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Activities & Discussions

Live Podcast  |  100 Years of Iowa State Parks  |  Faux Calligraphy
The Little Women Cookbook  |  A Tale of Two Breweries  |  Writing for Teens & Teen Writers
Pride & Prosecco  |   Introduction to Whiskey 

 Learn more about the Festival's premium activities and discussions!

Broads and Books Live Podcast

9 – 10 a.m.  |  Prairie Meadows Author Pavilion

The Broads and Books podcast is your weekly hit of book recommendations, crazy stories and laugh-out-loud moments. Each week hosts Amy and Erin pick a theme and then discuss two novels, two other genre books and two pop culture picks revolving around that week's theme. Along the way, they manage to overshare embarrassing stories, implicate themselves in crimes and reveal the deep terror of their mascot, Podcat. In this live event, the Broads will tackle the theme "Authors with Unique Paths to Writing."  Come hear about authors who've defied the odds to create powerful works and be inspired by writers who've carved extraordinary routes to publishing. Whether you're a longtime listener or new to the Broads, you'll leave with new titles for your to-read list, and your love of books will be renewed. 

Submit questions by March 26 for a chance to have them featured at The Festival! Learn more about Broads and Books and listen to the latest episodes at www.broadsandbooks.com

Marking Iowa State Parks at 100 Years

9 – 10 a.m.  |  Ruan Foundation Room

It has been 100 years since Iowa declared its first two state parks. Join Charity Nebbe with Iowa Public Radio and the team behind the new book "Iowa State Parks: A Century of Stewardship," written to celebrate the milestone, as they share inside information and stories behind the creation of the book and our favorite state parks in Iowa. The presentation will be led by contributing authors Rebecca Conard, John Pearson and Heidi Hohmann and photo editors Angela Corio and Jim Scheffler.

Faux Calligraphy Basics

10 – 11 a.m.  |  Books & Blooms Room

Join Meggan Fox owner of The Fox and The Chalkboard as she teaches the basics of calligraphy and create your own print to take home.

The Little Women Cookbook Discussion with Wini Moranville

11 a.m. – Noon  |  Ruan Foundation Room

Wini Moranville will discuss the path that led her from writing restaurant reviews (over 750 for The Des Moines Register) to writing cookbooks. She'll also discuss her newest book, "The Little Women Cookbook: Tempting Recipes from the March Sisters and Their Friends and Family." Wini will offer insights into the prominent role that food plays in Louisa May Alcott's masterpiece and how she developed the recipes by researching dozens of 19th-century cookbooks and adapting the recipes for today's cooks. The session will end with a Q&A where she can share insight on publishing cookbooks both traditionally and via Amazon's KindleDirect program.

A Tale of Two Breweries

1 – 2 p.m.  |  Ruan Foundation Room

Join us for an experience of literary libations! Discuss classic literature and why it is so important to read the classics in this age of frenzied social media, listicles and 280-character blasts all while sampling an array of offerings from Big Grove Brewery and Lua Brewing. Genres of books will be paired with the perfect brews: refreshing ales and pilsners with easy-to-read classics such as "The Old Man and the Sea" and dark stouts with a moody "Moby Dick" — find the perfect brew for your book!

Writing for Teens & Teen Writers

3 – 4 p.m.  |  Writers' Workshop Room  |  Monkeys on Roller Coasters: Story Elements in Young Adult Fiction

Presenter: Katie Kennedy, Author of "Learning to Swear in America" and "What Goes Up"

Calling all teen writers and aspiring young adult (YA) novelists! Join us for a hands-on writers’ workshop with author Katie Kennedy. We’ll explore a range of story elements in YA fiction, including characterization, voice, scenes, setting, and the all-important first ten pages. Katie will share her writing tips and publishing experience. There will be plenty of writing prompts with time to write, so bring your paper or laptop — and join the fun! 

Pride & Prosecco

5 – 6 p.m.  |  Ruan Foundation Room

Calling all Elizabeth Bennet fans! It's time to raise a glass to Jane Austen. Join Kelsey Seay from Winefest Des Moines and Dr. Melisa Klimaszewski from Drake University as they cover the ins and outs of Jane Austen, her classic novels and a selection of sparkling wine. This lively discussion will be full of wit, bubbly samples and Austen-inspired conversation.

80 Proof: Introduction to Whiskey

6 – 7 p.m.  |  Books & Blooms Room

Bourbon. Scotch. Rye. Canadian. Known as distillation, the process of making whiskey is fascinating and — within its own, boozy nuances — remarkably diverse. Join the crew from Foundry Distilling Company for an introduction to the whiskey-making process, an overview of major types of whiskeys and a look at current and upcoming spirits from Des Moines’ very own craft distillery.

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