It’s nearly here! Tomorrow night is the 77th Annual Ohioana Award ceremony, to be held at the Ohio Statehouse. This year’s crop of winners joins a prestigious club that includes such notable authors as Mary Doria Russell, Wil Haygood, Paula McClain, Toni Morrison, and Anthony Doerr.
The Ohioana Book Awards are the second oldest, and among the most prestigious, state literary prizes in the nation. Nearly every notable Ohio writer of the past 77 years has been honored.
The first Ohioana Book Award, presented in 1942, was given in the category of nonfiction to James Reston’s Prelude to Victory.
Awards for juvenile literature and fiction were first presented in 1943, followed in 1944 by poetry and book about Ohio/an Ohioan, and in 2014, middle grade/young adult literature. To these juried awards, we added a Readers’ Choice Award in 2016, allowing readers to choose their favorite book from among the finalists selected by judges.
The 2018 honorees are:
Fiction: Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere
Nonfiction: Deanne Stillman, Blood Brothers
Poetry: Ruth Awad, Set to Music a Wildfire
About Ohio or an Ohioan: Brian Alexander, Glass House
Middle Grade / Young Adult: Tamara Bundy, Walking with Miss Millie
Juvenile Literature: Sally Derby, A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices
Reader’s Choice: Tamara Bundy, Walking with Miss Millie
Additionally, at the Ohioana Award ceremony, we also present the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant, which is awarded annually to a writer under the age of 30 who has not yet published a book. This year’s winner is Christopher Alexander Gellert. He joins the likes of Jeannie Vanasco, Ellis Avery, Anthony Doerr, Shari Goldhagen, Bernard Farai Matambo, Sarah Menkedick, and many more writers who have gone on to publish award-winning books.
Congratulations to all of our winners! For more information about them, see the Fall issue of the Ohioana Quarterly. To learn more about previous winners of the Ohioana Awards, click here, and to watch previous ceremonies click here.