All News

Margaret Mizushima is the 2019-2020 RMFW’s Writer of the Year!

Margaret Mizushima

With heartfelt gratitude to the membership of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Margaret Mizushima is thrilled to announce that she was elected their 2019-2020 Writer of the Year. Margaret is the author of the award winning, internationally published Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries (from Crooked Lane Books). In addition to RMFW, she’s a member of Colorado Author’s League, Sisters in Crime, Pikes Peak Writers, Northern Colorado Writers, Women Writing the West, and she serves on the board for the Rocky Mountain chapter of Mystery Writers of America. Margaret can be found on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, and on her website at www.margaretmizushima.com.


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by, Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter.

If you have a Sweet Success Story to share, please contact Darcy at: SweetSuccess@pikespeakwriters.com

Write Brain

By: Robin Laborde

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A special two-part Write Brain:
The New Zebulon 
Amy Armstrong, Presenter
and
250 Words That Will Make or Break You
Natalie Mae, Presenter

2020 Zebulon

The August Write Brain began with an update about the 2020 Zebulon Contest, including TWO double-sided pages of information about what has changed during the contest’s year-long hiatus. A few of the more notable changes:

  • Contest entries will be accepted through Submittable rather than a custom-built portal.
  • The short story category is back! 
  • No more query round, but a synopsis is still required. (Darn.)
  • The Zebulon will offer monetary prizes only in 2020, rather than discounts on conference registration.

See the Zebulon Rules for the latest information and deadlines.

250 Words to Beef Up

After the break, YA author Natalie Mae shared tips for beefing up your first paragraph. In an unexpected but super helpful twist, she began her presentation by sharing an early version of the first paragraph of her novel Duplicitous and comparing it to the published version. The exercise clearly demonstrated the improvements she made, including that oh-so-important delicious first line. For even more insight into Natalie’s journey to publication, visit her website.


Robin Laborde

Robin Laborde is not sure exactly how long she has been a member of Pikes Peak Writers but she enjoys it very much. She worked as a technical writer for over ten years and has had nonfiction articles published in newspapers and magazines. She is currently writing a speculative fiction novel and working part-time at the East Library in Colorado Springs.

Writer’s Night

Pikes Peak Writers is known for our annual conference, but we also do tons of programming throughout the year, much of it free! 

Join Mytchel at the next Writer's Night!
Join Mytchel at the next Writer’s Night!

One of our free monthly events is Writer’s Night, where writers of all genres gather together to discuss writerly topics over food and drinks. Anyone is welcome to attend, whether they have a question to ask or they just want to hang back and listen.

Why Go to Writers Night?

At the last meeting, I asked the attendees for their top reasons to attend Writer’s Night, and here they are:

  1. Hearing from other writers inspires you to keep writing.
  2. It’s nice to be around like-minded people.
  3. Sense of community. Writing is such an isolated experience–sometimes you need to escape it.
  4. Helps fight impostor syndrome.
  5. Exposes you to diverse perspectives.
  6. Casual education. Learn from others while just hanging out!
  7. Bragging rights. Each session, we go around the room and allow people the chance to tell us about their accomplishments.
  8. Gets you out of the house.
  9. You don’t have to make dinner.
  10. Beer!

NEW Location!

We’ve got exciting news to share, too! Writer’s Night is getting a face-lift. It’s moving to Navajo Hogan in August. Plus, we’ve got a new host! Mytchel Chandler has taken over as Writer’s Night host, bringing a fresh perspective to the group.

The Next Writer’s Night is:

Monday, August 26 (every fourth Monday!)
6:30 to 8:30 PM
Navajo Hogan (private room)
2817 N. Nevada Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80907

We hope you’ll come check out Writer’s Night and all our other monthly programming! Look for it under “events” on our website or in the events on our Facebook page.


Mytchel Chandler

Mytchel Chandler, Secretary of PPW, has taken over Writer’s Night! Mytchel has written a time travel comic titled Chronic, and is finishing up his debut novel, a YA fantasy titled The Dark and Dangerous Days of Sin Shadow. In his spare time, Mytchel is an avid movie goer, comic collector, and cosplayer. Be sure to follow him @authormytchelchandler on Facebook and Instagram, and at www.mytchelchandler.com.

Sweet Success for Darby Karchut

Congratulations to PPW’s Sweet Success Coordinator, Darby Karchut, who has a Sweet Success of her own!

Darby Karchut’s middle grade Western/fantasy mashup, DEL TORO MOON (2018 from Owl Hollow Press), recently won the 2019 Colorado Book Award. The book was also a 2018 Reading the West Longlist Pick and 2018 Moonbeam Children’s Book Silver Medalist. THE RED CASKET, Book Two in the Del Toro Tales series, releases late fall 2019.

DEL TORO MOON

Twelve year old Matt Del Toro is the greenest greenhorn in his family’s centuries-old business: riding down and destroying wolf-like monsters, known as skinners. Now, with those creatures multiplying, both in number and ferocity, Matt must saddle up and match his father’s skills at monster whacking.

Luckily, Matt has twelve hundred pounds of backup in his best friend—El Cid, an Andalusian war stallion with the ability of human speech, more fighting savvy than a medieval knight, and a heart as big and steadfast as the Rocky Mountains.

Serious horse power.  Those skinners don’t stand a chance.

DEL TORO MOON (Book One in the Del Toro Tales series)

978-1-945654-14-5; middle grade fantasy; 256 pages

Purchase: Barnes & NobleAmazonIndieBound, and independent booksellers world-wide

Darby Karchut

Darby Karchut is an 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. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy wrangling words. Her award-winning books include DEL TORO MOON and FINN FINNEGAN. Coolest thing ever: her YA debut novel, GRIFFIN RISING, has been optioned for film. Visit her at www.darbykarchut.com


Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut. If you have a success story to share please go to the Sweet Success form.

Sweet Success for Margena Holmes

by: Darby Karchut

Congratulations to Margena Adams Holmes on the release of EVALYCER’S WAR, (July 9, On The Line Press), a novella set in The Elixir Series.

Avalycer's War

As Evalycer gets more involved with a group wanting to change a corrupt government, she struggles between wanting change and doing the right thing. Part of The Elixir Series but can be read as a stand alone book.

photo of margin holmes

Margena has been writing ever since she can remember, writing her first poem in 1st grade. At her day job, when she’s not kicking young kids out of R-rated movies, she’s sweeping up spilled popcorn from the hallways and aisles (she’s not your mother, though, so please take your trash out). Her days off consist of writing science fiction, space opera, and more movie theater shenanigans. Reading is a close second to writing, and she normally has her nose buried in a book. Visit her website.

EVALYCER’S WAR: Novella in The Elixir Series.
E-book; Science Fiction; novella; 118 pages
Purchase at Amazon.com


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut. If you have a success story to share please go to the Sweet Success form.

Sweet Success for Margaret Mizushima

by: Darby Karchut

Margaret Mizushima is thrilled to announce that BURNING RIDGE, fourth in her Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries (2018 from Crooked Lane Books), has earned the following: listed in Best Books of 2018, Kings River Life; Winner, Colorado Authors League Award for Ebook Fiction; Silver Award, IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards for mystery; Winner, Next Generation Indies for Action-Adventure; Bronze Award, Foreword Indie Book of the Year Awards for mystery; and Finalist, Colorado Book Awards for mystery. Margaret’s fifth book, TRACKING GAME, will release November 12, 2019, and she is busy writing a sixth episode in the series to be released fall of 2020.

Burning Ridge, cover

When a charred body is found on beautiful Redstone Ridge near Timber Creek, Deputy Mattie Cobb and her dog Robo are called to investigate. But Mattie discovers a close personal connection with the victim and soon finds herself the target of a killer.

BURNING RIDGE: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery

978-1-68331-778-4; Mystery; Hardcover; 281 pages

Purchase: Online booksellers and bookstores near you.

Margaret Mizushima

Margaret Mizushima is the award-winning author of the internationally published and critically acclaimed Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries, including Burning Ridge, named a Best Book of 2018 by Kings River Life. Active within the writing community, Margaret serves on the board for the Rocky Mountain chapter of Mystery Writers of America and was nominated for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year award. She lives in Colorado on a small ranch with her veterinarian husband where they raised two daughters and a multitude of animals. Visit her at www.margaretmizushima.com.


Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut. If you have a success story to share please got to the Sweet Success form.

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 Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy wrangling words. Her thirteenth book, DEL TORO MOON, a middle grade western/fantasy mashup (Owl Hollow Press) is the 2019 Colorado Book Award Winner-Juvenile Literature
Visit the author at her website: www.darbykarchut.com.

Welcome to Sweet Success!

New Coordinator for Sweet Success Darby Karchut

Writing from the Peak is happy to welcome Darby Karchut as the new coordinator for the Sweet Success column. She is excited to get started and her first Sweet Success will post on Friday.

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 Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy wrangling words. Her thirteenth book, DEL TORO MOON, a middle grade western/fantasy mashup (Owl Hollow Press) is the 2019 Colorado Book Award Winner-Juvenile Literature
Visit the author at her website: www.darbykarchut.com.

Do you have exciting news you want to share with the world? A book launch? Signing party? A Sweet Success? If so, hop over to the Sweet Success submission form to get started. Darby looks forward to hearing from you.

Sweet Success for Jason Henry Evans

Congratulations to Jason Evans! The Galloglass, a historical fiction, will release on July 10, 2019 by Grant Street Publishing.

Lt. Philip Williams thought his career as an English mercenary was over after surviving the sack of Calais by the Spanish in 1596. If only he knew his troubles were just beginning. While recovering in a hospital in Antwerp, a distant relative arrives to dangle an irresistible offer: The Royal Irish Army. All of Ireland is in open revolt and Queen Elizabeth is going to war. She needs experienced officers and Philip accepts. Once in Ireland, Philip meets two Irish women. Nualla asks for his aid while Colleen asks for his heart. Will he be able to protect either of them from the coming violence? Meanwhile Irish rebels and Scottish mercenaries raid and the survivors whisper the name of a monster: Solomon Red Beard O’Donnell. Will Philip and his friends have enough time to turn Irish peasants into soldiers? If they don’t, Solomon Red Beard will spread the rebellion and Ireland will be lost.

Jason Henry Evans
Jason Henry Evans

Jason always wanted to be a writer; he just didn’t know it. After attending college and working in education, Jason’s life changed when he fell in love with the Fetching Mrs. Evans. After over a decade as a teacher in public and private schools, he discovered the wonderful writing community in Colorado, where he still lives. Jason is an educator, and a historian (as well as a bon vivant,) who is active in the Colorado writing community as a teacher and speaker. Visit Jason’s website for more about Jason and his publication.

The Gallowglass: ISBN; 978-1-0730504-5-1, 129,000 words, Ages 15+, Pre-order your copy today! 


Do you have a Sweet Success you would like to share? Click here to get started, or send an email to: SweetSuccess@pikespeakwriters.com

Sweet Success is coordinated by Managing Editor, Kathie “KJ” Scrim.

Sweet Success for Becky Clark

Celebrations are happening at Becky Clark’s house! She is giggling with excitement with TWO Sweet Successes!

First, she can finally announce her new 3-book deal with Kensington Books for a cozy mystery series set in the world of crossword puzzles. The first one, PUZZLING INK, is scheduled for release in November 2020.

Waitress Quinn Carr wishes her life was more like a crossword puzzle — orderly, one correct answer, no chaos. She loves her side gig creating the puzzles for the local paper, but when she finds a dead man at her table in the diner, she knows chaos has found her once again. Her boss is arrested, but she wonders if he’ll get a fair shake from a police chief who isn’t interested in pursuing any other leads. Luckily, Chief loves crosswords as much as Quinn does so she designs one with specific entries to get him to look at certain other suspects. But will he get a clue before the wrong person is sent to prison?

Second, Becky Clark’s FICTION CAN BE MURDER, the first in her Mystery Writer’s Mysteries series, won 1st Place in the Mystery & Mayhem Awards, given by the Chanticleer International Book Awards in May 2019.

Fiction Can Be Murder (A Mystery Writer's Mystery Book 1) by [Clark, Becky]

Mystery author Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo thinks the twisty plots and peculiar murders in her books are only the product of her imagination—until her agent is found dead exactly as described in Charlee’s new, unpublished manuscript. Suspicion now swirls around her and her critique group, making her confidence drop as severely and unexpectedly as her royalty payments.

The police care more about Charlee’s feeble alibi and financial problems than they do her panicky claims of innocence. To clear her name and revive her career, she must figure out which of her friends is a murderer. Easier said than done, even for an author who’s skilled at creating tidy endings for her mysteries. And as her sleuthing grows dangerous, Charlee’s imagination starts working overtime. Is she being targeted, too?


A highly functioning chocoholic, Becky Clark (Denver, CO) is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them, too. She published her first novel in 2001, and is a sought after speaker. Visit her online at Becky Clark Books.


Do you have a Sweet Success you would like to share? Click here to get started, or send an email to: SweetSuccess@pikespeakwriters.com

Sweet Success is coordinated by Managing Editor, Kathie “KJ” Scrim.