Archive for Kerrytown BookFest

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.

Finalists for the 2014 Kerrytown BookFest book cover contest selected

holling paddle to the sea

Ann Arbor – For the first time, high school students from across the state participated in the Kerrytown BookFest Book Cover Contest.  The contest asks students to re-design a cover for an existing book.  This year’s selection was the children’s classic, Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C. Holling.

Students from Crystal Westfield’s graphic design classes at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor and Keith Rayner’s classes at Lakeview High School in St. Clair Shores contributed work, as did art students from Elizabeth Miller-Wallau’s class in East Grand Rapids.

More than 80 entries were discussed by the judging panel of Caldecott Medalist Christopher Raschka (A Ball for Daisy); children’s author Nancy Shaw (Sheep in a Jeep); and artist Cecily Donnelly.   The judges selected eight finalists, representing all three participating schools.

The first, second and third place winners will be announced at a reception at the Ann Arbor District Library, 343 5th Avenue, on Friday, September 5 at 7 p.m.   Judges Nancy Shaw and Cecily Donnelly will make the announcement and award cash prizes to the students.

All the work submitted will be on display in the library exhibit space from September 5 – through October 13.  The complete submission of covers can be seen here.

The eight finalists are (the numbers correspond to the display on flickr):

David Bullard, Pioneer High School (#8)

Dara Flaws, Pioneer High School (#17)

James Sazyc, Pioneer High School (#2)

Nikita Torielian, Pioneer High School (#36)

Candice Kim, Pioneer High School (#4)

Mariah Rossi, East Grand Rapids (#54)

Hana Christofferson, East Grand Rapids (#56)

Mia Frank, Lakeview High School (#73)

Holling (1900-1973) grew up in Leslie, Michigan before setting out for Chicago and California and becoming a noted author and illustrator of children’s books. His 1942 book Paddle-to-the Sea was awarded a Caldecott Honor which is presented to the best illustrated children’s book of the year. Holling authored and or illustrated more than 20 children’s books including two books which won the Newbery Prize given to books for young adults.

After graduation Holling attended the Art Institute of Chicago and also worked on the popular exhibit “Man-Eating Lions of Tsavo” at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Later, he worked on war-training films for Disney and was responsible for the design of Indian Village in Disneyland. He also illustrated a Suinday comic strip “The World Museum” which included a diorama that children could cut and paste together.

Paddle-to-the-Sea is about a canoe that travels from Lake Superior to the ocean exploring five Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

The Leslie Area Historical Museum holds a collection of his art, artifacts from his life and a couple unusual childhood drawings which were sketched on the back wall of his bedroom closet. Read more about Holling on a fan blog here.