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.
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.
David Baker is author of thirteen books of poetry, recently Whale Fall, published in July 2022 by W. W. Norton, and Swift: New and Selected Poems, as well as six books of prose about poetry. Among his awards are prizes and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, NEA, Mellon Foundation, and Poetry Society of America. Baker’s poetry and essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Poetry, and others. He served for many years as Poetry Editor of The Kenyon Review, where he continues to curate the annual eco-poetry issue, “Nature’s Nature.” Baker lives in Granville, Ohio.
Thomas E. Barden
Thomas E. Barden is Professor of English and Dean of the Honors College at the University of Toledo.
Cheryl Bardoe combines her passion for writing and her curiosity about the world to create award-winning books for young readers. She has an MFA in writing for children and enjoys talking with young readers and their parents and educators at schools, libraries, literacy institutes and other events. She studied journalism at Northwestern University and has worked in public relations and in the exhibitions department at Chicago’s Field Museum. Over the years, Bardoe has written everything from five-word marketing slogans to policy reports, brochures, magazine articles, education pieces, direct mail letters, annual reports, press kits, newsletters, websites and text for a museum exhibition about dinosaurs from China. She’s even written signs telling people where to find the bathrooms! Bardoe grew up in Columbus, Ohio and is a graduate of Columbus Alternative High School. She currently lives in Chicago with her family.
Tom Barlow’s stories may be found in the science-fiction novel I’ll See You Yesterday and the literary short story collection Welcome to the Goat Rodeo, as well as in several anthologies, including Best American Mystery Stories 2013 and Best New Writing 2011. His work has also appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including Redivider, Temenos, The Apalachee Review, Hobart, Needle, The William and Mary Review, and Hiss Quarterly.
Rebecca writes books about—and inspired by—the Middle Ages. She earned her doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and medieval literature written in Old and Middle English, Old Norse, and other fascinating languages. A native of Vero Beach, Florida, she now lives in Ohio, where is a professor of English at Youngstown State University.
When she was growing up, reading was like breathing to Rebecca. It still is. She loved the Little House books, and fought with her brother over books in the Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series. Later, she discovered science fiction and fantasy, from The Lord of the Rings to Arthur C. Clarke to Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea series and many, many other books that she and her best friend shared. They still do.
Photo by Carl Leet
Mike Bartell, a lifelong resident of Toledo, Ohio, covered numerous space shuttle missions during his award-winning thirty-five-year career as a reporter and editor at The Blade in Toledo. He also taught journalism at the University of Toledo for more than thirty years.