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Writers and photographers recently featured in The Iowan:

A stint as a columnist morphed into a midlife career change for freelance writer and photographer Tim Ackarman. The former physician assistant is an avid hunter, fisherman, and conservationist. The acreage he shares with his wife, dogs, and cats is only miles from the Ventura farm where he grew up and from the rural cemetery where his great-great-grandparents lie.

Nick Bergus, Contributor to The Iowan Magazine

Nick Bergus is a writer, multimedia producer, and teacher. He lives in Iowa City with a wife, a daughter, and a dog. He spends his free time eating good food and officiating roller derby as Uranus Escheating. Find him online at

It all started when he was 12 and his parents gave him his first camera. Tim Bloomquist was immediately hooked. When he’s not lugging around equipment for his “real” job producing TV commercials and training videos for his company, Professional Video, Inc., he can be found looking through a viewfinder and snapping “a keeper.” He often leaves through his backdoor in Urbandale to head down a dusty country road or journey across the country to a national park. (

Carol Bodensteiner, Contributor to The Iowan Magazine

Carol Bodensteiner grew up on an eastern Iowa dairy farm, and though she’s traveled the world, she always finds her way back home. After a career in public relations, she followed her passion to writing. About Iowa.

A Des Moines-based photographer originally from Ottumwa, Jake Boyd shoots real estate full time, as well as weddings and family portraits. When not shooting or editing photos, Jake can be found playing Ping Pong, working out, and drinking lots of coffee.

Jason Bradwell’s adventures in photography took an unexpected direction after friends talked him into shooting their wedding. Expanding a hobby into a career, he now photographs a wide variety of people and places, including sports action for the NBA, NFL, and AFL.,
Mike Brownlee covers the people and places of southwest Iowa as a reporter for his hometown newspaper, Council Bluffs’ The Daily Nonpareil. When he’s not writing, Brownlee can usually be found on a baseball or softball diamond or on a walk with his wife and dog. A University of Iowa grad and longtime fan, he roots proudly: Go Hawks!
Doug Clough is a freelance writer from Ida Grove. He pens a monthly column for the Ida County Courier and performs as a travel scout for Midwest Living. He also writes for Farm News, narrating brief agricultural internships in his “I Never Went to Market” series.

Catherine Collison is an ardent film fan, visiting set and actor connections — including Dyersville’s Field of Dreams and Denison’s Donna Reed Theatre — on her trips back to Iowa.

Joshua Doležal teaches literature and creative writing at Central College, where his work with the college garden and the Global Sustainability Education program piqued his interest in organic farming. As an avid gardener, he can’t imagine a richer place than Iowa for growing good food
and friends.

Jim Duncan (aka The Food Dude, Art Pimp, The Good Steward) is a fourth-generation Iowan who writes about food, art, sports, business, and ideas for numerous publications, including The Iowan.

Veronica Lorson Fowler is a former garden editor (Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications) and the author of numerous garden books, including Gardening in Iowa (Univeristy of Iowa Press). She’s also the voice and expertise behind The Iowa Gardener and its associated e-newsletter.
Paul Gates, Contributor to The Iowan magazine

Paul Gates became a stringer photographer for the Associated Press during the 1988 presidential election and later that year joined Business Publications Corporation as Photo Director. He shot his first assignment for The Iowan in 1995, going freelance a few years later. (

Mary Gottschalk, Contributor for The Iowan magazine

A transplant from New York City, Mary Gottschalk is trying hard to retire from a career as a corporate financial consultant. In her latest reincarnation as a writer, she’s recently published a memoir about sailing around the world and is working on a novel. She freelances as a way to learn about the highways and byways of her new home state.

Twenty years after Drake Hokanson’s The Lincoln Highway: Main Street Across America introduced Jim Hill to the old road, he was reintroduced by Colo’s journey and success.

Linda Mason Hunter is a fifth-generation Iowan and host of The Green Zone on KFMG 99.1 FM in Des Moines. A former editor at The Des Moines Register, Meredith, and Rodale Press, she recently published her 13th book, Three Green Rats: An Eco Tale (for ages 7 to 11 and precocious adults), available online at

John Holtorf, Contributor for The Iowan magazine 

The John Holtorf career path winds through busboy, salesman, lifeguard, musician, groundskeeper, heavy equipment operator, gandy dancer, bartender, and carpenter. He left a high-paying job as a construction superintendent in 1985 to take a barely paying position as a darkroom assistant in a photo studio. He never looked back. (

Deborah Jansen, Contributor for The Iowan magazine

Deborah Jansen grew up in a small Iowa town and loves the varied people and places of this state. As a freelance writer, she’s eager to uncover new stories never told and find fresh ways to tell old tales.

Suzanne Kelsey, Contributor for The Iowan magazine

Suzanne Kelsey is a DeWitt-based freelance writer, editor, and life coach who talks about Iowa’s prairies when she talks about love. (Apologies to Raymond Carver.)

After graduating from ISU, Waukee native Jon Lemons began shooting for The Omaha World-Herald and later KCCI News Channel 8. Today he shoots both photography and video for Des Moines Public Schools as well as freelance assignments. (

Kelly D. Norris is a 20-something horticulturist, author, and plantsman who splits his time between Bedford and Ames.  His new book, Cultivating the Rainbow: A Guide to Bearded Irises for Beginners and Enthusiasts (Timber Press, May 2012) continues the passion of Rainbow Iris Farm. Kelly holds both a bachelor’s and master’s in horticulture from Iowa State University. He blogs about his zealous pursuit of plants and all things horticultural at

David Peterson, Contributor for The Iowan magazine 

David Peterson spent 32 years as a newspaper photojournalist, winning two Pulitzer Prizes while shooting for the Des Moines Register. His roots are in Kansas, with degrees from both Kansas State and KU, but today his life and freelance work are firmly planted in Iowa, where he’s spent more than half his life. (

Terri Queck-Matzie, Contributor for The Iowan magazine

Growing up on the family farm in the southwest region of the state, Terri Queck-Matzie began her love affair with Iowa at an early age. Today, as a freelancer, she photographs and writes about the state’s people and places from her home in Fontanelle.

Shuva Rahim grew up in the Quad Cities and now calls Iowa City home. She’s a wedding and family photographer with a passion for teaching creativity and social media. You can follow her blog at Beyond photography, Shuva loves to travel, bike ride, and do yoga.
  Donna Schill is a multimedia journalist and freelance writer for several Iowa publications. Schill believes that Iowa is fertile ground for a journalist looking for the untold story. She has a special interest in environment and food politics. She received her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa in 2011 and now works from her home in Fairfield. (

Mark Tade is a lifelong resident of Iowa City and a graduate of the University of Iowa. His ancestors settled in southeast Iowa in the early 1830s. (

Jennifer Blair Tuite, Contributor for The Iowan magazine 

After a decade abroad in Ireland, Jennifer Blair Tuite is proud to be back among Hawkeyes. A month-long walk across the state in 2009 reintroduced her to the beauty of the landscape, the generosity of the people, and the remarkableness of Iowa’s stories. Living in Davenport, she is continually reminded of how good it is to be home.

Joe VanDerZanden, Contributor for The Iowan magazine 

Native to the mountains and maritime climate of western Oregon, Joe VanDerZanden has lived since 2003 in Ames, where he tends his garden, walks his dog, and raises his family. A graduate of Oregon State University in journalism, Joe has worked as a magazine editor, radio host, and truck driver.

Mike Whye began peering through lenses and writing stories in high school, eventually working with publications and in public relations before going freelance in 1983. A member of Midwest Travel Writers Association, he teaches journalism and photography at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Deb Wiley is proud to be a fifth-generation Iowan. Her great-great-grandfather, Henry Clay Wiley, moved from Weston, Vermont, to Iowa in 1865. Deb’s passion for plants sprouted while growing up on a northeast Iowa farm. A former garden editor for Midwest Living magazine, she now writes, edits, and photographs for magazines, books, online clients, and horticulture companies. Deb is a Polk County Master Gardener, serves on the board of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, and blogs at
J. Wilson is an award-winning homebrewer and BJCP beer judge. His Barrel Reserve Illuminator (a doppelbock recipe brewed in partnership with Eric Sorensen at West Des Moines’ Rock Bottom Brewery) took a silver medal at the Festival of Wood and Barrel-aged Beers in Chicago last November. He is the author of Diary of a Part-time Monk, and blogs about the ideal condition of harmony, beer, and joy at He lives in rural Adams County with his wife and two sons.


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