Sunday opinion and commentary for you from around Iowa
Our Iowa Collaborative members are published not just weekly in their Substack columns. This week, you’ll find Robert Leonard’s by-line in Time Magazine. It’s an in-depth piece about Senator Tim Scott suspending his presidential campaign.
Nationally recognized Native American writer and poet Ray Young Bear joins the Iowa Writers’ Collaborative: Introduction to a new column by Ray Young Bear.
Beth Hoffman writes about a vision of changing the Waterloo community with a grocery store.
Nicole Baart is a novelist living in the small, northwest Iowa town of Sioux Center. She describes the ‘intricacies of small-town life’ in her writing and, in this week’s column, shares books by other authors she believes capture this culture, too: Small Town Reading Round-Up
Our Inquisitive Quad Citizen, Alison McGaughey, writes an in-depth feature about a long-time activist moving to Minneapolis. She also interviewed her subject, Cath Bolkom, a Quad Citizen Quiz, with questions like: How many degrees of separation are you from John Deere (the company, not the man)?
The holiday season is upon us, and Jody Gifford has a cautionary tale about sending Seasons Greetings. Last Christmas I Gave You a Card… the Very Next Day You Blew Up My Phone with Calls and Texts
What is it like to live alongside an Amish community? Mary Swander regularly takes us into this otherwise mysterious world, and in this week’s column, she describes the process of making and receiving a jug of sorghum.
Davenport moves forward with new schools, and Ed Tibbetts has an analysis.
Jane Nguyen remembers her emotional attachment to a Cabbage Patch doll 40 years later.
Pat Kinney has a story from Waterloo about a private, faith-based school that was lifted because of the Education Savings Account (ESA). Enrollment has almost doubled now that they’ve spread the word about the program: Waterloo offers ‘Royal’ diversity lesson.
Dave Busiek takes readers behind the scenes when broadcasters face tough decisions about showing graphic images and video.
Reynolds goes for broke on right-wing crusades, writes Art Cullen.
Dave Price asks How are you feeling? and lays out what he calls ‘A Lot’ of interpretations to the question. He also links to behind-the-scenes stories about the GOP presidential sweepstakes in Iowa.
The indefatigable Laura Belin has two posts this week. A close look at Iowa's very political—not medical—proposed abortion rules and the shrinking GOP field, plus Democrat running in IA-03, and more.
Belin was a featured guest on Julie Gammack’s podcast, where readers participant in conversations with guests.
Last week marked the anniversary of Agnew’s November 13, 1969, speech in Des Moines. Barry Piatt has the story.
Iowa college football on TV: KRNT vs. the NCAA…one station defies the blackout rules, and another pays the price. Read Jeff Morrison’s column for the story.
Are you being deluged by “advisers” wanting to help you with Medicare plans? It’s “open enrollment season”. Cheryl Tevis takes you behind the phone to see what’s happening. It’s a carefully crafted explanatory piece: Open Enrollment Season on Seniors, or for Seniors?
Macey Shoforth has a fascinating column, What I wish you knew about Type 1 Diabetes, addressing the disease that has been with her since she was diagnosed at age 5.
Kali White VanBaale cross-posted a riveting column by Freddie Deboer on his problems with the ‘disabiity rights’ movement.
Our columnist in north-central Iowa, Kurt Meyer, offers his rendition of Thanksgiving dinner. Dressing for Success.
Wini Moranville has multiple food stories this week rolled into one column. First, a giveaway offered by Paws and Pints, a dining establishment amid a huge dog park; George Formaro is an avid ‘pie hound'’ and cause for celebration, Wini calls Djubilation!
Arnold Garson tells the back story of downtown department stores and the Jewish immigrants who founded those retail stores of days gone by and why so many were founded by Jews. The Downtown Department Store: A Remnant of the Past and Where It Came From
Nik Heftman posted a video story: Black Dollar…Line Out Watches.
Road Trippin’ with Naughton
John Naughton is all over the place. He writes about rock royalty and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction show this week. He’s living his life in living color.
Waxing Crescent Moon, by Suzanna de Baca.
Kyle Munson gives background about the location where the Iowa Writers’ Collaborative will be holding a holiday party on December 7, 5-6:30 p.m. for our paid subscribers. Many of our members will be on hand, including those who have fond memories of the house when Governor Harold Hughes and Bob Ray occupied it, then the Iowa High School Girls Athletic Association.
Please meet and mingle with Iowa Writers’ Collaborative members Wini Moranville, Pat Kinney, Chuck Offenburger, Kyle Munson, Robert Leonard, Ed Tibbetts, Jody Gifford, Suzanna de Baca, Laura Belin, Dave Busiek, John Naughton, Kali White VanBaale, Cheryl Tevis, Julie Gammack, Macey Shoforth, Jane Nguyen, Jeff Morrison, and Beth Hoffman.
Although the mansion's current owner, John Beard, will offer a few words of historical interest about the home, there might be some informal storytelling. The event is meant to be a fun, free-form gathering. It’s a party, more than anything, and a “thank you” to all those who support our roster of Iowa writers.
Please RSVP if you’re a paid subscriber. If you’re not a paid subscriber (and want to come to the party), simply become a paid subscriber.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24
We know you all can’t make it to the holiday party, so we have an ongoing feature for paid subscribers to join our columnists on Zoom, something we call the Office Lounge. There will be on on Friday, November 24, hosted by Robert Leonard. He’s chosen to invite a special guest.
Ellen Won Steil, author of her debut suspense novel “Fortune,” published by the Amazon imprint Lake Union Publishing, will be with us for this Office Lounge call.
“In this explosive novel about a decades-old mystery, shocking revelations of the past and the secrets of three women will be spilled when a small Midwest town announces a DNA Lottery.”
FORTUNE is an Amazon Editors’ pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Amazon First Reads September pick, hitting #4 in the entire Kindle Store:
And #1 Best Seller in five categories:
#1 Best Seller in Mysteries
#1 Best Seller in Women’s Domestic Life Fiction
#1 Best Seller in Women’s Divorce Fiction
#1 Best Seller in Mothers & Children Fiction
#1 Best Seller in Small Town & Rural Fiction
Ellen Won Steil grew up in Iowa in a Korean-American family. She earned her BA in journalism from Drake University and a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and two young sons. She believes most good stories have at least a hint of darkness. For more information, visit www.ewsteil.com.
IOWA WRITERS’ COLLABORATIVE
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Nicole Baart: This Stays Here, Sioux Center
Ray Young Bear: From Red Earth Drive, Meskwaki Settlement
Laura Belin: Iowa Politics with Laura Belin, Windsor Heights
Doug Burns: The Iowa Mercury, Carroll
Dave Busiek: Dave Busiek on Media, Des Moines
Iowa Writers’ Collaborative, Roundup
Steph Copley: It Was Never a Dress, Johnston
Art Cullen: Art Cullen’s Notebook, Storm Lake
Suzanna de Baca: Dispatches from the Heartland, Huxley
Debra Engle: A Whole New World, Madison County
Arnold Garson: Second Thoughts, Okoboji and Sioux Falls
Julie Gammack: Julie Gammack’s Iowa Potluck, Des Moines and Okoboji
Joe Geha: Fern and Joe, Ames
Jody Gifford: Benign Inspiration, West Des Moines
Rob Gray: Rob Gray’s Area, Ankeny
Nik Heftman: The Seven Times, Los Angeles and Iowa
Beth Hoffman: In the Dirt, Lovilia
Chris Jones, Chris’s Substack, Des Moines
Pat Kinney: View from Cedar Valley, Waterloo
Fern Kupfer: Fern and Joe, Ames
Robert Leonard: Deep Midwest: Politics and Culture, Bussey
Letters from Iowans, Iowa
Darcy Maulsby: Keepin’ It Rural, Calhoun County
Tar Macias: Hola Iowa, Iowa
Alison McGaughey, The Inquisitive Quad Citizen, Quad Cities
Kurt Meyer: Showing Up, St. Ansgar
Wini Moranville: Wini’s Food Stories, Des Moines
Jeff Morrison: Between Two Rivers, Cedar Rapids
Kyle Munson: Kyle Munson’s Main Street, Des Moines
Jane Nguyen: The Asian Iowan, West Des Moines
John Naughton: My Life, in Color, Des Moines
Chuck Offenburger: Iowa Boy Chuck Offenburger, Jefferson and Des Moines
Barry Piatt: Piatt on Politics Behind the Curtain, Washington, D.C.
Dave Price: Dave Price’s Perspective, Des Moines
Macey Shofroth: The Midwest Creative, Norwalk
Larry Stone: Listening to the Land, Elkader
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Buggy Land, Kalona
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Emerging Voices, Kalona
Cheryl Tevis: Unfinished Business, Boone County
Ed Tibbetts: Along the Mississippi, Davenport
Kali White VanBaale, 988: Mental Healthcare in Iowa, Bondurant
Teresa Zilk: Talking Good, Des Moines
The Iowa Writers Collaborative is also proud to ally with Iowa Capital Dispatch.
SAVE THE DATE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7; PAID SUBSCRIBERS ARE INVITED TO A HOLIDAY PARTY AT THE WITMER HOUSE, 2900 GRAND (former governor’s mansion). Let us know if you would like to attend: