The following writers and artists have contributed to TRM:

Click on any author to see all of their writings published in The Real Mainstream.

aime wichtendahl 1Aime Wichtendahl

Aime Wichtendahl is a city council member in Hiawatha, Ia., and is a parent, customer service specialist, and freelance writer. You can reach her at

Joan Altabe head shotJoan Altabe

Joan Altabe is a long-time art journalist and critic who currently writes for Blasting News.

Destiny Smith online pic 1Destiny Smith

Destiny Smith is single mom, an entrepreneur, author of the autobiography "Living My Truth," an AIDS/HIV advocate, and a peer navigator with The Project of the Quad Cities. Reach her at

viminda shafer 1Viminda Shafer

Viminda Shafer is a mom, former teacher, and leader of community development for The Project of the Quad Cities, which provides health services for the Quad Cities and 20 counties along the Iowa/Illinois border.

tyler mitchellTyler Mitchell

Tyler Mitchell is marketing and communications director for The Project of the Quad Cities and an adjunct instructor at St. Ambrose University in Davenport.

ross clowserRoss Clowser

Ross Clowser is a professional jazz musician and former teaching assistant at the University of Iowa.

kelly stuckerKelly Stucker

Kelly Stucker is a life coach and former owner of The Konnexion in Iowa City and Dubuque.

Goddess Carroll 3Goddess Carroll

Goddess Carroll is founder of Sunseed Community, a media platform and support network to acknowledge "whiteness, cis-heteronormativity, and patriarchy" and to liberate folks "within queer, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and communities who are deemed 'other.' "

avatar for A.J. RichardA.J. Richard

A.J. Richard is a freelance writer based in Iowa.

avatar for Dawn FraryDawn Frary

Dawn Frary is a professional photographer, death doula, and assistant at Faithful Companions pet cremation in Coralville, Ia.

Tori TrembathTomi Trembath

Tomi is a client services manager at Leepfrog technologies, the host of the Transcending Comics and Giant Sized Violence podcasts, a Cedar Rapids area writer, and a comic book enthusiast.

Amanda Green 1Amanda Green

Author Amanda Green, of Coralville, is a senior learning specialist at Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids; chair of the company’s Pride Enterprise Employee Resource Group; founding member of the I.C. Kings drag troupe; and parent of three kids with their wife Chelsea.

abby schwartz 720x500 1Abby Schwartz

Abby Schwartz is a mom, aspiring novelist and gamer from central Iowa.

ox fotheringham roller derbyOx Fotheringham

Ox Fotheringham is a former member of the Old Capitol Roller Derby team in Iowa City.

bob muellerBob Mueller

Bob Mueller is a longtime activist who now resides in Mount Pleasant, Ia., and volunteers on behalf of PFLAG Mount Pleasant and Iowa WINS.

Rebecca HathawayRebecca Hathaway

Rebecca Hathaway is a parent and aspiring novelist based in central Iowa.

cheryl weatherfordCheryl Weatherford

Cheryl Weatherford is owner of Chereal Designs, a custom jewelry design company based in Iowa City.

cathy chavez head shotCathy Chavez

Cathy Chavez is an instructional services specialist with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, a parent and a voracious reader.

eric puryear head shotEric Puryear

Eric Puryear is an attorney licensed in Illinois and Iowa and owner of Puryear Law in Bettendorf. Learn more at

rich hendricks head shotRich D. Hendricks

Rich D. Hendricks is pastor of Metropolitan Community Church in Davenport and co-founder of One Human Family QCA.

bettie rage from my lips to yoursBettie Rage

Bettie Rage (her scene name) is a parent, financial professional, and 20-year member of the kink and Leather community. She has helped lead classes and workshops in the Leather Community and has served as Ms. Iowa Leather since 2020. (head shot by Coit Photography)

sharon hughes kunkelSharon Hughes Kunkel

Sharon Hughes Kunkel runs Wordslinger Marketing & PR in Sarasota, Fl., and is a parent, longtime journalist and public relations professional, drummer in a rock band.

avatar for Michael SavageMichael Savage

Michael Savage is an aspiring writer based in Rochester, Minn.

caleb rainey main photo 1Caleb Rainey

Caleb Rainey is a touring spoken word poet, and awarm-winning slam poet, and author of two poetry compilations. Reach him at


Sapphira is a London-based burlesque performer and instructor, EDM musician and author. Learn more about her at

emma scintuEmma Scintu

Emma Scintu is a graduate of the University of Iowa.

cat sinclairCat Sinclair

Cat Sinclair is a parent and advocate for understanding chronic pain who is based in Iowa Falls.

thurgood brooks 2Thurgood Brooks

Thurgood Brooks is a youth coach, activist against police brutality, and former candidate for Illinois state representative and Rock Island mayor.

The Plantiful Pantry logoThe Plantiful Pantry

The Plantiful Pantry, run by Mariah Andrews and Devon Olberding, is an online nutrition guidance service focused on plant-based eating. Learn more at

cici bernstromCici Bernstrom

Cici Bernstrom is a social worker, parent and author who lives in small-town Iowa.

avatar for Linda ParkLinda Park

Linda Park is an adjunct instructor at Kirkwood Community College and a blogger.

mandi nicholsMandi Nichols

Mandi Nichols is founder of Corridor Community Action Network based in Iowa City. Learn more at

kora acebearKora Acebear

Kora Acebear is an asexual advocate and aspiring writer.

katie arcenasKatie Arcenas

Katie Arcenas is a parent and medical professional from Coralville.

kent mick head shotKent Mick

Kent Mick is an advanced placement teacher at Grinnell High School in Iowa, a parent, and a member of the original band The Jury.

avatar for Lisa SkriverLisa Skriver

Lisa Skriver is an aspiring writer based in Iowa City.

mike gollMike Goll

Mike Goll is co-founder of Pride Orange City in western Iowa.

ImborekKatie Imborek

Dr. Katie Imborek is a family physician at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and a parent.

heather maeHeather Fudala

Heather Fudala is an emergency room nurse in Richmond, Va.

jason frerichsJason Frerichs

Jason Frerichs is a respiratory therapist, an activist and a freelance writer based in Central Iowa.

avatar for Glenn Hurst, M.D.Glenn Hurst, M.D.

Dr. Glenn Hurst runs a private practice in Minden, Ia., and was a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2022.

eric kusiakEric Kusiak

Eric Kusiak is assistant nursing manager at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Ciinics.


Varla is a member of the I.C. Kings, and a motivational speaker.

latisha mcdanielLatisha McDaniel Grife

Latisha McDaniel Grife is self-described queer left-leaning libertarian activist.

znielsen head shot 150x203 1Zachery Nielsen

Zachery Nielsen is owner and founder of Bloom Therapy, based in Bettendorf, Iowa and providing in-person and online counseling for LGBTQ+ individuals and couples. Reach him at

avatar for Kate CraneKate Crane

Kate Crane is a neuro-occupational therapist at Mayo Clinic and a graduate of Drake University.

alyson pearson newAlyson Pearson

Alyson Pearson is a licensed social worker, parent, and founder of Pearson Mental Health Therapy.

Nikki Lunden Trotter 1Nikki Lunden Trotter

Nikki Lunden Trotter is a longtime roots rocker based in Iowa City, and is the lead singer/guitarist for the Natural Habits Band. Contact her at

alex kestrelAlex Kestrel

Alex Kestrel is a nurse, longtime student of psychology and behavior, and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Katie JamesKatie James

Katie James is a customer service professional and parent based in Coralville, Ia.