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"A master wordsmith of the first order."

– The Midwest Book Review

About Scott

Scott Lax is a writer and a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Cleveland Institute of Art. He's been called "A master wordsmith of the first order" by The Midwest Book Review.


Scott's first novel, The Year That Trembled,– which he concived of while sitting in a meadow next to Robert Frost's writing cabin in the Green Mountains of Vermont – was called "Powerful" and named as one of 1998's "Milestones in Fiction" by The Denver Post, alongside authors Alice Walker, Phillip Roth, Tim O'Brien, Barbara Kingsolver, Jay McInerney, Stephen King, and Anne Rice. Tom Perrotta, author of Election, The Leftovers, and Mrs. Fletcher, wrote, "Funny, nostalgic, and troubling all at once. Scott Lax brings a tumultuous era back to life with all its pain, excitement, and complexity intact."


Of his second novel, Vengeance Follows, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and New York Times bestselling author Ron Powers wrote, "Mesmerizing and masterful…Aching suspense…Scott Lax gets inside the head of a lethal sociopath while maintaining a loving evocation of a quiet Ohio town with a Richard Russo-like respect for the human soul." Mary Doria Russell, 2005 Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of The Sparrow, said said, "Lyrical and stark by turns, Vengeance Follows is as spare as a Hemingway story and as creepy as one by Poe."

Scott holds a B.A. in English, with a concentration in American Studies, from Hiram College. While at Hiram he studied Shakespeare's Histories in Cambridge, England, ran track, and played drums in the Jazz Ensemble, Scott was a recipient of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bernard J. O'Keefe Scholarship in Nonfiction and the Sewanee Writers' Conference Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Fiction. He was presented with a Resolution of Congratulations for his body of work from Cleveland City Council in 2002, and named the 2002 Midwest Filmmaker of the Year by the Cleveland International Film Festival for the feature film version of The Year That Trembled, for which he was source-writer and producer.
A twice-produced playwright for his two-act stage adaptation of The Year That Trembled, Lax is an award-winning movie producer, short story writer, nonfiction writer of essays, features, reviews; he's also a speechwriter, marketing and TV writer who has written for numerous marketing firms, Fortune 500 clients, as well as ESPN and Comedy Central. Scott worked as a professional drummer who played with Bo Diddley, among many other great national and Northeast Ohio musicians.


Scott also periodically leads workshops and presents at writers' conferences, book clubs, libraries, and civic and literary organizations. Currently, he has finished the feature film screenplay adaptation of Vengeance Folllows, and is rewriting the two-act stage play version of The Year That Trembled for a national audience. He lives in the Chagrin Valley in Ohio with his wife, Lydia, and 9-year-old son, Finn Scott. – April 2020




Oct. 6, 2016 - Inducted into the Chagrin Falls High School Achievement Hall of Fame

2002 - City of Cleveland Certificate of Congratulations for body of work.

1999 - Named to fourteen-person list of Hiram College’s “Most Illustrious Alumni"

February 14, 2010 - Scott Lax's short story, "Sales Call," won 2nd Place for MUSE Magazine's 2010 Literary Competition.

1999 - The Year That Trembled, a Novel named Vermont Book of the Year, Runner-Up.

Dec. 1998 - The Year That Trembled, a Novel, named of of 1998’s “Milestones in Fiction by Denver Post.

1998 - Sewanee Writers’ Conference (Univ. of the South), Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Fiction

March, 2011 - In the Ohio Professional Writers 2011 Communications Contest, Scott Lax won First Place for Writing for the Web, Columns or Commentary

May 22, 2010 - In the Ohio Professional Writers 2010 Communications Contest, Scott Lax won Second Place for "Original Columns, General."

May 16, 2009 - In the Ohio Professional Writers 2009 Communication Contest, Scott Lax was awarded:

1. First Place for "Original Columns, General"

2. First Place for "Feature Story, Magazine"

3. Second Place for "Special Series, Print Media."

June 2008: Ohio Excellence in Journalism Award, statewide competition, sponsored by The Cleveland Press Club, Honorable Mention, Best Single Essay, Open Print

1993 - Bread Loaf Writer’ Conference (Middlebury College), Bernard J. O’Keefe Scholarship in Nonfiction

1994, 1995 - Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Staff Scholarship

2002 - Midwest Filmmaker of the Year, Cleveland International Film Festival

2002 - Producer’s Award, Winner, People’s Choice, Cincinnati International Film Festival

2002 - Producer’s Award, Winner, Best Regional Feature, Cincinnati International Film Festival

2002 - Bessie’s People’s Choice Award, Burlington, VT City Arts, Favorite Film

2010 - The Hub City Writers' Workshop of South Carolina awards the second annual Scott Lax Prize in Writing to Bertrice Robinson. The Scott Lax Prize is a full-ride, one-week scholarship to the Wild Acres Writers Workshop in North Carolina. This award was established in 2008 by Hillcrest Publications of Spartanburg, S.C., "in recognition of novelist Scott Lax of Ohio."

Scott's alma mater, Chagrin Falls High School, inducted him into their Achievement Hall of Fame in October 2016. Click for story.