Our Monday Lunch Schedule

...and the video of Shark Tank winner, Raquel Graham

Welcome to our new subscribers!
Here’s how we do things around here. First, this is called a ‘potluck’ because it’s a column with a little bit of this and that. It mixes commentary and stories featuring people of interest. Most posts have some Iowa angle. The column is free.
There is a premium service for those who become paid subscribers: you will be invited to a Monday Zoom Lunch meeting with a notable guest. The video above was our call this week with entrepreneur Rachel Graham.
We’ve had experts on the economy, public speaking, a mayor, a former governor, a few candidates, and funny folks. One was infuriating. Participants ask questions, too.
Miss a Monday, miss a lot. The proceeds from paid subscriptions are used for scholarships to the Okoboji Writers’ Retreat (OWR).


Links to more information are in orange.

Monday Zoom Schedule

Mark your calendar for the following Monday Lunch Schedule:

Monday, November 21: Pollster J. Ann Selzer

Monday, November 28: Author, playwright, poet, and columnist, Mary Swander

Monday, December 5: Author and pie baker, Beth Howard

Monday, December 12: Business leader, and entrepreneur, Connie Wimer

Hmm….I just realized the upcoming four guests are all women. I’ll do better about mixing genders soon. If you have a suggestion for a Zoom guest, put it in the comment section below.

Thanks to Charity Nebbe of Iowa Public Radio for having me on her Talk of Iowa (LINK TO SHOW PODCAST) show this week. Serendipitously, Charity interviewed three stalwarts of the Okoboji Writers’ Retreat this week. Below are links to the show where I appeared to talk about the retreat and the Iowa Writers’ Collaborative. Next, she interviewed retiring columnist Rekha Basu, and the following day, it was ‘Pie Beth’s turn. Hear Beth Howard talk about her book: World Piece: A Pie Baker’s Global Quest for Peace, Love, and Understanding.

Speaking of the Okoboji Writers’ Retreat, I’ve ordered merch, including bags, t-shirts, and ball caps.

Also, in addition to returning favorites, we’ll have a few new speakers on hand: Maura Casey, editorial writer for the New York Times; Amy Ferris, co-director of Story Summit and a badass author and provocateur; Rachel Jones, National Press Foundation; and Grant Faulkner, who is the director of the annual National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This has become a movement of sorts. #NaNoWriMo occasionally trends on Twitter during November as writers from all over post comments about their projects.

The OKOBOJI WRITERS’ RETREAT ENROLLMENT IS NOW OPEN. Sign up now for the Early Bird discount, ending January 1.

Bring your sibling, adult children, parents, and or besties. Last year we had three families attending: Two sisters, a mom and her two adult children, and a mother and son.

Four participants were there thanks to the generosity of the children who gave them the gift of OWR. One woman told me it was the best present her children could have given her. And they will reap the benefit, as their mom is busy writing her memoir. Win-win.

Shop local. Pick up your gift certificate at Beaverdale Books starting next week.


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The Iowa Writers’ Collaborative recently added columnists Kyle Munson along with Fern & Joe. Check them out and say ‘hello.’

A NOTE TO READERS: Please enjoy the work of all our members of the Iowa Writers Collaborative, and support our work with subscriptions, which will bring our columns to you by email. The subscriptions are free, or you can pay modest fees — your choice. Here’s our line-up:

Laura Belin: Iowa Politics with Laura Belin, Windsor Heights
Doug Burns: The Iowa Mercury, Carroll
Dave Busiek: Dave Busiek on Media, Des Moines
Art Cullen: Art Cullen’s Notebook, Storm Lake
Suzanna de Baca Dispatches from the Heartland, Huxley
Debra Engle: A Whole New World, Madison County
Julie Gammack: Julie Gammack’s Iowa Potluck, Des Moines and Okoboji
Jody Gifford: Benign Inspiration, West Des Moines
Beth Hoffman: In the Dirt, Lovilla
Dana James: New Black Iowa, Des Moines
Fern Kupfer and Joe Geha: Fern and Joe, Ames
Robert Leonard: Deep Midwest: Politics and Culture, Bussey
Kyle Munson: Kyle’s Main Street, Iowa
Chuck Offenburger: Iowa Boy Chuck Offenburger, Jefferson and Des Moines
Barry Piatt: Barry Piatt on Politics-Behind the Curtain, Washington, D.C.
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Buggy Land, Kalona
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Emerging Voices
Cheryl Tevis: Unfinished Business, Boone County
Ed Tibbetts: Along the Mississippi, Davenport
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