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WR grad wins major writing prize

• Updated Jul 9, 2017 at 7:29 PM

A Western Reserve graduate has earned a prestigious honor from the Ohioana Library Association.

Ashley Bethard recently was named the winner of the 28th annual Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant, a competitive prize awarded to a writer from Ohio age 30 or younger who has not yet written a book.

"I'm extremely humbled and grateful to Ohioana for this prize,” Bethard said. “It came at a time in my life when I seriously recommitted to writing, and I can't wait to bring this book home."

Bethard, now of Dayton, is the daughter of Charles and Lindalu Bethard, of Collins.

She graduated from Western Reserve High School in 2004 and then Ashland University in 2008, earning a bachelor’s degree with a double major in English literature and creative writing, and a minor in applied writing. She earned her master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Ashland in 2010.

For several years, Bethard worked for the Sandusky Register and served as Funcoast editor before moving to Dayton.

“I currently work for Cox Media Group Ohio as the manager of Dayton.com, and I oversee food and entertainment content for all of CMGO's brands, including the Dayton Daily News and WHIO-TV,” she said.

Bethard turned 31 in April. Since the cutoff date for the "age 30 or younger" requirement was in January, she qualified.

Her writing has appeared in PANK Magazine, The Rumpus, Hobart, Fanzine and others.

Bethard’s essay titled “Of Blood” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

A winner of a Newspaper Association of America’s “30 Under 30” Award, Bethard is in the midst of writing a book that doubles as a love letter to her late brother, Andrew Bethard, who died last year at age 27.

Past winners of the Marvin Grant, named for Ohioana's second director and endowed by his family, include Anthony Doerr, Ellis Avery, and Salvatore Scibona.

Bethard will be honored Oct. 6 at the Ohio Statehouse.

To learn more about her, visit her website: https://ashleybethard.com/

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