Mary Kay Shanley has ten books that cross multiple genres, tapping into her skills as storyteller, essayist, historian and journalist. Her memoir, The Women Who Had Me, will be out sometime. The manuscript originally centered on her adoption, but ultimately came to also include stories from those unmarried women who, in decades past, were coerced into giving up their babies for adoption. An Iowa Author of the Year, she directs writers’ groups, co-sponsors spiritual/reflective writing workshops, is a Humanities Iowa speaker and has taught at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women—a life-changing experience. This is her 18th year teaching with the Festival. She loves being part of the Festival as much as she loves biking and gardening in good weather.