Main Stage

The Main Stage is your opportunity to interact with some of the best voices in writing both locally and nationally. The lineup encompasses a diverse array of writing genres and styles including- cookbooks, sports, thriller and mystery. Click each author below for more detail on their most recent works. After each presentation there will be 30 minutes allocated for book signing.

Jump to:      Saturday      Sunday

Saturday, Jun. 18

10:30-11:30 a.m.

Presentation by Summer Miller

Sponsored by Ruan-Center

Join Summer Miller, the author of, New Prairie Kitchen, for a reading on our main stage. A new cookbook that profiles 25 of the most exciting and groundbreaking chefs, farmers, and producers of artisanal goods from the all over the Midwest. Their personal stories are interspersed with more than 50 chef-contributed recipes that range from refreshingly simple to exquisitely gourmet including a few local chefs.

12-1 p.m.

Presentation by Jocelyn Delk Adams

Sponsored by Bankers-Trust

Since founding her popular recipe blog, Grandbaby Cakes, in 2012, Adams has been putting fresh twists on classic favorites. Her debut cookbook, GRANDBABY CAKES: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories, collects 50 vintage cake recipes—some from her blog, many entirely new—and accentuates them with gorgeous photography, old family snapshots, and heartwarming memories of her family’s generations-old love of baking. Join her to learn more about these fun recipes and stories!

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Presentation by Jennifer Wilson

Sponsored by

Jennifer Wilson, the recipient of the 2012- Best Non-Fiction Book Award, from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and Emerging Iowa Author Award in 2012, will be presenting her latest work, Water, on the main stage. Come hear excerpts from this new novel about nitrate wars, power plays and love polluted by politics.

3-4 p.m.
Presentation by Charlotte Rogan
Sponsored by Meredith

Charlotte Rogan, is the author of the New York Times Best Seller, The Lifeboat, which follows Grace Winter, a 22-year-old newlywed and widow on trial for her life.  In the summer of 1914, the ocean liner she and her husband had taken to cross the Atlantic (they are headed to New York) suffers a mysterious explosion.  The few that survive are saved by a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize has exceeded capacity.  For any to live, some must die. Rogan’s newest novel, Now and Again, continues to explore issues of morality and justice. Join her for a presentation on the main stage.

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Presentation by Craig Johnson

Sponsored by Small_Hubbell-160-years

New York Times Bestselling author, Craig Johnson, is the author of eleven novels in the Walt Longmire Mystery Series, which have garnered popular and critical acclaim. His books have racked up an impressive list of accolades including, Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for his fifth novel.  The Longmire series serves as the basis for the hit A&E drama, Longmire, starting Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Katee Sackoff. Join him for a presentation on our main stage on the latest novel in the series, Dry Bones.


Sunday, Jun. 19

10:30-11:30 a.m.

Presentation by Kali VanBaale

Sponsored by Knapp-Properties

Kali VanBaale’s debut novel, The Space Between, earned an American Book Award, the IPPY silver medal for general fiction, and the Fred Bonnie Memorial First Novel Award. Her second novel, The Good Divide, is forthcoming from Midwestern Gothic Press June, 2016. Join VanBaale on the main stage for a reading from her collection.

12-1 p.m.

Presentation by Jerry Nelson

Sponsored by EMC-Insurance

Jerry Nelson, the author of the new collection of short stories, Dear County Agent Guy- Calf Pulling, Husband Training and Other Curious Dispatches from a Midwestern Dairy Farmer, will be presenting on the main stage. His work has been featured in the nation’s top agricultural magazines, including Successful Farming, Farm Journal, Progressive Farmer, and Living the Country Life. Join him for a reading from his hilarious debut.

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Presentation by Dave Price

Sponsored by Wells-Fargo

Few television reporters in the country have spent more time with presidential candidates over the past decade than Dave Price. The Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award winning reporter shares two years of research and more than 100 interviews in his debut book, Caucus Chaos. Price is the political director and weekend anchor at WHO-TV, the NBC affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa. Join him to hear reading from his book and to talk politics on the main stage.

3-4 p.m.

Presentation by Tim Johnston

Sponsored by Nationwide

Tim Johnston’s captivating novel, Descent, garnered tremendous critical attention when it became a New York Times bestseller upon publication in January 2016. Descent is both a thriller and work of remarkable literary sensibility. Alan Cheuse, host of NPR’s All Things Considered said of Descent, “Johnston is an excellent writer. You want to set this one down so you can take a breath, and keep reading- all at the same time.” Join Johnston for a reading of this suspenseful thriller on the main stage.

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Presentation by Andrew Maraniss

Sponsored by Small_American-Enterprise

A New York Times bestseller, Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South, is the first book by Andrew Maraniss. The debut has already garnered much critical acclaim, receiving the 2015 Lillian Smith Book Award and the lone Special Recognition honor at the 2015 RFK Book Awards. Join Maraniss for a presentation on this richly detailed biography of Perry Wallace, the first African American basketball player in the SEC.