Meet the Ohioana Award
It’s an award, given by the state of Ohio, to Ohio writers, in the shape of — yes! — Ohio. It is a very on theme award, I have to say. And I have one, for The Kaiju Preservation Society, which won this year’s Readers’ Choice Award (i.e., the one Ohioana Award that is voted on by readers, rather than being a juried award). I was thrilled. Alas, I could not be there in person at the ceremony yesterday, because I was meant to be in Wichita for a book event (but was in fact stranded in Denver because United forgot how to actually fly planes), but Athena accepted for me and was fabulous doing it.
For posterity, here are the remarks Athena gave at the ceremony, from me:
Dear staff and attendees of the Ohioana Book Awards:
First, thank you again for this humbling honor. I came to Ohio from elsewhere, but the first novel I ever sold was written here, as have been all my subsequent novels. Ohio has been very kind to me, my family, and my career. So it feels good to win this particular award. Thank you also to the staff at Tor Books and Audible, the staff and judges at Ohioana Library and Book Awards, and to everyone who voted for my little monster book.
Second, I am deeply honored to have been in this field of winners and finalists, across all categories. The authors and subjects show the deep diversity and creativity that exists in this state, and which should be acknowledged and celebrated by everyone in Ohio. As a state, we are at our best when we display the width and breadth of our many different experiences. We do so here tonight.
Finally, I want to give a moment of appreciation to libraries, not only to the Ohioana library but to libraries in general. I would not be who I am nor where I am in the world without the libraries that gave me space and knowledge and shelter. We cannot and should not take lightly the role they play in our communities and public life; we should support and defend them. As a token of my support of libraries, I am donating my Ohioana Award prize money to my hometown library in Bradford, Ohio. May it be useful for their service to our community.
Thank you again and congratulations to all tonight’s winners.