Launch party to be held for new book published by Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment


The cover of the book, “A Moo Cow Came Traveling.”

Jack Mcclellan

Ames public library will hold an event Sunday to celebrate the release of the new children’s book, “A Moo Cow Came Traveling.” Published by an online journal based out of Iowa State’s English department, Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, this story is the first illustrated book published by the organization.

The free event will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Public Library’s Storytime Room and will feature live Irish storytelling and music and a short Zoom Q&A with the Irish author, Mark Mulholland. Moo Cow-themed treats will also be available, as well as a balloon artist and other activities for kids. Dorothia Rohner, the book’s illustrator, will be at the event to sign copies of the book, along with the three editors who worked to bring the story to fruition.

Mulholland’s story is about an intergalactic Moo Cow, which makes a pit stop in a small Irish village with his flying bicycle. The Moo Cow has a few interactions with locals, sharing a conversation with the schoolmaster on the philosophy of life and the cosmos. The Moo Cow shares some shenanigans with the locals before departing back to the cosmos. Mulholland’s previous works include a variety of short stories, as well as an acclaimed 2014 novel, “A Strange and Wonderful Thing.”

When Mulholland’s story came into the Flyway editor’s hands, they decided the story would not fit in their online journal; rather, they decided to publish it as its own physical illustrated book. This decision was overshadowed by the pandemic which struck in March of 2020, but the group decided to work virtually through the pandemic.

In a search for an illustrator, the group reached out to Rohner, who had previously illustrated several award-winning children’s books from her studio outside of Ames, Painted Wings Studio. With the main talent on board, the group was able to begin pulling the book together.

The team included Mulholland, Rohner and three Flyway editors: Distinguished Professor of English, Debra Marquart, and two graduate students majoring in English, Emily Riley and John Carter, who worked through the pandemic to ensure the book would be a quality and cohesive work.

The team also eventually included a New York-based book designer, Christine Kettner, who would help to ensure the final product was up to standards. After months of collaborations over zoom meetings and other virtual communication, the team of artists came to a final product.

“A Moo Cow Came Traveling” is the first book published by Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment. The online journal typically publishes short scripts: poems, fiction and non-fiction, as well as visual art.  Flyway publishes works that focus on the interactions between people and the world around them. Pieces are meant to depict the environment people inhabit and the influences it has on their daily experience. According to its website, Flyway is open to publishing more books in the future but has no current plans.

For people interested in Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, they accept submissions to be considered for publication almost year around. For more information, please visit their website.