Jesse Bethea

NEW WASHINGTON — Local author Jesse Bethea’s first novel, Fellow Travellers, is one of five finalists in the Fiction category for the 81st annual Ohioana Book Awards.

Published in 2021 by Bellwether after winning the 2019 Great Novel Contest, Fellow Travellers tells the story of Bindra Dhar, a new member of the global community of time travelers who finds herself targeted by an enigmatic time criminal named Thurmond. Bindra is on a mission through time to stop Thurmond’s agenda, but to succeed—and survive—she’ll have to find new allies, face new adversaries, and learn that time travel is more dangerous and morally fraught than she ever could have expected.

Cover: Fellow Travellers

The Ohioana Awards are the second-oldest state literary prizes in the nation and honor outstanding works by Ohio authors and illustrators. Bethea’s stellar company in the Fiction category includes Pulitzer Prize winning Anthony Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land, award winning poet and author Alison Stine’s Trashlands, and debut novels from Genevieve Gornichec (The Witch’s Heart) and Laura Maylene Walter (Body of Stars). Winners will be announced in July, with the 2022 Ohioana Awards ceremony held at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on October 26. Read more about the awards at

Bethea is the son of Dan and Laura Weir of New Washington in Crawford County and Tim and Carla Bethea of Cuyahoga Falls. He is a 2014 graduate of Ohio University, majoring in Film Production with a minor in Political Science. While at OU, he interned with WMFD in Mansfield. He is a producer for The Ohio Channel in Columbus, where he lives with his wife Melissa, and is currently at work on the sequel to Fellow Travellers. His other published work includes short fiction The Cleanup Crew, published in The Trouble with Time Travel anthology in 2020, and The Peculiar Affliction of Allison White in Chilling Crime Stories in 2022. Learn more about the author at

Fellow Travellers is available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book editions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and booksellers across the country.

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