Conference News

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!

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!!

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.


Director’s Note on PPWC 2018



Writing is hard work.  And, unfortunately, there can be disappointment along the way.  But we write because we love it, because we don’t know how not to write, because we were born to write.  But there are times…

Don’t Quit–DO IT!

Our goal for the 2018 Pikes Peak Writers Conference is to give you the tools, the contacts, the knowledge and the passion to carry on despite that rejection letter or not placing in a contest.  Don’t quit!  Keep writing!  Keep improving your skills!  Keep meeting others in the business!  Keep throwing things out there to see what finally sticks!  DO IT!!

Our staff is hard at work building a conference that upholds the PPWC tradition of being exciting, informative and friendly. We will continue with the Query 1-on-1 and offer our Read and Critiques sessions as well.  We are building a faculty full of best-selling keynote speakers, entertaining and engaging authors and professionals, and manuscript hungry agents and editors.  We’re even looking at the Write Drunk, Edit Sober special event again.  And, once again, we are proud to be hosted by the fabulous Colorado Springs Marriott.

We hope you will join our family for the 26th Annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference and, together, we’ll DO IT!

Karen Fox
Conference Director

2017 Director’s Note from Laura Hayden

It’s that time again. Writers are looking at their calendars and thinking, “I wonder when Pikes Peak Writers Conference will update their website with the new info about PPWC 2017?”

Well, we’ve started and over the next few weeks, you’ll see even more information. We started working on PPWC 2017 back in February. Yes, you read it right–two months before our 2016 conference, we were already working on the 2017 one. The first decision was choosing the director and I raised my hand to volunteer. Okay, I actually stood on a chair and waved madly, refusing to get down until they said yes.

It’s not easy directing a conference in Colorado when you live in Alabama, but I’ve done it twice before and am willing to do it a third time. My love for all things Pikes Peak Writers is legion and the Board agreed to allow me to be at the helm for our 25th Conference.

You read that right, too. TWENTY-FIFTH conference. In our parlance, it’s our SILVER JUBILEE and besides exceptional keynote speakers, brilliant faculty members and a slew of insightful, inspiring and instructive workshops, we’re celebrating with special events like our “Heroes and Villains” Costume Party, our “Write Drunk; Edit Sober” event and much, much more.

So mark your calendars for April 28-30, 2017 (and consider our Thursday Prequel on April 27) so you can join old friends and make new friends at our 2017 Silver Jubilee Celebration Conference.

Agents and Editors Galore for PPWC’s Silver Jubilee

Please join us in welcoming the following editors and agents to PPWC 2017:

Michael Braff is a sci fi/fantasy editor from Del Rey. Mike is also a guitar-playing, comic-reading, NY Rangers-supporting, Tolkien-reading, gaming, tattooed, Star Wars fan.

Kate Brauning is a senior acquiring editor at Entangled Publishing and an author of young adult fiction (How We Fall, Merit Press). Kate acquires YA, NA, and adult fiction across Entangled’s imprints.

Cheryl Klein is the executive editor at Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, where she edits and publishes books for children, teenagers, and discerning adults.

Esi Sogah joined Kensington Publishing in January 2013 as a Senior Editor, working with such authors as Sally MacKenzie, Jennifer Dawson, Christine d’Abo, and Dana Bate. She is looking to acquire mainly romance, mystery, and commercial fiction.

Lisa Abellera joined Kimberley Cameron and Associates in 2013 with a background in management, marketing, and finance. Lisa is seeking to represent upmarket fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, mystery/suspense/thrillers (especially if it has a dose of science or the supernatural), science fiction, fantasy, most speculative fiction except for paranormal fantasy (no demons, angels, vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc.), romance if it’s an element or part of another genre, NA, YA and middle grade.

Heather Flaherty is an agent with The Bent Agency. Currently, she’s looking for authors of Middle-Grade and Young-Adult fiction, as well as select Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction projects.

Natalie Lakosil joined the Bradford Agency in February of 2011. Natalie is drawn to talented, hard-working new authors with a fresh, unique voice and hook. Her specialties are children’s literature (from picture book through teen and New Adult), romance (contemporary and historical), cozy mystery/crime, upmarket women’s/general fiction and select children’s nonfiction.
Sam Morgan Sam is the Right Hand of Darkness at JABberwocky. Sam is looking for Fantasy, Science Fiction, Literary Fiction, Humor and more. He does NOT accept YA, MG or NA.

Kristin Nelson established Nelson Literary Agency, LLC, in 2002 and over the last decade+ of her career has represented over thirty-five New York Times bestselling titles and many USA Today bestsellers. She is currently looking for literary commercial novels, big crossover novels with one foot squarely in genre, upmarket women’s fiction, lead title or hardcover science fiction and fantasy, single-title romance (with a special passion for historicals), and young adult and upper-level middle grade novels in all genres.

Sharon Pelletier joined Dystel & Goderich Literary Management in 2013. While her interests are broad, Sharon’s list focuses on upmarket fiction, including suspense categories and book club fiction. She is also interested in narrative nonfiction and YA suspense.

PPWC 2017 Announces Keynote Presenters

Pikes Peak Writers Conference is celebrating its Silver Jubilee in 2017, and we have an outstanding line-up of keynote faculty joining us!

Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen’s books have been top-3 bestsellers in the United States and number one bestsellers abroad. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon). Critics around the world have praised her novels as “Pulse-pounding fun” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “Scary and brilliant” (Toronto Globe and Mail), and “Polished, riveting prose” (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the “medical suspense queen”.

Kevin Hearne is the bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles urban fantasy series, plus the 2015 Star Wars novel Heir to the Jedi. He is co-founder (and Taco Pope) of the Holy Taco Church, and has incredibly lovely handwriting.

For reasons known only to the Big Guy upstairs, NYTimes and USA Today Best Selling author Darynda Jones won both a Golden Heart and a RITA for her manuscript First Grave On the Right. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press, the Charley Davidson series and the Darklight Trilogy. She hopes you enjoy reading them as much as she enjoys writing them.

Long-time friend of Pikes Peak Writers, Donald Maass founded the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York in 1980. His agency sells more than 150 novels every year to major publishers in the U.S. and overseas. He is the author of The Career Novelist (1996),Writing the Breakout Novel (2001), Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (2004), The Fire in Fiction (2009) , The Breakout Novelist (2011) and Writing 21st Century Fiction (2012).