Iowa Author Fest

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Larry Stumbo from Iowa Author Fest was a guest on The Culture Buzz Radio show today at 11:50am 98.9fm KFMG.

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


I usually don’t present events that have passed, but want to encourage all who read this to see what the Cloris Awards events were all about. This past Sunday night, the Greater Des Moines region’s theatre community gathered in the exquisite Hoyt Sherman Place Theatre to sing, dance, celebrate and present 28 awards to deserving individuals, groups and initiatives. Check out the results and look at the photographers at or


Iowa has a reputation for its strong and varied agricultural offerings: produce, meats, plants, and a strongly growing organic sector. Intertwined within these agrarian roots is Iowa’s diverse and powerful cultural offerings. Take a little time to explore micro-trips to communities within a short drive from you and explore the rich cultural tourism our state offers.


Featured Cultural Offering:

ª 2018 DES MOINES JAZZ FESTIVAL, 900 Mulberry Street | Des Moines, IA 50309. Presented By: Des Moines Social Club Aug 31 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM – Sep 1 1-10 p.m.. Location: Des Moines Social Club. Price: $10 for Friday, $20 for Saturday, and $25 for a two-day pass.


Other Cultural Considerations:

1.     Join us on September 8th at Mainframe Studios for WOMAN UP! Conrference: Ceebrating & Empowering Women in Design. This year’s conference is unlike any other design conference that Des Moines has seen!

The day will be filled with educational and inspirational sessions featuring creatives from around Iowa and beyond. Each session is focused on a different part of the creative world – from the nitty gritty of owning your own business, to pushing boundaries in your workplace and of course, an interactive workshop with The Red Door Press. 

Flip through the gallery for session specific information. Click the link to purchase tickets and enter FACEBOOK for 25% your tickets! h
Thank you to our sponsors: Blue Compass, Cedar Graphics, Strategic America, and Breiholz Construction.

2.     Des Moines Concours d’Elegance Sun Sep 9, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Pappjohn Sculpture Garden in Des Moines (Grand and Locust between 12th and 16th Streets).

-FREE to the public

-Exhibit of more than 150 cars

-Midway featuring food, merch and service vendors

-Kid’s Zone including games and activities

-Car Clubs from Des Moines area showcasing cars from members (west of 16th Street on Grand)

-Audio interviews and music throughout the day

3 p.m. Grand Awards Presentation (NEW TIME!): Join us at 13th and Grand for the presentation of Class Winners and Best of Show. 4 p.m. Roar at 4: Listen as cars fire of their engines to leave the showfield. Have your camera ready!

Auditions and Other Participation Opportunities:

1.    Auditions for The Foreigner by Larry Shue
Directed by Mark Littlejohn
Sunday, September 2, and Monday, September 3 at 7:00 p.m.

Production Dates: October 26 – November 11, 2018

The scene is a fishing lodge in rural Georgia often visited by “Froggy” LeSeuer, a British demolition expert who occasionally runs training sessions at a nearby army base. This time “Froggy” has brought along a friend, a pathologically shy young man named Charlie who is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. So “Froggy,” before departing, tells all assembled that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English. Once alone the fun really begins, as Charlie overhears more than he should—the evil plans of a sinister, two-faced minister and his redneck associate.
Cast Requirements:

Charlie and Froggy, Two men, mid 40s to mid 50s
Betty – woman, mid 50s to mid 70s
David and Owen,Two men, mid 30s to mid 40s
Catherine – woman, late 20s to mid 30s
Ellard – man, late teens to mid 20s

Please arrive a few minutes early to complete paperwork. Auditions will consist of readings from the script. Scripts are available for checkout. Contact Tom at or 515-270-9142 during the day. Southern and English dialects are welcome, but not a requirement.

For more information, please contact us at

2.     This is the fifth year for Iowa Author Fest. Founder and event organizer Larry Stumbo welcomes Iowa authors who may just be learning about this networking and selling opportunity.

The Iowa Author Fest will be held at Capital Square, 400 Locust Street, on Sat Sep 15th from 9:am to 3:00pm. Larry explains, “We have had a good core of supporting authors every year,” explains Larry. “Depending on other events and weather, we have had 25 to 40 participants, and some of the differences are new authors just getting their feet wet on the event scene and the authors I know are glad to help the new author.”

Contact Larry Stumbo: for more information. 

Greater Des Moines Independent Book Store Happenings:

The Culture Buzz shares many authors and their books with its audiences. We encourage you to visit your local independent book store regularly. The folks at these destination locations know books, and welcome the chance to help anyone connect with titles and subjects they seek. Check these sites, as their calendars are always filled with enticing activities and news.

1.     Beaverdale Books, Des Moines.

2.     Plot Twist Bookstore, Ankeny.

3.     Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola.

4.     Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events),

Cultural Exploration Resources:

The Culture Buzz will begin including carefully vetted but comprehensive listings where you can do some advance online exploration before scheduling destinations in the region. These are two great websites to know about:

1.     Art Beacon Des Moines is Central Iowa’s home for promoting the visual arts. Our calendar of events highlights exhibitions, art talks and calls for art. Subscribe to the Art Beacon Weekly, our online newsletter filled with links to the latest art happenings. Find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

2.     A Gentle Guide to Des Moines Theatre is Central Iowa’s source for knowing what productions by which companies are available when. In short, you can know what’s playing before it happens rather than after the fact. Timothy Rose created this site with its comprehensive theatre calendar for you, the cultural consumer. He includes articles and more, making this a worthy destination when curious about what’s happening in Central Iowa’s theatre scene.

As always, I appreciate news and information from you out there in the cultural trenches and am ready and willing to pursue a story or interview to share with my audiences.


Creatively yours, John Busbee

C: 515-707-1532


Wednesday, Aug 29, 2018 – THE CULTURE BUZZ – 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Central Time

Broadcast regionally on KFMG 98.9 FM

Streaming globally through


11:00 AM – In this special interview with one of his era’s most iconic artists, Peter Max talks about his book, “The Universe of Peter Max,” a colorful journey through the very recognizable artwork of a true American pop culture icon.

“In this intimate visual memoir, artist Peter Max details his life journey as an artist, providing a stirring account of himself as a young boy and as a successful artist eager to return to the days of wonderment and inspiration found only in dreams and childhood.”


11:18 AM – Van Harden – author, inventor, teacher, radio personality – is one of Iowa’s best Renaissance people. Listen to a wonderful conversation about his thoughtfully written and presented book, “Life in the Purple Wedge.”

“I really think this book Life in the Purple Wedge will be received as popular as the Purpose Driven Life in it’s universal appeal.” – Jim, Realtor


11:37 AM – Science fiction author Lettie Prell chats about her latest achievements with her writing. One of her stories achieved a pinnacle for science fiction writers: inclusion in the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018.


11:51 AM – The Iowa Author Fest returns this September under the continued guidance of its founder, Larry Stumbo. Listen to the update about a new location and Larry’s call for Iowa authors to join this great networking, selling and meeting event.


11:58 AM – Poet Wendy Xu reads “If You Aren’t Busy, I Think I’m on Fire.”


12:00 PM – Author Marj Charlier now resides in Southern California as an author and publisher but keeps in close connection with her Iowa roots. Her latest book in the Johnson Station series is “Jackie’s Campaign,” a delightfully engaging historical novel and series. Listen as Marj shares some backstory information about the creation of her writing.

“Charlier brings a surprising heroine – a retired English teacher – to a town in need of change, a marriage on the rocks, and a child in trouble. Jackie’s Campaign is a fresh breath of post-retirement action.” – Renee Canter Johnson, author of The Haunting of William Gray


12:15 PM – Bob Stromberg is a co-author of one of the most successful stage productions in America, “Triple Espresso.” This show also set the record for the longest running show in Iowa history, and it returns this holiday season. Enjoy Bob’s tales of writing and developing this exceptionally successful audience experience production.

“I found myself sitting in the audience thinking: “Mom would love this.” “Dad would love this.” “Why didn’t I bring my grandparents along for this?” In short, the show is family-proof.” -Erin Crawford, Des Moines Register


12:35 PM – Author Robin Stevens Payes infuses her passion to help young women find career paths in STEM into her new young reader series, beginning with the inaugural book, “Edge of Yesterday.” Listen as she explains the fictional connection between her young heroine and Leonard de Vinci.

“She’s an author set out to inspire kids to learn about math and sciences through history. Robin Stevens Payes talks about her “Edge of Yesterday” website and book series– and her mission to get teens and tweens interested in STEM subjects.” -Fox 45 News, Baltimore


12:54 PM – One of America’s finest song writers and musicians gives a wicked nod to iconic Midwest heritage in “Egg Money” from her trailblazing album, HAYSEED.


Streaming on Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:




Cover Models Dress and Chest Piece Raffle

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I will be raffling off the dress cover model, Christina Raymond, and chest piece cover model, Eric Jacobs, wore on the cover of my new novella, ‘Will-O Wisp of Niagara Falls’ on June 30, 2018 at Royal Readers @ Rosedale, East Court Rosedale Center 10 Rosedale Ctr., Roseville, Mn. 55113. 10 to 5pm.

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Raffle tickets will be only  $2.00.


Come and meet Christina and Eric. Buy my novella ‘Will-O Wisp of Niagara Falls’ and have your picture taken with them. Paperback Book Sale price $5.00 Reg. $6.99.

Will-O Wisps Ebook Cover


Iowa Author Fest

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Iowa Author Fest is being held on September 23rd, 2017 at Jasper Winery, 2400 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines Iowa. The hours are 11:30 to 5:00pm. Iowa Author Fest promotes the creative endeavors of writers, visual artist, and musicians. We have had writing contest for budding authors in High School. The first contest had three contestants and the last had ninety-three contestants. We are in the mist of placing these stories of the contestants in book form for them and their families.

This year we also will have the pleasure of having Cos-play Echo-13 joining us for the children. There also will be face painting. Don Brown and associates will be our musician this year. There are many authors of a wide genres for your reading pleasure to purchase. Jasper Winery will have drinks for all ages to purchase along with food from our food vendor.

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Pre-Orders for Invasion of the Soul- Eater in Mim

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Nan McAdam

Oh my gosh!! I can’t help myself! I MUST do a cover reveal of the Charlie Kadabra, Last of the Magicians, series book three. It’s called Invasion of the Soul-Eater in Mim. It’s coming out this month. Only a few more days until the pre-order begins! I will keep you posted.

Isn’t life just one big story?

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Joyce Knock: I have been invited by Courtney Cowder, a feature reporter at the Des Moines Register, to share my “growing up in Iowa experience ” at the Iowa State Fair. Several Iowans will be sharing their stories at the Mid American building on August 20th. It has been a fun learning experience for me as Courtney has been coaching me in the fine art of storytelling! ###…/isnt-life-just-one-big-s…

I have been invited by Courtney Cowder, a feature reporter   at the Des Moines Register,  to share my “growing up in  Iowa experience ” at the Iowa State Fair.  Several  Iowans will be …

Wanted Readers for Iowa Author Fest

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Readers wanted to come out to Iowa Author Fest at Jasper Winery, George Flagg Parkway,Des Moines; on August 6th 11:00 to 3:00. Fill your book shelves with signed books from the authors, listen to music,eat some food, sip some wine by the glass,buy by the bottle to take home,listen to authors read from their books and win a basket swag per raffle, must be present to win.

Children welcome, other drinks available other than wine.

Featured Authors at Iowa Author Fest

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My goal in life is to entertain and inspire people through my writing. I write interactive fiction.  Inspired by the “which way” books I read as a kid, the Fallen book series is that plus more.  .  I love telling stories and I write with passion, writing what I would ultimately love to read.

JACQUELINE WINTERSJacqueline Winters writes contemporary romantic suspense, set in small Nebraskan towns like the one she grew up in. She’s a sucker for happily ever after’s, has a sweet tooth that can be sated with cupcakes, and believes sangria was possibly the best invention ever. Website:

JACQUE LIEGHJacque’s first writing was a group of short stories, compiling a memoir.  One; a tale of a family Sunday afternoon drive, was printed in the Des Moines Sunday Register, in a column that featured memories of life in the 1950s.“Roots Through Time” is her first novel, that started as a fiction story of the life of her Great-grandfather and his family.

JAN WALTERS jan.walters@ebtmarketsolutions.comJan Walters lives in Warren County with her husband. Jan has four generations of men on the DMPD. With her love of the paranormal, Jan created the ‘Ghost and a Cop Series’. ‘York Street’ is the first book in the series released in 2014. ‘Red Sunset Drive’, will be released in 2016. The series focuses on a different paranormal killer in each book. Her first novel, ‘Believe’, is a time-travel romance set in Victorian England.

Feature Authors Appearing at Iowa Author Fest

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 lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his beautiful wife, Ren. He spends his time writing, reading, and working to promote and support
writing communities in Iowa through his company Davenport Writes, LLC. You can keep track of Matthew through his twitter account @spazenport.
You can follow his blog at


KELINA KILTS Kellina Kilts was born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma and grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated from Norwalk High School and has a Bachelor’s Degree with a focus in business. Her passion for writing did not reveal itself until at age 27. She attributes Star Wars: Return of the Jedi for inspiring her novel Angel of Hell. She currently lives in Mason City, Iowa with the youngest of her three children.


JEANNE MARTZJeanne Martz, a graduate of Iowa State University, has a love for Iowa, the rural Midwest, and small town American life, which fueled the writing of The Creekers, a collection of short stories (published 2013) and her new novel, The Women of Swenson Farm set in Story County, Iowa. Jeanne lives in Pleasant Hill, Iowa with her husband Jim, and other family nearby. 


RICKY DRAGONI  rickydragoni@yahoo.comI’m originally from Puerto Rico but have spent half of my life in Iowa.  My favorite authors include Edgar Allan Poe and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  My books are based on reality but sprinkled with a good dose of faerie dust.  I hope my books can be entertaining but also thought provoking.

Featured Authors at Iowa Author Fest

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Birdie Hawks is from Iowa and has been married for 36 years. She is retired from the Iowa Army National Guard and as a federal technician. She has two sons, 12 grandkids and 3 great grandkids.

GRACE AUGUSTINE  Internationally known Amazon best-selling author, Grace Augustine, grew up in Northern Montana. She considers herself a Jill of most trades. She is the mother of two adult sons and a 2 yr old cat named Bou. Grace makes her home in Hiawatha, Iowa and can be reached at


EMILY WHITAKER emilyewhitaker@gmail.comEmily Whitaker studied Shakespeare at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and at Circle in the Square Theatre School. She wrote Benvolio to introduce Shakespeare to young adult readers. Emily Whitaker sticks to the original plot as seen through Benvolio’s eyes while showing the unfounded belief that love will conquer all.


JULES DIXON www.julesdixon.comFuzzy sock collector, martini connoisseur, and dandelion lover, author Jules Dixon writes contemporary romance, including the Triple R Series of five New Adult romance titles, and the Cherry County Cowboys series of male/male cowboy contemporary romance, including titles Spurs, Chaps, and Whips. You can find Jules at

Iowa Author Fest

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Iow aut fest logojasper winery

Iowa Author Fest promotes the creative arts of writing, painting, and music from Iowa. It will be held at Jasper winery, 2400 George Flagg Pkwy Des Moines, IA 50321
Phone number (515) 282-9463,  August 6th,2016. The hours will be 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. This year there will be twenty-five authors, a photographer, live music and food from local food vendors. Jasper winery will be selling wine by the glass as you listen to great music and buying the next novel from your favorite author. Iowa Author Fest is sponsoring a short story writing contest to Iowa high school students. top prizes will be $100, $75, and $50. The rules for the contest can be found at iowaauthorfest.wordpress…. Iowa Author Fest will be having a drawing for four gift baskets. One per hour will given away at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 pm. You must be present to win basket. The authors will be reading from their novels every fifteen minutes in the barrel room. Come and join in on the great time with music, food and books.