Teenagers do not read for pleasure anymore, but according to a new study, they do not watch TV anymore.

Imagine your book club. Keep the amount of Chardonnay and the laugh at funny takes, but increase your presence by 20 times.

That's what the DSM Book Festival wants to be.

At Capital Square in downtown Des Moines on March 30, the DSM Book Festival has already produced three major headliners – Susan Orlean, Garth Stein, and Nnedi Okorafor – and planned a series of literary discussions and classes.

Now, the Des Moines Storyteller Project is proud to announce that we are joining the book fun with an event featuring popular stories from our archive.

Buy photo

The World Food and Music Festival in Des Moines September 14, 2018. (Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes / The Register)

"From the collection: treasure stories from the Des Moines Storytellers Project" is bent at 18.00 clock. on the Prairie Meadows Authors Pavilion, and will feature storytellers reviving the pieces that made our first four seasons shine. Details about the participants will be announced shortly.

In the Storytelling Project Journalists with the Des Moines Register train the everyday Iowans to tell real first-person stories live on stage with no notes.

The Storytellers Project celebrates, like a campfire conversation or a visit to friends, that good stories do not necessarily have to be anchored in a book – an idea that is also central to the mission of this new festival, said Colleen Murphy, a downtown event director at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

"We'll have the authors, but a big part of the festival is about discussing and celebrating how people love to share stories or what they read together," she said.

Susan Orleans, a celebrated author and journalist, will perform at the DSM Book Festival. (Photo: Special to the register)

Born from the success of smaller book-focussed events, The DSM Book Festival aims to connect readers with people who produce readable works. Like all good book clubs, the festival is 50 per cent literary talk and 50 per cent party.

"When I read a book, it's one of the most exciting things I end up loving when I talk to someone about it," Murphy said. "The festival brings this to life in a community celebration."

For more than a year, a committee of citizens, literature and business leaders is planning the event. Throughout the process, they have sought to secure authors whose works have transcended the literary scene, Murphy said.

Susan Orlean, a fellow New Yorker writer, had several books on the bestseller list, including "The Orchid Thief," which was later filmed in "Adaptation," a film starring Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep.

Garth Stein, the author of "The Art of Racing in the Rain", will be appearing at the DSM Book Festival. (Photo: Special to the register)

Garth Stein is the author of the long-running "The Art of Racing in the Rain," which becomes a movie this year.

And Nnedi Okorafor wrote some of Black Panther's comics that inspired the Oscar-nominated 2018 film of the same name. Okorafor is an award-winning science-fiction writer who does not write for panels. She is known for her African-based fantasy and myth magic of magical realism.

Nnedi Okorafor, author and author of the last Black Panther titles, will be appearing at the DSM Book Festival in March. (Photo: Special to the register)

Her Akata series, which focuses on a young Nigerian-American girl who discovers she can cast spells, was referred to as the "Nigerian Harry Potter" by The New York Times.

In addition to the author talks, there will be a youth stage for young readers and a series of make and take classes with book reviews paired with a craft.

The cooking stage offers courses such as Grape Gatsby, a 1920s-themed wine tasting, and For Who the Beer Tolls, a talk about authors and their beloved drinks.

The Des Moines Storytellers Project is currently in its fourth season and has planned shows this year. To become a cashier or to attend a show, visit

The Des Moines Register is a sponsor of the DSM Book Festival.

To learn more about the festival and to be informed about upcoming performances, visit

Read or share this story: – capital-square-susan-orlean-garth-stein / 2779174002 /