Wonder Of Words Festival Announces Headliner, Presenter Lineup

Author Craig Johnson headlines event that celebrates the written word

The Wonder of Words Festival will bring world class authors to Downtown Des Moines this summer. The Wonder of Words Festival is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19, 2016 at Western Gateway Park. The free outdoor event features presentations and signings by acclaimed authors, as well as workshops, conversation panels, literary exhibitors, book sales, children’s entertainment and food trucks.

The Wonder of Words Festival has announced that Craig Johnson is the headline speaker, sponsored by Hubbell Realty. Johnson is the author of eight novels in the Walt Longmire mystery series, which has garnered popular and critical acclaim. “Hell is Empty” was a New York Times best seller, and was selected by Library Journal as the “Best Mystery of the Year.” The Walt Longmire series is the basis for the hit A&E drama Longmire, starring Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips and Katee Sackoff.

In addition to Johnson, the festival has announced a number of authors of both local and national acclaim and other presentations, including:

  • Jerry Nelson, author of “DEAR COUNTY AGENT GUY: Calf Pulling, Husband Training, and Other Curious Dispatches from a Midwestern Dairy Farmer.” Sponsored by EMC Insurance.
  • Charlotte Rogan, author of “The Lifeboat.” Sponsored by Meredith Corporation.
  • Joselyn Delk Adams, author of the cookbook, “GRANDBABY CAKES: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories.” Sponsored by Bankers Trust.
  • Summer Miller, author of the full-color cookbook “NEW PRAIRIE KITCHEN: Stories and Seasonal Recipes from Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans of the Great Plains.” Sponsored by Ruan Corporation.
  • A Children’s Book Nook sponsored by MidAmerican Energy Company will feature story time with Dan Wardell from Iowa Public Television and songwriter Chad Elliott, author of “Wilderman’s Treetop Tales,” a collection of whimsical lyrics and paintings.
  • Two writers from the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop will present on their work and speak on their genres.

“The Wonder of Words Festival offers a lineup of world-class authors, which will provide a great learning opportunity for attendees,” said Maggie Pforts, Team Leader and Production Manager of the Downtown Events Group. “This is a true celebration of the written word, and will build on the great culture of summertime events in Downtown Des Moines.”

The Wonder of Words Festival is made possible by a number of sponsors, including American Enterprise Group, Bankers Trust, Bravo Greater Des Moines, Casey’s General Stores, EMC Insurance, Hubbell Realty, Knapp Properties, Meredith Corporation, MidAmerican Energy Company, the Polk County Board of Supervisors, Prairie Meadows, Principal, Ruan Corporation, the University of Iowa John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center, Voya Financial and Wells Fargo.

For more information on authors and presenters, go to WonderOfWordsFest.com.

Media inquiries should be directed to Sophia S. Ahmad at sahmad@desmoinesmetro.com or (515) 286-4919.


About the Downtown Community Alliance

The Downtown Community Alliance (DCA) is a 501(c)(6) corporation that is dedicated to promoting and improving Downtown Des Moines. It is wholly owned by the Greater Des Moines Partnership. The DCA is the sole owner of the Downtown Events Group (DEG), a 501(c)(3) corporation, which produces events intended to promote the Downtown and enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of our community. The mission of the DCA is to achieve a shared vision for the future of downtown Des Moines by providing leadership, initiative, advocacy and building partnerships, and achieving shared solutions. The DCA provides a consistent and constant focus on developing and maintaining a vibrant downtown core.

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