manager Ashley Bethard has been named the 28th annual Ohioana Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant winner. Contributed photo

Dayton woman wins major writing prize 

A Dayton writer has snagged a prestigious Ohioana Library Association prize. 

Ashley Bethard, a graduate of Ashland University’s Master of Fine Arts Program and the digital manager of, won the 28th annual Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant.

Ashley Bethard reading at Bloom Creative Collective's "Never Sent" event on July 25, 2017. PHOTO / Cory D. D. Miller is a Cox Media Group Ohio company. 

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The grant is for writers age 30 and younger who have not yet published books.  

Past winners have included Anthony Doerr, Ellis Avery and Salvatore Scibona. 

Bethard’s writing has appeared in “PANK Magazine,” “The Rumpus,” “Hobart,” “Fanzine” and several other publications.

She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her essay “Of Blood.” 

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Bethard is the former editor and brand manager of Funcoast Magazine and at the Sandusky Register, and was a recipient of the Newspaper Association of America’s “30 Under 30.”
The founding member of Bloom, a Dayton-based creative collective, she is penning a book about her late brother.

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The Marvin Grant was named for Ohioana's second director and endowed by his family.

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Bethard will be honored Oct. 6 at the Ohio Statehouse, along with the seven Ohioana Book Award winners.

Those winners will be announced Friday.