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The Ohio Writers’ Association received a great pool of submissions for The Great Novel Contest 2020. Thank you to everyone who submitted work!

Find the full list of Finalists here.

The OWA judges took their time to carefully consider this year’s winner. In the end, the decision was clear:

Threshing of Straw by Kim Catron is the Grand Prize Winner of The Great Novel Contest 2020!

From one of our judges: “Threshing from Straw is a work of historical fiction with excellent dialogue and characters that ring true. It’s obvious that the author has done extensive research, and this contributes to the realistic world she builds and the compelling conflicts her characters face. A must-read manuscript!”

Congratulations, Kim! You’ve won a publishing contract with Bellwether (that’s us!), the publishing imprint of the Ohio Writers’ Association, as well as $1,000.

We can’t wait to see Threshing of Straw in print!

Thank you to Columbus Publishing Lab for sponsoring this contest and making it possible. Columbus Publishing Lab provides publication and marketing services for authors and small presses. They help self-publishers make smart decisions and see a return on their investment. Learn more at

Columbus Publishing Lab

Words Will Never Hurt Me by Toni Wilbarger is the official Runner-up of The Great Novel Contest 2020!

From one of our judges: “Words Will Never Hurt Me is a mystery that shines through its strong writing. The pace is well metered and it’s clear that the author has put in the work to make sure the characters’ motivations read impactfully. She leaves the reader with a deeper message through the vehicle of an entertaining read.”

Congratulations, Toni! Your prize is $500 cash, a publishing consultation with OWA President and publishing expert Brad Pauquette, and a letter of recommendation for agents and publishers.

The remaining eight finalists will be publicly recognized for their achievement and will receive a voucher to take one free OWA class in 2020, good for up to $50.

Congratulations to all of the finalists, and thank you to everyone who made this another successful contest!

Learn more about The Great Novel Contest here, and mark your calendar for next year!