What We Do · Writer-in-Residence · Jessica Strawser (2019)

Jessica StrawserNaomi Tucker Gerwin and Jessica Strawser

The Library Foundation of Cincinnati and Hamilton County selected Jessica Strawser to be the 2019 Writer-in-Residence (WIR). Strawser served as the Library’s literary ambassador to the community, and receive a $10,000 stipend thanks to the generous support of Naomi Tucker Gerwin and the Library Foundation.

Strawser earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University. She’s worked as a magazine and book editor in various outlets, including Writer’s Digest where she’s currently an editor-at-large. She’s published two books, Almost Missed You and Not That I Could Tell, and has a third book, Forget You Know Me, coming out in February. She’s also a freelance writer and has led numerous writing workshops.

“We had many strong applications for the fifth Writer-in-Residence. Jessica’s experience and commitment to the literary community is outstanding,” said Library Foundation Executive Director Staci Dennison. “We look forward to working with her this year to promote literacy in Cincinnati.” 

The goal of the Writer-in-Residence program is to foster engagement between the Library and the community’s writers and readers by providing instruction on the craft of writing, both online and in-person. The WIR serves as the Library’s representative in the local literary arts scene. 

Connect with Jessica

  • Office Hours With the Writer-in-Residence. Looking for input on a story idea, query letter, or a few pages? Frustrated by your last rejection letter, or by the format of your critique group? On the fence about whether to self-publish or pursue traditional publication? Confused by literary agents? Ask the Writer-in-Residence!  Jessica Strawser will be at the Sharonville Branch the fourth Tuesday every month from 6 to 8 p.m. Come for advice, feedback, perspective, or just to chat about your writing goals. The time is yours to use as you choose.
  • Writer-in-Residence Book Club Visits. Jessica Strawser will be visiting Library book clubs to join their discussions of her domestic suspense novel Not That I Could Tell, which Book of the Month Club dubbed "a page-turner a la Big Little Lies. All are welcome, even if you've never attended a meeting before!
  • Saturday, March 30, 1 p.m.: The Top 10 Writing Lessons From 10 Years of Interviewing Bestselling AuthorsThis session distills 10 years of collected wisdom into the all-time best insights into the creative process, the writing life, the craft of writing and the business of publishing. Registration opens March 1.
  • Saturday, June 8, 1 p.m.: Building Suspense by Acting Out of Character. Once you’ve established who your characters are, you can thicken your plot by giving them reasons to act out of character. In this interactive fiction workshop, Jessica Strawser will teach you how this often underutilized technique can be used on a large scale or a small one to create page-turning stories. Registration opens May 11.
  • Saturday, Sept. 14, 1 p.m.: Your Publishing Questions Answered—From Both Sides of the Desk. Jessica has a unique dual perspective on the publishing industry. She has been a novelist, essayist, journalist—but also the managing editor of multiple nonfiction book imprints, the chief editor of a leading national magazine, a marketing assistant involved in PR, and, through more than a decade at Writer's Digest, an attentive ear at plenty of tables filled with other and literary agents. For this session, she'll invite a couple of industry friends to join her at the podium and offer the best combined advice they can. Registration opens Aug. 10.
  • Inside the Writer's Head blog posts and podcasts. Regular posts on books, writing, and creativity.