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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Dr. Mary Stockwell is a writer who has lived most of her life in the twelve-mile-by-twelve-mile square reserve carved out by Anthony Wayne near the mouth of the Maumee River in the Treaty of Greeneville. Her latest book Unlikely General: “Mad” Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America (Yale University Press, 2018) brings to life the man behind the myth of Mad Anthony. She got her love of history from her father who was proud of his Irish heritage and who took his children along remnants of 19th century canals in Ohio reminding them that their ancestors came to this country to build them and for the freedom and opportunity that America promised. She got her love of storytelling from her mother who was an actress, director, acting teacher, and prize-winning poet.
After completing her Ph.D. in American history at the University of Toledo, where she was the last student of W. Eugene Hollon, the noted historian of the American West, she worked as a writer at Detroit Edison’s Fermi II Nuclear Power Plant. The experience taught her how people make decisions in the real world. These insights helped her become a better writer.
In 1996, she was hired as the American History Professor at Lourdes University, and in 2001, she became the Chair of its Department of History, Political Science, and Geography. She won the Faculty Excellence Award for her superior teaching three times at Lourdes University and was nominated by her institution for national teaching awards. She said goodbye to her teaching and administrative career in 2012 to become a full-time writer and to accept the Earhart Foundation Fellowship at the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan. She was also awarded a Gilder-Lehrman Fellowship to study at the New York Public Library.
Mary Stockwell is the author of The Other Trail of Tears: The Removal of the Ohio Indians (Westholme, 2015), a finalist for the Ohio Library Association’s Best Book on Ohio Award in 2016. She has also written history books used by young people throughout the United States including The Ohio Adventure, A Journey through Maine, and Massachusetts, Our Home, the 2005 winner of the Golden Lamp Award from the Association of Educational Publishers for Best Book, as well as The American Story: Perspectives and Encounters to 1865, a college level textbook used by students around the world. She is the author of Woodrow Wilson: The Last Romantic in the First Men: America’s Presidents Series, which has been nominated for the 2018 Dartmouth Medal. Her essays on George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt have appeared in major scholarly studies of these presidents. She has written for the website of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. Stockwell’s Interrupted Odyssey: Ulysses S. Grant and the American Indians, the first complete study of Grant’s Indian policy, was published by the Southern Illinois University Press in September 2018.
Myrna Stone is the author of six full-length books of poetry: The Resurrectionist’s Diary; Luz Bones; In the Present Tense: Portraits of My Father; The Casanova Chronicles; How Else to Love the World; and The Art of Loss, for which she received the 2001 Ohio Poet of the Year Award. She is a two-time Finalist for the Ohioana Book Award, and the recipient of three Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards in Poetry, a Full Fellowship to Vermont Studio Center, the 2017 New Letters Poetry Prize, and the 2002 Poetry Award from Weber–The Contemporary West. Her poems have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, among others, and have appeared in such journals as Poetry, Ploughshares, Boston Review, TriQuarterly, The Massachusetts Review, Boulevard, Nimrod, and River Styx. Her work has also appeared in nine anthologies, including Flora Poetica: The Chatto Book of Botanical Verse; I Have My Own Song For It: Modern Poems of Ohio; and Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude. Stone is a founding member of The Greenville Poets, based in Greenville, Ohio, where she lives with her husband in an 18th century Rhode Island farmhouse.
Diane Stortz is a multipublished author who writes to make God’s wonders known to the next generation. Her newest children’s releases are Stop-and-Go Devotions: 52 Devotions for Busy Parents and God’s Words to Dream On, both from Tommy Nelson. Diane’s books for women encourage them to know God’s Word, the Bible. Diane and her husband have two married daughters and five young grandchildren—all boys! Visit her at http://www.DianeStortz.com.
Dan Stout lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he writes noir with a twist of magic and a disco chaser. His prize-winning fiction draws on his travels throughout Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Rim, as well as an employment history spanning everything from subpoena server to assistant well driller. Dan’s stories have appeared in publications such as The Saturday Evening Post, Nature, and Mad Scientist Journal. TITAN SONG is the third volume in The Carter Archives from DAW Books. You can follow him on Facebook or your social media site of choice.
Robert Allen Stowe
Jessica Strawser is author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You; Not That I Could Tell (a Book of the Month bestseller); Forget You Know Me; and A Million Reasons Why, named to Most Anticipated lists from Goodreads, SheReads, Frolic & E! News. Her latest, The Next Thing You Know, is a 2022 People Magazine Pick for Best New Novel (all from St. Martin’s Press). She is editor-at-large for Writer’s Digest magazine; has written for The New York Times Modern Love, Publishers Weekly, and others; and is a popular speaker at writing conferences. She lives with her husband and two children in Cincinnati, where she was named 2019 Writer-in-Residence for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Learn more at: https://jessicastrawser.com/
Frances Smith Strickland
Frances Smith Strickland brings to The Little Girl Who Grew Up To Be Governor the perspective of an educational psychologist who believes that the clues to meaningful life work are found in a person’s early childhood traits.
Frances was born and reared on a farm in Simpsonville, Kentucky. She received a B.S. degree in education from Murray State University, a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Colorado, and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Kentucky. Prior to writing this book, she authored a screening test for children entering kindergarten. Most of her professional life has been spent in public education where she tried to help children with learning problems succeed in the learning environment.
Frances married a fellow psychologist, Ted Strickland, and moved to Ohio. When he entered politics, she left her field of education for a time, and became first Chief-of-Staff. After 12 years in the Congress, Ted was elected as Governor of Ohio and Frances became First Lady. In this role, her attention and energy was focused on children and families. She also worked with non-profits to broaden the scope of education by initiating the Governor’s Institute on Creativity and Innovation in Public Education.
The first edition of The Little Girl Who Grew Up To Be Governor was published in 1991. Frances wanted to document for the children of Kentucky—especially the girls—that women make wonderful leaders, and that they start out in life just like most little girls do. She wanted them to know that women can accomplish big dreams and how one woman—against all odds— made that happen. Thirty years later, as a resident of Ohio, she revised the book to explain in developmentally appropriate language more detail about how the political process works and the important role of government in improving the lives of everyone than was true in the original publication.
Now retired, Frances is focused on joining with others who are concerned that the mood of our country has shifted dangerously away from the collective good and community well-being. Using simple stories, she wants this read-aloud book to remind children that while times and circumstances always change, the need to treat each other fairly and to share never changes.
Amy Stross is a garden writer and educator, and the author of The Suburban Micro-Farm: Modern Solutions for Busy People. As a permaculture designer, she specializes in ecologically regenerative and productive landscapes. She lives in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and mischievous farm cat. Her current adventure is transforming a 3-acre property into a micro-farm. She writes about small-scale permaculture on her website, TenthAcreFarm.com.
Walt Sturgeon is a field mycologist with over forty years of experience studying and identifying mushrooms. His photos of mushroom and fungi, some award-winning, can be seen in numerous mushroom field guide publications, three of which he coauthored. One of these, Mushrooms of the Northeast, was awarded the best field guide of 2016 by the National Outdoor Writers Association.
Tracy Subisak is the creator of Jenny Mei Is Sad and the illustrator of several picture books, including the award-winning Shawn Loves Sharks and the nonfiction Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane. Tracy is from Ohio and now lives in the Pacific Northwest. To learn more about Tracy, you can visit her website, tracysubisak.com and her Instagram, @tracysubisak.