Welcome to the Cedar Falls Authors Festival Website

Did you know that Cedar Falls has produced five nationally-known and best-selling writers—more nationally-known 
authors than any other town in Iowa?  Four of them taught at the University of Northern Iowa and several were students there as well. 
Three were born here. 

We planned a year of events to celebrate our Literary heritage and create awareness of these authors and their work, 
as well as other remarkable local writers: we are calling it the Cedar Falls Authors Festival. 
Events will run from May 2017 through June 2018. 
Now that we have launched all FIVE of our authors' programs, we're even more excited! Look for the Festival logo, our Posters, and volunteers around town.

It's January, 2018! 

What a wonderful first Six Months we have had, launching all five of our Authors! Thank you for your support up to now. What's next? We have the second brochure: you can download it at the bottom of the page.

Right now we have plans for an 8-part Cedar Falls History Writers Series talks from January thru June, the Final Thursday authors at the Hearst, and a talk and book signing Saturday, Feb. 10 by Adrianne Findlay for her new young adult novel.  In addition, there are three programs at the UNI Library. We hope to add the 2018 CF Public Library Local Authors Showcase writers' programs as well.

Barbara Lounsberry recently summed up our activities during 2017 this way: We had 40 Authors Festival events from May to December 2017 at 20 Cedar Falls sites (CF Public Library; Hearst Center for the Arts & Sculpture Garden; Rod Library; UNI Museum; Oster Regent Theatre; CF Women’s Club; University Book & Supply; Western Home Communities; New Aldaya Lifescapes; Bess Streeter Aldrich Park; Bess Streeter Aldrich School site; Streeter cabin; Hillside Cemetery; Seerley Park; Nancy Price Iowa Street former home; UNI President’s home; and 3 Tremont Street homes in Sleeping with the Enemy). We estimate that over 2,500 have attended our programs.

January through June, 2018

Please visit our Events page for more details!

Find us on Facebook!

The Festival on the UNI website

The UNI Library has created a set of pages about the Authors Festival; you can view them here.

Bess Streeter Museum

The Bess Streeter Aldrich Museum in Elmwood, Nebraska is now linking to our site; if you are looking for more information about Aldrich, check them out.

Click on the names below to visit each author's page or use the navigation menu on the left.

Our Five Authors


ruth suckow
February 17, 1881 -– August 3, 1954

August 6, 1892 --  January 23, 1960



March 16, 1925

August 8, 1900 -- July 27, 1983



August 1, 1939 -- March 10, 2017

Gary Kelley's Art work Commemorates the Cedar Falls Authors Festival 

Local artist Gary Kelley designed a piece of art featuring quotes from our five authors. The poster will be used to promote the Festival, and signed copies will be available for sale at our events.

gary kelley poster

Festival Purpose:

1. To inspire young and old through the knowledge that Cedar Falls has produced writers from pioneer times to now.

2. To convey that writing is a valuable and rewarding form of expression that members of the Cedar Falls community regularly engage in—like breathing.

3.  To enhance civic pride and our sense of community identity by recognizing that Cedar Falls can boast of five nationally known, best-selling writers—more than any other town in Iowa.

4.  To celebrate all of our Cedar Falls authors, past and present, by creating a Directory of Cedar Falls Authors.

 Are you a Cedar Falls author? 

We define a “Cedar Falls Author” as a person either born in Cedar Falls or who has spent a substantial amount of time living and writing in the city. 
We are gathering information to create a Directory of Cedar Falls Authors, which will be posted on the Cedar Falls Library website, as well as here. 

Please complete our authors' survey to become part of the Directory of Cedar Falls Authors--or to share the name of a Cedar Falls author (living or dead).


Last updated December 26, 2017

Cherie Dargan, Webmaster

See also our Contact Page!