Each year, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers honors one of its independently published members as its independently published Writer of the Year. The winner of the award is a member in good standing selected by RMFW's membership from candidates who have published during the previous calendar year. The Writer of the Year and the Independent Writer of the Year will be chosen by you, our members. Voting opens in May 2017, so please watch your email for the invitation to cast your vote. Winners will be announced in August and honored at our Colorado Gold Conference, September 8-10, 2017.
2017 Independent Writer of the Year (I-WOTY) Nominees
Wendy Terrien - WINNER!
Wendy Terrien received her first library card at age two, and a few years later started writing her own stories. Her debut novel, The Rampart Guards (February 2016), earned a Kirkus starred review and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2016. The novel is a Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist, a Next Generation Indies Award Finalist, and the first in her intriguing urban fantasy series. The next two books in the series, The League of Governors and The Clan Calling, will be released summer 2017.
In addition to her novels, Wendy published a short story, “The Fate Stone,” in the award-winning Tick Tock: Seven Tales of Time (March 2016), and “Light” in Off Beat: Nine Spins on Song (April 2017), both from Wicked Ink Books.
Wendy graduated from the University of Utah (go Utes!) and transplanted to Colorado where she completed her MBA at the University of Denver. She focused her marketing expertise on the financial and technology industries until a career coach stepped in and reminded Wendy of her passion for writing. Wendy began attending writers’ conferences, workshops, and retreats, and she hasn’t stopped yet.
She regularly participates in two critique groups and is the Secretary of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and a member of Pikes Peak Writers. In 2014, Wendy was a finalist in the San Francisco Writer’s Contest.
Wendy lives in the Denver area with her husband, Kevin, and their three dogs: Maggie, Shea, and Boon. All of her dogs are rescues, and Wendy is passionate about promoting shelter adoptions. If you’re in Colorado, you may even be able to spot her by her “Adopt a Shelter Pet” license plates.
2017 Writer of the Year (WOTY) Nominees
Colleen Oakes is the bestselling author of books for both teens and adults, including The Queen of Hearts Series, The Wendy Darling Saga, and the Elly in Bloom Series. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son and surrounds herself with the most lovely family and friends imaginable. Her next YA thriller, The Black Coats, will be released from HarperCollins in 2019. She currently at work on her third fairytale series, another YA thriller, and two fantasy collaborations.
Shannon Baker - WINNER!
Shannon Baker is the author of the Kate Fox mystery series (Tor/Forge). Set in the isolated cattle country of the Nebraska Sandhills, Kirkus says, “Baker serves up a ballsy heroine, a colorful backdrop, and a surprising ending.” She also writes the Nora Abbott mystery series (Midnight Ink), featuring Hopi Indian mysticism and environmental issues. Shannon makes her home in Tucson where she enjoys cocktails by the pool, breathtaking sunsets, a crazy Weimeraner, and killing people (in the pages of her books).
Robin D. Owens
RITA® Award Winning novelist Robin D. Owens credits the telepathic cat with attitude in selling her first futuristic/fantasy romance, HeartMate, published December 2001. She's written fifteen books in the series, including her first self-published novella in 2016, Lost Heart. She wrote eight books for Luna, including a three book series set in Denver, Colorado. Her newest stories, about an ex-accountant who sees Old West ghosts and helps them move on, started with Ghost Seer in 2014. The fifth, Ghost Maker, came out in October. She's humbled and honored to be named one of the RMFW WOTY nominations this year. Oh, and yes, she spends too much time on Facebook talking with her readers/friends.