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

Bernadette Marie

Bernadette Marie

Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011. Since then she has authored and published over thirty books. The married mother of five sons promises romances with a Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it because she lives it.
Obsessed with writing since the age of 12, Bernadette Marie officially started her journey as an author in 2007 when she finalized a manuscript she'd been writing for 22 years, shelved it, and wrote 12 more books that year. In 2009 she was contracted with a small publisher in a deal that would eventually go bad. From that experience, she knew she could take control of her career and that's what she did.
A chronic entrepreneur since opening her first salon at the age of twenty, Bernadette Marie established her own publishing house in 2011, 5 Prince Publishing, so that she could publish the books she liked to write and help make the dreams of other aspiring authors come true too. Believing there is a place for the fresh author's voice, she not only publishes but coaches others who wish to publish their work independently. Bernadette Marie is also the CEO of Illumination Author Events and Services offering smaller intimate author/reader events as well as author services.
Bernadette Marie joined RMFW in 2015. She has been a contributor to the monthly newsletter, an active member of IPAL, and currently is one of RMFW's social media managers. An avid voice in the independent publishing community, she has presented workshops at PubCon and Colorado Gold 2016 and is scheduled to present at both in 2017 as well.

Bernadette's website

Stephanie Reisner

Stephanie Reisner began writing at the age of ten and never stopped. Under S. J. Reisner she writes fantasy, romance, and YA. She also writes erotic and paranormal romances as Anne O'Connell,  occult/paranormal thrillers and horror stories as Audrey Brice, and non-fiction books and articles under yet a different pen name.  Her most recent releases are Saving Sarah May (S. J. Reisner, Romance), Ascending Darkness (Audrey Brice, Supernatural Mystery), and  Taming Trish (Anne O'Connell, Erotic Romance).  When she's not writing she's hiking, gardening, or just hanging out with her husband and cats. To learn more visit her website!

Stephanie's website

Wendy Terrien

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.

Wendy's website



2017 Writer of the Year (WOTY) Nominees

Colleen Oakes

Colleen Oakes

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.

Colleen's website

Shannon Baker

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).

Shannon's website

Robin Owens

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.

Robin's website