About the Buckeye Book Fair

Our mission is to promote Ohio authors and Ohio literacy projects.

We work exclusively with Ohio authors and illustrators to support our literacy projects. Our literacy projects include an annual book fair, author visits and lectures, book giveaways, and teacher and student workshops.


Ohio Authors

Buckeye Book Fair exclusively features Ohio authors and illustrators in our programs.

Ohio Book Fair

The annual Buckeye Book Fair takes place in Wooster, Ohio, on the first Friday and Saturday of November.

We feature over 100 Ohio authors and illustrators and more than 300 titles for sale.

Literacy Awards

Buckeye Book Fair’s Literacy Awards program awards free books and free author visits to support reading programs throughout Ohio.

Student Programs

Our student programs include author visits, illustrator workshops, writing workshops, and book giveaways.

Community of Volunteers

Buckeye Book Fair and our events are carried out with the help of over 100 volunteers!

Our History

Buckeye Authors’ Book Fair Committee, Inc. is a literary 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in Wooster, Ohio, in 1987. The organization was founded to promote Ohio authors and Ohio literacy projects. Each year, the organization serves thousands of Ohio readers, writers, teachers, students, and families who participate in our author lectures, workshops, and other literary programs. The annual “Buckeye Book Fair” event is one of Ohio’s premier book fairs and has become the organization’s DBA.

Annual Book Fair

Buckeye Book Fair presents a multi-day book festival each year in Wooster during the first week of November. The book fair is a fundraiser for the organization and our literacy awards programs. Since inception, we have given away over $200,000 in books. (See the Literacy Awards page for more information.)

The book festival features over 100 Ohio authors and illustrators and thousands of attendees come from all over Ohio come to mingle, shop for books, and celebrate the joys of reading and writing.

To receive a free copy of our printed brochure, please click here to sign up, or email the Buckeye Book Fair director at buckeyebookfair@gmail.com.

Notable authors who have participated in the Buckeye Book Fair include:


  • Tom Batiuk, Pulitzer Prize finalist for Funky Winkerbean comic strip
  • Harold Brown, Tuskegee Airman in WWII
  • Lois McMaster Bujold, Hugo and Nebula award-winning author
  • Sharon Draper, five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Award
  • Angela Johnson, Coretta Scott King Award winner and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship
  • John Kasich, former Ohio governor
  • Kenn Kaufman, naturalist and author of the Kaufman Field Guides
  • Dominique Moceanu, Olympic gold medalist
  • Dav Pilkey, creator of Captain Underpants
  • Senator Sherrod Brown, Senior US Senator from Ohio
  • Don Thomas, NASA astronaut

Our Board & Staff


 Steve Badman – Board President

Steve Badman received his B.A. in English from Wilkes College and served as the Buckeye Book Fair’s director from 2001-2004. He is currently Vice President and Marketing Director at Consumers National Bank and is a past board member for the Crisis Intervention and Recovery Center in Canton.

Jarrod Hartzler – Vice President

Jarrod is Executive Director of Ohio Alliance for Arts Education and is a former Arts Management Fellow at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Ohio Citizens for the Arts and Wayne Center for the Arts. His past positions include Executive and Artistic Director of Tuesday Musical and Managing Director of Wooster Chamber Music Series. Jarrod serves in a number of capacities for Buckeye Book Fair, including chairing committees and advising the organization on arts education.

Russell T. Cross – Secretary

Russell received his B.Sc. in Psychology and Linguistics at Lancaster University in the UK. He is the Language Systems Product Manager at PRC-Saltillo, a Wooster company that provides speech technology for those with communication disabilities. Russell serves on the editorial board for two scholarly journals in the fields of linguistics and technology.

Sean Ulik – Treasurer

Sean received his B.A. in English from the University of Akron. He is currently Vice President, Business Banking Officer at Consumers National Bank and serves as a board member for the Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter of the Salvation Army and YMCA Camp Tippecanoe.

Will Hillenbrand – Board Member

Will is a celebrated illustrator and author whose published works include almost 70 books for young readers. Will has served as Illustrator in Residence for the Art Academy of Cincinnati (2019-2020) and Kent State University (2017-2019). He lives near Cincinnati and frequently creates the illustration for the Buckeye Book Fair’s promotional brochure and poster.

 Alden Sewell – Board Member

Alden studied at Ohio State University and works as a Safety Engineer for the Ohio State University Wooster Campus. He serves as CIO for the Buckeye Book Fair and several other nonprofits.

Cassi Sewell – Board Member

Cassi studied at Ohio State University and works at the OSU Wooster Campus as an Environmental Safety Officer and previously as a research supervisor. Cassi regularly serves on the Appropriations Committee for the Wayne-Holmes United Way. Cassi is a volunteer coordinator and past board president for Buckeye Book Fair.

 Karin Wiest – Board Member

Karin was a History major at The College of Wooster and received her Juris doctor at Ohio State University. Karin is the Director of the Wayne County Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Program and has served as a board member for Wooster Kiwanis, the Women’s Advisory Board to The College of Wooster, the Wayne County Humane Society, and the Wooster YMCA. Karin coordinates the youth volunteers for Buckeye Book Fair.

 Julia Wiesenberg – Executive Director

Julia Wiesenberg (“Wee-zen-berg”) is the Buckeye Book Fair’s Executive Director and Program Director. Julia received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from York University in Toronto. Prior to leading the Buckeye Book Fair, Julia was store manager for The Wooster Book Company bookstore for over a decade. Julia currently serves on planning committees for several nonprofits in Wooster and is Vice President of the Friends of Secrest Arboretum board.

Emily Speelman – LEAD Coordinator

Emily is the Buckeye Book Fair’s coordinator handling Literacy, Education, Arts, and Design projects. Emily is a photographer, naturalist, and active supporter of local nonprofits.


Buckeye Book Fair logo

3540 Burbank Rd. Suite #133
Wooster, OH 44691
phone (330) 249-1455

Email Kimberly Crislip Payne, Executive Director at buckeyebookfair@gmail.com

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