The All-Iowa Writers’ Conference, which had been held for 10 consecutive years prior to COVID, is returning for an eleventh year. It will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Community Hope Church in Montezuma.
David LaBelle, who is often referred to as the Normal Rockwell of photography, will headline this year’s conference. LaBelle has written five books including the acclaimed photography book, The Great Picture Hunt,and fiction novel, Bridges and Angels: The Story of Ruth. LaBelle taught photojournalism for more than a decade at colleges such as Western Kentucky, University of Kentucky and Kent State. He is an internationally renowned photographer who has worked with more than 20 different newspapers and magazines throughout nine states.
Joining LaBelle will be Professor Adrianne Finlay. She is the author of young adult sci-fi thrillers, Cut Off, and Your One and Only. Adrianne teaches English at Upper Iowa University and is the Program Director of Creative Writing. Originally from Ithaca, New York, Finlay lives in Cedar Falls with her husband, the poet, J.D. Schraffenberger, and their two daughters.
Iowa-based mystery writers Joe LeValley and Laura Snider, both from Central Iowa, will also lead presentations. A lifelong Iowan, Joe LeValley is the author of the Tony Harrington Series, which follows the life of a small town newspaper reporter. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America and The Authors Guild. He also participates in activities of International Thriller Writers and StorySummit.
Laura Snider, a graduate of the Drake University School of Law, pens the Ashley Montgomery legal thriller series, which follows the life of a public defender. She started her law career as a prosecutor, then switched sides and became a defense attorney.
Couple Patricia and Kevin Kimle, who wrote the novel, The Only Free Road: An Underground Railroad Saga Unveiled, will also be presenting. Patricia is an artist and lover of historical fiction, which lead to writing the book with her husband. Kevin currently serves as the Rastetter Chair of Agricultural Entrepreneurship at Iowa State University. He is also the Director of the Start Something Agriculture program and is a teaching professor in the Department of Economics at Iowa State.
Local author Crystal Ferry, who writes under the pen name Stella Bixby, will kick off the conference. Crystal is the author of the popular cozy mystery series featuring Rylie Cooper. She also writes the Magical Mane Mystery Series and Shalya Murphy Mystery Series.
The conference runs from 9-4. Doors open at 8:30. Cost for the all-day conference is $40 if you pre-register and $50 at the door. Lunch from Dayton’s Meat Products in Malcom will be provided for attendees.
The All-Iowa Writers’ Conference was founded by J.O. and Debbie Parker, co-owners of Our Front Porch Books in Montezuma. The couple has published five books – two Iowa photography books and three romantic suspense novels in the popular Hope Series.
Many local businesses help make the conference possible with generous financial donations as well as product donations for the on-going door prize drawings that take place throughout the day.
To learn more about the Parkers and Our Front Porch Books, visit them at www.ourfrontporchbooks.com or on Facebook.