Novelist, playwright, screenwriter, nonfiction writer, and producer Scott Lax is a fulltime Senior Professor of Practice in Creative Writing at the Cleveland Institute of Art College of Art + Design, and part-time Instructor for the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies Writer's Studio. Scott has guest-taught and spoken at dozens of schools and organizations, such as The Wild Acres Writers' Workshop in North Carolina, Cleveland's University School, and Hiram College.
Scott graduated from Hiram College in English with a concentration in American Studies. While at Hiram, he studied Shakespeare's History Plays at the University of Cambridge in England. He is a recipient of the 1993 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bernard J. O'Keefe Scholarship in Nonfiction, and of the 1998 Sewanee Writers Conference Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Fiction. In 2002, Scott received a Certificate of Congratulations from the City of Cleveland, Ohio, and in 2016, Scott was inducted into the Chagrin Falls High School Achievement Hall of Fame.
The Denver Post called Scott's first novel, The Year That Trembled, "powerful" and named it one of 1998's "milestones in fiction." Scott's second novel, Vengeance Follows, was called "A minor masterpiece of suspense and human nature," by the Midwest Book Review. His screenplay adaptation of the novel is currently being shopped.
Scott is the recipient of two short fiction awards, as well as six journalism awards from the Cleveland Press Club's Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards and the Ohio Professional Writers Association for his essays, features, series, and commentary.
For his role as producer of the feature film version of his novel, The Year That Trembled, directed by Jay Craven, and starring Jonathan Brandis, Marin Hinkle, and Fred Willard, Scott was awarded the Midwest Filmmaker of the Year by the Cleveland International Film Festival as well as three other first-place film festival awards.
The Boston Herald wrote of the film, "Memorable…beautifully reflects the depth of experience of the late 60s and early 70s …a touching glimpse into the lives of young people enmeshed in the political and emotional climate of the times."
Lax adapted his novel as a two-act full-length high school play directed by Carol Jaffee Pribble, which premiered at Cleveland's University School in 2003 to sold-out audiences and was again produced in 2013 at US.
Scott's new stage adaptation of The Year That Trembled is called 1970, which he rewrote over the pandemic for community and professional theatres, as well as college and high school theatre departments. The new play will make its world premiere at the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre in September 2023, and will be directed by Brian Westerley.
Lax has also worked as a freelance journalist, writing columns, essays, and features. He's been a business professional and executive, speechwriter for social justice leaders, and as a writing coach for the Cleveland Guardians Major League Baseball Team. As a freelance writer and content creator he's written for dozens of clients such as Comedy Central, ESPN, and Oracle. He's also worked in television, most recently as co-creator and co-writer of a television pilot with comedy legends Martin Mull and Fred Willard, filmed at the PBS ideastream studios in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Scott Lax Prize in Writing was established was endowed anonymously by a former student of Scott's and was awarded yearly between 2008 and 2014 as a full-ride scholarship to the week-long Wild Acres Writers Workshop in South Carolina. He is a frequent presenter and speaker at libraries, workshops, schools, and writers' conferences, and gave the 2001 Commencement Address at Hiram College.
A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Scott is also a professional drummer, and has performed with many musicians around the country, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bo Diddley.
Scott's hobbies include music, theatre, reading, movies, Cleveland sports teams, gardening, and hiking. He lives in the Chagrin Valley with his wife Lydia and son Finn. – July 2023
Awards & Recognition
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."