Conference News

2017 Director’s Note from Laura Hayden

It’s that time again. Writers are looking at their calendars and thinking, “I wonder when Pikes Peak Writers Conference will update their website with the new info about PPWC 2017?”

Well, we’ve started and over the next few weeks, you’ll see even more information. We started working on PPWC 2017 back in February. Yes, you read it right–two months before our 2016 conference, we were already working on the 2017 one. The first decision was choosing the director and I raised my hand to volunteer. Okay, I actually stood on a chair and waved madly, refusing to get down until they said yes.

It’s not easy directing a conference in Colorado when you live in Alabama, but I’ve done it twice before and am willing to do it a third time. My love for all things Pikes Peak Writers is legion and the Board agreed to allow me to be at the helm for our 25th Conference.

You read that right, too. TWENTY-FIFTH conference. In our parlance, it’s our SILVER JUBILEE and besides exceptional keynote speakers, brilliant faculty members and a slew of insightful, inspiring and instructive workshops, we’re celebrating with special events like our “Heroes and Villains” Costume Party, our “Write Drunk; Edit Sober” event and much, much more.

So mark your calendars for April 28-30, 2017 (and consider our Thursday Prequel on April 27) so you can join old friends and make new friends at our 2017 Silver Jubilee Celebration Conference.

Agents and Editors Galore for PPWC’s Silver Jubilee

Please join us in welcoming the following editors and agents to PPWC 2017:

Michael Braff is a sci fi/fantasy editor from Del Rey. Mike is also a guitar-playing, comic-reading, NY Rangers-supporting, Tolkien-reading, gaming, tattooed, Star Wars fan.

Kate Brauning is a senior acquiring editor at Entangled Publishing and an author of young adult fiction (How We Fall, Merit Press). Kate acquires YA, NA, and adult fiction across Entangled’s imprints.

Cheryl Klein is the executive editor at Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, where she edits and publishes books for children, teenagers, and discerning adults.

Esi Sogah joined Kensington Publishing in January 2013 as a Senior Editor, working with such authors as Sally MacKenzie, Jennifer Dawson, Christine d’Abo, and Dana Bate. She is looking to acquire mainly romance, mystery, and commercial fiction.

Lisa Abellera joined Kimberley Cameron and Associates in 2013 with a background in management, marketing, and finance. Lisa is seeking to represent upmarket fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, mystery/suspense/thrillers (especially if it has a dose of science or the supernatural), science fiction, fantasy, most speculative fiction except for paranormal fantasy (no demons, angels, vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc.), romance if it’s an element or part of another genre, NA, YA and middle grade.

Heather Flaherty is an agent with The Bent Agency. Currently, she’s looking for authors of Middle-Grade and Young-Adult fiction, as well as select Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction projects.

Natalie Lakosil joined the Bradford Agency in February of 2011. Natalie is drawn to talented, hard-working new authors with a fresh, unique voice and hook. Her specialties are children’s literature (from picture book through teen and New Adult), romance (contemporary and historical), cozy mystery/crime, upmarket women’s/general fiction and select children’s nonfiction.
Sam Morgan Sam is the Right Hand of Darkness at JABberwocky. Sam is looking for Fantasy, Science Fiction, Literary Fiction, Humor and more. He does NOT accept YA, MG or NA.

Kristin Nelson established Nelson Literary Agency, LLC, in 2002 and over the last decade+ of her career has represented over thirty-five New York Times bestselling titles and many USA Today bestsellers. She is currently looking for literary commercial novels, big crossover novels with one foot squarely in genre, upmarket women’s fiction, lead title or hardcover science fiction and fantasy, single-title romance (with a special passion for historicals), and young adult and upper-level middle grade novels in all genres.

Sharon Pelletier joined Dystel & Goderich Literary Management in 2013. While her interests are broad, Sharon’s list focuses on upmarket fiction, including suspense categories and book club fiction. She is also interested in narrative nonfiction and YA suspense.

PPWC 2017 Announces Keynote Presenters

Pikes Peak Writers Conference is celebrating its Silver Jubilee in 2017, and we have an outstanding line-up of keynote faculty joining us!

Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen’s books have been top-3 bestsellers in the United States and number one bestsellers abroad. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon). Critics around the world have praised her novels as “Pulse-pounding fun” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “Scary and brilliant” (Toronto Globe and Mail), and “Polished, riveting prose” (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the “medical suspense queen”.

Kevin Hearne is the bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles urban fantasy series, plus the 2015 Star Wars novel Heir to the Jedi. He is co-founder (and Taco Pope) of the Holy Taco Church, and has incredibly lovely handwriting.

For reasons known only to the Big Guy upstairs, NYTimes and USA Today Best Selling author Darynda Jones won both a Golden Heart and a RITA for her manuscript First Grave On the Right. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press, the Charley Davidson series and the Darklight Trilogy. She hopes you enjoy reading them as much as she enjoys writing them.

Long-time friend of Pikes Peak Writers, Donald Maass founded the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York in 1980. His agency sells more than 150 novels every year to major publishers in the U.S. and overseas. He is the author of The Career Novelist (1996),Writing the Breakout Novel (2001), Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (2004), The Fire in Fiction (2009) , The Breakout Novelist (2011) and Writing 21st Century Fiction (2012).

Director’s Note for 2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference

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Jason P. Henry 2016 Conference Director

Jason P. Henry
2016 Conference Director

The power of a dream is immeasurable. For proof, you only need to watch a child at play. Kids have the miraculous ability to close their eyes, forget reality, and embrace the impossible. They can look beyond what is to get a glimpse of what was, and more importantly, to see what could be.

Dreams are the foundation of the world we live in. Youthful dreamers who longed to fly became adults who enabled humans to soar with the birds. Young imaginations grew to put people into space and allow footprints to be left on the moon. Those who believe in the beauty of their dreams bring to life the things they see when they close their eyes.

The world needs dreamers, just as the world needs writers. Writers never stop dreaming. Every time they put words on paper a fantasy comes to life. Writers create the worlds that others escape to, conjure up the ideas that become tomorrow’s reality, and, with their passion for telling stories, writers prove that nothing is impossible. When others see darkness, the writers (the dreamers) see only opportunity. They face their fears and set aside inhibitions, because they believe in the beauty that can be born from the imagination.

If you have ever been surrounded by other writers, you understand the energy that consumes you. The excitement of other dreamers sharing their stories, discussing their struggles, and baring their souls is infectious. You can’t help that feeling you get, the one accompanied by a little voice whispering the words, “Welcome home.” Surrounded by writers you know that, regardless of the trials you face, you are not facing them alone.

At the 2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference, we welcome you to our family. We encourage you to bring your dreams. No matter how far-fetched or how absurd they may seem, we assure that you will be in good company. Together, we’ll revive those days of childhood fantasy and prove to the world what can happen if you simply Dare To Dream.

Our staff is hard at work building a conference that upholds the PPWC traditions of being exciting, informative and friendly. Due to tremendously positive feedback, we will continue with the Query 1-on-1. We are looking at special afterhours events to help keep you dreaming long after the last workshop of the day. We are building a faculty full of best-selling keynote speakers, entertaining and engaging authors and professionals, and manuscript hungry agents and editors. And, once again, we are proud to be hosted by the fabulous (and newly renovated for 2016!) Colorado Springs Marriott.

We hope you will join our family for the 24th Annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference and, together, we’ll Dare To Dream.

Jason P. Henry

Conference Director

2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference: Dare To Dream

PPWC 2016: Dare to Dream – Revisted

Another Pikes Peak Writers Conference is in the books. More than 350 people gathered in a newly remodeled Marriott for a spectacular weekend of learning, networking, growing and dreaming. Attendees came from near and far to grow as writers. Faculty members visited from all over the nation to help attendees with their aspirations. All in attendance weathered the storm, a famous Colorado April Blizzard, as they dared to dream.

The weekend was filled with many PPWC traditions: the Thursday Prequel and its intense three hour workshops; Read & Critique appointments; Query 1-on-1 appointments, with an extended ten minutes to meet with agents and editors. Due to the venue remodel, we explored some new rooms for different programs. (Sorry, Query folks, the sauna was not intentional.) We also tried some new things, including special yoga stretch sessions.

The Annual Zebulon Awards banquet was a huge success. Congratulations to ALL the contest winners. Kudos to everyone who had the courage to enter. Thank you to all the judges, especially the VIPs, who helped discover the winning entries. Also, a very excited and proud congrats to Karen Fox and Donnell Bell, our PPWC and PPW Volunteers of the Year.

Where would our dreams be right now without the encouragement and inspiration delivered by our five keynote speakers? Joe R. Lansdale, Wendy Corsi Staub, Rachel Caine, Jeff Lindsay, and Kevin J. Anderson not only shared their knowledge with us, but gave us hope by sharing their own stories of struggle and heartbreak as they pursued success as authors. They taught us humility by demonstrating that the ride is never smooth, success is never guaranteed, and that nothing comes without hard work and dedication. Most importantly, they showed us the beauty of a dream, and the importance of pursuing it fearlessly.

Along with our keynote speakers, the 2016 conference saw the return of many familiar faces on faculty, many of whom got their start at Pikes Peak Writers Conference as attendees and contest winners. As always, we also invited new members to our faculty. It was a pleasure and an honor to bring in new faces, fresh ideas, and an abundance of creative energy. Thank you to all who took the time to help our attendees chase their dreams.

A dream, no matter what the landscape, is a terrifying thing to pursue. But I promise you it will be one of the most worthwhile things you ever do. There will be highs and lows, successes and failures. But remember, the struggles are as important as anything. They help shape your future as much as the wins. It is all part of the journey. Enjoy that journey, savor every moment. In the end, when you are looking back, the memories you make along the way are what define your success. Dare to Dream, and do it fearlessly. The world needs you to inspire others to pursue their dreams, to give them hope.
It has been an absolute pleasure directing conference this year. Thank you to all the attendees, faculty, and staff who helped make it happen. You are now a part of my journey, of my dream. I plan to look back and smile every chance I get.

Jason P. Henry
Conference Director
2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference


Registration for PPWC 2016 has officially closed. Want to learn more about the conference? Meet our faculty? Discover our Thursday Prequel? Find out about the workshops? Explore Read & Critique and Query 1-on-1 appointments? Find more information at a glance with our 2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference Brochure.

What’s new for 2016?

  • Query 1-on-1 appointments are now ten minutes instead of eight. That’s two extra minutes to impress the agent or editor of your dreams!
  • The Thursday Prequel now has an added fifth track. That’s right, there are now ten Prequel workshops to choose from, for the same great price as before!

We look forward to seeing you at the

24th Annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference

Together, let’s Dare To Dream!

The 24th Annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference: Dare To Dream

2016 PPWC Keynote Speakers
2016 PPWC Keynote Speakers

April 15, 16 and 17, 2016

Planning for the 2016 Conference is well under way!

Get connected on social media and share the excitement with #PPWC2016!

Have you seen faculty or a workshop at another event that you would like to see at the 2016 conference? Tell us at Request A Workshop. Do you want to join the faculty for the 2016 Conference? Submit a proposal at Proposing a Workshop.