Eight State Literary Prize Winners Named

Eight Ohio authors – or authors who write on Ohio topics – were honored by the 2021 Ohioana Book Awards.

The awards, first awarded in 1942, are among the oldest state literary prizes in the country.

The awards ceremony, tentatively scheduled to be an in-person event, is scheduled for Oct. 14 in the atrium of the Ohio Statehouse.

The winners:

Fiction: Carter Sickels for “The Prettiest Star,” in which the main character returns to the small town of Ohio and the family that had rejected him.

non-fictional works: Aimee Nezhukumatathil, “World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments”, a collection of essays on the natural world.

About Ohio or an Ohio: Carole M. Genshaft, editor of Raggin ‘On: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s House and Journals, writes to accompany the large exhibition of Robinson’s works at the Columbus Museum of Art.

Poetry: Marianne Chan, “All Heathens”, poems that explore the Filipino heritage, folklore and the author’s sense of self.

Intermediate / Young Adult Literature: Jacqueline Woodson, “Before the Ever After”, a novel in verse that considers the cost of professional sport to an athlete and his family.

Youth literature: Thrity Umrigar, “Sugar in Milk”, a picture book on immigration, diversity and acceptance.

Choice of readers: Tiffany McDaniel, “Betty,” a coming-of-age novel set in the Appalachian foothills of Ohio.

Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant (named after the second Ohioana director and awarded to an Ohio writer aged 30 or under who has yet to publish a book): Hagan Faye Whiteleather, Northeast Writer, Editor and Professor from Ohio working on a brief.

Most of the winners were selected by judges from across the state. The Readers’ Choice award was determined by an online survey of over 3,000 people.

The awards are organized by the Ohioana Library Association, founded in 1929 to promote and preserve the works of Ohio authors, artists, and musicians.

For more information, visit www.ohioana.org.

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