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Congratulations to 2018 Colorado Book Awards Finalists

Colorado Humanities has announced finalists for 2018 Colorado Book Awards, and I’m proud to say that several members of Pikes Peak Writers are on the list.

Well done Chris Goff, Peg Brantley, L.D. Colter, Barb Nickless, Margaret Mizushima, Pat Stoltey and Laura E. Reeve!


The only nonprofit Colorado organization dedicated to providing opportunities to explore what it means to be human through our history, literature and culture, Colorado Humanities was founded in 1974. Affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress Center for the Book (as the host of the Colorado Center for the Book), Motheread, Inc. and the Smithsonian, Colorado Humanities partners with communities throughout the state to deliver high-quality, educational programs and resources. You can find out more about this exceptional organization here.

Profile Photo of Gabrielle V Brown Managing Editor Pikes Peak Writers BlogGabrielle V. Brown has put words to paper since she could hold a crayon. She is extensively published in technical and academic nonfiction and currently writes humor, short stories and literary fiction. Gabrielle has lived all over the United States and now resides in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Jim Butcher will be unable to attend this year’s PPWC

It is with much regret that we announce Jim Butcher has notified us that he will be unable to attend the 2018 Pikes Peak Writers Conference.  We are searching for a replacement but at this late date, that’s almost impossible.

However, we still have three other fantastic keynote speakers and lots of friendly editors and agents and knowledgeable authors who will be here to spend time with you.

The registration price goes up on March 16 so register now!!  It will be worth it.

DO IT!  Don’t quit!

Sweet Success: Matt & Deb Bille Release Raven’s Quest

Thank you to contributing editor, Kathie Scrimgeour (aka KJ Scrim), for ensuring that you, our members, are informed of the accomplishments of fellow PPW members. Kathie can be found of facebook or you can email her.  If you have a success of your own to share, let us know here.

Congratulations to Matt and Deb Bille on the release of their ebook, Raven’s Quest, by Clean Reads. The release of this YA fantasy ebook will be followed in early 2018 with a hard copy and soft copy (291 pages) and is available on Amazon.

In a world where the raven-riding warriors are the sole advantage protecting the city of Haven from barbarians, raven-keeper Lark Ravenlord must break the strictest laws of city and church to survive. Alone in the vast Winterland with a stolen raven, she learns of a new threat that forces her to make the hardest choice of all: whether to risk her life to save her enemies.   


Matt Bille is a writer living in Colorado Springs.  He is an Air Force veteran whose experiences include flying NASA’s SpaceShuttle simulator and appearing in the Spielberg film 1941. He covers science at Matt’s Sci/Tech blog. He wrote two books on the world’s least-known animals plus The First Space Race, a groundbreaking account of the early Space Age. His first novel, The Dolmen (2014), received great reviews and the next, Apex Predator, is awaiting the right publisher. Deb Bille is also former Air Force and is a nurse/attorney for an insurance firm.  Raven’s Quest is her first book.

Readers can catch up to Matt and Deb via email   or their website or blog at







Sweet Success ~ Kevin Ikenberry

Readers, today we share in the success of Pikes Peak Writers Member Kevin Ikenberry, author of The Protocol War Series.  Science fiction thriller Vendetta Protocol is available in paperback and kindle formats, audio is coming soon.  Today we share a brief teaser of Kevin’s latest.

Training as a combat pilot on Mars, Kieran Roark is tantalizingly close to remembering the critical concept he was brought back to lead

Sixty million miles away, the Sleeper Program suffers a failure much worse than it originally appears. The second subject, a troubled young woman, attempts suicide. In the ensuing chaos, Kieran’s original protocol finds a way to manifest herself in a human body. 

As a shadowy foe presses toward Earth once again, the Terran Council orders the Sleeper Program terminated and sentences Kieran to death. The only person capable of saving him isn’t really a person at all.

Kevin Ikenberry is a life-long space geek and retired Army officer.  A former manager of the world-renowned U.S. Space Camp program and a space operations officer, Kevin has a broad background in space science education.  His 2016 debut science fiction novel Sleeper Protocol was a Finalist for the Colorado Book Award and was heralded as “an emotionally powerful debut” by Publisher’s Weekly. Kevin’s novels include Runs In The Family, Peacemaker, and Vendetta Protocol. He is an Active Member of SFWA. Kevin lives in Colorado with his family and can be found online at


Where to buy: (all markets – Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iTunes)






A Peek at all the PPWC Extras

PPWC has always offered a full 3-days of workshops and activities.  This year we’re offering even more.  Take a peek:

Thursday night, April 26 at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Library, editor Deb Werksman from Sourcebooks will be offering “Stitch, Pitch and Color” free to all conference attendees.  You can color with her, pitch your book, work on your crocheting and discuss the business of writing.  You don’t want to miss this!

Saturday evening, April 28 from 5:45 – 7:00 p.m., we’ll once again offer “Write Drunk, Edit Sober.”  For an extra charge of $25, you can fill one of the 40 slots available in the library to sample beer and write to prompts offered by the wonderful Deb Courtney.  Then on Sunday morning, take the workshop to edit what you’ve written and see how you can take your work even further.

There will be a get-together offered for current and previous Zebulon (or any other incarnation of the PPWC contest) winners on Saturday, April 28 at 6:00 p.m. in Eagles Nest.  This is a chance for all winners to share their experiences in the writing world and network on how best to proceed.

Damon Smithwick will once again host the Open Mic session on Friday night, April 27, after dinner (9:00 p.m.) in Aspen Leaf.  This is a good time to get your work before others.

The Newcomer’s Orientation will be offering both Friday and Saturday mornings in Eagles Nest at 8:00 a.m.  Learn what to do and what not to do and how to get the most out of your conference experience.

Circle this on your schedule now.  A booksigning featuring all PPWC faculty will be offered in Aspen Leaf on Saturday from 5:45 – 7:00 p.m.  It will be open to the public as well for those fans of Jim Butcher, Jonathan Maberry, Mary Robinette Kowal and Laurell Kaye Hamilton.

Our Flash Fiction Contest will start Friday after an announcement at lunch with all entries turned in before dinner on Saturday.  The winner will be announced at Sunday lunch.

Handouts will be free this year but only available in soft copy.  A URL will be made available before conference so you can download and print off those handouts you want in hard copy.

Our on-site fund-raising for the PPWC Scholarship Fund will offer two special ways to help out.  Buy a $10 pen and win a prize valued from $10 and up.  Or go on a “Blind Date with a Book” by offering a donation to select a book based on its brown paper cover.

Can’t wait to see you at PPWC 2018!!

EXPIRED: Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Service Story Makers

Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Service (RMPBS) is looking for writers to judge their annual Story Makers contest. This is a multi-genre, short-form writing contest for children in grades 5-7 across Colorado. Student submissions range from 500-1000 words. Judges will be asked to evaluate 5-10 submissions each. Judging opens in early December, 2017.

For more information and to volunteer as a judge, please contact Sally Davis of RMPBS at (719) 418-5851.

Thank you.

Sweet Success J.T. Evans’ Novel, Griffin’s Feather

Readers, today we share the news of J.T. Evans’ Griffin’s Feather, an urban fantasy novel that debuted on October 28, 2017.   J.T. is past-president of Pikes Peak Writers and we’re pleased to share his news.   Thank you to contributing editor, Kathie Scrimgeour find her on facebook for ensuring that you, our members, are informed of the accomplishments of fellow PPW members.


Congratulations to J.T. Evans on the recent release of his debut novel, Griffin’s Feather (Wordfire Press, 10-29-17, 214 pgs, ISBN: 978-1614756040). You can purchase his book at

Marcus Barber is a two-thousand-year old immortal, a former Roman Centurion who now works as a bounty hunter for supernatural creatures from the ancient world. When he’s not pounding the pavement as a private investigator for mortal clients, Marcus chases down missing mythological creatures for the Ancients. Now, in the heat of San Antonio, Marcus must search for Nemesis’s missing Griffin while trying to rescue a melting Ice Pixie from an eccentric collector.



J.T. Evans writes fantasy novels, and also dabbles with science fiction and horror short stories. He is the former president of Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group and Pikes Peak Writers. When not writing, he develops interactive voice recognition systems at the Day Job, home brews great beers, spends time with his family, and plays way too many tabletop games. From West Texas to Montana, J.T. has landed in the Colorado Springs area.

You can find J.T. on his website on Facebook, and on Twitter.  J.T. can be contacted by email at



EXPIRED: Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize

The Missouri Review’s 27th Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction is now open for submissions. First-place winners in each category receive a prize of $5,000, plus a feature in our spring issue and paid travel to a gala reading and reception in Columbia, Missouri. Contest finalists will have their work considered for publication at our usual contributor rate of $40 per printed page.

This opportunity is open to both emerging and established writers—we are most of all concerned with finding strong work, which is why I particularly wanted to pass on the word to writers involved with your organization. I would very much appreciate it if you could let folks there know about our contest by posting the attached fliers somewhere where they’ll get attention—such as your group’s Facebook group or page—or by forwarding this information to any email lists or newsletters that might have an interest. All writers submitting to our contest receive a one-year digital subscription to the Missouri Review (normal price $24) and a paperback copy of the first title of our new imprint, Missouri Review Books, The Trail of the Demon by Jane Gillette (normal price $14.95).

We accept submissions online or by mail. The postmark deadline is October 2, and winners will be announced in January of 2018.

You can find more information about the contest through our website:

A Peak at the Fabulous Keynote Speakers for PPWC 2018

Boy, do we have some fantastic keynote speakers coming in 2018!  I’m so amazed at the selection of talent, well-known authors that have agreed to share their knowledge of the writing business with you.  You don’t want to miss this conference.  Registration opens on November 11, 2017.

The well-known, New York Times best-selling author Jim Butcher will be our Saturday night keynote speaker.   He’s the author of the well-known series, The Dresden Files, The Codex Alera and his new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires.    He also writes graphic novels and recently won two Dragon Awards at DragonCon: Best Graphic Novel for “Wild Card” and Best Comic Book for “Dog Men.”  A dedicated gamer, he also developed the Dresden Files Cooperative Card game based on his Dresden Files series.

Laurell Kaye Hamilton  is an American fantasy and romance writer. She is best known as the author of two series of stories.  Her New York Times-bestselling Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series centers on Anita Blake, a professional zombie raiser, vampire executioner and supernatural consultant for the police, which includes novels, short story collections, and comic books. Six million copies of Anita Blake novels are in print. Her Merry Gentry series centers on Meredith Gentry, Princess of the Unseelie court of Faerie, a private detective facing repeated assassination attempts.  Her Anita Blake books have also been turned in a series of comic books.

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning suspense author, editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer, who writes in a variety of genres.  His young adult fiction includes Rot & Ruin (2011) in now in development for film.   His mystery novels include the upcoming Dylan Quinn mystery-thriller series for teens and the NIGHTSIDERS series of middle-grade horror/sci-fi adventures, which debuted in 2015.  His horror novels include The Pine Deep Trilogy from Pinnacle Books, which won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium.   He was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

Hugo-award winning author, Mary Robinette Kowal is a novelist and professional puppeteer. Her debut novel, Shades of Milk and Honey, a story of magic in Regency England, (Tor 2010) was nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Novel. In 2008 she won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, while three of her short fiction works have been nominated for the Hugo Award: “Evil Robot Monkey” in 2009 and “For Want of a Nail” in 2011, which won the Hugo for short story that year. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year’s Best anthologies, as well as in her collection Scenting the Dark and Other Stories from Subterranean Press.