1997 CLEVELAND ARTS PRIZE FOR LITERATURE
In the last 20 years, Diana Tittle has forged a career as writer, editor, journalist, and publisher, proving that it is possible to be a literary light without moving to New York.
With a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, Tittle began as a newspaper reporter in the 1970s. Later she had a big hand in the creation of the bright, sassy style for which Cleveland Magazine was known at the time, racking up a number of best-selling cover stories.
In 1980 she helped found Northern Ohio LIVE, serving as the arts and entertainment magazine's first editor (she was creator of LIVE's Awards of Achievement). Not content with these accomplishments, she went on to found Octavia Press in 1987, setting out to prove that books by Clevelanders about the Cleveland experience could win a national audience. The Ultimate Benefit Book: How to Raise $50,000-Plus for Your Favorite Organization and Superman at Fifty: The Persistence of a Legend are just two of the many books Tittle has successfully guided into publication.
Most recently, she was editor and project manager of Images from the Heart, the beautiful book of Cleveland photographs that celebrated our Bicentennial.
The publication in 1996 of Tittle's Welcome to Heights High: The Crippling Politics of Restructuring America's Public Schools, an intensive study of an ambitious, if doomed, attempt to reform Cleveland Heights High School, is a substantial midcareer achievement. Tittle took months of interviews, statistics, and transcripts from meetings, turning them into a judicious, balanced portrait of a community and a school struggling to do the right thing. And her third nonfiction work has the pacing and suspense of a novel: You can't put it down!
— Mary Grimm
Chair, 1998 Literature Jury
1993 Winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize for Literature