Archive for Kerrytown BookFest

Ann Arbor Public Library hosts reception for exhibit on the Book Jacket competition

Book Jacket contest entry

Book Jacket contest entry

Join the Ann Arbor Public Library for a pre-BookFest reception for the upcoming 12th annual Kerrytown BookFest, 7 P.M.-8 P.m., Friday, September 5 at the downtown branch library, 3rd floor. The event includes elegant refreshments and exquisite music by harpist Deborah Gabrion. The reception marks the grand opening of The Art Of The Book, Kerrytown BookFest Exhibit at the Library which showcases entries from the BookFest’s 7th annual Book Cover Design contest for high school students. The exhibit and will be on display on the 3rd Floor of the Downtown Library through October 12. The contest, which was open to all Michigan High School students and was sponsored in part by the Michigan Humanities Council, asked the students to re-imagine a cover for a chosen book and give a visual interpretation of the written word. This year’s book was “Paddle-to-the-Sea, a Caldecott medal winning book by Holling C. Holling who was raised in Leslie Michigan.  This year’s BookFest features three modern-day Caldecott winners: Chris Raschka, Brian Floca and Eric Stead. Read more about the Book Cover contest here and here. Check out the covers of all the entries here. The program includes remarks by John Hilton, editor of the Ann Arbor Observer, who will discuss the 12th annual Kerrytown BookFest and provide an overview of the exhibit and the book design contest.  Robin Agnew, co-owner of Aunt Agatha’s and president of the Kerrytown BookFest will announce the contest winners. She will be joined by Nancy Shaw, local children’s author, and contest judge. The 12th annual Kerrytown BookFest, (, which will be held on Sunday, September 7,is an event celebrating those who create books and those who read them. The primary goal is to highlight the area’s rich heritage in the book and printing arts while showcasing local and regional individuals, businesses, and organizations. Since 2003, the BookFest has been growing, sharing, and discovering more and more about the rich book culture in this region. For more information on this event, call the Library at 734-327-4555 or visit our website at

12 reasons to attend the 12th annual Kerrytown BookFest

 kerrytown art

1. One “Baddass” writer from Traverse City (Mardi Jo Link, “From Broke to Badass”)

2. Free parking and free admission

3. Three Caldecott winners talk about illustrating children’s books

4. Four Graphic novelists make words jump from the page

5. Five Historical Romantic Suspense writers to keep you up at night

6. 100 vendors in the literary marketplace

7. Hands-on book making, drawing workshops and letterpress printing demos

8. Eight writers explore the deadly art of mystery

9. Four unusual memoir writers

10. Biographers, short story writers and an architect join Mother Goose in telling great stories

11. Eleven panels of authors and illustrators

12. Lots of free stuff


Mystery writers will shine at this year’s Kerrytown BookFest

estlemanestlemanThe Kerrytown BookFest is like a magnet and each year, mystery writers from all over the country visit the BookFest to speak on panels, meet fans, and sign books.   This year the Bookfest is hosting two mystery panels with suspense and thriller writers and one with authors who write romantic suspense.

The suspense panel features Michigan treasure Loren D. Estleman.  The creator of the long-lived Amos Walker private eye series set in mostly in Detroit,  Estleman also is an award winning writer of Westerns, stand alone historical mysteries, and many other novels, more than 70 in all.

Estleman will be joined by Michael Harvey, whose private eye novels featuring Michael Kelley (The Chicago Way) are set in Chicago; and another Chicago based-author, Theresa Schwegel, who won the Edgar award for her first novel, Officer Down.  Her latest novel is The Good Boy.  Rounding out the panel is Michigan newcomer Elizabeth Heiter, whose first novel, Hunted, was published this winter.

The panel will be moderated by Detroit Noir editor E.J. Olsen.

The Romantic Suspense panel features New York Times Bestselling authors Tasha Alexander, who writes the Lady Emily Victorian mysteries (Behind the Shattered Glass) and Lauren Willig, whose series beginning with The Secret History of the Pink Carnation is a fan favorite.

Joining these two veterans are newcomers  New Yorker Susan Elia MacNeal and Toronto based Simone St. James.  Ms. MacNeal writes the Maggie Hope series set during WWII (The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent) and St. James writes historical ghost stories (Silence of the Dead). Both writers have been nominated or have won several major mystery industry awards, including the Edgar for Ms. MacNeal and the Arthur Ellis for Ms. St. James.

The panel is moderated by historical mystery writer Anna Lee Huber (A Grave Matter) whose novels are set in 19th century Scotland.

Also if you get the opportunity extend congratulations to Jamie and Robin Agnew, proprietors of Aunt Agatha’s mystery bookstore. This past spring the Agnew’s were awarded The Raven by the Mystery Writers of America. The award is annually given to a non-writer who contributes the most to the genre.

Three Caldecott winners to be feted at Kerrytown BookFest breakfast

aliceIt looks like everyone who’s is interested in or collects children’s picture books is making their way to the Kerrytown BookFest which has an amazing opportunity to have breakfast with three Caldecott-Award-Winning authors on Sunday September 7 at 9.a.m. when the BookFest celebrates the three Caldecott Medalists attending the BookFest this year.  The Caldecott Medal, given annually since 1937 by the American Library Association (ALA) to the “most distinguished American picture book for children”, was awarded to BookFest participants Brian Floca (Locomotive, 2014); Christopher Rashka (The Hello, Goodbye Window, 2006, and A Ball for Daisy, 2012); and Erin Stead (A Sick Day for Amos McGee, 2011).  Past winners of the award include Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), Maurice Sendak, and Chris Van Allsburg.
The breakfast takes place at Zingerman’s Events on 4th, 410 North 4th Avenue, Ann Arbor.  Starting at 9 a.m., the ticketed breakfast will be hosted by children’s author and illustrator Ruth McNally Barshaw, and table hosts/hostesses include Deborah L. Diesen, Brian Floca, Matt Faulkner, Matthew Phelan, Christopher Rashka, Kris Remnar, Nancy Shaw, and Erin & Philip Stead.
This is a ticketed event benefitting the bookfest.  The $30.00 tickets (limited to 60 guests) are available on Event Brite
Questions about the event can be directed to Robin Agnew, or 734-769-1114.  
The Kerrytown BookFest takes place at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market, Sunday, September 7, from 11-5 and features more than 40 authors and illustrators along with a literary marketplace of 100 vendors. For more information visit

New York mystery author to serve as first writer-in-residence at Kerrytown BookFest

omara3Award-winning writer Tim O’Mara, author of two novels published by Minotaur books, with a forthcoming title in 2015, will serve as the 2014 Kerrytown BookFest writer-in-residence and evaluate manuscripts the day of the Bookfest, Sunday, September 7.

Robin Agnew, co-owner of Aunt Agatha’s mystery book store and president of the Kerrytown BookFest said O’Mara requests an advance submission of the first 20 pages, and he will provide a

20 minute, one-on-one critique, the day of the BookFest. Only 15 manuscripts are being accepted for review.

To submit your pages contact Robin Agnew, 734-769-1114 or at, to schedule an appointment with O’Mara.

“This is a unique opportunity to talk with a published author and see what advice he has from the real world of publishing.”

The cost is sliding scale; free to those who cannot afford to pay, or a donation in any amount to the Kerrytown BookFest. 

 O’Mara, Kerrytown BookFest’s first writer=in-residence, has been teaching math and special education in the New York City public schools since 1987. He has written several short stories, and his second Raymond Donne mystery, “Crooked Numbers” (Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press), hit bookstores October 15, 2013. O’Mara’s top-selling debut mystery, “Sacrifice Fly” (Minotaur, October 16, 2012), was nominated for the 2013 “Best First Novel” Barry Award.

For the past 13 years, he has hosted and co-produced a bi-weekly reading series of poetry and prose in New York’s East Village with We Three Productions.  For more information on O’Mara visit his website.

omara 5He lives with his family in Manhattan, where he currently teaches in a public middle school, and is a proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Crime Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and several teacher unions. O’Mara’s third Raymond Donne mystery, “Dead Red”, will be released by St. Martin’s/Minotaur Books in early 2015.

The annual BookFest is celebrating books and authors, but also the “Art of the Book” at its 12th annual BookFest Sunday, September 7, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market in downtown Ann Arbor.

More than 40 authors and book illustrators will participate in panel discussions and demonstrations throughout the day including the 2011, 2012 and 2014 Caldecott award-winning children’s book illustrators Erin Stead (“A Sick Day for Amos McGee”, 2011), Chris Raschka, (“Hello, Goodbye Window” (2006) and “A Ball for Daisy”, 2013,) and Brian Floca (“Locomotive”, 2014) who will be part of a panel discussion on the “Art of Illustration”.

As always, Agnew said there will be an exciting panel of mystery writers conducting the session The Art of Suspense”. Panel participants are Loren D. Estleman (“Don’t Look for Me”); Michael Harvey (“The Innocence Game”); Theresa Schwegel (“The Good Boy”) and Elizabeth Heiter (“Hunted”; moderated byDetroit Noir”editor Eric Olsen.