Cottages 2019: Contributors

Contributors, Cottages 2019

Leslie MertzLeslie Mertz

Ever curious, Leslie is a freelance science writer who has lived in eight Michigan counties, from Detroit’s famed Eight Mile Road to a rustic cabin on the state’s largest inland lake. Today, she lives Up North with her husband in a scenic spot near a branch of Au Sable River. She travels with a small tent and fly rod in her car.

Amy EckertAmy Eckert

An award-winning travel writer based in Holland, Amy has traveled the globe and contributed to numerous travel books. She is the author of two guidebooks to Detroit, the most recent is “Easy Detroit Outdoors.” Amy is the past president of the Midwest Travel Journalists Association. Find her at

Johnston M. MitchellJohnston M. Mitchell

An independent writer, who lives in Leland with his wife Brenda and their two children, Johnston currently is developing a memoir of vignettes — prose and nonfiction poetry — about his experiences with building free and independent media as part of the democratization process in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe.

John SobczakJohn Sobczak

An award-winning photographer and book author whose work has appeared in Time, Newsweek and USA Today along with local and regional publications, John lives in Bloomfield with his wife Jackie and daughter, Alex. He teaches at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Find him at

Dianna Stampfler

A regular BLUE contributor, Dianna lives in Walloon Lake. Her first book, “Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses” was just published by The History Press. She’s been researching and writing about Michigan’s historic beacons for nearly 20 years. Find her at


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