Iowa Author Fest 2018

Hello authors and artist we still have a few spots open.

This year we will be inside out of the weather, no rain,wind or heat. Unloading and tear down will be out of the weather also, parking is also covered,more about these later.

We will have a tent at the Farmer’s Market the same day to help direct our readers to the venue at Capital Square.

So if you are interested contact me at: for more information.

Thank you look forward to hearing from you.


Featured Author: Julie Johnson

Julie Johnson is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and a nationally-certified counselor (NCC) and the founder and president of Heart and Solutions, LLC, a Strength Based Counseling Agency located in Iowa. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Behavioral Health Leadership so that she can utilize qualitative research to revolutionize the mental health care field.
Julie is a proud member of the American Counselor Association (ACA) and the Iowa Mental Health Counselors Association (IMHCA).
Iowa residents can check out Julie’s counseling agency, Heart and Solutions, LLC at or call us at (800) 531-4236!
Julie additionally founded a 501(c)(3) non profit organization on a mission to raise money to temporarily house pets displaced by domestic violence. Check out Julie’s 501(c)(3) non profit organization DV Pet Solutions at

Bio of the story:

Breathing Through The Year: A Child’s Guide to Holiday-Themed Breathing Techniques is a colorful step by step guide through 12 unique breathing techniques.  These breathing techniques embody some of our favorite holidays making them easy to remember and fun for children of all ages!  Children and parents can follow these step by step activities to calm down when frustrated or angry, to relax before bed and to spend quality time together giggling and practicing this healthy coping skill!

Breathing Through the Year: A Child’s Guide to Holiday-Themed Breathing Techniques is available in print here:

Breathing Through the Year is available for Kindle here:

Iowa Author Fest and Read A Book Nook’s Third Author Signing August 24, 2019

Read a Book Nook once again is graciously hosting the third author signing Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 205 South 3rd Avenue, Marshalltown, Iowa. Hours 10am. to 3pm. The first featured author this time is children’s author Ann Morris.

ann moris

Ann (Ana) Morris is a bilingual children’s author. She writes nurturing books, usually with a real learning moment. Her books feature positive adult role models with children they love. She writes and reads her books in English and Spanish. She knows that this reaches native speakers of each language as well as language learners of the other. Most of her stories are based on memories from her childhood or experiences with young family members. She has several more books in various stages of development and loves sharing them with people of all ages.

She has published:

Mommy and Mikel Go for a Walk
Mami y Mikel dan un paseo

Surprise in Auntie’s Garden!
¡Sorpresa en el jardín de la tía!

Everything Is Different
Todo es distinto

Do It Again!/¡Otra vez! (Spanish and English text in the same book)

G Is for Ghana (available only on website or in person, as all proceeds support Divine Access educational and community development in Asikuma, Ghana.)

Love, Grandma (First rhyming book, in process of publication with Mascot Books) offers links to all sites where books are available.

Again A nn morris

Come out and meet our authors at 205 South 3rd Avenue, Marshalltown, Iowa, 50158 and gather fantastic reading material for your family’s reading enjoyment.

Iowa Author Fest Joins with Read a Book Nook for Second Author Signing

The second author signing will be held at Read a Book Nook July 13th at 205 South 3rd Avenue. The time it is being held will be 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. There will be five authors this time. The first featured author is Andy Heintz.Head shot


Andy Heintz is a freelance writer based in the US Midwest. His work has been published in numerous progressive media outlets around the world, including New Internationalist,  Foreign Policy in Focus, The Wire, Common Dreams, Tikkun, Culture
Project and New Politics.

Andy recently wrote a book called Dissidents of the International Left. It features interviews with 77 left-wing figures from around the world talking about domestic and international issues. Some of the main themes of the book are gender equality, refugee rights, environmental sustainability, universal rights, cross-border solidarity and how to confront far-rights groups around the world. Here is a press release about my book along with an article about it that ran in the New Internationalist.

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Noam Chomsky, Glenn Greenwald, Anabel Hernández, Malalai Joya, George Monbiot and Meredith Tax are joined by 70 other leftwing thinkers and activists. At a time when links and networking between Far Right politicians all over the world are causing widespread alarm it’s time for the Left to pool its own experience
and offer inspiration as it seeks to turn the tide back towards justice, equality and human rights. In this work, lesser known thinkers and activists have the same platform as the pre-eminent figures on the Left, giving a nuanced insight into the different strands of the international and domestic leftist currents pulsing throughout the world.
How have the Kurdish revolutionaries in Rojava ended up putting into practice US thinker Murray Bookchin’s idea of libertarian municipalism? Why have the policies
of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch offended activists in North Africa? Are US military interventions ever justifiable from a leftist point of view?

Andy book cover

The second featured author is Larry Stumbo.


Larry comes from a family that has served in all of the Armed Forces except the Marines.
One of his grandfathers was in the Navy, two uncles in the Air Force, two in the Army, and two Aunts served as Nurses in the Army. There were several other members, both sides, of Larry’s family that had served in the Armed Forces. Larry applied to the Air Force Academy, was second in line for the Navy Academy. Took Air Force R.O.T.C. classes while he was attending Drake University. During his first year of education at Drake University, Larry worked part-time in a local hospital as a Dietary assistant (served meals to the patients). It was there he became more interested in learning about the care of the patient. When the opportunity to work full time, in surgery as an orderly during the summer; he started his medical learning experience in the operating room. Larry did not start out to write anything until he was drafted. He started to write a journal for a friend who was drafted later so that he would know what to expect. As it was, his friend went to different basic camp. Larry continued writing his thoughts down while in the Army. Larry has had various experiences throughout his life, from sports in high school, his daughters’ activities, interest in family activities and history, military service, a nursing career, working for the U.S. census, to his most recent involvement, promoting of Iowa authors to finally having a book published; “Poems and History of Mary Elizabeth Gilbert (Stumbo)”. A compilation by Nelle Windsor, daughter of Mary Elizabeth, who placed the poems, photos and family history into an album. Mary Elizabeth Gilbert (Stumbo) is Larry’s Great-grand mother. Nelle wanted to have this album put together for posterity of her mother’s legacy. Larry wrapped the album into a form that could be enjoyed by everyone without taking away the styles of the written words and photos of the time.
Larry has finished his, “Experience as a New Soldier”, one chapter of his life and he is now working on the other chapters of his life. Larry is also compiling love letters between a young man at Ft. Des Moines and a young girl in small farm town west of Des Moines in the 1930’s.


The third featured author LaVina Vanory-Barcus.



LaVina has seven books in print. The books range from a cookbook featuring her grandmother’s Czech recipes to children’s book written in three languages. Her favorite project is Because of My Love for Lauren.

I Get A Baby Brother Instead by [Vanorny-Barcus, LaVina]            Paperback

Our fourth feature author is Jordyn Meryl.


Once living under the guise of a passive, quiet, school librarian, books and kids were the passions which kept Jordyn’s mind fresh. But now it is when the night muses visit, her spirit rises up to wrap around the stories that float in her head. Land locked in the mid-west she dreams of days on a white sandy beach with a laptop to write all her tales. Crossing many genres she spins chronicles of romance, paranormal and fantasy, for they are stories worth telling, even at the risk of revealing true feelings.

Son of a Gambling Man by [Meryl, Jordyn]  PaperbackKindle Edition

The fifth featured author is Sue Raymond.



There are many doors in one’s life that the person has the opportunity to either explore what lies behind that door or leave it closed and open another door to another adventure. I thank the Lord that He has locked many doors in my life that could have destroyed me. I can look back and see His hand protecting me and my family from my choices and the devastation it caused when He allowed me to have my own way because of stubbornness.
The newest door He has opened for me is one of being a published author. For those who think this is super easy, let me tell you the easy part is the rough draft. After you write it, then comes the nose to the grindstone of all the different parts of getting it from a rough draft to a published novel. There is rewrites, editing, proof reading, more editing, beta readers, proof readers, more editing, cover design, bios, cover info, indie or traditional publishing, ISBN registration, then once published you have to market you novel with press leases, book signings, making ads that help market to the correct audience. Then you try to get reviews for the novels so your novel rises in the ranking so more people have a chance to read your work. You also need a thick skin for those who do not like your work and seek to tear it down with bad reviews. Authors do appreciate constructive feedback. This helps us fine tune our craft for the enjoyment of the reading audience.
Being an author is not for the weak-hearted. But it is also very wonderful to be able to create worlds that the reading audience can share and enjoy.
You can follow author Sue Raymond at

DeBois book setWindow Pane ebook cover Resin La Rock ebook picture

Sue Raymond also writes under the pen name of Lady Laindora.

lady laindora head shot

Author Lady Laindora dwells with the mind of author Sue Raymond. There Lady Laindora spins fantastic tales of dragons, fairy folk, knights, valiant heroes fighting to deliver the oppressed from vile evil trying to enslave the innocence. Healer of Surflex is the first fantasy written by Lady Laindora a.k.a./ Sue Raymond. Writing Healer of Surflex pulled me in the fantastic realm of fairies, dragons and valiant heroes struggling against the evil trying to ensnare the innocent. It drew me in many a sleepless night as the characters took over the story weaving me in a cocoon of suspense as they slowly revealed the story to me so I would write down for them. I was just as surprised at the many events in the story as you will be as you read Healer of Surflex.

Iowa Author Fest and Read a Book Nook Book Signing

Iowa Author Fest has teamed up with Read a Book Nook in Marshalltown this year for the book signings. The first signing is June 22, 2019 at Read a Book Nook, 205 S. 3rd Avenue, Marshalltown, Iowa. The time is 10am to 3pm.

Our first feature author is Robert Kerr. Robert Kerr was born and raised in Nebraska, Robert Kerr has called Iowa home for more than thirty years. He attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney, The University of Kansas at Ft. Hays, and the University of Northern Iowa. He holds a master s degree in psychology, and his career path has led him through stints as a welder, a carpenter, a mental hospital attendant, a mortician’s assistant, and a general Man Friday for an electrical engineer. Since 1976, he has been a school psychologist in Central Iowa. He and his wife, Joan, have rehabilitated five houses, including a Victorian-era house that inspired Completely Restored. The father of two grown children, he lives with his wife in Ankeny, Iowa. Robert is a former resident of Marshalltown where he worked as a School Psychologist with AEA 6 for 24 years.  His featured novel is Legion Lake. “Legion Lake” is his second novel and is an expansion of his prize-winning short story, “One Last Trip” It takes place in an Iowa lake community and revolves around pollution, corruption, murder and the power of lifelong friendship.   Robert’s first novel, “Completely Restored” was set in Marshalltown and chronicles the adventures of a family catapulted back in time 100 years to 1909 Marshalltown.

‘Lester and Shirley Pierce purchased their little piece of paradise on Iowa’s Legion Lake and planned to spend their post-retirement years enjoying the peace and quiet there…until they learned of a plan to build a huge hog confinement just a few miles upstream. Fearing the certain demise of their retirement retreat, Lester enlists the help of a University of Iowa biology student to save their beautiful lake. But, when tragedy strikes, Lester and the Legion Lake community join forces to avenge one of their own. Legion Lake is a compelling mystery told through the eyes of members of the “golden years” set.’


“Storytelling at this level is a rare find. Immensely enjoyable!” – Lee E.

“A touching mystery with people and places you’ll want to know!” – Jamie S.

“An excellent mystery for people of the heartland who care about their world.” Mike B.

“A good read with characters I could relate to. Really enjoyed the whole experience.” Terry N.

You can find Robert’s work at the following links:


Grant Challenge

Grant Challenge has ended. Thank you for your support.

We’re really excited to let you know that we’re a part of the @acommunitythrives It’s a friendly fundraising campaign launched by @USATODAY where organizations dedicated like Iowa Author fest supports the creativity of our local Iowa Authors/Artist/Musicians in their endeavor to bring their work to reality and promote their written word/art/music to their patrons. compete to raise the most money with the top team winning a grand prize cash donation of $25,000.

It starts on Monday 18th ,2019 at 12pm ET and a total of $800,000 will be given away to organizations in the Challenge. The top raising organizations that raise the most will receive cash donations. We’re ready to raise as much money as we can so we can win the $25,000 grand prize donation.

How You Can Help

As a passionate member of our board, we know that you want to help out in any way you can. The best thing you can do is set up a fundraiser page. Donating is great, but if you can become a fundraiser and reach out to your entire network, the potential for raising more money increases drastically.

All you have to do is Go Here

Iow aut fest logo


At a meeting of supportive authors, the discussion was about different events or lack of events for self-published or indie authors in the Des Moines area.
That sparked the quest to create an event for authors in the Des Moines area and Iowa Author Fest came about.
The purpose of Iowa Author Fest is to promote Iowa Authors and to start or continue the networking of Iowa Author and other associated fields of creativity.
Iowa Author fest supports the creativity of our local Iowa Authors/Artist/Musicians in their endeavor to bring their work to reality and promote their written word/art/music to their patrons.
In 2014 we did our first short story contest in the Des Moines high schools with two stories submitted a disappointment but learning experience.
Two years later we reached out to high schools across Iowa and the response was overwhelming, 93 stories. We setup guidelines and the process of gleaming out the stories that met the guidelines, judging, complying, formatting, publishing and distribution the final book to the students took longer than expected. A learning situation. We gave out prizes of $100, $75 and $50 to the top three stories.
This year we are setting modified guidelines to expedite all aspects of the contest.

Some of the past participating authors in Iowa Author Fest:

Ia-AuFe-children-postcard 2

Thank you in advance for your support.

SUBJECT: $25,000 for our cause | Help

Iowa Author Fest joins A Community Thrives, part of the USA NETWORK powered by Crowdrise By Gofundme.

Donors can help Iowa Author Fest win up to $25,000 in grant money to fund community building initiatives.

Des Moines, Iowa, Monday 18th ,2019 – Iowa Author Fest is now competing in A Community Thrives, part of the USA TODAY Network, a fundraising program on Crowdrise by GoFundMe, the most trusted social fundraising platform. A Community thrives is a nationwide program that is focused on helping organizations by shining a national spotlight on their community building initiatives. Iowa Author Fest has the opportunity to be awarded up to $1 million in available project-based grants to help fund 2019/2020 High School Short Story Contest.