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Des Moines Writers' Day

  • Barnes and Noble #2921 4550 University Avenue West Des Moines, IA, 50266 United States (map)

The Iowa Writers' House is excited to present our first Des Moines area literary event. In partnership with Barnes and Noble, we're hosting a series of afternoon events for area writers including literary panels, breakout workshops, and a special meet the authors and networking hour. 

The event features Iowa authors Kali VanBaale, Calla Devlin, Wendy Delsol, Craig Hart, Rena Olsen, and Susan Maupin Schmid. 

Des Moines Writers' Day Schedule of Events

1 pm: Mini Writing Workshops
As part of this special event, we'll be offering free one-hour mini workshops. Seasoned authors will teach writers tricks and tools of the trade. 
- Workshop 1: 'Where’s the Trouble? Exploring Goal, Motivation, and Conflict in Fiction' with Kali VanBaale
- Workshop 2: 'Character Voice and Dialogue' with Rena Olsen.
RSVP to reserve your workshop space. 

2 pm: Author Panel: Write On!
A collaborative panel on the working life of successful Iowa writers Wendy Delsol, Kali VanBaale, Calla Devlin, Rena Olsen, Jenny Moyer, and Susan Maupin Schmid. 
Moderated by Andrea Wilson, Founder & Executive Director of the Iowa Writers' House.

3 pm: Writers' Meet & Greet + Networking
Meet the authors, network with area writers, and learn about opportunities with the Iowa Writers' House--Iowa's literary support organization.

**RSVP to with the subject Des Moines Writers Day to confirm your attendance. Please note which workshop you would like to attend. We'll also be drawing from this list for free book giveaways at the event.**

Featured Author Bios

Wendy Delsol is the author of The McCloud Home for Wayward Girls and the YA trilogy: Stork, Frost, and Flock. Wendy has an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and a graduate degree from California State University, Long Beach. She was born in Canada, grew up in Michigan, lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, and now resides in Des Moines.


Kali VanBaale is the author of the novels The Good Divide and The Space Between. She is the recipient of an American Book Award, the Independent Publisher’s silver medal for fiction, the Fred Bonnie Memorial First Novel Award, and an Iowa Arts Council major artist grant. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Numéro Cinq, Nowhere Magazine, The Milo Review, Northwind Literary, Poets&Writers, The Writer, and several anthologies. Kali holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a faculty member of the Lindenwood University MFA Creative Writing Program. She lives outside Des Moines with her family.


Calla Devlin is a Pushcart nominee and winner of the Best of Blood and Thunder Award whose stories have been included in numerous literary journals and in anthologies, including Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond, for which she was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle. Tell Me Something Real, a finalist for the 2017 American Library Association YALSA's Morris Award honoring debut fiction for teens, is her first novel.


Jenny Moyer is the author of the young adult sci-fi/fantasy novel, FLASHFALL and its sequel, FLASHTIDE (Holt/Macmillan, 2017). She grew up in Arizona, where she learned to fly before she could drive. She studied writing at Seattle Pacific University and currently lives in the Des Moines area with her husband and three boys.


Susan Maupin Schmid is the author of If the Magic Fits, the first in the 100 Dresses series from Random House. If the Magic Fits is a Junior Library Guild selection, on the Indie Next List for Winter 2016-2017, and has been reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, Portland Book Review,, Austin Statesman, and numerous book blogs. You can connect with Susan on or on Twitter at @maupinschmid.


Rena Olsen is the author of the adult thriller The Girl Before, as well as a contributor to the upcoming YA anthology A Pizza My Heart, and is currently working on her next thriller. Rena earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Des Moines, and will likely never make it to the bottom of her reading pile.


Craig A. Hart is the stay-at-home father of twin boys, a writer, editor, Amazon bestselling author, lover of the arts, and only human. He served as editor-in-chief for The Rusty Nail literary magazine and as manager for Sweatshoppe Media. He also served as director for Northern Illinois Radio Information Service, an outreach that brought daily news and information to the visually impaired. In 2015, Kindle Press published his novel Becoming Moon. NPR affiliate Northern Public Radio featured Becoming Moon in their Winter Book Series, and it won Best Novel of Summer 2015 from Pinnacle Awards. Besides his award-winning novel, Craig is the author of The Writer's Tune-Up Manual, The Busy Writer, The Girl Who Read Hemingway, and the new Shelby Alexander Thriller Series.