2014 Conference Workshop
RMFW’s conference chair is now accepting workshop proposals for Colorado Gold through March 31, 2014. Please note the competition for faculty positions is fierce. To help you create the best possible proposal, here are some suggestions to help you make your proposal stand out:
-Make your topic fresh, unique, and relevant to the industry’s current climate.
-Focus your proposal on concrete knowledge or skills attendees can take away and apply to their own writing.
-Reflect genuine enthusiasm for the topic.
-If you proposal is based upon a traditional topic, approach it from a unique angle.
-Share your credentials and speaking/teaching experience.
-Be detailed so that the committee can understand what attendees will learn in your workshop.
-Be very clear about the level (beginner, intermediate, professional) of workshop you are presenting.
-Prepare an outline of your workshop to submit with your proposal.
If you have any questions,
email Susan Brooks at
2014 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
Colorado Gold Conference
Every year, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers is pleased to present the Colorado Gold Conference, where hundreds of writers from all over the US and beyond gather for a full weekend of writerly camaraderie, exciting programming, and opportunities to pitch projects to the industry’s top agents and editors. Programming focuses on the following key areas:
- Craft improvement
- Genre knowledge
- Career management
- Industry savvy
- Continuing education and professional development for published authors
Whether you’re new to the idea of becoming a writer or you’re a veteran published author, whether you hope to pursue a traditional publishing contract with a big New York publishing house or launch a self-publishing venture, you’re sure to find the skills, knowledge, inspiration, motivation, and support you need at Colorado Gold.
2014 Conference Literature
Check back soon for brochure and schedule.
The base cost of registration for the 2014 Colorado Gold Conference:
- Early Bird (May 1st through July 31st) Members $315, Non-Members $345
- Standard (August 1st through August 31st) Members $325, Non-Members $355
- Walk-in (September 5th through September 6th) Members $350, Non-Members $380
Registration fee includes:
- A free pitch appointment with one of your top-choice agents, editors or publishers.
- A free author reading of your work in progress to an audience of supportive peers (sign-up space is limited to 24 readers)
- Entry to the Friday-night book sale and author-signing extravaganza.
- Access to all open programming.
- Access to hotel amenities, including business center, wireless Internet in hotel lobby and bar, restaurant, lounge, coffee shop, and gift shop.
- Tote bag containing conference literature and small gifts.
- Friday-night Italian buffet.
- Saturday and Sunday continental breakfast.
- Saturday-night awards and recognition banquet.
- Sunday-afternoon luncheon.
Optional special sessions and add-ons include:
- $50 for a 4-hour Friday-Morning Master Class. Choose 1 of 5 offered this year. Space is limited.
- $35 for a 15-minute one-on-one pitch-coaching session with Susan Spann. Space is limited.
- $35 for a 15-minute one-on-one critique with guest author William Kent Krueger. Space is limited.
- $35 to participate in a 4-hour Friday-morning or Friday-afternoon critique workshop with a small group moderated by an attending agent, editor or publisher. Space is limited.
- $15 to audit a 4-hour Friday-morning or Friday-afternoon critique workshop with a small group moderated by an attending agent, editor or publisher. Auditors attend but do not submit pages for critique. Space is limited.
- $40 to add a guest to the Friday-night dinner. (Limit: 3 guests)
- $60 to add a guest to the Saturday-night banquet. (Limit: 3 guests)
- $40 to add a guest to the Sunday luncheon. (Limit: 3 guests)
2014 Keynote Speakers
CEO of Smashwords
Mark Coker is the founder of Smashwords, the world’s largest distributor of self-published ebooks. Smashwords makes it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher to publish and distribute an ebook to major online retailers. Over 70,000 authors from around the world publish and distribute more than 250,000 books at Smashwords. In June 2010, The Wall Street Journal named Mark one of the “Eight Stars of Self-Publishing.” In March 2012, MediaBistro named Mark one of the “Five Ebook Experts to Watch.” And in June 2012, Forbes profiled Mark in a feature story titled “Apple’s Biggest (Unknown) Supplier of E-Books”.
Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger briefly attended Stanford University—before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at free-lance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He’s been married for over 35 years to a marvelous woman who is an attorney. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves.
Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist is Cork O’Connor, the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage—part Irish and part Ojibwe. His work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. Northwest Angle (2011) and Trickster’s Point (2012) were New York Times bestsellers.
A stand-alone novel, Ordinary Grace, was released in March 2013 and also became a New York Times bestseller. The thirteenth book in the Cork O’Connor series, Tamarack County, is scheduled for release in August 2013.
2014 Special Guests
Please check back regularly. We’ll add more agents, editors and publishers as they confirm their attendance.
Margaret Bail, literary agent, has a BA in English and an MFA in Creative and Professional Writing. With years of experience editing everything from medical documents to manuscripts, as well as teaching university-level English and writing, she looks forward to working closely with new and established authors to help develop their voice and craft.
Her lifelong love of stories and storytelling has her looking for books that transport her into the heart of the story, so much so that she’ll forget where she is and lose track of time while she reads.
Specific genres Margaret represents include: romance, science fiction, mystery, thriller/action adventure, historical fiction, westerns, fantasy, memoir, cookbooks.
She does not represent YA, MG, children’s books, steampunk, Christian/religious literature, chick lit, women’s fiction, literary fiction, poetry, or screenplays.
Terri Bischoff joined Midnight Ink as an Acquiring Editor in October 2009. She leads all editorial directions and creates the seasonal lists. She has dramatically increased the number of titles per season, publishing 30-36 titles per year, as well as expanded the type of crime fiction MI has published. Terri has a wealth of experience and knowledge in both mysteries and in bookselling, having been involved for 17 years in all areas of bookstore operations, particularly as book buyer and reviewer. She has worked at Kramer Books in Washington, DC, and more recently, Terri owned and operated Booked For Murder Mystery Bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin.
Terri is looking for all types of crime fiction, from cozy to suspense/thriller.
Sue Brower loves finding and developing authors and connecting them with the reader. Book publishing has changed dramatically over the past several years and it’s no secret that the novels that create buzz through their unique writing or concepts are the ones that become bestsellers. Over the past 25 years in publishing, Sue has done marketing, editing, story development and acquisitions for Zondervan, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. Most recently, she was Executive Editor and had the privilege of working with New York Times bestselling authors Karen Kingsbury, Tim LaHaye, Stephen Carter, and Terri Blackstock and was named ACFW’s Editor of the Year in 2010. And now she is fortunate to partner with Natasha Kern at the Natasha Kern Literary Agency.
Sue’s been an avid fiction fan since childhood and loves the way stories are able to change lives, heal hearts, and bring joy to readers. Today, she wants to read and acquire women’s contemporary fiction, any kind of romance, suspense, mystery and historical novels. She would love to discover the next breakaway author in any of these genres.
Editor Kerri Buckley got her first taste of the great editorial adventure during a semester-long internship at CUNY’s Feminist Press in 2001. Thoroughly hooked, she joined Bantam Dell—a division of Random House—after graduating from Kenyon College in 2003, going on to acquire and edit both fiction and nonfiction for various imprints within the company.
Thrilled to have been invited to the digital-first party at Harlequin’s Carina Press in May of 2013, Kerri is actively acquiring across all genres but most interested in building her list in the following areas: contemporary romance, New Adult, erotic romance, historical romance (Regencies in particular, please!), romantic suspense, and cozy or hardboiled mysteries.
Find her on Twitter @BuckleyKerri.
Elizabeth Copps began her publishing career in 2010 as an intern for Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc. after graduating from Florida State University with a BA in English Literature. She was thrilled to join the agency full-time in 2011 as the new literary assistant. Two years later, she was offered the position of literary associate and is incredibly excited to build her own list of authors.
Elizabeth considers herself an eclectic reader, but she is particularly interested in literary, multicultural and contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, young adult and young adult crossover, gritty thrillers and mysteries, memoir and romantic suspense. She appreciates rich and believable characters who immediately suck readers into their world, and she is captivated by a startling plot twist. Her favorite authors include, John Boyne, Chris Cleave, Gillian Flynn, John Greene, Joanne Harris, Jhumpa Lahiri, Dennis Lehane, Stephen King, Daphne du Maurier, David Sedaris, Jeanette Walls and Carlos RuizZafón.
MCA’s clients include Mary Balogh, Sandra Brown, Candace Camp, Cindy Gerard, Kristan Higgins, Will Thomas, and Laura Wright among others.
I spent twenty-five years in the computer information communication profession, as technical writer, editor and manager. I started freelance editing for Ellora’s Cave in 2003, and in January 2004 I moved to Ohio to take on the job of Managing Editor, and became Publisher a year later. I deal with over 600 authors, plan and manage our digital releases and promotional efforts, and handle contract negotiations with authors and agents, vendors, etailers, and foreign publishers. But I still love editing and continue to work with my group of authors. Ellora’s Cave is open to all subgenres of erotic romance, erotica fiction, and mainstream romance. We also do three or four submission calls a year for special themed projects (info on our website).
I wish I had a lot more time to read for pleasure! My TBR shelves and ereader contain over 800 books—I guess I’m a bit behind. When not working or reading, I collect Tarot cards (for the art), antique dictionaries and illustrated children’s books. A pack of bossy Welsh Corgis rule my home and heart. (Okay, there’s room for my son in both, too.) And someday I’m going to realize my dream of becoming a published author of children’s books!
Shannon Hassan, an agent at the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, brings a depth of business and editorial experience to her role, having worked in publishing and law for more than a decade. She represents authors of literary and commercial fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction, and select nonfiction. She is drawn to fresh voices, compelling characters, and crisp prose, and she enjoys both contemporary and historical settings. Based in Boulder, Colorado, she is also eager to hear from authors with a unique perspective on the New West. She does not generally represent sci-fi, high fantasy, or horror. Before becoming an agent, Shannon was the Acquisitions Editor at Fulcrum Publishing, and prior to that a corporate attorney at Arnold and Porter in New York. She received her JD from Harvard and her BA from George Washington University.
Matt Martz began his publishing career in 2004 and joined the editorial staff at Minotaur Books in 2006. He publishes crime fiction ranging from explosive, high concept thrillers to traditional mysteries. The authors with whom he works include Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist Kelli Stanley, Barry Award nominee Tim O’Mara, and Karin Salvalaggio.
In addition to crime fiction, he also acquires nonfiction in the categories of history/current affairs and business for St. Martin’s Press.
Pooja Menon joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates as an intern in the fall of 2011, with the aim of immersing herself in the elusive world of publishing. She soon realized that being an agent was what she was most drawn to as the job was varied and challenging and satisfied her craving to work with books. In the fall of 2012, she began taking on her own clients. As a relatively new agent, Pooja is looking to build her client list and is eager for submissions by debut novelists and veteran writers. She represents fiction and non-fiction for both Adult and YA markets, and is searching for writing that has an easy flow, timely pacing, unique perspectives, and strong voices.
Her passion for reading inspired her to acquire a BA in Literature and Media in England. Her love for writing then took her to Los Angeles where she pursued an M.F.A in Fiction from the Otis School of Art and Design.
In Adult fiction, she is looking for upmarket women‘s fiction, literary/commercial fiction, thrillers, mysteries/suspense, historical and multi-cultural fiction. In YA, she is looking for strong voice-driven contemporary fiction (from the light/romantic variety to fiction dealing with darker themes and subjects), horror, mysteries/thrillers with psychological twists, fantasy, historicals–all of which need to be uniquely spun, fresh, with voices that are strong and multi-layered. She‘s also looking for multi-cultural fiction that is either set abroad or is set in the US with characters from a different culture or background.
Jessica Renheim (née Horvath) joined Dutton in August 2007 and became an Associate Editor in 2011. She edits both fiction and nonfiction at Dutton, including speculative and paranormal fiction, mystery/crime, thrillers, narrative nonfiction and memoir. Among the bestselling and critically acclaimed writers she has worked with are Mark Adams, Dan Savage, Stephen White, Meg Gardiner, Brian D’Amato, Linda Fairstein, Brad Taylor, and #1 New York Times bestselling authors Richelle Mead and Kelley Armstrong. Additional areas of interest include quality commercial fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, popular history, humor, and popular culture.
Peter Senftleben is building his own varied and distinguished list. He joined Kensington in 2006 after sharpening his editorial skills and red pencil while working at literary agencies. A graduate of Tulane University with a degree in chemical engineering and math (yes, math), Peter occasionally indulges the numbers side of his brain with a challenging Sudoku puzzle or by baking, but he can more often be seen watching trashy television shows. Peter is currently acquiring many types of fiction; his interests include: mainstream and women’s fiction, all subgenres of romance, mysteries, thrillers, horror, gay fiction, and “new adult.” Peter is often drawn to quirky, offbeat projects with distinctive voices, stunning writing, realistic characters, and stories that will make him LOL (literally), cry in public, scare the bejeezus out of him, or engage him so deeply that he skips meals. He does not want to see anything with terrorists of any kind. You can follow him on Twitter at @gr8thepeter.
During pitch appointments Peter is also open to accepting your traditional pitch but also you may use that time for a query critique, or you may use that time for any other issue you would like to discuss.
J. Ellen Smith is the executive editor and publisher for the Champagne Book Group, a company that now encompasses three imprints. When she isn’t busy with business and deadlines, she’s either meddling with the acquisitions department or out meeting authors and readers.
CBG books are available in electronic and trade paperback forms. Established in December 2004, CBG threw open their cyber doors in April 2005 with four titles. Since that time, and with the belief that ebooks are the future, we have continued to grow (last year’s growth was 166% over the previous year) and now boast authors in all corners of the globe.
What we’re looking for: Historical highland & regency romances, contemporary romance, steampunk, shifters, vampires, science fiction, urban fantasy and erotic romance in all its subgenres.
During an almost 40 year career, David Wilk has worked in almost every aspect of publishing and book distribution in both print and digital environments, working with everything from letterpress and fine arts books and poetry to best selling nonfiction and innovative ebooks.
He is currently Publisher for digital children’s book startup Frederator Books, and provides strategic and practical publishing services to authors, publishers, media companies and nonprofits including A+E Television, Katalitix Media, the Audubon Society, and Perseus Books.
He is also a published poet with four chapbooks, and appearances in a number of literary magazines, journals and websites. His podcast, Writerscast.com, has featured interviews with over 200 writers and publishing professionals s since its inception in 2010.
Wilk was the Literature Program Director at the National Endowment for the Arts during the Carter administration, was an active participant in the Poetry in the Schools program, was the editor of the influential literary journal TRUCK, and has been editor and publisher of innovative creative writing under a variety of publishing imprints since 1975. He has taught classes and workshops and given talks at NYU, SUNY, Yale, Sisters in Crime, ASJA, Book Expo, Digital Book World, Self Publishing Expo, Tools of Change, Novelists Inc., Newtown Healing Arts, and other venues.
Websites include booktrix.com (blog), livewriters.com (author and book videos), writerscast.com (podcasts), armorynewmedia.com (digital publishing), prospectapress.com (general publishing) and tumblr.com/blog/selfpublishingnews.
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers will gladly refund your conference registration fees, less a $50.00 processing fee. You must notify the conference chair to cancel your conference registration 31 or more days before the conference date. Please contact email@example.com, to cancel.
RMFW is unable to refund any conference registration fees 30 days or fewer before the conference date.