade.

Metcalf, Lindsay H., Keila V. Dawson, and Jeanette Bradley, eds.  Illus. by Jeannette Bradley.  No Voice Too Small, Charlesbridge Publishing.

Muth, Jon J. Addy’s Cup of Sugar: Based on a Buddhist Story of Healing, Scholastic.

Rex, Adam. On Account of the Gum, Chronicle Books.

Umrigar, Thrity. Illus. by Khoa Le. Sugar in Milk, Running Press Kids.

Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature

Creech, Sharon.  One Time, HarperCollins.

Pearsall, Shelley. Things Seen from Above, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers.

Reynolds, Justin A.  Early Departures, Katherine Tegen Books.

Taylor, Mildred D. All the Days Past, All the Days to Come, Viking Books.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Before the Ever After, Nancy Paulsen Books.

The 2020 Ohioana Book Award Winners. Each year, our winners receive beautiful awards like these ones, which were designed by Kathryn Powers and created by Auld Crafters, INC.

Ohioana Library Announces 2017 Book Award Finalists.

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The Ohioana Library is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 Ohioana Book Awards. First given in 1942, the awards are the second oldest state literary prizes in the nation and honor outstanding achievement by Ohio authors in five categories: Fiction, Poetry, Juvenile Literature, Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature, and Nonfiction. The sixth category, About Ohio/Ohioan, may also include books by non-Ohio authors.

This year’s finalists include such notable names as Douglas Brinkley, Martha Collins, Sharon Creech, J. Patrick Lewis, Loren Long, Candice Millard, Donald Ray Pollock, Julie Salamon, J.D. Vance, and Jacqueline Woodson. Six authors are finalists for their debut books, while nine are past Ohioana Award winners.

Ohioana will profile all the finalists in the coming weeks. Beginning Monday, May 23, it will present “30 Books, 30 Days,” a special feature on its Facebook page in which one finalist is highlighted each weekday thru Friday, June 30.

Winners will be announced in July, and the 2017 Ohioana Book Awards presented at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Friday, October 6.




Juvenile Literature

Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature


About Ohio/Ohioan