For the past eighteen months, it has been my honor to serve as the President of the Pikes Peak Writers Board of Directors. That time has seen many great challenges and changes at PPW. These ranged from adding Deb Courtney’s Write Drunk, Edit Sober to our monthly slate of events to establishing the Writing is Art partnership event with Cottonwood Fine Arts Center to honoring the legacies of members Steven Nelson and Ron Cree. I heartily thank my fellow board members and the volunteers of PPW for their support, their efforts, and their commitment to the education and improvement of fellow writers.
My time as your president is now over and I look forward to serving alongside a reinvigorated board under the leadership of President Kameron C. Easler. Please, join me in giving her our full support as we, the members of PPW, strive to grow and improve this outstanding organization.
September 2018 PPW Board Meeting
September 20th our Board of Directors met to discuss agenda issues and elect replacements for vacant positions on the Board. As mentioned, Kameron was elected for a two-year term as president. Georgeanne Nelson is the new PPW Secretary. Shannon Lawrence and MB Partlow now serve as co-directors of the Non-Conference Events (NCE) committee. KL Cooper, Becki Davis, Jenny Martin, and Ed Raetz are all on the Board as Members at Large. Laura Hayden, the 2019 Conference Director, vacated her position as Board Liaison and has been elected to serve as a Member at Large as well. The Board is now one of the largest in recent PPW history with fourteen members. This excites me as it means opportunities for new ideas to address the needs of our organization.
With Kameron taking on the role of president, PPW is in need of a Vice President to serve alongside her. If you value PPW and what it does, if you wish to help steer the future course of the organization, then reach out to her or any other board member as soon as you can.
Aside from elections, the September meeting also addressed our ongoing needs with reports from the treasurer, the NCE directors, the conference director, and the web team. Keep checking our website and social media for updates in these areas.
We took a look at and built teams to address the following areas:
• Special Scholarships – led by Georgie Nelson
• Fundraising – led by Damon Smithwick
• Marketing – led by KL Cooper
How You Can Help
If you would like to help PPW in any of these areas, please reach out to the leaders mentioned above. You can find contact email information for each on the website.
We are also in need of volunteers to help in building our 2019 Pikes Peak Writers Conference. Vacant positions are listed on PPW’s volunteer page.
Thank you for continuing to engage with Pikes Peak Writers. If you have questions about PPW and how it works, please reach out to me. The address is now firstname.lastname@example.org.
Immediate Past President
Pikes Peak Writers
Sweet Success is happy to announce the release of Darby Karchut’s middle grade novel, DEL TORO MOON. Mark your calendar to join her October 2, 2018 for her virtual launch.
“Ride hard, swing hard, and take out as many of those creepy critters as you can.” 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. Odds of doing that? Yeah, about a trillion to one. Because Matt’s father is the legendary Javier Del Toro—hunter, scholar, and a true caballero: a gentleman of the horse. 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.
Darby Karchut 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. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy wrangling words. Visit Darby’s website. She can be contacted at: email@example.com.
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.
Congratulations to L.D. Colter on the September 14, 2018 release of While Gods Sleep.
The first time Ty died he was five, the second time he was seven. He’s always believed his third death will be the final one, and now he may find out. “The pleasures of Greek mythology mixed with the dark undercurrents of contemporary fantasy.” Walter Jon Williams, New York Times bestselling author.
Liz Colter is a member of Pikes Peak Writers. Her novels written under the name L. D. Colter explore contemporary and dark fantasy, and ones written as L. Deni Colter venture into epic fantasy realms. She’s an active SFWA member with multiple short story publications, and her debut novel A Borrowed Hell was the winner of the 2018 Colorado Book Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy.
Learn more about Liz on her Website. You can purchase While Gods Sleep on Amazon.
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.
Catherine Dilts is delighted to announce her appearance in a multi-author subscription series from Annie’s Publishing.
Join Faith Newberry and her cat, Watson, in the quaint town of Lighthouse Bay on Cape Cod in Massachusetts as she marries her love of books to a penchant for sleuthing. After landing her dream job as a librarian at Castleton Manor, an upscale literary retreat, Faith is forced to read between the lines and solve the mysteries she finds between the stacks.
In Ink or Swim, book 14 of the Secrets of the Castleton Manor cozy mystery series, the luxurious mansion hosts a literary and historical conference during Lighthouse Bay Whaling Days. While attending an event dedicating a replica whaling ship, Faith discovers a guest murdered with an antique harpoon. The victim’s valuable scrimshaw goes missing at the same time. His widow claims the piece of engraved whale bone is from the Essex, a whaling ship whose story inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Faith sifts through suspects who have the skill to use a harpoon, and the desire to kill for scrimshaw. Faith’s cat Watson teams up with a timid dachshund to discover clues to the murder, while Faith’s attraction to the mansion’s handsome owner provides a welcome distraction from an increasingly dangerous investigation.
One of the hardest parts of writing is submitting, whether to contests, agents, or magazines. Without submitting, you never know what you can achieve. Finding projects worth putting yourself out there can help.
It Takes a Tribe
Pikes Peak Writers is currently running two writing contests that end in a month. One of them is Writing is Art, a creative collaboration between Pikes Peak Writers and Cottonwood Center for the Arts. In the first iteration, which took place in fall of 2017, writers were asked to visit the galleries at Cottonwood to choose a piece of art by a participating artist. They were then given a single prompt to use in a story inspired by the artwork.
In part two of the contest, we’re asking authors to write a story to the prompt “It Takes a Tribe.” Winners’ stories will then be handed over to Cottonwood Center for the Arts, where artists will be given the opportunity to peruse the stories and find something that inspires them a visual creation of their own. This is a great opportunity for writers! It’s not often that intra-art projects like this one come about, yet they can be wonderful for inspiration and flourishing creativity.
This project was the brain child of Bowen Gillings, current president of PPW. When asked the inspiration behind the project, he responded with the following:
“Writing is Art was born out of a desire to show that creative writing, that literature, is an art in and of itself and deserves to be treated as such. With that foundation, I developed a two-fold concept to propel WiA forward. First, I wanted to partner with a venue that could appreciate writing for the art it is and that could embrace using writing in a visual way. Cottonwood Center for the Arts has a long history with PPW, so it was an ideal fit. Jon Khoury at Cottonwood got behind the idea right away and has continued to be instrumental in make WiA a success. Second, I wanted to show how art inspires art and how all art is open to the interpretation of the observer. WiA writers toured Cottonwood and chose pieces that moved them to create. Some of those works were abstract, some were still life, some were renderings of moments in time. Each piece struck a chord and the writer responded. I love that and cannot wait for the next phase, where writings inspire the creation of visual art.”
We asked a few of the contributors to tell us about their experiences with part one:
“Art evokes, cajoles, inspires, even coerces a response from the viewer. The response may be emotional, visceral, intellectual — but it can’t be denied. The initial Writing is Art project provided an opportunity to put words to my reaction to a piece of art. The process of viewing the piece, reflecting on and writing about it, and seeing the writing exhibited next to the art was a powerful, interactive experience that caused me to get just a little deeper inside of ‘Ocean 2’ by Terry Birkenfeld.”
— Vince Puzick
“I found out about Writing is Art during a Write Drunk, Edit Sober session. Since I only had been living in Colorado for a short time and was healing from a rough break-up, I felt hesitant about entering the contest. In fact, I wondered if continuing with my writing career was worthwhile at all even though everyone around me insisted I have talent. (I still think they must have me confused with someone else.) During a particularly difficult visit at my parents’ house, I locked myself in the guest room with the pictures of a few pieces that caught my eye at Cottonwood. I kept finding myself drawn to the pink closet with things tucked away. It made me think of packing the tangible and intangible items during my separation. I poured those memories and the emotion I pulled from the art into my piece, and surprisingly, my piece was among those selected for the show. It was so validating to see my work in the show and to meet some of the artists. I enjoyed the conversations between artists and writers about how they inspired each other. It was a privilege to be part of this unique collaboration and I look forward to the newest iteration of it.”
“Initially, I decided to participate in the very first Writing is Art as a show of support for Pikes Peak Writers and Cottonwood Center for the Arts, the organizations who paired up to make this happen. I enjoyed chatting with some of the artists and wandering the gallery, looking for possibilities. But then I became selfish. I chose my piece and wrote my little bit entirely driven by and for my own heart. What pleasure! I found myself writing poetry, though I’m not a poet. I considered keeping it to myself, but instead did the right thing and entered my work. And it was selected! It is possible that I may have jumped up and down and shared the news with all who would listen. I missed the gallery opening but stopping by on a quiet afternoon allowed me to take my time viewing, reading, and mulling over each of the art/word pairings. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside, to be a part of this display of talent and creativity. And so, in the end, I still found my selfish joy.”
Free to Enter
Why not try it out? It’s free to enter, and though there are no cash prizes, we do hope to get enough contributions to create a table-top book with all the stories and art prints. Your story will be placed on display next to the artwork inspired by it, for anyone to visit. We’ll also have a gallery opening celebration in March!
For more information, visit the Facebook event page.
Ghosts of Downtown Writing Contest
In addition to this contest, we have a contest in partnership with Downtown Colorado Springs: Ghosts of Downtown Writing Contest. This one seeks your creepy stories about locations in downtown Colorado Springs. Tours will be led by the city, with both true and false stories being told. The guests will then try to guess which ones are real. As with Writing is Art, there are no cash prizes, but winners of this contest get free entry on one of the tours. What could be more fun than watching those taking the tour try to guess if your story is true or false? For more information visit the Facebook event page.
Contests End Soon!
Act fast if you’d like to participate in either of these projects! Writing is Art closes October 1, while Ghosts of Downtown closes September 30. Submission information can be found on the event pages and on our website under Upcoming Events on the main page.
What have you got to lose?
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 www.thewarriormuse.com.
Congratulations go out to Margaret Mizushima on the publication of her new mystery novel, Burning Ridge: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery (Crooked Lane Books, ISBN 978-1-68331-778-4, 280 pages). Burning Ridge is available at most online booksellers and many bookstores including Amazon and Goodreads.
Colorado’s Redstone Ridge is a place of extraordinary beauty, but this rugged mountain wilderness harbors a horrifying secret. When a charred body is discovered in a shallow grave, Officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo are called in to spearhead the investigation. But this is no ordinary crime—and they soon become the targets of a ruthless killer.
Margaret Mizushima is the author of the critically acclaimed Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. Her books have garnered a Reader’s Favorite gold medal, a TopShelf Indie Book Award nomination, and have been listed as finalists in the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, the Colorado Book Awards, and the International Book Awards. Margaret serves on the board for the Rocky Mountain chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and she lives in Colorado where she assists her husband with their veterinary practice and Angus cattle herd. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on her website. Email Margaret at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sweet Success is coordinated by Managing Editor, Kathie “KJ” Scrim. If you have a Sweet Success to share please follow this link to submit or email to: SweetSuccess@pikespeakwriters.com
Pikes Peak Writers is pleased to announce Catherine Dilts’ short story, “Do-Over”, is included in Blood and Gasoline. The anthology of 17 stories by different authors has been described as Mad Max meets Sons of Anarchy. Catherine typically writes cozy mysteries, but took a walk on the dark side with her story “Do-Over”. This is a tale of vengeance, and a survivor’s hope that enacting justice can erase a painful past.
Catherine Dilts is the author of the Rock Shop Mystery series, while her short stories appear regularly in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. With a day job as an environmental regulatory technician, Catherine’s stories often have environmental or factory-based themes. Others reflect her love of the Colorado mountains. She takes a turn in the multi-author sweet cozy mystery series Secrets of the Castleton Manor Library with Ink or Swim. You can learn more about Catherine’s fiction on her website.
Sweet Success by: KJ Scrim, Managing Editor. To share your Sweet Success please fill out this form.
The new Proposal Portal is now open for business! If you’d like to propose workshops for the annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference or for our non-conference events, please go here. Please note: we are now using Submittable for this process, so you will need to set up a Submittable account to get started. It’s free and fast, so get those creative juices flowing and get your proposals in! We are accepting proposals for the conference through Sept. 30th, but will accept proposals for Write Brains and half-day workshops any time.
PPW is happy to announce that F.P Dorchak’s action/adventure conspiracy thriller, Psychic, has come out in E-book!
Life…we are told…progresses chronologically. Between birth and death we take certain roads…bypass others. There is only one life, one reality.
But what if we have it all wrong?
Enter the world of psychic espionage…where people disappear…lives are destroyed…and facts are manipulated. Where one man stops at nothing to get what he wants, yet doesn’t know what he really has…and one woman’s belief in herself is severely tested….
Where all is never as it seems.
F. P. Dorchak writes gritty speculative fiction. Frank is published in the U.S., Canada, and the Czech Republic. His novels are Voice, Psychic, ERO, The Uninvited, and Sleepwalkers, and his first anthology, Do The Dead Dream? won the 2017 Best Books Award for Fiction: Short Stories. His short stories have appeared in the off-the-grid The Black Sheep; You Belong 2016, Words and Images from Longmont Area Residents regional anthology for 2016; The You Belong Collection, Writings and Illustrations by Longmont Area Residents regional anthology for 2012; Apollo’s Lyre.
Frank can occasionally be reached in séances, and his website. Email works great too: fpdorchak@fpdorchak
Sweet Success by: KJ Scrim, Contributing Editor.
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Who wants to help us gear up for the 2019 Pikes Peak Writers Conference?
We need volunteers at all levels, with jobs large and small. Some require a high comfort level for interacting with the public, and some are well out of the limelight.
Two of the more substantial jobs are Conference Admin and Registrar. The Admin is essential to helping the conference come together, working with the directors, making sure communication if flowing and deadlines are being met. The Registrar oversees every aspect of registration, from using software to design the registration form to answering registration questions from attendees.
Other jobs include Signs Coordinator, Survey Coordinator and Reg Desk Coordinator. All three require the ability to work well with others, solicit and compile information from directors, and attention to detail. Signs and Surveys have less public contact, but the Reg Desk has a great deal, so we need a real extrovert (or someone who can play one for a weekend).
Brochure Design means we need someone with graphic skills and excellent attention to detail to help construct the brochure to advertise the conference. This could also extend to helping build the conference program.
Tech Team Coordinator will wrangle all our techies, the people in each workshop room who make sure the laptops are playing nicely with the projectors. Must be able to work with a variety of people and have good team-leading skills.
Onsite Volunteer Coordinator is exactly what it sounds like! We get lots of people who want to help, and we need someone to coordinate what, when and where the needs are, and assign volunteers to the tasks.
Allergy Meal Coordinator tracks attendee allergy requests from the registration form, and coordinates with the hotel chef and Green Room Coordinator.
Handouts Coordinator takes all the handouts from faculty, via the Programming Director, and puts them together in a semblance of order. Then oversees distribution to attendees.
Scholarship Coordinator will gather scholarship applications, build a scholarship committee, and work with that committee to distribute scholarship funds for conference.