Board of Directors

PPW is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors.  The Board ensures that PPW abides by its Bylaws, state and federal laws, and the rules that bind a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  In addition, members of the Board often have additional roles in the organization.  The size of the Board and some of the job titles have changed over the years as the needs of PPW have evolved.  But what remains consistent is the volunteers’ focus on the health of the organization, and the commitment they have to the writers they serve.

Board members are elected to a two-year term at the annual meeting every September. Anyone interested in running for an open position must submit a one-page letter of inquiry detailing the position of interest, qualifications, and a brief bio to the nominations committee by August 31st of the respective year. Email letters to Put Board Nomination in the subject line.

This year’s open positions are: President, Vice President, Secretary, Non-Conference Events Director, and Member at Large (MAL)


Kameron Claire (Easler)

Kameron reads and writes Romance. While paranormal is her favorite, she enjoys suspense and contemporary stories as well. She’s been a member of Pikes Peak Writers since 2013, attended her first writers conference in 2014, and started volunteering in 2015. Outside of PPW and her day job, Kameron can be found performing amazing feats of home remodeling or playing with her super-pup – usually when she should be writing.

Immediate Past President

Bowen Gillings

Bowen’s a rookie writer, but an adept at life. He’s lived in lots of different places, traveled to quite a few more, read a bunch of stuff, and completed a degree or two. He’s an Army veteran, former personal trainer, actor, voice artist, government contractor, financial advisor, and bookseller. Now he resides in Colorado Springs with his wife, daughter, and dog.

Genre loves run the gamut from fantasy to historical and contemporary fiction with a smattering of sci-fi, literary, and biography thrown in for spice.

When not writing, he can be found at Garden of the Gods Park leading school programs for area elementary and high school students.

He became a member of Pikes Peak Writers in 2015, regularly attends Open Critique, Write Brain, and Writers Night, served on the Tech Team for the 2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference, and contributes to the PPW blog, Writing from the Peak.

Vice President

Deb Courtney

Deb holds a degree in Fiction from the University of South Florida, where she was a Saunders Scholar in Fiction. She has had numerous short stories published and has worked as a freelance journalist. Her background includes more than 20 years in Technical Project Management. 

Her consulting firm, Courtney Literary, is about to launch TaleWinds, featuring Regatta Project Management Software for Writers. She hosts the popular “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” improv writing series monthly in Colorado Springs.


Charise Simpson

Charise is currently working on a humorous travel memoir, and developing a middle grade mystery series with her teenaged daughter. She has worked as a freelance journalist writing a weekly Q&A column for the business section of The Gazette. She has also written feature stories for the local Woodmen & Cheyenne Editions newspapers. As a member of the Pikes Peak Writers since 2010, she has served as a general conference gofer and moderator, Handout Coordinator, and Allergy Meals Coordinator, as well as committee member for Non-Conference Events.


Mytchel Chandler

Mytchel is an avid movie goer and severely part time cosplayer. He loves just about everything “geek” and is the writer of his own time travel Graphic Novel titled Chronic. Finishing edits on his debut novel, a YA Fantasy titled, The Dark and Dangerous Days of Sin Shadow, Mytchel strives to be the most fabulous version of himself every day! Connect with him at or on Facebook and Instrgram @authormytchelchandler.

Non-Conference Events Director

Shannon Lawrence

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes primarily horror and fantasy. Her stories can be found in several anthologies and magazines, including Space and Time Magazine and The Literary Hatchet, and her short story collection Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations is now available. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there’s always a place to hide a body or birth a monster. Find her at

Shannon has been attending non-conference events since 2009 and conference since 2010. She’s been NCE Director, Managing Editor of Writing From the Peak, Treasurer, Conference Admin Director, Signs Coordinator, Pitch/Query Staff, and more.

Non-Conference Events Director

MB Partlow

MB Partlow tries to inject her off-center sense of humor into everything she does. She writes mostly in the speculative fiction world, with forays into mystery and women’s fiction. Her first paid writing gig was for the A&E department of The Independent. She’s also written a parenting column for Pikes Peak Parent and spent years writing restaurant reviews for the Indpendent and The Gazette. She’s a longtime volunteer for PPW, having done everything from stacking chairs to Conference Director to serving on the board. She reads voraciously across genres, and thinks making up stories for a living is the greatest job in the world.

Member At Large

Laura Hayden

Laura Hayden is one of the founders of the Pikes Peak Writers and served as it first president. She’s been associated with PPWC since its inaugural year, 1993. In addition, she’s held the position of PPWC  director for an unprecedented eight years (non-consecutive).  She’s published thirteen fiction novels in a wide variety of genres, one nonfiction and many short stories. She owns Author, Author! a bookstore serving authors and co-owns Parker Hayden Media, an assisted self-publishing company. She resides in the Birmingham, Alabama area, but her heart remains in Colorado.

Member At Large

Ed Raetz

Ed was born and raised in Colorado Springs, with stints in Germany, Boulder, and California. He attended CU Boulder for his BA in English and CSUSB for his MA in Rhetoric/Literature. His Master’s Thesis explored children’s fantasy through a psychoanalytic lens, employing the tenets of CG Jung, Bruno Bettelheim, and Joseph Campbell. Ed has dabbled in various vocations, including: college instructor, Postdoctoral lab geek, claims adjuster, executive assistant, and stay-at-home dad. He is inspired by ancient myth and archetype, as well as the musings of Lloyd Alexander, JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling, and Stephen King. His fantasy and horror writings incorporate ancient Celtic myth and ritual, visceral horror, fungal folklore, and natural phenomena presented as fantasy. He has been married to his better half (Carina) since 1994. He has one 12-year old son (Rowan), who is blossoming into an articulate overachiever. Ed loves world travel, surrealistic art, horror and arthouse movies, an eclectic array of music, and dark humor. Finally, Ed is an aspiring potter, and has exhibited his artistry at the Fine Arts Center.

Member At Large

Becki Davis

A member of Pikes Peak Writers for over 20 years, Becki has written dozens of lifestyle articles for local publications and has been published in a national women’s magazine. She has written several stories mostly for fun, but hopes one day to be serious and query a few of her completed middle grade stories. Currently she works as an advertising manager for a local newspaper writing copy and designing ads. She and her husband are graphic designers and have won numerous awards both locally and internationally throughout their long careers.

Member At Large

Rick Buchanan

A military retiree, Rick has traveled the world eventually laying down permanent roots in Colorado where he lives with his wife, dogs and two obstinate cats.   By day, he works for a healthcare IT / analytics company; by night he imagines new and inventive ways to torment his stories’ protagonists.

A lifelong bibliophile, Rick reads widely across genres but can’t pass up a good sci-fi or fantasy novel.  Dog eared paperbacks by Terry Pratchett, Isaac Asimov and Douglas Adams are his particular Kryptonite.  Intent on becoming a better writer, Rick joined Pikes Peak Writers in the fall of 2018 and started serving on the board in late 2019.

When not hunched over a computer he enjoys travel, spending time in the mountains and live music.  Dislikes include bad movies made from great books and talking about himself in the third person.

Previous Board Members

Kirsten Akens, Jodi Anderson, Donnell Bell, Chris Boswell, Deb Buckingham, Paul Carhart, Maxine Davenport, J.T. Evans, Todd Fahnestock, Maria Faulconer, Karen Fox, Beth Groundwater, Bonnie Hagan, Mandy Houk, Alicia Howie, Ron Heimbecher, Jax Hunter, Pat Kennelly, Jennifer LaPointe, Shannon Lawrence, Chris Mandeville, Pam McCutcheon, Connie McKenzie, Debbie Meldrum, Dawn Smit Miller, Sue Mitchell, Chris Myers, Barb Nickless, Chris Olsen, Ellen Phillips, Joel Quevillon, Laura Reeve, Charles Rush, Susan Rust, Michael Waite, Bret Wright, Jennifer Webster-Valant, Stacy S. Jensen, GeorgeAnne Nelson, Gabrielle Brown, KL Cooper, Jenny Martin.