National Geographic Editor Discusses Angry Bird Books

National Geographic Kids Angry Birds

The new National Geographic Kids book, Angry Birds Playground Animals: An Around-the-World Habitat Adventure is visually stunning, packed with fascinating facts, and would make a great educational and entertaining gift for young children. Becky Baines edited the book and Iowan Jill Esbaum wrote the text. Tune in to Friday, Dec. 7 at 1 PM CST or Monday, Dec. 10 at 8 AM CST to hear Becky explain the collaborative, creative process involved in producing high quality nonfiction for children.

Reuse & Recycle to Make Room for Baby

Michelle Edwards, Room for the Baby

Michelle Edwards and Room for the Baby

Michelle Edwards will talk about juggling writing projects on KRUU Friday, November 30th at 1 PM and Monday, Dec. 3 at 8 AM. Listen via live streaming here. Then visit Rosie Witherspoon’s At Home Store on the Fairfield, Iowa town square during the Art Walk on Friday, Dec. 7th for Michelle’s book signing. She’ll read from her two new books, Room for the Baby and A Knitter’s Home Companion, against a backdrop of Rosie’s gorgeous yarns and colorful, carefully selected toys. (Read about Michelle’s book of gem-like essays, knitting patterns, and recipes in my earlier post here.)

Susie Hathaway Helps Women Stay Healthy & Strong

Susie Hathaway, Strength Training for Women

Susie Hathaway, Safe Strength Training for Osteoporosis Prevention

Susie Hathaway helps women over 50 stay active and strong. Certified as a personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine, she’s an active volunteer for the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Her newsletter and exercise-advice blog provide tips on how to stay healthy, strong, and independent during the second half of your life. Susie recently wrote, produced, and released a home-exercise DVD called Susie Hathaway’s Safe Strength Training for Osteoporosis Prevention.

Hear Susie discuss women’s health and how she learned to write, produce, and edit a DVD during the Writers Voices radio show on Friday, Nov. 23rd at 1 PM CST or on Monday, Nov. 26th at 8 AM CST via live streaming on

“Knitting is a life!”–Michelle Edwards, A Knitter’s Home Companion

Michelle & Yarn2

This Thanksgiving season, I have many reasons to be thankful. For example, as producer and host of “Writers Voices” on KRUU 100.1 FM, I chat with fascinating people, like Iowa City author Michelle Edwards. Here’s an excerpt from her book, A Knitter’s Home Companion: “Loops, wrote Elizabeth Zimmermann. Knitting is about loops. Loops to the end of time. Making them, I have knit myself a life.”

Hear Michelle discuss knitting, writing, and life Friday, Nov. 30th at 1 PM CST or Monday, Dec. 3rd at 8 AM CST via live stream on You can also meet Michelle in person Friday, Dec. 7th in the At Home Store on the Fairfield, Iowa town square during the December Art Walk.

Eula Biss on Video Essays, Creative Nonfiction, and the Vaccination Controversy

Award-Winning Essayist Eula Biss

Award-Winning Essayist Eula Biss

Eula Biss and her former teacher Marilyn Robinson are speaking Wednesday, October 24th at 7 PM in Iowa City’s Englert Theater. Eula discusses video essays, creative nonfiction, and her work-in-progress nonfiction book about the vaccination controversy in a “Writers Voices” show that will be broadcast today at 8 AM via live streaming on Eula’s book Notes from No Man’s Land, received the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Her work has also been recognized by a Pushcart Prize, a Jaffe Writers’ Award, and a 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library. She teaches writing at Northwestern University. Her essays have recently appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Best Creative Nonfiction and the Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Nonfiction as well as in The Believer, Gulf Coast, Columbia, Ninth Letter, the North American Review, the Bellingham Review, the Seneca Review, and Harper’s. Eula holds a BA in nonfiction writing from Hampshire College and an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa.

Heather Alexander, Assistant Editor, Dial Books for Young Readers

Heather Alexander, Assistant Editor, Dial Books for Young Readers

Heather Alexander, Assistant Editor, Dial Books for Young Readers

Heather Alexander, Assistant Editor for Dial Books for Young Readers, acquires books for all age ranges, from picture books through young adult novels, and ushers them through the publication process. She edits the wildly popular Charlie and Lola picture books and also edited Jeanne Ryan‘s thought-provoking debut YA novel Nerve, in which a naive teen girl gets enmeshed in a deadly anonymous online game of dares. Heather will discuss what’s new in books for children and teens on “Writers Voices” on KRUU100.1FM Friday, Oct. 19 at 1 PM CST. Tune in via live stream tomorrow at

Philip Goldberg: How He Became a HuffPost Blogger

Philip Goldberg with Cheryl Fusco Johnson at KRUU

Philip Goldberg with Cheryl Fusco Johnson at KRUU

Many people ask Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West, how he became a religious-issues blogger for The Huffington Post. During our Writers Voices radio interview today, Philip explained what happened. Waiting at a bookstore to begin giving a book talk, he was thinking about how few people were there to hear him speak. A woman came into the store looking for something she thought she’d left behind. She noticed Philip standing by a sign advertising the topic of his talk and said, “You should be a blogger for The Huffington Post. My daughter’s an editor there.” Was this a lucky break? Or was it a just reward for the many years Philip spent researching spirituality and honing his writing and speaking skills through repeated practice?

Lois Lowry At Iowa City Public Library

Lois Lowry Signing a Book for Dori Hillestad Butler

Author Lois Lowry Signs a Book for Author Dori Hillestad Butler

Iowa children’s authors helped pack the audience for Lois Lowry’s visit last night to the Iowa City Public Library. For a standing-room-only crowd that included many young readers, Lowry read from and discussed the inspiration for her new book, Son, the fourth in her popular and award-winning Giver Quartet.

Iowa Authors Wendy Henrichs, Jan Blazanin,  Linda Egenes

Iowa Authors Wendy Henrichs, Jan Blazanin, Linda Egenes

Writers from Iowa City, Coralville, Fairfield, and Des Moines exchanged news while Lowry signed books. Saturday morning at the Coralville Public Library, Des Moines author Jan Blazanin taught a workshop on plotting techniques. Wendy Henrichs, Network Chair for Iowa’s Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, organized this event. Fairfield author Linda Egenes was one of the many Iowa authors who attended Lowry’s reading and Blazanin’s workshop.

Promoting Self-Published Books

Kate & Book

Author Kate McGuinness read from her legal thriller Terminal Ambition on Sept. 19th, 2012 at the Fairfield, Iowa Public Library. Her publicity efforts for this self-published mystery novel, which educates readers about sexual harassment in work places, began nearly a year before its publication date. Listen to Kate’s tips regarding how to promote self-published novels (and her advice to people experiencing sexual harassment at work) on Kate makes good use of social media sites to promote her book: visit her Pinterest boards for examples of creative marketing techniques.

Kate McGuinness and Cheryl Fusco Johnson

Kate McGuinness and Cheryl Fusco Johnson

Robert Wolf Jump-Starts Everyone’s Writing

Robert Wolf is the cofounder and director of Free River Press, a nonprofit publishing house currently headquartered in Decorah, Iowa. The press’s motto is “Telling America’s Story” and its primary mission is “to create an enduring collection of Americana, a literary mural, a mosaic, written primarily by people without literary ambition.”

Cover of Aver Y Ahora

Besides encouraging ordinary people to record their stories, Robert has authored and edited many books, including An American Mosaic: Prose and Poetry by Everyday Folk and Jump Start: How to Write from Everyday Life, both published by Oxford University Press. Through Free River Press, he wrote and publishedThe Triumph of Technique: The Industrialization of Agriculture and the Destruction of Rural America. In addition to leading writing workshops, Robert directs seminars and rural economic development projects through Free River Press.

Aired on Iowa Public Radio, his six-part commentary, Developing Rural Regional Economies won the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Radio Editorial of 1994. In 2007 a Free River Press book edited by Robert, Aver & Ahora (Yesterday & Today): Stories of Sant Fe and Northern New Mexico, won a New Mexico Heritage Preservation Award.

Tune in to Friday, Sept. 21 at 1 PM CST or Monday, Sept. 24 at 8 AM CST to learn Robert’s sure-fire techniques for getting everyone writing.