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Programming

Spend the day with family, friends and fellow book lovers at the DSM Book Festival! Learn more about the programming options below for fun and interactive activities and workshops for book lovers of all ages, including programming Just For Kids.

Are you in a book club? If yes, sign up for the Festival Giveaways!

Programming Descriptions

A cost is associated with some of the activities and will have limited seating. Purchase a ticket to reserve your spot today! For more information about time and location for each activity, visit the Schedule page.

Art Terrarium Workshop

Struggling with plant parenthood? New to the world of houseplants or just want to deepen your knowledge? This class is for you! Art Terrarium will cover basic plant care tips and tricks. Each participant will go home with a plant perfect for the home or office and the knowledge needed to keep it happy, healthy and thriving. Class includes plant, 4" terra cotta pot and instruction.

Cost: $25  |  Purchase Ticket

Book Discussion: "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry"

Join Alice Meyer, owner of Beaverdale Books, in a book club style discussion of Gabrielle Zevin's bestselling book, "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry." Get ready to dive into a discussion about this remarkable book and hear from Alice about life managing a book store.

About The Book

A.J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession — a rare edition of Poe poems — has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to start his life over and see things anew. Gabrielle Zevin's enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books — an irresistible affirmation of why we read and why we love.

Calligraphy Class with Ink & Flourish Calligraphy

Whatever you love most about reading, bring it to life in modern faux calligraphy! Join Jess of Ink & Flourish Calligraphy to learn a new skill and create your very own print. The class is FREE and supplies will be provided.

Character Costume Contest

Calling all wizards and literary fans young and old! This year's costume contest themes are "Favorite Book Character" and "Harry Potter." Each theme will have a division for children (below 18 years of age) and adults (18 years of age or older). Judges will select up to five finalists in each category, and one winner will be selected from the finalists of each category. Costumes will be judged on creativity, stage presence and originality. All contestants should report to the Hubbell Main Stage at 12:45 p.m. in order to participate. 

All costumes must be family-friendly (no nudity) and cannot pose a risk of injury to people or property. All decisions are final and will be at the discretion of the judges and DSM Book Festival organizers.

Cupcake Decorating with Crème

Join Crème Cupcake for a cupcake decorating class! Cupcake extraordinaire, Holly, will show you how to decorate four cupcakes, all fitting a theme. This 60-minute class includes four cupcakes to decorate, frostings, decorating tips and bags and expert advice.

Cost: $38  |  Purchase Ticket

Flower Arranging with Wildflower

Join Wildflower for a hands-on flower arranging class. Learn the basics of fresh floral composition and design using foam and chicken wire as you put together your own arrangement in a wood box. Participants will each take home a pair of floral clippers in addition to a hand-crafted spring centerpiece.

Cost: $70  |  Purchase Ticket

For Whom the Beer Tolls

Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson and F. Scott Fitzgerald were all amazing writers, and all enjoyed their fair share of alcoholic beverages. Local author and beer aficionado J. Wilson will lead a discussion on these authors and an appropriately paired beer tasting for each one. This session is FREE to attend. Must be at least 21 years old to participate.

How to Build a Book Club and a Bloody Mary from Scratch

Have you dreamed of being part of a book club, but don't know how to start it? Or maybe you have the group, but how do you get the conversation going or know which books to select? It's almost as complicated as making a good Bloody Mary, but neither task needs to be difficult. Sue Woody, from the Des Moines Public Library, and Kyle McClain, from Hello, Marjorie, will show you how to create a successful book club and a delicious Bloody Mary from scratch.

How to Create a Personal Cookbook and Share Your Love of Food

Des Moines foodie photographer, Cassandra Monroe, believes that family history shouldn't be restricted to a tree, and there's no denying that at the center of each gathering, our favorite meals and the traditions behind them are present — Grandma's sweet potato pie, your uncle's smoked ribs that won the county championship or the no-fail charcuterie board for a girls' night. Whether you're looking to tell the stories of those who came before you, start a new tradition with your own growing family or just simply document your life and love of food, join this workshop to explore the basics of creating your own family cookbook.

Right Stuf Anime Manga Library

Check out the Right Stuf Anime Manga Library to view materials from Right Stuf, Inc., the largest anime (Japanese animation) specific retail and distribution company in North America. Explore a variety of anime and manga novels, comics and more in this specialty library. 

The Grape Gatsby

Gatsby? What Gatsby? Join Drake University professor Megan Brown and WineFest Des Moines in a delicious discussion on Gatsby, Nick, Tom, Wilson, Myrtle, Jordan, Daisy and, of course, Fitzgerald himself, as we explore one of America's favorite novels, "The Great Gatsby," and sample wines that relate to the book. This session is FREE to attend. Must be at least 21 years old to participate.

Visit the Schedule page for more information about time and location.

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