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Cedar Falls Authors Festival

The Cedar Falls Authors Festival has been created to honor our local authors, both past and present.

The group comes together to celebrate the work of Bess Streeter Aldrich, Ruth Suckow, James Hearst, Nancy Price, and Robert James Waller, as well as other local authors.  Through collaboration with many community organizations, the Cedar Falls Authors Festival presents a series of events to commemorate and educate the community about our rich literary heritage.

Events run May 2017 through May 2018

The festival’s May programs will examine the work of Robert James Waller. Waller (1939-2017) published seven novels and eight works of nonfiction—and he has given us striking photographs and musical works as well. “Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend,” his second novel, begins in Cedar Falls. His novel “The Bridges of Madison County” became an Oscar-nominated film and, most recently, a Broadway musical.

Eight Songs by Robert Waller: An Appreciation of his Music & Poetry
Presented by Scott Cawelti
Thurs., May 4, 2017, 7 p.m., Reception to follow
Hearst Center for the Arts, 304 Seerley Blvd.

“Bridges and Bridges: Two Takes on the Same Story”
Fri., May 5, 7 p.m.
Hearst Center for the Arts
A screening of “The Bridges of Madison County” will be followed at 9:30 p.m. by a short panel discussion featuring Scott Cawelti, Grant Tracey and Barbara Lounsberry.

Writers of the Cedar Valley
Sun., May 14 and June 18, 1-4 p.m.
Watch library website for later dates
Cedar Falls Public Library
Writers and aspiring writers of all genres age 12+ are invited to join the group. Each session includes quiet writing time, small group feedback and critique, discussion or presentation on writing topics. Simply stop in to enjoy the fun.


June celebrates Ruth Suckow (1892-1960), who wrote nine novels and 43 short stories—most set in Iowa. Suckow’s most famous novel, “The Folks,” was a 1934 Literary Guild selection and bestseller. Suckow taught occasionally at Iowa State Teachers College and married Cedar Falls author, Ferner Nuhn. It was Nuhn who founded the Cedar Falls Art League, the forerunner of the Hearst Center for the Arts.

Exhibit – Marjorie Nuhn: Selected Works
Thurs., May 18 - Sat., June 17, 2017
Reception June 10, 6 p.m., prior to Ruth Suckow event
Hearst Center for the Arts
Marjorie was Suckow’s sister-in-law and a prolific artist. The Hearst Center has a large permanent collection of her work, which has been widely shown around the country.

Ruth Suckow Memorial Association Meeting
Sat., June 10, 2017, 10 a.m.
Cedar Falls Public Library
524 Main St., Cedar Falls
Join the annual meeting of the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association. (Open to the public.)

“Amongst” Sculpture Installation
Sat., June 10, 2017, 3 p.m.
Hearst Center for the Arts Sculpture Garden
Celebrate the installation of UNI student artist Hanna Steggermen’s “Amongst,” commissioned to commemorate the lives of Ruth Suckow and her husband Ferner Nuhn. Both were authors and supporters of the arts.

Discussion of Suckow’s “A Part of the Institution”
Sat., June 10, 2017, 1 p.m.
Cedar Falls Public Library
Suckow enthusiasts will be discussing the novella, which was set in Grinnell, Iowa, during World War I.

Writing and Touring “Just Suppose: The Life of Iowa Novelist Ruth Suckow”
Sat., June 10, 2017, 7 p.m.
Nuhn exhibit reception at 6 p.m.
Hearst Center for the Arts
304 W. Seerley Blvd.
Playwright Rebecca Christian and actor Lenore Howard will share their experiences researching, writing and performing the show developed for Suckow’s 100th birthday.
“Just Suppose” will be performed in September.

More information on all of the authors, festival events, bibliographies and more can be found at www.cfauthorsfestival.org.