Three Local Literary Organizations You Should Know


Calling all book lovers and emerging writers: We present you the king of local independent booksellers, a local showcase for writers, and an organization dedicated to the creative art of book making.

Illustration by Marina Zlochin/

Joseph-Beth Booksellers Is an Oasis for Book Lovers

Cincinnati’s literary scene derives much of its visibility from Joseph-Beth, the iconic Rookwood Commons store combining he heft of a national chain with the personal service of a neighborhood bookshop. The pandemic has shut down signings and readings and permanently closed the Crestview Hills location, but the store remains a welcome escape—from “staff pick” recommendations and a robust local writers section to a huge magazine selection and a cozy meal or drink at Brontë Bistro. (Here are six more independent bookstores worth checking out.)  —JOHN FOX

The Cincinnati Review Amplifies Emerging Writers’ Voices

Founded in 2003 and housed in McMicken Hall on UC’s campus, this literary magazine showcases poems, stories, and essays submitted by writers “of any background, at any point in their literary careers.” The small-but-mighty staff of editors, faculty, and graduate student volunteers accepts online submissions of unpublished work, which they review from September to January and compile into a biannual print publication. (They also publish shorter “miCRo” submissions online year-round, and received more than 8,800 submissions from January 2019 through August.) The main goal? “Champion literature in all its forms.” —KATIE COBURN

Cincinnati Book Arts Society Preserves the Art of Book Making

This 22-year-old nonprofit organization exists to promote and preserve contemporary and traditional forms of book, paper, and printing arts, from binding and printing to papermaking and artwork. Self-described as the “the central organization in the [tri-state] for book lovers of all kinds,” its team of volunteers hosts exhibitions, lectures, and workshops year-round on all things book-making (think bookbinding basics). Paying members also participate in monthly study groups, during which they investigate and present new findings in the field of book arts. —K.C.

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