Posts Tagged ‘Deb Werksman’

Amy Spring – Scholarship Winner PPWC2018

Amy Spring was awarded a scholarship for PPWC2018. She shares her conference experiences and excitement about being awarded a scholarship. Apply for PPWC2109 by January 11, 2019 and you too could share your story.


I was thrilled to be awarded a scholarship to the Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2018. My friend KL Cooper suggested (loudly, on my FaceBook timeline, for everyone to see!) that I should apply, and that evening I felt timid and overwhelmed. I went to bed thinking, “There are so many more deserving, who am I to ask for this?”

The following morning, I came to my senses and had my application in before drinking my morning tea. I am so glad I did, because I was awarded a full scholarship, and promptly promised the Powers That Be that I would be fearless at the conference and do my best.

Making Connections

Years ago I attended Pikes Peak Writers Conference, and was so stunned by the opportunity that I tried to go to everything, and wanted to learn everything. This year, as I have written two unpublished novels, I decided that my goal would be making connections, and meeting as many people as I could. I had both a Query One-on-One appointment with Deb Werksman of Sourcebooks scheduled, and well as a Read and Critique X (R&CX) appointment with acquiring editor Maximilian Ximenez.

Be Fearless

The PPWC offers access to so many wonderful people, and I did, indeed, try to be fearless. Author and Keynote Speaker Bob Mayer said, in the first of the three of his sessions I attended, “If you see me in the hallway, please stop me and talk to me, I’ll help you all I can.” He was true to his word, as the following morning, I saw him and stopped him, and he was gracious enough to not only help me clean up my 16 opening lines that I had to read aloud in my R&CX appointment, but critiqued my queries for my Query 1 on 1. How kind was that?

One thing I understood this time around is that the people that come to teach sessions aren’t there for themselves. They are there to help and encourage all of our writing family in any way they can. They do this generously, purposefully, exhaustively-meaning, by the end of the weekend, it is obvious, by the dark circles under their eyes, that they have given 100% to us every waking hour of this long weekend.

Read & Critique

My R&CX appointment was fun, though I was awarded an appointment with Mr. Ximinez, whose expertise is in genres far different from my own. I was offered a chance to change that appointment, but I decided to go and read anyway. He was helpful and kind about my reading something he would never acquire, but I soon realized my purpose for being there-a young boy read his 16 lines and had this major player’s attention, but was too shy to ask follow-up questions, so I asked them for him. (Ok, I’m 55, and sometimes, occasionally, age does matter!) I facilitated a meeting between the two, and later, both men thanked me. Score!

Query 1 on 1

The best part for me, though, was forming a connection with Deb Werksman from Sourcebooks. I took three of her sessions, sat at her lunch table one day, and boldly took both of my queries to my Query 1 on 1 appointment with her. She and her red pen passed on my second book, but said, “Send it!” on my first book’s query! I walked away from that meeting knowing I had done my best, and had been gifted with the reason I was meant to be there. I was, and am, eternally grateful to the Pikes Peak Writers for this experience.

As it turns out, I write general fiction, and Deb acquires romance, but she thought enough of my first book’s manuscript that she sent it to her fiction editor colleagues, who politely declined, though they encouraged me to continue. Deb said she’ll consider any romance I write. And, she worked with me extensively to prepare. She, and everyone else I met, and who has supported me through this experience are precious gems, in my book!

Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2018 Special Events, Part 1

Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2018 is just around the corner.  Today, Karen Fox, PPWC Conference Director, shares some Conference extras that you won’t want to miss.  PPWC offers so many extras this year that they couldn’t all fit in one post.  Check back for more Special Events at PPWC 2018.  -Gabrielle V Brown, Managing Editor

The Pikes Peak Writers Conference will run from April 27-29, 2018 with the full-day prequel on April 26, 2018.  But there’s more than that.  Here is information on some of the special events we’re offering that you’ll likely want to participate in as well (part 1 of 2).

Aside from over 40 workshops covering all aspects of commercial fiction writing, PPWC offers a chance to query a buying editor or agent or to visit with renowned published authors.   You’ll also have the opportunity to sit with these editors, agents and fantastic speakers at the meals.  The conference price includes seven meals throughout the weekend.  (Did I mention prime rib on Saturday night? Yum.)


Stitch, Pitch and Color

Start off your conference on Thursday night, 26 April 2018 by spending some time with Sourcebooks Editorial Director, Deb Werksman for Stitch, Pitch and Color.  This will be relaxing opportunity in the hotel library where attendees can pitch their works, knit or crochet along with Deb, or bring in a coloring book or other non-messy craft to share the time.  Even if you’re shy, this is a great opportunity to eavesdrop on an industry-knowledgeable editor while keeping your hands busy.


Zebulon Winners -Past and Present – Mix and Mingle

Are you a PPWC Contest winner?  The Pikes Peak Writers Conference has offered a writing contest for unpublished writers for decades.  Known at one time as the Paul Gillette Contest for Excellence in Fiction Writing, the Zebulon, as it’s now known, recognizes the talents of writers every year in a variety of genres.  This year, the conference has decided to open up a slot in the Eagles Nest room before the Contest Awards Banquet on Saturday night to allow all contest winners–past and present–to mingle and share in their experience of winning these awards.  Who has gone on to sell?  Who has an agent?  What secrets are there to maximizing this experience?  Networking and sharing information are two of the most valuable assets a writer can take away from a conference.

Fortune Pen Scholarship Fundraiser

The conference on-site fundraising opportunities go toward filling the scholarships for the next year and supporting the conference so we can bring in even better faculty, workshops and activities.    One way an attendee can help out this year is to buy a $10.00 PPWC fortune pen.  A $10.00 pen, you say?!! But this is no ordinary pen–inside is a piece of paper that lets you know which one of a wide montage of amazing prizes you might have won (all valued $10.00 and up).  There could be books on craft or fiction.  There could be a free night at the Marriott.  There could be wine.  Or a 50-page critique from an attending editor or agent.  Or a free prequel for 2019.  An attendee has to purchase a pen to find out.


Blind Date with a Book

Do you judge a book by its cover?  Most of us tend to do that.  Well, now you have to pick a book to read without seeing the cover.  The second fundraising opportunity at conference allows an attendee to go on a “Blind Date with a Book.”  For a donation, an attendee can get a book wrapped in brown-paper with only a short synopsis and genre on it.   Might be a mystery.  Or thriller.  Or science fiction.  Or romance.  But which one?

Keep looking for part 2 of this blog, which will detail even more on this year’s PPWC extra activities.

Karen is PPWC 2018 Conference Director.  When not embroiled in the adventure and romance of her latest characters, Karen shares her house in Colorado Springs, CO with her husband, her granddaughter, and four cats.  She has published eight paranormal romance novels, one short story and one young adult novella.  Her second book, SOMEWHERE MY LOVE, was a 1998 RITA Finalist for the Romance Writers of America.  She’s currently at work on a young adult urban fantasy and new romance.