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.
Beth Armstrong spent much of her life caring for and observing gorillas—first as a keeper and then as head keeper at the Columbus Zoo, 1982–1996. She became a passionate proponent and voice for gorillas in the wild—and many other species—as the first Field Conservation Coordinator at the Columbus and Brevard Zoos, respectively. She continues to promote the role of zoos in supporting fieldwork that actively protects great ape species in the wild.
After beginning his career as a marketing professional, Michael Armstrong changed course and joined the nonprofit world. He served as the Executive Director of The ALS Association, The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, and other nonprofit organizations.
When his daughter was born, Mike left his job to become a stay-at-home dad. Soon after, he began writing children’s books (and rekindled his love affair with Play-Doh). Today he is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and is represented by Curtis Brown, Ltd. His first book, Best Day Ever, will be released by Sterling Publishing in Spring 2020. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
Mindee Arnett is the author of the critically acclaimed sci-fi thriller Avalonas well the Arkwell Academyseries. An avid eventer, she lives on a farm near Dayton, Ohio with her husband, two kids, and assorted animals. When not telling tales of magic, the supernatural, or outer space, she can be found on a horse, trying to jump anything that will stand still. Onyx and Ivoryis her first foray into high fantasy. Find her on the web at mindeearnett.com
Patricia Averbach, a Cleveland native, is the former director of the Chautauqua Writers’ Center in Chautauqua, New York. Her first novel, Painting Bridges dealt with historic issues in deaf education. It was described by Michelle Ross, critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, as “an intelligent, introspective and moving novel.” Averbach was the 2013 winner of the London based Lumen/Camden Prize for Poetry. Her poetry chapbook, Missing Persons, was featured in the Times of London Literary Supplement as one of the top poetry pamphlets of the year. For more on Averbach go to her website at patriciaaverbach.com.
Patricia Averbach, a Cleveland native, is the former director of the Chautauqua Writers’ Center in Chautauqua, New York. Her first work of fiction, Painting Bridges (Bottom Dog Press, 2013) was described by Michelle Ross, critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, as an intelligent, introspective and moving novel. Her second novel, Resurrecting Rain, will be released by Golden Antelope Press February, 2020. Her poetry chapbook, Missing Persons (Ward Wood Publishing, 2013) received the London based Lumen/Camden prize in 2013 and was listed by Times of London Literary Supplement (November 14, 2014) as one of the best short collections of the year.
Ellis Avery is the author of award-winning books. Her second novel, The Last Nude (Riverhead 2012), inspired by the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka, won the 2013 ALA Stonewall Fiction Award. The Last Nude has received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal as well as praise from The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, SF Weekly, Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, and NPR.…Read More
Ellis Avery is the author of award-winning books. Her second novel, The Last Nude (Riverhead 2012), inspired by the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka, won the 2013 ALA Stonewall Fiction Award. The Last Nude has received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal as well as praise from The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, SF Weekly, Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, and NPR. In addition to The Last Nude, Avery is the author of a first novel, The Teahouse Fire. Set in the tea ceremony world of 19th century Japan, The Teahouse Fire won Lambda, Ohioana, and American Library Association awards and was translated into five languages. Avery is also the author of The Smoke Week, an award-winning 9/11 memoir. Ellis grew up in Columbus, Ohio, attending Columbus School for Girls until the age of eleven. She received a BA from Bryn Mawr College and an M.F.A. from Goddard College and now teaches fiction writing at Columbia University and lives in New York City.
Ruth Awad is a Lebanese-American poet whose debut poetry collection Set to Music a Wildfire (Southern Indiana Review Press 2017) won the 2018 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry and the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of a 2016 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and she won the 2012 and 2013 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and the 2011 Copper Nickel Poetry Contest. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, The Rumpus, The Missouri Review, Sixth Finch, Crab Orchard Review, The Adroit Journal, BOAAT Journal, and elsewhere. Her work also appears in several anthologies, including Bettering American Poetry Vol. 2.
Chuck Ayers is a graduate of Kent State University and is from Summit Co., Ohio. Following graduation, he became the editorial cartoonist for the Akron Beacon Journal. He’s been the artist on Crankshaft since its inception and is a huge fan of the Cleveland Indians and the Akron RubberDucks. Ayers has been a cartoonist most of his professional life and was a longtime political cartoonist for the Akron Beacon Journal. Ayers and his wife, Lisa, have two grown children.
Chris Bachelder’s fourth novel, The Throwback Special, was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and the winner of The Paris Review’s Terry Southern Prize for humor. His other novels include Abbott Awaits, U.S.!, and Bear v. Shark. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Cincinnati, where he teaches writing at the University of Cincinnati.
Jennifer Bowers Bahney is an award-winning journalist and newspaper editor with a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a BA in history from Smith College. She has written and produced both local news and internationally for CNN. Her first book, “Stealing Sisi’s Star,” was a finalist for the 2016 Ohioana Book Award in Nonfiction. She lives in central Ohio with her daughter and German Shepherd Dog, Kaiserin Viktoria.