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The 2016 Kerrytown BookFest Book Cover Design Contest is Open!

9th Annual Contest Open to all Michigan High School Students

The Kerrytown Bookfest is pleased to announce that the 2016 Book Cover Design Contest is open and accepting submissions. The contest, in which students are asked to redesign an existing book cover, is now in its 9th year. “It’s always such a thrill to see the student’s creativity.” says Kerrytown BookFest President, Robin Agnew. The contest is open to all Michigan High School students and it is one of the most successful and creative elements of the BookFest. “It’s a great way to bring in new lovers of books and the art of book design.” says Agnew.

This year students are asked to create a new cover for Of Scars and Stardust, the debut novel by Andrea Hannah. Hannah’s crime thriller will have readers guessing whether the mystery is paranormal or psychological. Kirkus Reviews calls the book an “intriguing puzzle.”

andrea hannah

Copies of the book can be mailed directly to students or picked up at Aunt Agatha’s Bookshop, 213 S. 4th Avenue in Ann Arbor.

The author will serve as one of the judges for the contest, along with noted YA author, David James (Light of the Moon, Between the Stars and Sky),  Linda Caine, general manager at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor, and Jackie LaRose,  Associate Professor of Education at Eastern Michigan University.  The deadline to enter is Friday, May 6, 2016. Finalists will be announced May 16th, 2016.

The contest judges will meet shortly after the deadline to review all cover art submissions, and up to 10 finalists will be announced. The contest winners will be announced at a reception at the Ann Arbor District Library, on Friday, September 9, 2016 at 7 pm.

The first place winner will receive $100; second place, $75; and third place, $50. Design submissions will be exhibited at the library starting in mid-September and continuing through mid-October.

Each year 80 to 100 entries are submitted, and judging will focus on creativity, appropriateness of the artwork to the book content, and originality. The entries can be photography, computer-generated, or original paintings or drawings. All types of artwork have won the contest over the years.

Rules for the contest and a PDF version of the application can be found on the Kerrytown BookFest website:

2015 Cover Contest Winners

cover finalists 2015Better late than never, we’re posting the winners of our book cover contest, announced at the library in September. First Place, Megan Pohl, Genesee Career Institute, Flint; Second Place, Magda Duck, Pioneer High School; and Third place, Sarah Neam, Pioneer High School. Congratulations!

Michigan Humanities Council Awards the BookFest a grant for 2016

mhc logoThe Michigan Humanities Council (MHC) announced $220,234 in grants to 21 Michigan organizations in support of public humanities programming. This major grant cycle, the Humanities Grants, support projects exploring history, poetry, reading, education and community identity. The 2016 BookFest will focus on “Travels with Books” with programming to be announced soon.

“The Council is pleased to support these humanities programs in Michigan,” said Jan Fedewa, Interim Executive Director of the Michigan Humanities Council. “These projects not only educate, inform, and enrich local audiences in these communities, but also attract visitors, support community development, and build capacity in organizations around the state.”

Humanities Grants are awarded to Michigan nonprofits in support of cultural, educational and community-based public humanities programming. These grants play a vital role in defining our culture, our state, our community and ourselves, and are intended to connect us to Michigan’s rich cultural heritage and historical resources.

We are more than grateful for the support of the Humanities Council and look forward to working with them in 2016!

What’s Your Favorite Superpower?

Graphic novels, or as we all used to call them “comics,” have been growing in complexity, popularity and artistic innovation, so much so that whenever we’ve featured them at the bookfest the topic has proved to be very popular. This year we invited the owner of Ann Arbor’s Vault of Midnight, Curtis Sullivan, to put together a panel for us.

vault of midnight

Curtis came up with a wonderful topic: “Read Comics or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Medium” (Main Tent, 3:45). The panel is being moderated by Vault of Mindnight manager Nick Yribar, and Curtis and Nick will be joined by Ann Arbor talents Raymond McDaniel and Jerzy Drozd.

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Talking Mysteries at the BookFest

Every year our mystery panels are some of the most popular and well-attended of the day, so we always aim for two panels of very different types of mystery writing. This year, we’re featuring a traditional mystery panel, 1:15pm in the Main Tent, and a suspense panel, 2:45pm in the Kerrytown Concert House. If you love most any type of mystery, you should be able to find an author you already love or will grow to love this year.

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