The Ohioana Book Festival takes place on Saturday at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Educational Center in Columbus. This event, the seventh annual festival, celebrates reading and writing.
More than 100 authors with Ohio connections will be signing their books there and mingling with the public. Some authors will also be participating in panel discussions. Attendees will be able to enjoy an abundance of literary fare, live music and food. Admission is free. All events are open to the public.
Ohioiana was inaugurated in 1929 when Ohio’s first lady of that time, Martha Kinney Cooper, thought that it might be a good thing to gather together some books with Ohio connections in a collection for the Governor’s Mansion.
The Ohioana collection is now housed in the old Jeffrey Mining Center in a permanent archive that currently has more than 46,000 books, 25,000 biographical profiles of notable citizens of the Buckeye State and 10,000 pieces of rare sheet music.
Readers and writers from across Ohio will converge in Columbus for this event. A number of authors from our region are scheduled to appear.
Here are a few of the authors who will be featured at the Ohioana this year:
• Ellis Avery. Her most recent novel “The Last Nude” was inspired in part by the life story of the painter Tamara de Lempicka. Her novel “The Teahouse Fire” won the Ohioana Award. Avery grew up in Columbus.
• Bob Hunter. The longtime sportswriter for The Columbus Dispatch is the author of “Saint Woody: the History and Fanaticism of Ohio State Football.” He lives in Westerville.
• Robert Olmstead. Olmstead’s most recent book is “The Coldest Night.” His novel “Coal Black Horse” won the Ohioana Award. He teaches creative writing at Ohio Wesleyan.
• Raul Ramos y Sanchez. The Dayton area author recently published “Pancho Land,” the third novel in his futuristic Class H Trilogy. Sanchez will be participating in two panel discussions: “Mystery Thrills and Suspense,” and “How We Write, What We Write.”
• Sharon Short. The “Literary Life” columnist for the Dayton Daily News recently published a novel, “My One Square Inch of Alaska.” She is the author of the Josie Toadfern series and also the Patricia Delaney series of mysteries. She will be participating in “The Writing Life” panel.
• Mindee Arnett. The Montgomery County author recently published a young adult novel “The Nightmare Affair.”
• Kristina McBride. This Miami Valley area writer is the author of the young adult novel “One Moment.”
• Tim Waggoner: A prolific author of fantasy and horror for young adults and adult readers. He recently published “Supernatural: Carved in Flesh.” Waggoner teaches creative writing at Sinclair Community College.
• James Renner: An author from northern Ohio, Renner writes fiction and non-fiction. His most recent novel, “The Man from Primrose Lane,” was set mostly in Ohio with some creepy interludes that featured SW Ohio’s legendary “Loveland Frog.” His most recent book is “It Came From Ohio.”
• David Lee Garrison: The Dayton-based poet’s most recent collection is “Playing Bach in the D.C. Metro.” He recently retired after a long teaching career at Wright State University.