Ohio has a rich literary heritage as well as some wonderful contemporary authors. Learn more about them here! You can sort by various categories and see who has participated in our annual book festival by using the category search on the left, or search by keyword (including partial author names) by using the search field on the right.
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In 1983, Marilyn Sadler created the Alistair series of children’s books for Hamish Hamilton in London, England and for Simon & Schuster in the United States. The books have been featured throughout the years in Cricket Magazine and the Book-of-the-Month Club.
Shortly thereafter, the P.J. Funnybunny collection of children’s books was published under the Dr. Seuss Beginner Books logo for Random House. “It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny” received an International Classroom Choice Award its first year. Since that time, fifteen books have been added to the series.
Marilyn has also had a variety of other characters and series published with Western Publishing and Troll Publishing
Marilyn’s television credits include two PBS Reading Rainbow programs featuring Alistair, an Alistair program for the BBC, three ABC Weekend Specials featuring P.J. Funnybunny, and a show based on her children’s book, Elizabeth and Larry, for Showtime’s Shelley Duvall’s Bedtime Stories.
Between 1999 and 2004, The Disney Channel produced three Original Movies based on Marilyn’s book, Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century. Each of Disney’s Zenon movies had exceptionally high ratings, with Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century and Zenon the Zequel among the highest rated shows in the history of The Disney Channel. According to Nielsen Media Research, the Zenon movies reached an audience of more than 10 million viewers.
In 2004, Playhouse Disney began production on Marilyn’s animated series, Handy Manny. Handy Manny premiered September 16, 2006, as the highest rated Playhouse Disney series premiere of all time. Since its debut, Handy Manny averages approximately 2 million viewers a week, has generated consistent critical acclaim and developed a deeply loyal audience.
In 2009, Marilyn was nominated for an Emmy Award as Executive Producer of Handy Manny in the category of “Outstanding Special Class Animated Program”.
In 2015, Harper Collins Publishers released the first of a series of math-based detective stories featuring Charlie Piechart by Eric Comstock and Marilyn. Titles include, “The Missing Pizza Slice”, “The Missing Hat” and “The Missing Dog”.
Visit Marilyn at: marilynsadler.net
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Chuck Salmons is a poet and has served as part of leadership for the Ohio Poetry Association for more than a decade. His poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Pudding Magazine; Evening Street Review; The Ekphrastic Review; Common Threads; The Fib Review; Shot Glass Journal; Everything Stops and Listens; Poets to Come: A Poetry Anthology, in honor of Walt Whitman’s bicentennial; and I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing: Ohio’s Appalachian Voices. His chapbook, Stargazer Suite, was released in December 2016 and is available from 11th Hour Press. His second chapbook, Patch Job, was published by NightBallet Press in 2017.
He won the 2011 William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest, sponsored by The Poetry Forum of Columbus, has garnered awards from Ohio Poetry Day, and is a recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for his poetry. Chuck regularly gives readings throughout Ohio, both solo and as part of the poetry trio Concrete Wink, including the Columbus Arts Festival, the Winter Solstice Poetry Reading in Yellow Springs, and the Sun & Moon Poetry Festival.
Chuck leads workshops for various groups and audiences. And his poetry has been exhibited artistically in several places, including three features for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources “Art in the Lobby” program and in the 2021 After Hours exhibition at the Riffe Gallery in Columbus.
Chuck has worked in a variety of fields, including construction, education, and retail. He loves science, which often influences his poems, and works as Communications Manager at the Ohio Geological Survey. Learn more at his website: chucksalmons.com.
Yolonda Tonette Sanders
Ohio native Yolonda Tonette Sanders is an Essence magazine bestselling author with six novels to her credit, including Shadow of Death. She is also the founder and CEO of Yo Productions, LLC, a theatrical entertainment and literary services company that expanded its repertoire in 2015 to include publishing. A graduate of Capital University and later The Ohio State University, Yolonda once worked for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office until she quit in 2004 to focus more on writing. It’s a move that she has never regretted. As a writer, Yolonda enjoys the challenge of developing and completing projects that interest and inspire readers. As a speaker, she has been invited to address audiences across the country regarding various topics and appreciates the opportunities she has to connect with people from all walks of life. As a business owner, Yolonda seeks to help other writers develop and perfect their works. In addition to writing, Yolonda likes watching movies, exercising, and spending time with her family. Her favorite people on earth are her husband, David, and her two teenage children, Tre and Tia.
Craig Sanders is an author, educator and historian living with his wife Mary Ann Whitley in University Heights, Ohio. He is the author of six books focusing on railroad history. His most recent book, Cleveland Mainline Railroads, was published in February 2014 by Arcadia Publishing. Arcadia also published three others books that he wrote: Canton Area Railroads (2009), Mattoon and Charleston Area Railroads (2008) and Akron Railroads (2007). He is the author two books published by Indiana University Press: Amtrak in the Heartland (2006) and Limited Locals, and Expresses in Indiana, 1838-1971 (2003).
He is a frequent contributor to Trains magazine and is president of the Akron Railroad Club. Aside from writing, he enjoys traveling and photography.
He is a frequent contributor of feature articles to Trains magazine and is president of the Akron Railroad Club. He is the webmaster of the ARRC website, http: akronrrclub.wordpress.com/ which presents news, features and photographs about railroad and public transportation operations in Ohio and surrounding states.
Sanders has been a journalist and taught journalism, public relations and mass communications for more than 30 years. He worked as a reporter and copy editor at daily newspapers in Mattoon, Illinois; Bloomington, Indiana; Evansville, Indiana; and Indianapolis. His essays on the life in higher education and issues in journalism appear frequently on his LinkedIn page.
He has taught at Cleveland State University, Kent State University, John Carroll University, Penn State University, Indiana University and the University of Southern Indiana. He earned a Ph.D. in mass communications and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University, an M.A. in political studies from Sangamon State University (now University of Illinois-Springfield), and a B.A. in history and political science from Eastern Illinois University. For more information about Sanders, check out his website at csanders429.wordpress.com
Suzanne Sanders Overstreet
Suzanne Sanders Overstreet is the Creative Writing Program Coordinator at Oberlin College, and previously wrote special interest stories for a local newspaper. After taking creative writing classes at Oberlin, her lifelong interest in preserving stories was renewed. After her father passed away, she was concerned the stories he told about his childhood and experiences in WWII would be forgotten, so she wrote Wait For Me. As she unearthed facts during the course of her research, there were some disappointing surprises about what truly happened many decades ago. She has seven children and lives on a farm in northeast Ohio with her husband, a dog and four cats.
Rikki Santer’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications both nationally and abroad including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, The Journal of American Poetry, Hotel Amerika, Crab Orchard Review, Grimm, Slipstream and The Main Street Rag. Her work has received many honors including five Pushcart and three Ohioana book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her eighth collection, Drop Jaw, inspired by the art of ventriloquism, was published by NightBallet Press in the spring of 2020.
Gregg Sapp, a native Ohioan, is a Pinnacle Award winning author of the “Holidazed” series of satires, each of which is centered around a different holiday. To date, there are four books in the series: “Halloween from the Other Side,” “The Christmas Donut Revolution,” “Upside Down Independence Day,” and the latest, “Murder by Valentine Candy.” Previous books include “Dollarapalooza” (Switchgrass Books, 2011) and “Fresh News Straight from Heaven,” which is based on the folklore of Johnny Appleseed (Evolved 2018). He has published humor, poetry, and short stories in Defenestration, Waypoints, Semaphore, Kestrel, Zodiac Review, Top Shelf, Marathon Review, Midwestern Gothic, and others. Gregg writes full time and lives in Tumwater, WA.
Robert Sberna is a journalist and author of Badge 387: The Story of Jim Simone, America’s Most Decorated Cop. A graduate of Ohio University’s School of Journalism, he began his career covering police beats for daily newspapers in the Midwest. In recent years, he has contributed to The Washington Examiner, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Neoconomist, Crain’s, and Ohio Magazine. His first book, House of Horrors: The Shocking True Story of Anthony Sowell, was named the 2012 True Crime “Book of the Year” by Foreword Reviews. He has appeared on numerous TV shows, including the History Channel’s America’s Book of Secrets. Visit him at http://www.robertsberna.com.
John Scalzi has written nearly all of his science fiction from a home office in Bradford, Ohio, where he can look out the window and see Amish buggies clopping by. His first published novel, 2005’s “Old Man’s War,” was a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Novel and helped him win the John W. Campbell/Astounding Award for Best New Writer. Scalzi would go on to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2013 for his New York Times bestselling novel Redshirts. His most recent novel, The Kaiju Preservation Society, is a 2023 Alex Award recipient and currently optioned for television. Scalzi also writes for the Emmy Award-winning television series Love Death + Robots, where Ohio features prominently in his episode “When the Yogurt Took Over.” In 2016, Scalzi’s work earned him the Governor’s Award for Arts in Ohio. https://whatever.scalzi.com/
Randall L. Schieber
Randall Lee Schieber is a photographer based in Columbus, Ohio. He specializes in editorial, architectural, location, and travel photography and has published six books and numerous calendars. His work has appeared in a variety of local and national publications.