John collaborates with libraries, churches, civic organizations, bookstores, community development groups, hardware stores, schools and garden centers on a variety of events, from book readings and signings to gardening classes and economic development projects.
John B. Marek is an award-winning author, speaker and advocate whose work focuses on rural living and economic vitality, organic and small-space gardening, traditional life skills and the outdoors. He has published five books, including the best selling Ben and the Art of Lawnmower Maintenance, and written numerous articles for local, regional and national publications on subjects ranging from tax incentives and the workforce skills gap to rural entrepreneurship and faith-based community gardening. "Bandito," from his short story collection The Bug Jar and Other Stories won the ACWC prize for Best Short Fiction in 2016, and he received the Henry W. Little III Community Leadership Award in 2019 for his efforts to revitalize the economy of rural Anson County, N.C.
John grew up on the shores of Lake Erie near the town of Port Clinton, Ohio, graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in Business Administration, and settled in the Toledo area where he held management positions in the retail, technology and automotive industries from 1986 to 1994.
In 1995, opportunity called him south to the Charlotte, North Carolina, region where he currently pursues his passions for writing, the outdoors and rural living along with his wife Janet and their rescue dogs Laika and Millie.