Conference News

Director’s Note for 2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference

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Jason P. Henry 2016 Conference Director

Jason P. Henry
2016 Conference Director

The power of a dream is immeasurable. For proof, you only need to watch a child at play. Kids have the miraculous ability to close their eyes, forget reality, and embrace the impossible. They can look beyond what is to get a glimpse of what was, and more importantly, to see what could be.

Dreams are the foundation of the world we live in. Youthful dreamers who longed to fly became adults who enabled humans to soar with the birds. Young imaginations grew to put people into space and allow footprints to be left on the moon. Those who believe in the beauty of their dreams bring to life the things they see when they close their eyes.

The world needs dreamers, just as the world needs writers. Writers never stop dreaming. Every time they put words on paper a fantasy comes to life. Writers create the worlds that others escape to, conjure up the ideas that become tomorrow’s reality, and, with their passion for telling stories, writers prove that nothing is impossible. When others see darkness, the writers (the dreamers) see only opportunity. They face their fears and set aside inhibitions, because they believe in the beauty that can be born from the imagination.

If you have ever been surrounded by other writers, you understand the energy that consumes you. The excitement of other dreamers sharing their stories, discussing their struggles, and baring their souls is infectious. You can’t help that feeling you get, the one accompanied by a little voice whispering the words, “Welcome home.” Surrounded by writers you know that, regardless of the trials you face, you are not facing them alone.

At the 2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference, we welcome you to our family. We encourage you to bring your dreams. No matter how far-fetched or how absurd they may seem, we assure that you will be in good company. Together, we’ll revive those days of childhood fantasy and prove to the world what can happen if you simply Dare To Dream.

Our staff is hard at work building a conference that upholds the PPWC traditions of being exciting, informative and friendly. Due to tremendously positive feedback, we will continue with the Query 1-on-1. We are looking at special afterhours events to help keep you dreaming long after the last workshop of the day. We are building a faculty full of best-selling keynote speakers, entertaining and engaging authors and professionals, and manuscript hungry agents and editors. And, once again, we are proud to be hosted by the fabulous (and newly renovated for 2016!) Colorado Springs Marriott.

We hope you will join our family for the 24th Annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference and, together, we’ll Dare To Dream.

Jason P. Henry

Conference Director

2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference: Dare To Dream

PPWC 2016: Dare to Dream – Revisted

Another Pikes Peak Writers Conference is in the books. More than 350 people gathered in a newly remodeled Marriott for a spectacular weekend of learning, networking, growing and dreaming. Attendees came from near and far to grow as writers. Faculty members visited from all over the nation to help attendees with their aspirations. All in attendance weathered the storm, a famous Colorado April Blizzard, as they dared to dream.

The weekend was filled with many PPWC traditions: the Thursday Prequel and its intense three hour workshops; Read & Critique appointments; Query 1-on-1 appointments, with an extended ten minutes to meet with agents and editors. Due to the venue remodel, we explored some new rooms for different programs. (Sorry, Query folks, the sauna was not intentional.) We also tried some new things, including special yoga stretch sessions.

The Annual Zebulon Awards banquet was a huge success. Congratulations to ALL the contest winners. Kudos to everyone who had the courage to enter. Thank you to all the judges, especially the VIPs, who helped discover the winning entries. Also, a very excited and proud congrats to Karen Fox and Donnell Bell, our PPWC and PPW Volunteers of the Year.

Where would our dreams be right now without the encouragement and inspiration delivered by our five keynote speakers? Joe R. Lansdale, Wendy Corsi Staub, Rachel Caine, Jeff Lindsay, and Kevin J. Anderson not only shared their knowledge with us, but gave us hope by sharing their own stories of struggle and heartbreak as they pursued success as authors. They taught us humility by demonstrating that the ride is never smooth, success is never guaranteed, and that nothing comes without hard work and dedication. Most importantly, they showed us the beauty of a dream, and the importance of pursuing it fearlessly.

Along with our keynote speakers, the 2016 conference saw the return of many familiar faces on faculty, many of whom got their start at Pikes Peak Writers Conference as attendees and contest winners. As always, we also invited new members to our faculty. It was a pleasure and an honor to bring in new faces, fresh ideas, and an abundance of creative energy. Thank you to all who took the time to help our attendees chase their dreams.

A dream, no matter what the landscape, is a terrifying thing to pursue. But I promise you it will be one of the most worthwhile things you ever do. There will be highs and lows, successes and failures. But remember, the struggles are as important as anything. They help shape your future as much as the wins. It is all part of the journey. Enjoy that journey, savor every moment. In the end, when you are looking back, the memories you make along the way are what define your success. Dare to Dream, and do it fearlessly. The world needs you to inspire others to pursue their dreams, to give them hope.
It has been an absolute pleasure directing conference this year. Thank you to all the attendees, faculty, and staff who helped make it happen. You are now a part of my journey, of my dream. I plan to look back and smile every chance I get.

Jason P. Henry
Conference Director
2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference


Registration for PPWC 2016 has officially closed. Want to learn more about the conference? Meet our faculty? Discover our Thursday Prequel? Find out about the workshops? Explore Read & Critique and Query 1-on-1 appointments? Find more information at a glance with our 2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference Brochure.

What’s new for 2016?

  • Query 1-on-1 appointments are now ten minutes instead of eight. That’s two extra minutes to impress the agent or editor of your dreams!
  • The Thursday Prequel now has an added fifth track. That’s right, there are now ten Prequel workshops to choose from, for the same great price as before!

We look forward to seeing you at the

24th Annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference

Together, let’s Dare To Dream!

The 24th Annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference: Dare To Dream

2016 PPWC Keynote Speakers
2016 PPWC Keynote Speakers

April 15, 16 and 17, 2016

Planning for the 2016 Conference is well under way!

Get connected on social media and share the excitement with #PPWC2016!

Have you seen faculty or a workshop at another event that you would like to see at the 2016 conference? Tell us at Request A Workshop. Do you want to join the faculty for the 2016 Conference? Submit a proposal at Proposing a Workshop.

Recap of PPWC 2015: Choose Your Writing Adventure

The 23rd annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference was another huge success, bringing together writers from across the country—and some international folks– for a weekend of learning, networking, talking shop, and having fun.

In conjunction with the Thursday Prequel, we held ghost hunts in the Marriotton Thursday and Friday nights. Both nights were filled to capacity, and our professional ghost hunting crew helped all the participants distinguish between what they wanted to see and what they actually captured on film.

We also made a big change from traditional pitch appointments to Query One-on-One appointments, and most of the feedback we received (from both sides of the table) was overwhelmingly positive. We’ll be working on refining the process for 2016, making it an even better way to get feedback on the all-important query letter.

Our keynote speakers were awesome, even in the face of adversity (sorry, Seanan). Mary Kay Andrews spoke on Friday about the struggles she faced early in her writing career, while Andrew Gross shared his highly atypical story with us at Saturday lunch. R.L. Stine brought down the house on Saturday night, and his wife, Jane, was an equally fascinating member of our faculty. AtSunday lunch, Seanan McGuire sent us on our way with inspiration and kindness.

We brought in a lot of new faculty this year, and hope to continue the trend of combining tried and true authors who have stellar reputations for teaching along with new authors who can add the latest perspectives on writing and publishing.

There are now more platforms than ever for getting your work into the hands of the public. While Pikes Peak Writers can’t tell you which is the best path for you, our goal is to provide enough information for you to make the right decision for your story, while giving you the tools to turn out the best writing you can produce.

Never forget why you started writing. Never lose sight of the adventure. And thank you all for letting me share at least a part of the journey with you.

MB Partlow
2015Pikes Peak Writers Conference Director

2015 PPWC: August Message from the Director

Although the 23rd annual  conference is nine months away, the planning committee is hard at work selecting faculty and workshops.

Coming soon:  We will reveal the 2015 Keynote speakers on Sept. 15th, which coincides nicely with the opening of The Zebulon writing contest. Keep an eye on the Conference portion of the website as we add agents, editors, other faculty and more details.

We’ve got some exciting changes and new events coming up, including a complete revamp of the way “Pitch” is conducted at Conference. In addition, this fall we’ll debut a fun new contest where one lucky winner can earn 50% off their conference registration fee. And that’s just the beginning!

Stay tuned for updates, announcements, and video messages. Your adventure is calling!

MB Partlow
Conference Director, PPWC 2015

2015 Pikes Peak Writers Conference – The Adventure is Beginning!

Are you an Author? An Agent? An Editor? Do you have special skills that aspiring writers want to learn about? If so, Pikes Peak Writers invites you to submit workshop proposals for the 23rd Annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference to be held April 24-26, 2015, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

We are looking for faculty members who are dynamic presenters with the ability to lead informative and entertaining workshops, as well as engage our attendees on all writing-related topics. Craft. Business. Genre. Reality/How-to. The Writing Life. And so much more.  Our attendees come from all backgrounds and experience levels so we are seeking workshops for beginner, intermediate and advanced writers.

Come and experience first-hand why the Pikes Peak Writers Conference has been named one of the friendliest conferences in the United States. Submit your proposals at the Pikes Peak Writers Workshop Proposal Portal now! The portal is open year round, but if you wish to be considered for the 2015 Pikes Peak Writers Conference, please submit your workshops by October 31st, 2014.

Before submitting your proposal, we highly recommend you visit Proposing A Workshop for more details about exactly what we’re looking for.

If you have any questions about conference faculty or programming, please contact Jason Henry at

We look forward to seeing your proposals for PPWC 2015!

Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2014

We Made It Happen!

The 22nd Pikes Peak Writers Conference ended as a dizzying success. From inspiring keynotes to encouraging editors and agents, workshops on craft to workshops on the publishing climate, and everything in between, this conference provided an exhausting and exhilarating array of opportunities to grow, reach, and succeed as writers.

Gail Carriger reminded us that for writers, writing is breathing. How could you ever choose between breathing and anything else? Jim C. Hines magnified the importance of providing all readers with relatable stories, not just the perceived majority. With so much diversity in the world, it only makes sense to find the same in our books. Hank Phillippi Ryan validated the fact that we all have songs not yet written. What are we waiting for? Go for it. Do it. Don’t wait. And Chuck Wendig made us laugh. “Go home book, you’re drunk!” Then he made us dream. Success may seem impossible, but if we chip away at our goals one by one, if we embrace our vision for our writing career, we will in fact…make it happen. To ease Mrs. Wendig’s mind, no one threw up on anyone during his speech.

The excitement started with a low hum Thursday morning that steadily grew to a cacophony of success by Sunday afternoon.

Friday night lured out Steampunk interpretations during the steampunk themed dinner. Impressive arrays of gears and goggles tickled the eye and enlightened the imagination.

Saturday’s lunch allowed for a moment of silence to mourn the loss of those taken too soon. Bonnie Hagan honored those we miss with wise words reminding each of us not to wait on pursuing our passions, but to seize the now.

The Saturday evening awards banquet honored the PPWC volunteers who so highly deserved recognition for their tireless efforts throughout the year and years past. Bonnie Hagan for the Legacy Award, her constant efforts over many years and her historical knowledge proved priceless. J.T. Evans for the Volunteer of the Year Award. As PPW President, J.T. has revamped and renewed PPW in an extraordinary way with hours and hours of effort that will benefit this organization for years to come. M.B. Partlow for the Conference Volunteer of the Year Award. M.B. has worked with passion as programming director for years and now has taken on the task of tackling PPWC 2015 director. Her experience and vision will no doubt propel this next year into another madly successful conference and leave you with Goosebumps. The Zebulon contest winners took their places center stage for some rousing applause celebrating their success.

Attendees had over ninety-five opportunities to tighten their craft, debunk some common myths, practice pitches, and concisely discuss current manuscripts, plus make new friends, accomplish some networking, and stretch their comfort zones in the classrooms, over meals, and long into the night at the Marriott bar. Editors Terri Bischoff, Sarah Peed, Terese Ramin, and Sara Sargent helped demystify the intimidating machine that is the publishing industry while Amy Boggs, Michelle L. Johnson, Kristin Nelson, Beth Phelan, Gordon Warnock, and Carlisle Webber encouraged writers to learn the process and to send out their best work.

Multiple contests, a Killion Group and Hot Damn Designs attendee mixer, costume dinner, silent auction, professional photo shoot opportunities, and more propelled attendees through to the conference end with laughter, excitement, and a beautiful motivation to write. The library enjoyed another year of success offering genre books, craft books, t-shirts, audio cd’s and much more. A little writerly retail therapy to calm the nerves and settle the excitement. Sunday shone bright with an impressive hold over of attendees all grasping for one more kernel of knowledge, one last uttered brilliance, one last shared inspiration…and they got it. We all went home Sunday having reached the goal of this conference.

Write Here, Write Now. We Made it Happen.

Conference Promotions

Early registration pricing is extended to March 31! Price will remain $395 until March 31, going up to $465 April 1.

Register between March 16 and March 31, and be entered to win a prize package that includes keynote books! One lucky winner will be randomly drawn from registrations.