• 15 Ohio Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments 6 comments

    Ohio Welcomes YouSo as you may have noticed, we took the summer off from our State Writing Resources series. (Because, come on, who is looking for writing resources in the summertime?) But, now that autumn (egads!) is on its way and school is heading back into session, it’s time we … sent … our State Writing Resources series heading … back … into session.

    Ohio. An Iroquois word meaning “large river,” or thereabouts. We–or at least I–imagine Ohio as containing only two major cities, Cleveland and Cincy. But did you know that the state capital, Columbus, is bigger than the both of ’em? And that Toledo almost matches Cleveland in population? Ohio is known as the Buckeye State, a buckeye being both a brand of tree as well as a brand of 300-pound lineman who kicks the piss out of my favorite college football team every season.

    Ohio writing features a strong cast of characters, among them Sherwood Anderson, whose Winesburg, Ohio is–well, it’s a book I’ve never read, is what it is. Sorry. But another thing it is is (ugh) a short story cycle about a small Ohio town that reminded Anderson of his own. It’s supposed to be a stellar book. Also an Ohioan is Toni Morrison, whose Jazz, as many of you know, since I never shut up about it, is probably my favorite novel. Ambrose Bierce, who I believe is out there somewhere, alive, is from Ohio, and will someday return. Another great Ohioan: Erma Bombeck. And Donald Ray Pollock, whose Knockemstiff has been called a modern-day version of Winesburg, Ohio. And don’t forget James Thurber; we’ll touch on him in the list below.

    For now, presented in no particular order, here are 15 Ohio writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are a buckeye or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at.

    1) Antioch Writers’ Workshop

    Offers instruction in the creative writing craft and in the professional skills creative writers need to succeed in the publishing world, as well as opportunities for connecting to a vibrant, supportive creative writing community.

    2) Kenyon Review Writers Workshop

    A week-long workshop and retreat. Workshops are held for three hours each morning, focusing on writing exercises, reading and critiquing work, and talking about writing technique. The afternoons allow private time for reading and writing. Evenings are spent with public readings from instructors, visiting writers and workshop participants.

    3) Kenyon Review

    Founded in 1939, this well-known journal publishes prose, poetry, plays, translations and more.

    4) Thurber House Literary Programs

    The Thurber House (the home of humorist, author and New Yorker cartoonist James Thurber) is a non-profit literary center.

    5) Cleveland State University Poetry Center

    Promotes poetry through readings and community outreach, and is also the publisher of over 150 independent poetry book titles.

    6) Ohioana Library

    The Ohioana Library is dedicated to collecting, preserving and promoting the written work of Ohio’s writers, artists and musicians.

    7) Ohio Poetry Association

    An active group of poets and lovers of poetry who have a relationship with Ohio.

    8) Antioch Review

    Founded in 1941, this is one of the oldest, continuously publishing literary magazines in America. It publishes fiction, essays and poetry from both emerging and established authors.

    9) Artful Dodge

    An Ohio-based literary magazine that publishes work with a strong sense of place and cultural landscape. Besides new American fiction, poetry and narrative essay, they’re also interested in contemporary literature in translation from all over the globe.

    10) Cincinnati Review

    Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, reviews and artwork.

    11) The Journal

    The award-winning literary journal of Ohio State University, The Journal seeks to identify and encourage emerging writers while also attracting the work of established writers to create a diverse and compelling magazine.

    12) Mid-American Review

    An international literary journal dedicated to publishing the best contemporary fiction, poetry, nonfiction and translations.

    13) Beginnings Writing Conference

    The Ohio Literacy Resource Center invites students to submit original writings for review. Accepted submissions are published in a softbound book, Beginnings. Students whose work is accepted are invited to attend the day-long Ohio Writers’ Conference, along with their teacher and one paid guest.

    14) Ohioana Book Festival 

    Annual book festival bringing together Ohio writers and readers.

    15) Whiskey Island

    A literary magazine published by Cleveland State University.

    Ohio flagHelp us add to this list, Ohioans! Do you run a local writing group or a lit journal we should be aware of? Feel free to share info and links in the comments section below.


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    Jensen B.

    This is great, thank you! I’d like to suggest two more OH journals, if I may:

    New Ohio Review: http://www.ohio.edu/nor/
    Quarter After Eight: http://www.quarteraftereight.org/

    Justine Tal Goldberg

    Thanks so much for weighing in, Jensen! It’s much appreciated.

    Carrie Winters

    The Thurber House is fly. I saw Jodi Picoult read there in … gosh. 2006 maybe? It’s a great setting for events. Though I still don’t really understand who James Thurber was. Wikipedia says he was “a celebrated wit.” I guess that’s one thing to be.

    Dustin Jackson

    Better than an uncelebrated wit, or a celebrated twit. Or is it?

    I think this practice of turning writers’ childhood homes into museums and bookstores and whatnot is strange. Though I know you (Write by Night) guys do something at O. Henry’s house.

    Anyway, this is a pointless response. I’m procrastinating.

    […] Oklahoma, the Sooner State, is up next in our State Writing Resources series. Its motto is “Labor omnia vincit,” which means “Work conquers all,” which means “Get your ass out of bed, slacker!” Oklahoma achieved statehood on November 16, 1907, the same day that actor (and Rocky trainer) Burgess Meredith was born in … drum roll … you guessed it! Ohio. Ugh, so close. […]

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