Welcome to the Missouri River Literary Culture (MRLC), an online to in-person community dedicated to celebrating the rich literary heritage of towns along the Missouri River. As the longest river in North America, stretching from Montana to Missouri, the Missouri River has inspired countless authors and stories from history to the present. Our mission at MRLC is to explore and share these works through various literary genres, showcasing the people, landscapes, voices, creativity, and art that define this cultural heritage. We believe in passing on this literary heritage from one generation to another, and to achieve this we carryout our mission through various activities.

Missouri River Literary Festival

we organize an annual literary festival that takes place in different cities along the Missouri River. The Missouri River Literary Festival, or MRLF, is the highlight of our efforts. This festival showcases authors and books that highlight the lifestyles and creativity of those living or writing about Missouri River cities.The MRLF features historical works as well as engaging talks by contemporary authors. To promote a healthy lifestyle alongside literature, we kick off the festival with a 5K Run-to-Read and a 1-mile fun run. It’s a unique experience where literature and physical well-being converge.  During the festival, attendees can expect a diverse range of panels and discussions covering a wide range of topics. From faith and inspiration to romance on the river, urban fiction, health advocacy, history and culture of Missouri River cities, and rivertown mysteries from historical and contemporary writers, there is something for everyone. We also delve into new trends in comics, manga, graphic novels, and anime, bringing in a fresh perspective on storytelling.

Literacy and Advocacy Programs

Through workshops, panels, lectures, book readings, book clubs, forums, and seminars, our goal is to bring together the entire book community – librarians, educators, authors, publishers, booksellers, and readers of all types – in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas. We strive to build an inclusive literary community where diverse perspectives are celebrated and cherished. By organizing these interactive programs, we bring stories to life, enhancing literacy levels for people of all ages. Furthermore, we are committed to addressing the issue of banned books and supporting indie booksellers, acknowledging their vital role in promoting diverse voices and ideas. Join us in supporting literacy and advocacy programs as we work together to ensure that the power of literature continues to shape and inspire our society.

Promote Books & Authors

We are absolutely thrilled to promote books and authors, and we believe in the power of books that inspire films and films that inspire the reading of books. It’s like a fascinating dance between the two worlds! To support Missouri River Literary Culture and give a shoutout to regional authors, we will maintain an amazing booklist on bookshop.org. By doing so, we not only help create awareness and appreciation for the talented writers in our region but also encourage the exploration of storylines set along the beautiful Missouri River.

Support by Donating & Buying Books

MRLC is proud to be under the umbrella of the American Reading Council, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on promoting literacy and inspiring readers.  At MRLC, we are passionate about the literary heritage of the Missouri River. Through our festival and events, we aim to showcase the beauty and depth of this heritage from online to in-person. By exploring and sharing the works inspired by this river, we hope to bring together communities, inspire readers, and create a lasting connection between generations.

Join us on this literary journey and let’s celebrate the rich tapestry of stories that define the Missouri River Literary Culture. Your donations make a difference in advocacy,  protecting freedom of expression, truth,  promoting literacy and keeping the Missouri River literary culture thriving.



Donna Craddock

Co-founder & Executive Director

Graduate Iowa State University

Donya Craddock

Co-founder & Managing Director

Graduate Iowa State University

Tillie Porter

Managing Director

Owner of Diamond One Book Advisory Services

Donnie Johnson

Program Manager

Graduate Creighton University

Latica McGee

Marketing Coordinator

Elizabeth Johnson

Run-to-Read Coordinator