Call for Submissions: Writers of the Cedar Valley Anthology Vol. III

Submission Window: August 1 – September 15, 2020
Email Submissions to: Erin Thompson at
Submission Length: 1 to 9,999 words. Submissions longer than 9,999 words will not be considered. Multiple submissions are allowed so long as the total words are 9,999 or below.
Genre: ANY genre (including poetry) will be considered, so long as it fits within the guidelines of the Writers of the Cedar Valley, below.
Compensation: There is no monetary compensation for submissions to this anthology. All accepted authors will receive one copy of the anthology and will be able to purchase additional copies at a discounted price.
Legalities: The author holds all original rights to their submissions and are free to submit elsewhere. Keep in mind that a piece published in the Writers of the Cedar Valley Anthology counts as a publication, which may impact the resale value and future of the submitted piece.
Timeframe and Publisher: The Friends of the Cedar Falls Public Library will pay for all publication costs associated with printing. The tentative publication date for this anthology is late 2020 or early 2021.
Questions: Direct questions and queries to Erin Thompson at

Guidelines for submission:

Send an email to with your file(s) attached. In the body of your email, indicate where you’d like your submission(s) categorized: poetry, short story, essay, memoir, or other (specify). Also include a short (50-200 words) biography written in third person.
FILE TYPE: Please save your work as a Word doc (.doc, .docx) with the following
convention: Last Name First Name – Title. (ie: Thompson Erin – The Lost Cat)
FORMAT: Follow Standard Manuscript Format as closely as possible. Visit this site for more information and guidance: >
EDITS: Your work should be edited for grammar prior to submission. Make sure your work is as professional as possible.
STATEMENT ON GRAPHIC CONTENT: Graphic content will be considered, but it may be edited. This anthology will be published by the Friends of the Cedar Falls Public Library and they hold the authority to approve the contents. Graphic content includes, but is not limited to: copious blood and/or bodily fluids, violence, sex, violent sex, “taboo” practices, anything considered “rated R” or “X-rated”, the use of explicit language, visceral imagery, psychologically disturbing etc.

>Click here for PDF of Call for Submissions 

About Strategic Planning

The Cedar Falls Public Library strives to anticipate and respond to the needs of our community.  To that end, periodically we go through a strategic planning process to determine the direction of our collections, services, programs, and operations for the next 3-5 years.  If our plan is to be relevant to the community, we need the community’s input.  We want to know both what you’d like to see at the library and what you think we’re already doing well.  Please access our survey below to provide us with your valuable input.


We collecting surveys through Sunday, March 8, 2020. Thank you!

PRESS RELEASE: Two Cedar Valley Libraries go Fine Free!

The Cedar Falls and Waterloo Public Libraries are turning the page on the long-held practice of charging fines for overdue library materials. On January 1, 2020, both libraries will eliminate overdue fines on most library materials and stop collecting previously accrued overdue fines.. “We understand that life happens,” states Cedar Falls Director Kelly Stern, “and that it can be difficult sometimes to return items on time to the library. We also recognize that assessing monetary fines is not the most effective way to manage borrowing periods, nor is it fair to patrons with limited incomes.”

The Cedar Falls and Waterloo Public Libraries are committed to providing equal access to every member of our community and eliminating fines offers our cardholders a fresh start to rediscover all that their library has to offer. By eliminating most fines, the library is removing barriers and making access easy, equitable and enjoyable for everyone. Existing fines for overdue items will be forgiven ensure that everyone can start a new chapter at their now fine-free libraries. Fees for lost or damaged items will remain on the users account.

So how does it work?
Under the new policy, patrons at both libraries are still encouraged to return their materials on time, with each library’s borrowing policy defining what constitutes an item as overdue. As incentive, patrons with overdue items will be blocked from checking out further items until the overdue material is renewed or returned. “These fine free policies will reduce barriers to access, while also including measures to protect library materials,” says Waterloo Director Nick Rossman. “Going fine free will have such an impact on our youngest borrowers as we currently have 30% of our patrons under the age of 18 unable to use the library because of fines. It’s so important that our youngest card holders have access and take full advantage of their library.”

Both directors recognize and endorse the trend in American libraries to go fine free. “This move is a win for everyone,” says Stern. “Current fine-free libraries report increased visits and circulation as well as an increase in the return of long-overdue material. And, it’s the right thing to do!”

Kelly Stern – (319) 268-5541
Nick Rossman – (319) 291-4496

Details for Cedar Falls Public Library:

The American Library Association promotes removing barriers to access to information and library services, especially overdue fines. The Cedar Falls Public Library staff, Trustees, and Friends of the Library endorse this position, so beginning January 1, 2020, the library will be fine-free for most library materials.

Important details for CFPL library cardholders: 

  • Checkout periods will remain the same, but once a patron has an item overdue, they may not borrow more materials until the overdue item is renewed or returned. 
  • Overdue fines accrued before January 1, 2020 will be waived.
  • Patrons will still be charged for lost and damaged items. Charges for past lost and damaged items will remain on patrons’ accounts.
  • The only materials that will still carry overdue fines are a few high-demand, non-traditional items: tech items and musical instruments in our Library of Things.
  • All other materials will be fine-free!

Worried about others keeping items for too long? Libraries that have already gone fine free report that patrons return more items and return them sooner than they did when late fees were assessed. We trust that our library patrons understand that others may be waiting for materials and that they will be considerate of others by returning or renewing materials in a timely manner.
We welcome back patrons who have not returned to the library because of their overdue fines. New Year, fresh start!

Friday, March 15, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Cedar Falls Community Center

Our popular Dinner Theater event is back! On Friday, March 15, The U.N.I. Student Theatre Association will perform “A Prom To Die For!” – a scintillating school dance murder mystery. Audience members enter a grand-prize drawing for a Main Street shopping spree. In the Cedar Falls Community Center. The entire event is FREE to the public! No registration required.

5:30 pm: Dinner
6:30 pm: Performance
One half-hour Dessert Intermission

The Cedar Falls Community Center is located adjacent to the library at 528 Main St. in Cedar Falls.


Tomorrow, February 15, Kelly Stern officially starts her new role as Director at Cedar Falls Public Library! Kelly has worked the past nine years as our Youth Services Librarian and she is excited and ready to move into her new position. Kelly has the experience, education, and qualifications, not to mention a community-centered approach to programs and services, that make her the best choice to lead Cedar Falls Public Library. A reception for our new director will take place in April.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier has published an article about Kelly, which you can read by following this link.