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“…Why do you write of food, and not of love or war?” – MFK Fisher

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Taking place in North America’s only UNESCO-designated City of Literature USA: Iowa City, IA on October 3rd & 4th, 2015.

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Here’s info on this year’s Iowa City Book Festival.

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Learn more about why Iowa City is North America’s only UNESCO-designated City of Literature.


 AGENDA: OCTOBER 2 – 4

Please check back frequently for updates, added speakers and other additions, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute announcements!

THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND

“From Pitch to Publication”:  Writers pick from our varied sponsors on site, do a short interview, and pick an angle. Then practice pitching a story about them to real editors and publishers, shape the outline of the story, then bring it full circle into publishing it in the wide array of Edible platforms. 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2ND

Noon to 7:00 PM – Registration:  Arrival, check-in and registration, get your credentials and just say “Hi!”

5:00 to 7:00 PM – Welcome Reception: Informal, get-acquainted gathering at Share Wine Lounge.  Light appetizers and beer samples from local breweries. Welcome remarks from Edible Communities Co-Founders, Carole Topalian and Tracey Ryder, along with John Kenyon, director of the City of Literature.

Dinner on your own – See our Iowa City dining guide

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3RD

7:30-8:45 AM: Optional guided tour of the amazing Iowa City Farmers Market – Voted one of America’s Best! (Just 2 blocks from the hotel.)

8:00 to 9:00 AM – Registration and Coffee:  Registration for those who missed it Friday evening, coffee and continental breakfast (Need something heartier?  See our recommendations)

9:00 to 9:30 AM – Welcome and introductions:  Conference co-chair and Edible Iowa River Valley publisher Kurt Michael Friese, and conference co-chair and Edible Communities co-founder Tracey Ryder

9:30 to 10:30 AM – Keynote: Bridging the Digital Divide – The print vs. digital war is over, and both are here to stay, by Brian Halweil, author, speaker, and co-owner of Edible Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island and East End.

10:30 to 10:45 AM – Break

10:45 to NOON – Morning Breakout Sessions:  Choose from…

  • This business of blogging: Focusing on making a food blog profitable with Tracey Ryder.
  • The food-centered memoir: Telling your personal story with Elissa Altman.
  • A sense of place: focusing your writing on the great food close to home with Maya Parsons.

NOON to 1:30 PM – Lunch Sponsored by Frontier Co-op and Simply Organic:  

1:30 to 3:00 PM Panel Discussion:  The Role of Sustainability in Food Writing Today, moderated by Gary Paul Nabhan. Panelists: Brain Halweil, Tracey Ryder, Barry Estabrook, Kurt Friese, Sherri Vinton.

3:00 to 3:15 PM – Break

3:15 to 4:30 PM – Afternoon Breakout Sessions:  Choose from…

  • Pitch Perfect: A speed dating-style pitch session with Brian Halweil, Kurt Friese, Maya Parson.
  • Contact High: Feel-good Networking Strategies that Actually Work with Joy Manning.
  • Make Your Photos POP!*  Professional tricks for the wannabe photographer in every food writer – with Edible Communities co-founder and photo guru Carole Topalian. (*Please note: a digital camera, preferably SLR, is required for this session.)

4:30 to 4:45 – Break

4:45 to 6:15 PM  – Optional Happy Hour Mini-Pub-Crawl: A quick tour of IC’s hipper cocktail bars, including Devotay, Pullman Bar & Diner, and Clinton Street Social Club

6:30 to 7:00 PM – Cocktail Reception: Sponsored by a local brewer

7:00 to 9:00 PM – The Eating Words Banquet:  Sponsored by Niman Ranch, with a keynote and awards.

Still thirsty for more?  See our Iowa City Bar Guide

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4TH

8:00 to 9:00 AM – Continental Breakfast: Coffee and continental breakfast (Need something heartier?  See these recommendations)

9:00 to 9:30 AM – Day 2 Housekeeping:  Conference co-chair and Edible Iowa River Valley publisher Kurt Michael Friese, and conference co-chair and Edible Communities co-founder Tracey Ryder

9:30 to 10:30 AM – Keynote, Barry Estabrook: The Politics of the Plate – Addressing food politics without alienating your readers.

10:30 to 10:45 AM – Break

10:45 to NOON – Morning Breakout Sessions:  Choose from…

  • Building the best proposal: How to craft a book proposal publishers will want to read with Elissa Altman and Sherri Vinton.
  • Say What? The Art of the Interview: You’ve landed a choice assignment and lined up the perfect interview. Now what? With Joy Manning.
  • ​Unprocessed: The art of living your book while writing it – with Megan Kimble​

NOON to 1:30 PM – Lunch on your own:  See our Iowa City dining guide

1:30 to 3:00 PM Panel Discussion – Blogs to Books:  Moderated by Elissa Altman. Panelists: Sherri Vinton, Barry Estabrook, Terry Walters, Summer Miller

3:00 to 3:15 PM – Break

3:15 to 4:30 PM – Afternoon Breakout Sessions:  Choose from…

  • Social Media: Get Scrappy with Social Media – making your brand work for you, with Nick Westergaard.
  • Recipe Writing: A straightforward presentation to walk you through the process of recipe development with Joy Manning & Terry Walters.
  • The Szathmary Collection: Tour the University of Iowa’s enormous collection of rare and antique cookbooks and manuscripts

4:30 to 4:45 PM – Break

4:45 to 5:00 PM – Thank you and goodnight!  A quick wrap-up and goodbyes to new friends.

(Note:  Last flights out of CID on Sundays range from 5:40 to 8pm, depending on destination)

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