The 2023 Ohioana Award Winners


Each year, juried awards are given to books in six categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, About Ohio/an Ohioan, Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature, and Juvenile Literature. Fans have the opportunity to make their voices heard by selecting the Readers’ Choice Book Award from among all thirty finalists in an online poll. Finally, we present a special prize for emerging writers, the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant.

Ohioana Book Awards

First given in 1942, the Ohioana Book Awards are the second oldest, and among the most prestigious, state literary prizes in the nation. Nearly every major writer from Ohio in the past 80 years has been honored, including James Thurber, Robert McCloskey, Toni Morrison, Mary Oliver, Rita Dove, Anthony Doerr, Celeste Ng, and many more.

Six of the Ohioana Award winners, as well as the Marvin Grant recipient, are selected by juries. The Readers’ Choice Award is determined by voters in a public online poll. Over 2,000 votes were cast for this year’s Readers’ Choice Award.

Listed below are the 2023 Ohioana Book Award winners. Click on the title to learn more about the author and their winning book.

Nonfiction: Ross Gay, Inciting Joy

Fiction: Celeste Ng, Our Missing Hearts

Poetry: Saeed Jones, Alive at the End of the World

Book About Ohio or an Ohioan: Kelcey ErvickThe Keeper: Soccer, Me, and the Law That Changed Women’s Lives

Middle Grade/Young Adult: Jasmine Warga, A Rover’s Story

Juvenile: Marcy Campbell, The More You Give

Readers’ Choice: John Scalzi, The Kaiju Preservation Society

Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant

2023 Ohioana Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant Winner Kortney Morrow.

The Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant is a competitive prize. Named for Ohioana’s second director and given since 1982, the Marvin Grant is awarded to an Ohio writer age 30 or younger who has not yet published a book. The 2023 Marvin Grant winner is Kortney Morrow. Kortney spent her early years making up stories, and she never stopped. Her writing has been featured or is forthcoming in The Academy of American PoetsObsidianPrairie Schooner, and Transition Magazine. When she’s not writing, you can find her daydreaming on her front porch. Kortney lives in Cleveland, where she was born and raised. Read her winning entry (starting on page 10) in the 2023 Fall issue of the Ohioana Quarterly.