I’m One of the Recipients of the 2016 Governors Awards for the Arts in Ohio

Which is a nice thing to be able to announce after a morning of writing on a novel.

The official announcement is here, and I’m cutting and pasting it below for those of you who don’t want to link through, and adding with some personal comments.

Now, the announcement:



Columbus, Ohio: Nine winners have been selected to receive awards at the 2016 Governors Awards for the Arts in Ohio on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. The 2016 award recipients and categories, including city and county, are:

Arts Administration: Gary Hanson, executive director, The Cleveland Orchestra Cleveland (Cuyahoga)

Arts Education: Joe Deer, professor, Wright State University Dayton (Montgomery)

Arts Patron: George Barrett, chairman/CEO, Cardinal Health Dublin (Franklin)

Business Support of the Arts (small): First-Knox National Bank Mount Vernon (Knox)

Business Support of the Arts (large): Premier Health Dayton (Montgomery)

Community Development & Participation: Harmony Project Columbus (Franklin)

Individual Artist (two winners):
Janice Lessman-Moss, professor of textile arts, Kent State University Kent (Portage);
John Scalzi, author Bradford (Darke)

Irma Lazarus Award: James Conlon, music director, Cincinnati May Festival Cincinnati (Hamilton)

The Governor’s Awards Selection Committee, comprised of four Ohio Arts Council (OAC) board members and three members selected by the Ohio Citizens for the Arts (OCA) Foundation, recommended winners after reviewing 88 nominations submitted by individuals and organizations from across Ohio.

Award Ceremony and Luncheon | Wednesday, May 18

The award ceremony will take place during a luncheon Wednesday, May 18, at noon at the Columbus Athenaeum in downtown Columbus. Winners will receive an original work of art by photographer and visual artist Paula Kraus of Dayton, Ohio. The Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation host the luncheon to honor this years winners and acknowledge continued support by Ohios elected officials. The Governors Awards luncheon is held in conjunction with Arts Day, a daylong arts advocacy event sponsored by Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation.

About the Ohio Arts Council
The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Find us onFacebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit the OAC website at

About the Ohio Citizens for the Arts/Foundation
Through the efforts of thousands of individuals and arts and education organizations, Ohio Citizens for the Arts advocates on behalf of arts and culture, and funding for the same, through the Ohio Arts Council. The Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation formed in 1990 as a companion organization, leverages additional support for the arts and arts education.


And now, my thoughts:

Wheeee! This is pretty exciting. This is a definitely-not-trivial award in the state of Ohio, and to be entirely honest, when I was told that some folks here in the Dayton area wanted to nominate me for it, I wasn’t expecting much. To have it awarded to me is an actual and genuine thrill.

Also, and I’m not entirely sure about this so someone else will have to double-check, but: I do believe this is the first time that a science fiction writer has won this particular award. If that’s correct that makes this award doubly exciting for me. I’m delighted to see my particular brand of literature get recognition, and happy to be an ambassador of it here in Ohio, along with other writers of the genre here in the state, including Tobias Buckell, Kameron Hurley and Mike Resnick among so many others. It’s fun to think the future is starting off in Ohio.

(“But Scalzi,” I hear you say. “Didn’t you swear off awards for this year?” Indeed I did, for awards where the nomination was for work I did in 2015. This is something of a career award, encompassing my entire time as published science fiction author, which as it happens is contiguous with my time in Ohio, as moved here in 2001, and had Old Man’s War, my debut novel, published in 2005. It’s a slightly different animal, then, and I’m happy to accept it.)

I’ll undoubtedly have more to say about this as time goes on, but for right I’ll just say thank you to the Ohio Arts Council and congratulations to the other recipients, particularly Janice Lessman-Moss, the co-winner of the individual artist category. I look forward to seeing all of them in May.

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