Michelle Edwards, Author & IllustratorDoodling can lead you to the right frame of mind to get things done and to unleash your creative flow. Author, artist, and knitter Michelle Edwards uses doodling, color, and other life hacks as a successful arts entrepreneur. Michelle won the National Jewish Book Award for her children's picture book Chicken Man. Her illustrations have appeared in several shows of children's book art. She's written a monthly column for the Lion  Brand Yarn Company, and her book, A Knitter's Home Companion: A Heartwarming Collection of Stories, Patterns, and Recipes received praise from author Jane Smiley.

Anna-Maria Petricelli, AuthorHave You Written Today? Author Anna-Maria Petricelli's free creativity workshop for FAIRfest 2015 targets all writers who want to write more and wonder why they don't.

Born and raised in Croatia, Anna-Maria has learned a lot about what it takes to make one's dreams come true. As a 10-year-old, she vowed to one day live in the U.S. Nine years later, she moved to Iowa, where she earned a B.A. in Literature and graduated summa cum laude and as valedictorian of her class.

Anna-Maria's had three novels and three novellas published (using the pen name Erin Aislinn). Her latest book BLOODLINE: THE LEGACY is a vampire erotic romance. She's currently studying Linguistics in a graduate progam at the University of Iowa.

Author B. K. Loren


What's B. K. Loren up to? Her novel THEFT's been optioned for film! B. K.'s writing the screenplay! She just won the 2014 Colorado Book Award for Creative Nonfiction for ANIMAL, MINERAL, RADICAL: A FLOCK OF ESSAYS ON WILDLIFE, FAMILY & FOOD!

Here at The Studio we're celebrating these successes of one of our favorite authors by rebroadcasting an interview in which B. K. explains in detail how she approaches writing, creativity, and life. 

Write with a poet who studied with Gary Snyder.

Plan your blog-to-book strategy with the NYT best-selling author who bakes pies in the American Gothic house.

Let the kids in  your life waltz, sing, juggle, and learn how books are made from an award-winning author/teacher/story-time leader.

Begin or continue writing a book or work on an art project (quietly) at Fairfield's most beautiful tea shop


Always rollicking, often rhyming, and sometimes historical, Jill Esbaum's 17 kids' books have snagged tons of awards. Released by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2014, her two newest children's picture books, I Hatched! and I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo!, were inspired by Iowa farm life. Jill and her husband raise corn, soybeans, and hundreds of pigs on a farm near Dixon, Iowa.

The five new kids' books Jill has out this year also include National Geographic Kids' Angry Birds Playground: Rain Forest. To find out how Jill's fondness for farmland and familiarity with hard work fuel her successful writing and publishing career, tune in to The Studio with Cheryl and Jill this week!

  • Mon
    Jan 20
    1:00 pm -
    2:00 pm
  • Wed
    Jan 22
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

Why Books for Kids Still Matter: Loren Long & Sarah Aronson

Do children's books still matter? Children's book authors Loren Long and Sarah Aronson have slightly different takes on why kids and reading belong together. Famous for illustrating picture books by President Barack Obama and pop star Madonna, Loren is best loved for writing and illustrating wildly popular books about Otis, a brave and humble farm tractor. Loren treasures the feeling of security young children experience when adults take time to read to them. Sarah writes middle grade and young adult novels, like Beyond Lucky and Believe, that inspire young people to thoughfully consider their views on leadership, friendship, and faith. Both authors have much to say during this episode of The Studio with Cheryl Fusco Johnson, pictured here with Loren Long.


Published in eight languages, Darcy Pattison's children's books earned her the Arkansas Governor's Art Award for Individual Artist in 2007.

Two years later she launched Mims House to independently publish children's books (such as Prairie Storms) and how-to-write books for adults (such as Novel Metamorphosis: Uncommon Ways to Revise and The Book Trailer Manual).

Darcy's independently published books win prizes, are acclaimed by major review media, and earn her a profit. How does she do it?

Learn specific strategies for succeeding at independent publishing during this episode of The Studio with Cheryl.

Father Rookey

This week Monica and Caroline will be talking with author Kathleen Quasey and Father Rookey about her biography of Father Rookey titled Healer of Souls.

 92-year old Father Rookey and his biographer are driving up from Chicago for this inerveiw.

Glowing reports of his healing ministry have been heard around Fairfield. Born October 12, 1916 in Superior, Wisconsin, Father Rookey entered the Servite Seminary in Hillside, Illinois in 1930. He studied theology, philosophy and music at Loyola and DePaul Universities in Chicago. In 1941 he was ordained at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Chicago.

  • Fri
    Dec 14
    1:00 pm -
    2:00 pm
  • Mon
    Dec 17
    8:00 am -
    9:00 am

Kate Aspengren, Ashley Templeton Is Ruining My Life

Kate AspengrenPlaywright Kate Aspengren ventured into new territory recently by releasing her first middle grade novel, Ashley Templeton Is Ruining My Life, with Foreverland Press. Samuel French, Inc., published Kate's plays:Dear Mrs. Martin, Mother's Day, House of Wonders, Flyer, and Blue Yonder. Born in Des Moines, Kate earned her MFA from the University of Iowa's Playwrights Workshop. Her plays have been produced by the Actors Theatre of Louisville, the New American Comedy Festival, Six Figures Theatre Company (in New York), and 3Graces (also in New York). Two of her plays have been translated for European production.

For 17 years, Kate's held an annual playwriting residency at Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Delaware, where she works with middle school students. Kate has also taught playwriting at Grinnell College, Coe College, and Cornell College. She co-directs the University of Iowa's annual ten-minute play festival and teaches at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Kate lives in Iowa City with her dog, Cooper.

  • Fri
    Nov 09
    1:00 pm -
    2:00 pm
  • Mon
    Nov 12
    8:00 am -
    9:00 am

Jeanne Ryan, Nerve



Nerve, Jeanne Ryan's young adult novel about a shy girl unintentionally enmeshed in a dangerous online game of dares, was released in September 2012 by Dial Books.

Raised in a family of 11 brothers and sisters, Jeanne spent her early childhood in Hawaill and the rest of her growing-up years trying to figure out how to get back there. Along the way, she lived in South Korea, Michigan, and Germany.

Now she lives in Seattle with her husband and children. Jeanne holds a degree in social welfare. Before writing fiction, she tried her hand at many things, including war game simulation and youth development research.