Dates: April 29-May 1, 2022 with an add-on date of April 28
Keynotes: Jane Friedman, Robert Crais, Barbara O’Neal (Samuel)
Location: Colorado Springs DoubleTree
Registration: Begins in the fall!
Sign up for the Pikes Peak Writers newsletter for updates.
Dates: April 29-May 1, 2022 with an add-on date of April 28
Esteemed past, present, and potential 2021 PPW Conference Attendees –
As you know, we regretfully had to cancel our 2020 in-person conference due to COVID concerns. Unfortunately, as we approach the end of 2020 there are still safety concerns over large public gatherings. While our 2021 conference is ~5 months away–scheduled for late April 2021–it takes our PPWC volunteers ~12 months to put a conference together. With that thought in mind, and with the uncertainty of what spring 2021 holds for all of us, Pikes Peak Writers has decided to host a virtual conference in 2021 with the hope and plan to come back as a hybrid conference in 2022.
More to come about registration, which will open 15 January 2021. Click here for more information.
All 2020 conference registrants who rolled over their conference registration should have been contacted about available options and refunds. If you missed this email, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and Karen will take care of you.
We appreciate your patience as we figure out how we can best serve our community while keeping our health and safety in mind, and hope you will join us on this exciting new virtual adventure.
Click here for conference updates as they become available.
2021 PPWC Director
Esteemed Conference Attendees, Sponsors, Volunteers, and PPW Members –
We have been watching the development of COVID-19 along with everyone else and share your concerns. First of all, we are deeply grateful for all the messages of support we’ve received and thank you for letting us know how much PPW matters to you. It matters to us too, which is why this decision was so hard to come to. We are also immensely thankful to our partner, DoubleTree Hilton hotel, for helping us through this difficult time.
To follow the best practices set forth by the CDC, and to help slow the spread of COVID-19, we regret to announce we are cancelling the 2020 Pikes Peak Writers Conference, scheduled for April 16-19. We are deeply disappointed that circumstances made this decision necessary, and will miss the opportunity to connect with our writing family in person. However, we will be back, better than ever and ready to rock, next year. Please put the dates of April 21-25, 2021, on your calendar now! The conference will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Colorado Springs.
To our faculty: You have already been contacted by Amy Krasikov, our 2020 Conference Program Director. Please continue to address your questions to her, and she’ll coordinate with you in regards to our future conference as appropriate.
To our registered attendees: For those of you already registered, there are multiple options. As of right now our 2021 conference is set for April 21 – 25 2021. Your current registration can be rolled over to 2021, your 2020 price confirmed, while your date of registration and the benefits associated with early registration remaining intact. Or you may request a refund of your 2020 conference registration. If that is your choice, please give us a few days to work through those as they come in. Email email@example.com if you would like your registration refunded. Another option, as we are a non-profit organization, is you can donate any portion of your registration fee to the organization to keep us moving forward over the next few months. As many of you know, our conference is the engine that fuels the organization all year long. In addition, we’ve made several purchases for the 2020 conference that will not be recoverable (such as airfares for faculty).
Also – Please don’t forget to cancel your Doubletree hotel reservations for this year. Reference the PPW Conference cancellation. They are expecting our calls.
To our conference staff / volunteers: You are the heart of this organization, and we can’t thank you enough for your patience and perseverance. We appreciate all the hard work you did for conference this year, and we look forward to working with you in the same capacity for 2021.
To our sponsors: We would love to carry over your sponsorship for next year. If that doesn’t work, we are more than willing to give you a full refund and we’d consider the digital advertisement we’ve done on your behalf already to be our gift to you.
Pikes Peak Writers will continue to appreciate and support our local writing community. We may need to cancel or restructure a few events, but we are committed to serving our writing family. Stay safe and keep washing your hands!
Pikes Peak Writers
2019-2020 President / 2020 Conference Director
Updated news on COVID-19 comes hourly with more conferences and large scale events cancelling daily. Currently, the PPW board and the 2020 conference committee are working with our conference partners to identify options that will protect our members as well as our organization. We hope to have an answer in the upcoming week, however, in the interim, to help alleviate financial concerns for those who have registered or who were waiting to register, we are extending our refund period beyond March 17th to April 1st, as well as our regular pricing.
Please note, we are taking COVID-19 very seriously and worry about our member’s health as well as our own. As a small non-profit organization this is not an easy decision, therefore we need time to investigate every option available that might keep our lovely community intact. We sincerely hope our sibling organizations who have also had to face this dilemma have been able to do so in a manner that will allow them to operate in the future.
Please hang in there with us for another week or two and stay tuned.
Our partners at the State Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) report that the risk to most Coloradans from the coronavirus is LOW, and they are confident the state health care system is prepared to minimize the potential spread of infection. We are operating as normal and there are no changes to the conference schedule. We will continue to monitor the situation through the CDPHE and the CDC.
It is important to remember the risk to most Coloradans from the coronavirus is low. We are recommending that everyone follow appropriate safety measures as recommended by the CDC, which include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Then, wash your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
In addition, we recommend
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of into your hand
- Consider elbow or shoulder bumping instead of handshakes or hugs.
While in attendance at the conference, we encourage you to make use of the hand sanitizer we will have available in every conference room and at the registration desk. If you are feeling ill, we recommend that you give yourself an opportunity to recover or take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your fellow attendees.
Although PPWC2019 fell into the history books almost a month ago, the buzz is still electrifying. Here are just a few things people had to say:
“There’s a reason PPWC is one of the longest-standing and productive writing conferences in the country. The level of talent, professionalism, access to both industry leaders and Mother Nature create the ideal opportunity for writers at all levels to move ahead in craft and career.” ~~Susan Wiggs, New York Times best-selling author
What really stood out at PPWC was the clear affection that attendees felt for each other. Clearly, many were experienced veterans of the conference, and they were so happy to see each other again. And still, they were very inclusive of new people. Plus, present company notwithstanding, I thought the programming and the level of instruction to be phenomenal. ~~John Gilstrap, New York Times bestselling author
I’ve attended the Southern California Writers Conference a couple of times, and while the workshops are on par with PPWC, they don’t include meals into the conference (except for the Saturday night banquet), so I’m very happy PPWC does that! It’s nice to be able to talk with authors and faculty there in an informal setting. They’re pretty normal, in a nerdy sort of way–like us! ~Margena Holmes, Author
PPWC has long been my favorite conference to attend. It was the first writers conference I ever went to–as an attendee in 2007–and it set the bar high for others. I’m always thrilled when I get to come back as faculty and reunite with so many familiar faces, be part of the top-notch presentations you offer (one of the many reasons I adore PPWC), and be around such an enthusiastic, supportive, focused group of writers. This past year, as I always do, I filled my days when I wasn’t presenting attending the presentations of others–I learn so much there every time. And I am inspired and charged up every time I come by the authors I get to work with in my workshops–everyone is so fully engaged, dedicated to their craft, and wonderfully interactive. It’s also one of my favorite places to lead workshops. Coming to PPWC is like coming home, every time. ~Tiffany Yates Martin, Editor/Owner, FoxPrint Editorial
PPWC 2019 was my first time teaching at a writers conference, a longtime goal of mine. I was a little nervous, until I realized just how friendly and enthusiastic all the attendees were. Everyone at PPWC came with an open mind, ready to learn new things and build their writing skills. I was so impressed by the knowledge and curiosity of everyone who attended my classes–I think I learned more from them than they learned from me! ~Rachel Craft, Author
As I sit at home, drinking a hot mug of coffee, I like to reflect on the things I’ve learned, the people I’ve met and the knowledge I’ve acquired. I try to process it all and allow it to motivate my writing. By the end of that first cup of Joe, I want to write all the things. I want to finish my manuscript, edit another and submit to every anthology. ~Jason Henry Evans, Author
I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations and workshops I was able to attend; the faculty was top-notch. And who can leave out the networking benefits of Barcon? But ultimately, the very best part of PPWC was the friendships I made. Writing can be such a lonely thing, but I have now gathered my tribe! ~Kate V. Conway, Author
PPWC2019 met all of my expectations. My favorite quote from the weekend came from John Gilstrap when he said, “Don’t write a book – tell a story.” My favorite class was…ALL of them. So much information filled my notebook with knowledge and my mind with ideas. My favorite thing to do? Volunteer. I have been on the Query team since my first conference in 2012. It is a great way to contribute to this amazing event. These reasons (and many more) are why I return year after year. ~K.J. Scrim, Editor PPW Blog and Author
For the six years I’ve been attending PPWC, I’ve heard how the Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference is one of the best, friendliest, and most respected conferences in the country, and while I believed my astute fellow conference volunteers, I am bred from the school of trust but verify. So, this year, when I was approached by many editors/agents, as well as all of the keynotes, I requested details when they told me how happy they were to attend a PPW Conference.
In summary, this is what I was told:
–The variety of material, genre, and skill levels catered to by the workshops, invited guests, and keynotes. A little something for everyone.
–The amount of coordination and organization conducted prior to and during conference by the conference volunteers. “I can’t believe this is all done by volunteers”.
–The overall vibe of the conference is positive and light. We are able to maintain a joviality throughout the days and nights, something that is rare as time presses on.
~Kameron Claire, PPW President and Author
The conference comes but once a year, but we also put on four free events EVERY MONTH! Would love to get some input and some help with scheduling, brainstorming, and hosting events. Lend us your big, beautiful, brilliant brains while helping Pikes Peak Writers reach even more of the local writing community! If you’d like to attend, please send a brief email to Workshops@PikesPeakWriters.com and we’ll send you the location as soon as it is finalized!
Meeting will be held on Sunday, May 19, from 1-3 p.m.
The writer’s conference you just attended was AMAZING, but now what do you do? Here are a few tips to make the most of your experience.
After You Get Home
- Give yourself a day off, at least from writing-related tasks. Your brain will process your experience even if you’re not consciously chasing after it. Unpack, do laundry, get settled. Go to your day job if you must. But give your brain a rest from conference things, let your mind have a day to process.
- After a day or two of rest, followup with the contacts you made. You’re recharged, and ready to reach out.
- Remember how I said to have a system for all those business cards/contact info you collected during the conference? Here is where that organization pays off. You should have, all in one place, contact information, and notes about how you intended to followup. Now is the time to send those emails or texts, make anticipated phone calls, or get something in snail mail (yes, some people still do that). You’re a professional, so of course you’re following through in a timely manner. Well done!
- You took a lot of notes during Conference, didn’t you? Review all that fantastic information you nearly drowned in just a couple of days ago. Summarize what you’ve learned. Taking the time to do this now will help you retain what matters most. Jot down an action list, a book-buying list, a “must-try-this” list as you go along.
- Head over to the websites of those you met – read blogs and leave comments. Write a review. Connect on social media. Stay in touch and nurture the new professional connections you made.
- Shoot off a few emails, leave comments on websites, engage with those you met. The relationships you build now may have impact on your writing career later.
- And finally, if you had a good experience, let the organizers know. Participate in surveys, so they can further improve their event next year. Consider volunteering to help out at future events. Become active in your local writing community.
Most important of all? Don’t forget to write!
Editor’s Note: A huge thank you to everyone who attended PPWC2019! We hope you had as much fun as we did! Please remember to fill out the survey you will receive shortly. Also, please consider volunteering for PPWC2020. It is a wonderful way to give back to the writing community!
Gabrielle V. Brown, Contributing Editor with Writing From the Peak, writes all manner of fiction and nonfiction. Visit her website, find her on Facebook, and instagram orcontact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ve made the decision to up the ante and forward your writing career by attending a conference – good for you! You’ve got your spot reserved, your travel and lodging are booked, and your first writers’ conference is just around the corner. How can you get the most out of the time and money you’ve invested?
A bit of planning will go a long way to a successful writers’ conference whether this is your first or fifteenth. Here are a few items to get you started on the right track.
Before the Conference:
- Make sure your business cards are accurate and reflect the genre you write in. If you don’t have business cards, get some, pronto. Remember, this is a professional conference, and professionals have business cards. You can make your own or use an affordable online service such as VistaPrint.com, zazzle.com, or MOO.com. Business cards should have, at the least, your email address, your website, and handles for your professional (not personal) social media.
- Speaking of social media, how’s your online presence? You should assume that least a few of the people you meet will check our your site or your social media. If you haven’t posted a blog in several months, take a bit of time to put something current on your page. Same for your social media – put up a post or gram or tweet or two!
- Identify your expectations and goals to maximize your conference experience. Review the workshops and events offered, and put together a game plan. Check the conference website for a schedule and decide where you want to be for each time block. I like to print the schedule out ahead of time and mark it up with highlighters.
- Take some time to review conference and event maps. You’ll spend less time trying to locate where your next workshop is. Less time navigating means more time networking.
- Perfect your elevator pitch. Even if you don’t have a finished novel, you can describe what you write and why you’re at the conference in a few sentences. Practice your pitch in front of the mirror. Get feedback, make it just right, and then memorize it. That way, when the big-deal New York agent makes eye contact or your favorite best-selling author smiles at you, you’ve got effective words at the ready. Even if your heart is pitter-patting and your brain has frozen.
- Research workshop presenters and keynotes, particularly the ones leading sessions you’ll be attending. Check out their websites and social media. Google them. You’ll be more comfortable interacting with them, and who knows, you may have something in common!
- Bring copies of your synopsis; you never know who may want to take a look.
- Pack business casual clothes, and plan on layers. Hotels and conference centers have notoriously unpredictable climate control systems, and you’ll be thankful you can don or remove that cardigan or blazer as needed.
- Bring a refillable water bottle. You’ll be more alert if you’re hydrated. I also pack a few protein-rich snacks such as trail mix or jerky, to satisfy a growling tummy without the carb crash from the candy on the meeting tables.
- Make sure you have note-taking supplies in your arsenal. Some writers prefer a notebook and pen, some would rather tap into a tablet or laptop. I usually bring both paper and electronic. I also throw in a highlighter for marking handouts and a sharpie, just in case my favorite author’s runs out right when I get to the front of the book-signing line.
- You can bring a book or two, but don’t expect to have time to read. These will be for obtaining author signatures. But don’t bring more than a couple, better to purchase some at the event bookstore – thus supporting both the author and the conference.
- Chargers and battery packs will make your life easier – no running up to your room because an important device is dead. Many conferences now offer charging stations in meeting rooms, but don’t count on it.
- Make sure you’ve got something to hold your gear while traveling from session to session. A backpack, tote, or attache should do. Consider putting an extra tote in your suitcase, because you’re going to have to get that bookstore bounty back up to your room somehow. And then home!
- Bring workout wear, running gear, or a swimsuit. Moving your body helps keep you alert and energized, and you’ll appreciate it after spending many hours in windowless, fluorescent lit meeting rooms.
- Make sure you have got lip balm, mints, tissues and ibuprofen/acetaminophen with you wherever you go. Not only will you ensure your own comfort, but you’ve got instant networking/icebreaking tools at your ready. Pop a mint and offer one – easy engagement for even the most introverted. And it’s great to be the hero who has headache medicine to share when someone staggers in looking for relief after too much bar-con networking last night.
- If you have a book, for sure bring marketing materials – bookmarks, postcards, pencils, whatever. There’s often a freebie table where you can place these items for perusal and pickup by other attendees.
At the Writers’ Conference
- Take lots of notes, buy a book and have it signed, ask questions and be flexible.
- Take advantage of networking opportunities. Talk to presenters in between sessions (be respectful of their time, they may be in a hurry). Engage with other attendees at meals. Stop by the lobby/bar area in the evening after sessions are over. You don’t need to be a drinker to attend bar-con, and you may get some quality, less formal face-to-face time with someone you’d been wanting to meet. You’ve make an investment in time and money to be here; take advantage of these opportunities.
- Be generous with those business cards, and collect contact information from those you meet. Have a system (beyond stuffing their business cards in your back pocket) for keeping track of who you talk with. I keep a small notebook with a pocket just for this – cards go in the pocket and I make a note of why I have that card. Not everyone may give you a card – you may get an email address from a presenter, or a phone number for texting. Whatever it is, get it down. You’ll be glad you did!
- It isn’t unusual to be overwhelmed, especially at larger conferences. Give yourself permission to skip a session and head up to your room for decompression time. Or go for a walk, get outdoors and breathe in some fresh air and sunshine and quiet. You’ll be ready to head back in after a bit. Lots of us are introverts, we get the need to be away from the crowd now and then.
- Don’t feel you must attend every single session, unless of course that is a requirement of the event you’re attending. You know what you hope to get out of this conference, plan your time accordingly. Missing a session because you ended up in a long post-lunch conversation doesn’t mean you’re not getting value from that time.
- And most of all, enjoy yourself! How often do you get to hang out with so many people who share your passion for the written word You want to go home with some warm fuzzy memories. Maybe you can write them into your latest work!
So spend a little time preparing before you head off to that Writer’s Conference. You’ll be glad you did!
Pikes Peak Writing Conference is May 3-5, 2019. Registration is open until April 28th! See you there!!
Gabrielle V. Brown, Contributing Editor with Writing From the Peak, writes all manner of fiction and nonfiction. Visit her website ,find her on Facebook, and instagram ; contact her at email@example.com