One Read Author’s Talk: M.O. Walsh

Tuesday, September 27 › 7-8 p.m.
Launer Auditorium, Columbia College, 1001 Rogers. St., Columbia
Broadcast live on KOPN 89.5/FM
Livestream watch party at Callaway County Public Library in Fulton

Author M.O. WalshJoin us to hear One Read author M.O. Walsh talk about his book “The Big Door Prize,” his writing process and the inspiration for the novel. There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and get copies of the book signed. You can also watch a livestream of this talk at the Callaway County Public Library in Fulton and hear it live on KOPN 89.5-FM. Masks are requested at Launer Auditorium.

Read more about M.O. Walsh.

Possibility, Promise: Art Exhibit Winners

For this year’s One Read art exhibit, we asked artists from Mid-Missouri to submit works that explore the idea of potential, that capture a transformation, or investigate what someone or something might become. We thank all of the contributing artists and we extend a special congratulations to the winners listed below. Thanks also to our judges for their careful consideration of the entries.

First Place
Christine Doerr
Mixed Media
Read More

Lyrical Beginnings: Flash Fiction Writing Contest

Woman writing music on the grass

In this year’s One Read selection, author M.O. Walsh uses John Prine lyrics and song titles for many of the book’s chapter titles, as well as for the name of the book itself. Taking inspiration from Walsh’s naming convention in the “The Big Door Prize,” we invite you to tell a tale in 250 words or less, and we ask that you title your story using a chapter heading from the book. You can choose any chapter title for your flash fiction. Your story can be about anything and anyone, but it should harmonize with your chosen title. The tone can be joyful, pessimistic or anywhere in between. Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published online and in the Columbia Missourian, and the winners will receive bookstore gift cards.

Starting September 1, entries may be submitted online, mailed or dropped off at any library or bookmobile. (See full rules below for details.) Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on this site and in the Columbia Missourian, and winners will receive a $25 book store gift card.

Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules. Read More

Possibility, Promise: One Read Art Exhibit Call for Submissions

Possibility, Promise
A One Read Art Exhibit
Orr Street Studios (106 Orr Street, Columbia)

image of chrysalis and blue butterfly “Why would you think there’s another life for you, perhaps another possibility inside of you already, when the walk that you take each dawn is so lovely and safe?”

~M.O. Walsh, “The Big Door Prize”

Inspired by this year’s One Read book “The Big Door Prize,” we invite Mid-Missouri artists ages 16 and older to contribute works that explore the idea of potential, that capture a transformation, or investigate what someone or something might become.

Cash prizes will be awarded for three winners, sponsored by Columbia’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The third place winner will receive $50, second place $75 and first place $125.

The exhibit will take place September 1-30, and can be viewed in person at the September 2 First Friday reception at Orr Street Studios.

Submission Details Read More

2022 One Read Winner: About “The Big Door Prize” by M.O. Walsh

About the Book

The Big Door Prize” is a humorous and delightful story of a small town upended.

Big Door Prize book coverAn unassuming booth shows up at a Deerfield, Louisiana grocery store, promising to reveal your true life potential for a mere two dollars and a swab of DNA from your cheek. Suddenly, store owners, nurses and teachers are striving to be cowboys, magicians and athletes. The steady and quietly happy marriage of Douglas and Cherilyn Hubbard is disturbed by Cherilyn’s readout from the mysterious machine, which declares her true life calling to be “royalty.” Meanwhile, teenager Jacob tries to figure out who he is after the death of his twin brother, Toby. And Toby’s troubled ex-girlfriend, Trina, plots revenge. M.O. Walsh addresses serious topics with a light hand in this offbeat and charming novel about small-town life, relationships and the power of dreams.

About the Author

headshot of a man wearing a light blue shirt in front of a blue backgroundM.O. Walsh was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, and many others. His first novel, “My Sunshine Away,” was a New York Times bestseller.

He is a graduate of the MFA program at Ole Miss and also has degrees from the University of Tennessee and LSU. He currently directs The Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans and lives with his family near Lake Pontchartrain.

Biographical information and author photo courtesy of