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Free Writing Events

All the author talks, readings, and book signings listed here are free and open to the public. There is no need to register in advance.  Questions?  Call us at 989.964.6062.

Monday, July 22: Keynote Address

Anne-Marie Oomen

7-8:30 pm, Central Auditorium (305 East Reardon, Midland)

The Michigan Authors’ Workshop Series begins with an interactive keynote address, featuring an onstage conversation about writing, creativity, and the power of story with notable Michigan writer Anne-Marie Oomen and Craig McDonald, director of the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio. A book signing will follow this event.

Anne-Marie Oomen is author of The Lake Michigan Mermaid with Linda Nemec Foster, Love, Sex and 4-H (a Next Generation Indie Award for Memoir), Pulling Down the Barn (a Michigan Notable Book), and Uncoded Woman (poetry), among others.  She teaches at Solstice MFA at Pine Manor College (MA), Interlochen’s College of Creative Arts (MI), and at conferences throughout the country.


Tuesday, July 23: Author Readings and Book Signing

Patrick Flores Scott and Gary Schmidt

7-8:30 pm, MCFTA Saints and Sinners Lounge (1801 W. St. Andrews, Midland)

Patrick Flores Scott was a long-time public-school teacher in Seattle, Washington. He’s now a reading tutor and early morning writer living in Ann Arbor. Patrick’s first novel, Jumped In, received multiple awards, including a Washington Book Award. His second novel, American Road Trip, is a 2019 Best Fiction for Young Adults selection.

Gary Schmidt has been writing for young readers for about twenty-five years.  His Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and The Wednesday Wars are both Newbery Honor books, and his Okay for Now was a National Book Award finalist.  His most recent works are So Tall Within (a picture book biography of Sojourner Truth) and Pay Attention, Carter Jones.  Gary teaches at Calvin College in Grand Rapids.


Wednesday, July 24: Author Readings and Book Signing

Mardi Link and Michael Zadoorian

7-8:30 pm, MCFTA Saints and Sinners Lounge (1801 W. St. Andrews, Midland)

Mardi Link is a journalist and author of three true crime books, including the New York Times bestseller Wicked Takes the Witness Stand. Her memoir Bootstrapper won the Elle magazine Readers Prize, the Great Lakes Booksellers Association Award, and a Michigan Notable Book Award. She was born in Detroit, studied journalism at Michigan State University, and has an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. She is the mother of three grown sons and lives in Traverse City.

Michael Zadoorian is the author of the critically praised novel The Leisure Seeker—now a Sony Pictures Classics film starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland. His other books are Second Hand: A Novel, the story collection The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit, and, most recently, the novel Beautiful Music. Zadoorian is a recipient of a Kresge Artist Fellowship in the Literary Arts, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, and the Michigan Notable Book Award. He lives with his wife in the Detroit area.


Thursday, July 25: Author Readings and Book Signing

Jack Ridl and Jim Ottaviani

7-8:30 pm, MCFTA Founders Room (1801 W. St. Andrews, Midland)

Jack Ridl is the author of the 2019 collection Saint Peter and the Goldfinch, as well as the award-winners Practicing to Walk like a Heron, Losing Season, and Broken Symmetry. Jack has been nominated for nineteen Pushcart Prizes, and he is only the second poet to be honored by The Poetry Society of Michigan as “Honorary Chancellor.” He helped found the visiting writers series at Hope College, where he taught for thirty-seven years; more than ninety of Jack’s students are published authors, and based on his work at Hope, he received the Carnegie (CASE) Foundation’s “Michigan Professor of the Year” Award.

 Jim Ottaviani began writing graphic novels about scientists in 1997. His most recent books include Hawking, about the famous cosmologist; The Imitation Game, a biography of Alan Turing; and Primates, about Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. His books are New York Times bestsellers and have been translated into over a dozen languages.  Jim lives in Michigan, and besides being a graphic novelist, he has experience working in libraries and the field of nuclear engineering.


Friday, July 26: Book Signing

Lynne Rae Perkins

12-12:30 pm, Grace A. Dow Library story room (1710 W. St. Andrews, Midland)

Lynne Rae Perkins was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2016 for Criss Cross. She is the author of four other young adult novels—All Alone in the Universe, As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth, Nuts to You, and Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea. She has also written and illustrated several acclaimed picture books, including Frank and Lucky Get Schooled, The Broken Cat, Snow Music, Pictures from Our Vacation, and The Cardboard Piano. Lynne Rae makes her home in northern Michigan.