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Hello Fellow Writers!

Hello Fellow Writers!

I’m Jenny Kate, this year’s PPW Conference Director, and have I got a conference update for you! 

Our planning team is busy, busy, busy. 

We are in person, April 29 – May 1, and we are providing a virtual option.

Programming

With more than 90 workshops planned and ready to go, we have something for everyone no matter where you are in your writing career.  You can check those out here. 

We have three wonderful keynote speakers:

  • Romance Author Naima Simone 
  • Thriller/Noir Mystery Author and PPWC Alum Robert Crais
  • Publishing Expert Jane Friedman

And two amazing Featured Authors:

  • Author of the ‘Dear Writer’ Series Becca Syme
  • TV Writer turned Romance Novelist, Dr. Ines Johnson 

New Venue

We are super excited to be in a brand-new venue for this year’s Pikes Peak Writers Conference. 

The staff at Colorado Springs Doubletree Hilton Hotel has been a great partner.

We spent an entire morning food tasting with Chef Steve so you’ll have the best meals ever. We can’t wait for you to try the beer-cheese soup and the braised short ribs!

The rooms are larger. The area for BarCon is amazing. 

We think you’re going to love this new conference center.

Registration is open

We have a lot of options available this year.  

1.  If you’re just up for one day: our one-day PreGame programming on Thursday has master’s classes for all levels. 

2.  If you’re up for the whole conference, our 2.5 days of programming is a wealth of information on craft, business, marketing, the writing life and more. 

    • These 2.5 days also offers the opportunity to pitch your work to an agent or editor. 
    • Or you can have your work read aloud in one of our Read and Critique Sessions.

3.  Write Drunk, Edit Sober is back for another year with our President Deb Courtney!

4.  Call all Students! This year, we are also offering a student discount for high school and college students. $40 off regular Friday-Sunday registration, or $51 off Thursday’s PreGame programming. As always, if the student is under 18, they’ll need a permission slip from a parent. And all students using the discount will be required to upload proof of student status. 

5.  Finally, our virtual option. 

    • We have 24 workshops and our keynotes available for live streaming
    • That option also allows access for up to 45 days after conference
    • In-person attendees have the option of adding on the virtual option as well

We know COVID is on your mind, so here’s what we’re doing:

  • To pick up your registration materials, you’ll need to provide a vaccine card OR a negative test within 48 hours. 
  • We’re spacing seating in all workshops and at all meals
  • In your grab bag, you’ll find a mask and hand sanitizer
  • We are encouraging attendees to wear masks

We are very aware that some people will be happy with these measures and some people won’t. All COVID mitigation could change as we get closer and things develop over time. 

The bottom line for us is we haven’t been in person in two years, and we would like to be. 

We are doing everything we can to make sure this is a safe event. So please give a little grace as we are not health care professionals. We are writers. We will follow what the CDC and the Health Department for the State of Colorado advises us to do. 

Because we miss our writer buddies and want to see as many of you as possible at conference. 

 

If you haven’t registered yet, you can click here and register.

If you’d like to volunteer, you can email our volunteer coordinator Jessica Starkey at ppwcvolunteer@pikespeakwriters.com

If you have any questions about conference, check out our website here or feel free to email me anytime at conference@pikespeakwriters.com 

 

We can’t wait to see you in April!

Sweet Success for Catherine Dilts

By: Darby Karchut

Congratulations to Catherine Dilts! Her short story, “HazMat Holiday,” will be featured in the January/February 2022 Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. The magazine is one of the oldest and most influential magazines of short mystery and crime fiction in the world.

ABOUT THE STORY:

The story features Dilts’ recurring short story characters: Charles, a dignified gentleman who loves his career as a chemist, and Tony, a college student / laboratory intern. Charles insists on completing a vitally important lab test and report, causing him and Tony to be stranded at the factory during a blizzard. Employees quickly become dangerously competitive for the leftover holiday meal. Pick up a copy of the magazine at https://www.alfredhitchcockmysterymagazine.com/store/

Catherine Dilts

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Catherine Dilts is the author of the Rock Shop Mystery series, while her short stories appear regularly in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. She writes for Annie’s Publishing, which include installments in the multi-author cozy mystery series Secrets of the Castleton Manor Library, a Mistletoe Mystery, and the upcoming Museum Mysteries. Working in the world of hazardous substances regulation, Catherine’s stories often have environmental or factory-based themes. Others reflect her love of the Colorado mountains. Visit the author at https://www.catherinedilts.com/ and follow her on Instagram.


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
Click here to submit your Sweet Success Story.

Sweet Success for Hillary Dodge

By: Darby Karchut

Congratulations to Hillary Dodge on the recent release of the anthology, SHADOW ATLAS: DARK LANDSCAPES OF THE AMERICAS, edited by Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge, and Joshua Viola.

Shadow Atlas, cover

ABOUT THE ANTHOLOGY: 

Ancient peoples knew there were lands given over to shadow and spirit. The world is full of haunted places that exact a terrible toll on trespassers. Our forebears paid a heavy price to earn the wisdom and the warning they bequeathed to future generations.

Time transformed their precious knowledge into superstition, but there are those whose hearts beat in rhythm with the past and whose vision is not clouded by modernity. Seeking to reclaim humanity’s early secrets, the Umbra Arca Society was forged. For centuries, this private league of explorers dedicated their lives to uncovering the oldest mysteries of the Americas. Armed with boldness and guile, and equipped with only a compass, a journal, and devotion to truth, these adventurers braved cursed landscapes, dared unnatural adversaries, and exposed hidden civilizations. Many did not survive. None were forgotten.

“Dead serious in its horror, yet delightful and inviting in its design and conceit, Shadow Atlas is a rare, beguiling treat, a collective fantasy with teeth, vision, and grounded in urgent, ancient truths.”
– BookLife Reviews (BookLife section of Publishers Weekly)

“Think The DaVinci Code or Indiana Jones, but with more literary force…”
– Midwest Book Reviews

“A host of sublime writers and settings create an entertainingly macabre collection.”
– Kirkus Reviews

Purchase a copy through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Hillary Dodge is an author, librarian, food literacy consultant, and educator. Her short fiction has been published in magazines, anthologies, and podcasts including Pseudopod, Space Squid, and Hellbound Books. She also writes nonfiction on a variety of topics, including technology, medical history, and food literacy. In 2016, she and her husband quit their jobs and relocated their family of three to South America where they spent two years overlanding in Chile and Argentina while researching and writing about food, culture, and the ghosts of South America. Visit her at www.hillarydodge.com and follow her on Instagram and Amazon.


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
Click here to submit your Sweet Success Story.

Sweet Success for Jasmine and Jim Tritten

Cheers for this dynamic duo. Jasmine and Jim Tritten are happy to share their most recent
success: the recent release of the second edition of KATO’S GRAND ADVENTURE. After
being published, the book won six awards, including winner in the 2019 New Mexico-Arizona
Book Awards-Young Readers Books. This new second edition includes additional original
drawings by Jasmine, a map to follow Kato’s journey, discussion questions and exercise topics
for young readers, and some revisions to the text.

Kato's Grand Adventure


ABOUT THE BOOK:

An adventure story written from the perspective of a lost kitten. Kato is the cutest little gray/black striped young tabby with white paws and a rust-colored nose. He sets out to look for his missing sister. In the process, he gets lost in the woods near a rushing stream.
With the help of a rabbit, then an owl, and finally a coyote, he overcomes many obstacles on his journey. Kato learns to take chances and accept help from the most unlikely of characters. He reunites with his sister and arrives safely home. Perfect to be read aloud to children and grandchildren at an early age. It can then be an enjoyable chapter book for anyone with a 4th or 5th-grade reading level—original illustrations by the author. Pick up a copy through Amazon.

Jasmine and Jim Tritten


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Jasmine and Jim Tritten are both multi-award-winning authors. Jasmine has also won awards for her book designs, covers, and illustrations. They live in New Mexico with four cats. Visit Jasmine on her Amazon author page and visit Jim on his Amazon author page.


Darby Karchut



Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
Click here to submit your Sweet Success Story.

Sweet Success for John M. Campbell

By: Darby Karchut

A round of applause for John M. Campbell! His short story, “The Tiger and the Waif,” won first place in the Writers of the Future contest for the fourth quarter of 2020. It appeared in the annual L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future anthology (volume 37 released November 2021). He is honored to have his story appear first in the anthology, which features short stories for the first, second, and third place winners from each of the four quarters of 2020.

ABOUT THE STORY 

After a devastating earthquake, an android kitten crawls out of the rubble, free at last. Deep in its programming, an urge demands to be fulfilled . . .
Turn the page . . . from dark fantasy to dystopian nightmare, from magical realism to military science, from paranormal urban fantasy to post-apocalyptic power trips, and beyond. Discover the mesmerizing power of these new stories, thought-provoking new ideas, brilliant new horizons, and astounding new writers and illustrators—the chosen ones, selected by today’s best-selling science fiction and fantasy authors and artists. Pick up a copy from AmazonBarnes & Noble, and other booksellers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

John M. Campbell spent thirty-five years in the aerospace industry building computer systems for the government. Now, he speculates on the worlds currently unknown to us that modern science and engineering may unlock. He is compelled by the promise technology offers to address many of the issues facing human survival. He is intrigued by the likelihood that machine intelligence will likely surpass man’s ability to control it in this century. John lives with his wife in Denver, Colorado. Follow the author on Facebook and visit his website at www.JohnMCampbell.com


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
Click here to submit your Sweet Success Story.

Join PPW’s Writing Community!

Wow. Another year has gone by in a flash. So many things have happened this year here at PPW: our first anthology, Fresh Starts was published, Sweet Success recognized over 50 newly published authors, we had an incredible virtual conference, and so much more! Are you looking to be more involved with this amazing writing community? Well, there are some opportunities you won’t want to miss!

As you may already know, Pikes Peak Writers is an all-volunteer organization passionate about helping writers be all they can be. PPW depends on the amazing volunteers who are passionate about writing and the communities that support writers. You too can be a part of the exciting community here at PPW. Most volunteer positions do not require very much time or experience. Read on to learn about what is available.

We are looking for volunteers to fill the following positions:

Pikes Peak Writer Conference Volunteers Needed!

We need volunteers to fill the following conference positions:

  • Query Coordinator
  • Social Media Manager
  • Moderators
  • General volunteers.

Please contact 2022director@pikespeakwriters.com for more information.

***

Non-Conference Events Needs You!

Do you like hosting and putting on events? Do you like schmoozing with other authors and helping them succeed? Are you unafraid to talk to anyone? Do you like sharing news about people and an organization you’re passionate about? We need you! We’re looking to fill these roles that will be under the supervision of the non-conference events director.

  • Write Brain Coordinator:
    The Write Brain coordinator is in charge of putting on one, free event per month. You will be responsible for each event from the very start to the very end including finding and working with speakers, getting all their info, forwarding advertising info to NCE Public Relations, the PPW newsletter, and the PPW blog, securing a location for the event (in the past we’ve used the event room at library 21c or a comparable library facility, but we’ve been online since the COVID pandemic began and remain so at the moment), and hosting the event. Time commitment 10-20 hours per month on average.
  • Special Events Coordinator:
    The special events coordinator will be responsible for putting on four, four-hour workshops or events per year. You will be responsible for each event from the very start to the very end including finding and working with speakers, getting all their info, and forwarding advertising info to NCE Public Relations, the PPW newsletter, and the PPW blog, securing a location for the event (in the past we’ve used the event room at library 21c or a comparable library facility, but we’ve been online since the COVID pandemic began and remain so at the moment), and hosting the event. time commitment 10-20 hours per month on average.
  • Non-Conference Public Relations (NCE PR) Coordinator:
    The NCE PR coordinator will be responsible for getting the word out about non-conference events via social media (possibly working with the social media coordinator), and local media outlets such as Peak Radar, the Gazette, and The Independent. Some experience with Canva is helpful. Time commitment 2-5 hours per month on average.
  • Writers’ Night Host:
    Writers’ Night is where aspiring writers can come to have their questions answered, and experienced authors can rub shoulders with their peers and lend their expertise. Join us for two hours of fun, camaraderie, and laughter, the one event where the attendees set the agenda, and the host is there simply to keep it organized. This event is currently being held in person. Time commitment is only a few hours a month.

Please contact Kim, at nce@pikespeakwriters.com for more information on these NCE positions.

***

Here are a couple of other exciting reasons to volunteer with PPW!

  • Social Media Coordinator:
    Are you a social butterfly with a bunch of followers? Adept at all the platforms, Facebook, Twitter, IG, Pintrest? Can you make your own quality graphics using free versions of programs like Canva? Do you know how to set up events on social media? Can you run a compelling social media campaign? Can you be counted on to do all of the above under minimal supervision? We need you! 10-20 hours per month on average. Please contact volunteer@pikespeakwriters.com for more information on this position.
  • Blog Post Writers:
    Do you want to write for Pikes Peak Writers? Writing from the Peak, PPW’s amazing blog, is looking for a few great writers. If you would like to write for this fantastic blog, please contact Kathie at: editor@pikespeakwriters.com.

2022 is going to be a great year here at Pikes Peak Writers and we would love for you to join us and make it even better!


KJ Scrim, Profile Image

Kathie Scrimgeour, writes under the pseudonym KJ Scrim. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors with PPW, she is also the Managing Editor of Writing from the Peak (PPW’s blog) and the Project Manager of PPW’s anthologies, Fresh Starts and Dream (coming Spring of 2022). Her inspiration for blogging, flash fiction, short stories, and the long haul of novel writing comes from her many life experiences. You can follow her on her website, KJScrim.com and on Facebook. When she’s not writing you can find her somewhere in Arizona biking, hiking, or finding Zen through Pilates.

Sweet Success for Darby Karchut

Three cheers for Darby Karchut. Her contemporary middle grade novel, On a Good Horse, recently won the 2021 High Plains Book Award and the 2021 Will Rogers Medallion Award. School Library Journal declares “…this realistic novel with a rustic setting is a classic tale of the deep connection between animals and people.”

ABOUT THE BOOK

Alex Nash dreams of being a soccer star. Or a graphic artist. Maybe both. But being a cowboy? Nope and no way. Not if it means being anything like his seldom seen father.

Then, out of nowhere, tragedy shatters Alex’s world, and when he thinks life couldn’t sucker-punch him again, it does. He’s forced to move to Colorado and live with Roberto Nash, a father he barely knows. Or wants to know.

Until Alex finds out his dad has bought him a peace offering of a sort, one with a red coat, lightning speed, and a fighting spirit. A spitfire of a horse that just might heal Alex’s heart and reunite father and son. Purchase a copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and booksellers worldwide. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Darby Karchut

Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rockies, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy wrangling words. Her many books include ON A GOOD HORSE and the middle grade fantasy series DEL TORO MOON, winner of the Colorado Book Award. Visit the author at www.darbykarchut.com and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut (this week’s Sweet Success author) who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
Click here to submit your Sweet Success Story.

Sweet Success for Christina Bergling

Cheers for Christina Bergling on the recently release of her novel, FOLLOWERS (September 2021 from Crystal Lake Publishing). This is Bergling’s fifth book and her first with Crystal Lake Publishing. FOLLOWERS is a dark fiction horror novel that asks how safe we are online and how we can love the horror genre when horror comes into our real life.

Followers, by: Christine Bergling

ABOUT THE BOOK 

You never know who’s on the other side of the screen.
Sidney, a single mother with a dull day job, has big dreams of becoming a horror reviewer and risqué gore model. She’s determined to make her website a success, and if her online followers is any indication, things are looking good. In fact, Sidney has so many followers chatting with them is getting to be a job. More than a job, it might be getting a little risky….

When Sidney is attacked on a dark trail late one night, it becomes clear the horror she loves is bleeding into her real life. Sidney—and her loved ones—are now in serious danger. This stalker isn’t just another online fan: he knows her movements and routine. In fact, he’s right behind her… and when he gets close enough, he won’t take no for an answer. Purchase your copy through Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Colorado-bred writer, Christina Bergling, knew she wanted to be an author in fourth grade. Limitless Publishing released her novel THE REST WILL COME. Hellbound Books published her two novellas Savages and The Waning. She’s also featured in over 17 horror anthologies, including Collected Christmas Horror Shorts, Graveyard Girls, Carnival of Nightmares, and Demonic Wildlife. Bergling lives with her family in Colorado. She spends her non-writing time hiking, doing yoga and barre, dancing, taking pictures, traveling, and sucking all the marrow out of life. Follow the author on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
Click here to submit your Sweet Success Story.

Sweet Success for Matt Bille

Congratulations to Matt Bille! His new book, OF BOOKS AND BEASTS: A CRYPTOZOOLOGIST’S LIBRARY, releases on all platforms December 2021. This book is for all those involved with or curious about cryptozoology, the study of hidden animals. OF BOOKS AND BEASTS offers 380 reviews of books from 1930 to 2021 providing useful information on cryptozoology-related sciences such as biology and cryptozoological fiction.

Of Books and Beasts, by: Matt Bille

ABOUT THE BOOK

OF BOOKS AND BEASTS: A CRYPTOZOOLOGIST’S LIBRARY (Hangar1 Publishing, December 2021) collects reviews culled from the author’s 45 years of reading and writing about cryptozoology. The most reliable information about this controversial field is largely held in books, but OF BOOKS AND BEASTS is the first-ever guide readers to help readers to the books they want. In addition to cryptozoology books, there is a guide to authoritative yet accessible works on sciences like anthropology and ecology a cryptozoologist needs to know. Finally, there’s a sample of the most intriguing or influential novels about cryptozoology. Your search for real unknown animals starts here! Copies available from all booksellers in all formats December 1 or direct from the publisher.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Bille is a writer, naturalist, historian, and nerd living in Colorado Springs. Has been writing since he was 16 when he sold a little humor piece to a TV guide, then went on to publish his first book in 1996. Matt has been with PPW since the 1990s. He’s written two books on zoology, two novels, and one NASA-published history. He’s published 20+ papers and articles on everything from Martian soil to the prehistoric armored fish Dunkleosteus. He also shows up at cons dressed as wizard Harry Dresden. Visit him at www.mattbille.com or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
Click here to submit your Sweet Success Story.

Sweet Success for Sandi Hoover and Jim Tritten

By: Darby Karchut

Another award for a powerhouse of a writing team! Let’s hear it for Sandi Hoover and Jim Tritten, who recently won a Gold Medal from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) for their romance novella LOVE AND LIES: CALL ME EVE (January 2021, RhetAskew Publishing)

Love & Lies - Call Me Eve

ABOUT THE BOOK

She sipped her well-chilled, dry martini, taking extra time before answering. “What . . . how much do I tell him? Just want a distraction. Something to fill an evening.”

Eve was sipping a Fiji Moonrise, the house specialty at Fiji’s Natewu Bay Resort’s water’s edge bar, when an unfamiliar baritone asked, “May I buy you a refill? The evening is far too pleasant to spend alone.” Mark Adams proves to be an irresistible diversion during Eve’s trip home from a conference. But when playtime’s up and planes are departing, Eve doesn’t play fair.

Upon her return, Eve receives an unexpected life-changing event and regrets having lied. Mark is faced with a wounded heart and a nearly insurmountable challenge. Join an exciting adventure where true feelings are the catalyst to propel two star-crossed lovers to find each other … again. Copies may be purchased through Amazon.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Sandi Hoover and Jim Tritten are an award-winning writing team from New Mexico. Follow Sandi on Facebook, her Amazon author page, and on Goodreads. Follow Jim on Facebook, his Amazon author page, and on Goodreads.


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
Click here to submit your Sweet Success Story.