It’s a day of nostalgia for us at Ohioana because ten years ago today, September 15, 2007, the very first Ohioana Book Festival was presented, “A ‘Good Roots’ Celebration,” based on the book edited by Lisa A. Watts and published by Ohio University Press & Swallow Press. Ten contributors to the book, including Lisa, came to Columbus for that inaugural event. Pictured here: (l-r seated) Anthony Doerr, Jill Bialosky, Scott Russell Sanders, Jill Salamon, Lisa A. Watts, Michael Dirda, and Elizabeth Dodd; standing l-r, Dale Keiger, James Toedtman, and Dan Cryer.
The picture was taken in the State Library of Ohio, which has been painted and primed and re-carpeted and improved over the past 10 years.
We couldn’t have done it without our supporters, who came in with gifts so that we could support our authors and have an all-around great celebration. We had a party at the Governor’s Residence afterword — and then we did it all again in May of 2008 in order to get on track and keep the festival in the spring!
We had a lot to learn but learn we did. No one could’ve predicted then that a decade later the event would draw over 120 authors, 3,000-plus attendees and be the state’s largest celebration of Ohio books and authors.