Authorfest to bring nationally recognized Michigan authors to the Blue Water Area

This Saturday, the St. Clair County Library System is hosting Authorfest where Michigan-based authors will be speaking about their work at several locations across downtown St Clair.

Stephen Mack Jones“Nationally known authors bring so much interest to the Blue Water Area, it adds to St. Clair making it an art Mecca of sorts,” says Julie Alef, Branch Lead at the St. Clair Public Library.

Farmington Hills resident Stephen Mack Jones is one of the featured authors participating in Authorfest. A recipient of the Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship, Jones is an award-winning playwright, poet, and author whose well-known “August Snow” crime novels surround fictional characters and conflicts in Southeast Michigan.

Karen DionneKaren Dionne, an internationally bestselling thriller author whose award-winning novel “The Marsh of King’s Daughter” set in the remote wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, will also be featured at the event. Dionne’s work features strong female characters drawn from her own homestead experiences when she moved from Detroit to the Upper Peninsula with her husband and infant daughter.

Also included in the lineup is Ann Arbor-based children’s author Nancy Shaw. Well known for her books featuring the adventures of a silly sheep, Shaw will also be doing a presentation for children about how a book is brought to life.

Nancy ShawAlef says the library hopes to encourage an interest in reading through events such as these and spread awareness of Michigan authors.

“We have local residents approaching us at the library that are published authors wanting to showcase their works also,” Alef says.

A gathering of local authors will also be held that day including Cheryl Keaney author of “Mind Over Muffin Top,” Wally Vore co-author of “Incident at Back Gate,” George Burns author of “Fatal Crash,” and Deb Klecha author of “Beni and the Twin Mermaids.”

A display of Nancy Shaw's "Sheep in a Jeep" children's books at the Bear & The Hare in St. Clair.

For those unable to attend Authorfest, presale copies of the novels are available locally at stores such as Blackbird Homegoods or Bear & The Hare in St. Clair.

“We have sold a huge amount of copies so far, people are excited to have something unique like this come to our community,” says Heather Bernhardt, owner of Blackbird Homegoods.

Support for the event came from sponsors including Cargill, the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, Friends of the St. Clair Library, the St. Clair Chamber of Commerce, and the St. Clair Inn. For more details about Authorfest, visit

Read more articles by Andrea Harrington.

Andrea Harrington has been a freelance writer for The Keel for many years and enjoys telling stories about the people and communities across the Blue Water Area. In addition to her work with The Keel, she also substitute teaches for East China and Algonac School Districts and offers creative marketing content working one-on-one with local businesses. She loves everything fall-related and in her free time, is an avid watcher of horror movies and enjoys spending time with her husband and Italian greyhound, Marchello. Contact Andrea at