In March of 2020, the editorial staff of Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment met in Ross Hall on the ISU campus to discuss the latest round of short stories and poems the magazine had received for publication consideration. The online journal, based in the ISU English Department, receives thousands of submissions each year and has been publishing literary work from national and international writers for over twenty years. These monthly meetings, which usually involved lots of coffee and pizza, are part of the routine work of the editorial staff.
But this meeting was unique for at least two reasons. First, because of the pandemic lockdown (news that would break within a few days), it would be the last time the staff would be able to meet in person; and, second, because one of the stories under consideration, “A Moo Cow Came Traveling,” was most unusual. It featured a flying cow on a bicycle who lands in an Irish village to take tea with the local pub owner, smoke a pipe, and talk about the cosmos with the local schoolmaster.
The author of the story, Irish writer Mark Mulholland, is widely published internationally and is the author of the novel, A Mad and Wonderful Thing. He divides his time between Ireland and France.
The Flyway editors decided that the story was not quite right for their online journal, but the magic of Mulholland’s story convinced them to publish it as an illustrated book. They sought out the help of acclaimed artist, Dorothia Rohner, who illustrates children’s books for New York publishers out of her Painted Wings Studio just outside of Ames, Iowa.
Thus began the months-long zoom collaboration between this far flung team of locked-down artists: the three ISU-based Flyway editors (Debra Marquart, Emily Riley, John Carter); the children’s book illustrator (Dorothia Rohner); the Irish writer (Mark Mulholland) riding out the pandemic at his farmhouse in France; and a NY-based book designer, Christine Kettner, who was eventually brought into the project to put all the elements together into the finished book.
The result is A Moo Cow Came Traveling, published in the Fall of 2021, the first imprint of a newly-founded publishing house, Flyway Books. A celebration of the publication will be held at the Ames Public Library on Sunday, November 7th at 2 PM.
Event Details | Moo Cow Book Launch Jamboree
Where/When: Ames Public Library, 515 Douglas Ave, Ames, IA
Sunday, November 7 | 2 – 3 PM
Festivities will include Irish storytelling and music, a short Q & A with Irish writer, Mark Mulholland, Moo-Cow inspired treats, a balloon artist, and other activities and gifts for kids. Free & Open to the Public.
For More Information | Contact
Flyway Editors | Debra Marquart (firstname.lastname@example.org) 515.290.7731
Emily Riley (email@example.com)
John Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dorothia Rohner (email@example.com)
Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment | http://flyway1.wpengine.com/
Mark Mulholland | https://markmulhollandwriter.wixsite.com/website
Dorothia Rohner, Painted Wings Studio |https://www.dorothiarohner.com/about
TO BUY THE BOOK: www.flywayjournal.org/books