|1st Quarter Board Meeting: Join the board members for the first quarter board meeting and meet the new Vice President, Sheri Merz-Duff. Contact email@example.com with questions.|
|Your Most Productive Writing Year: In this workshop we will cover setting big picture career goals, breaking them into actionable steps, and how to make progress on them on a day-to-day basis. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.|
|Anthology Submissions Begins: The stories in the next anthology will feature masks of every kind. Explore what happens when we—or our friends, enemies, or lovers—conceal ourselves behind carefully constructed identities. Contact email@example.com with questions.|
When asked to write a paragraph or two about the value of volunteering with RMFW and the VP and Treasurer positions in particular, a multitude of thoughts scampered about. To sort them out, we thought it would be interesting to see what some experts say about volunteers.
In a 2014 Psychology Today article on 5 Reasons You Should Volunteer, Dawn C. Carr MGS, Ph.D. referenced Mark Granovetter, a John's Hopkins Sociologist, and his study on the important role of "weak ties."
"Weak ties are those relationships that are outside of one’s close-knit social network. These relationships are important because they provide access to new information and opportunities. Volunteering in your current career industry—or an area you’d like to transition into—is an especially effective way to leverage social connections for career gain."
Weak ties grow strong in RMFW. (The Force is strong in this one!)
For example, attending RMFW events provides an intense dose of fun, support, opportunities to learn, and (drum roll) weak ties. Volunteering leverages those connections. Plus, on top of those very tangible prospects, everyone knows how satisfying it is to help others. Kind of like a big ol' bear hug that leaves your soul glowing.
With that in mind, we want to remind you that nominations are now open for two Executive Board positions, Vice President and Treasurer. But wait, there's more! Besides the warm glow, there are benefits to both positions. Conference is comped, you become acquainted with lots and lots of members, help select award winners (Jasmine, Gold Nuggets, etc.), and most importantly, you help guide our exceptional organization.
Neither position is particularly time consuming.
The VP backs up the President, may run a few meetings, is involved in all operating decisions, and along with PAL and IPAL reps, coordinates the WOTY and IWOTY nomination and selection process. And gee, that includes coordinating the BookBar and Tattered Cover events. Who wants to get acquainted with our local book sellers? Go on, raise your hand.
Another fun aspect of the VP position is reading the sample chapters of all of our WOTY and IWOTY nominees, and because of that the spring months do require more hours than later in the year, but overall we estimate an average of six to eight hours a month.
Treasurer is, of course, a vital job, and requires some knowledge not every member may have, but if you've worked in accounting or management, understand budgeting and can read a financial statement, you're in! RMFW's bookkeeper handles much of the day-to-day work, and the Treasurer oversees all of our numbers, raps our knuckles once in a while, writes checks and manages expenditures, files a few reports and coordinates the year-end tax filing, and keeps the credits away from the debits. Just like the VP, Treasurer is involved in all operating decisions, and we also estimate six to eight hours per month, with a heavier workload late in the year during the budgeting process. Knowledge of QuickBooks online is a bonus but not absolutely necessary.
Volunteering on the Executive Committee is rewarding beyond what we can measure. The relationships and networking have created their own magic, giving us knowledge of the craft and industry we’d never have gained isolated in our own places.
So, we hope you'll sit back for a moment and consider nominating yourself or a friend for VP or Treasurer. To do that, by October 25, 2016 please send nominations to all three members of the Election Committee:
Janet Fogg, Vice-President
Shannon Baker, Treasurer
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
More Questions? Join our
NEW FACEBOOK GROUP
for Conference attendees!
Conference is almost here! Here is some practical information to help you get organized:
Parking: Parking is free at the hotel for conference attendees. Yay!
Airport Shuttle & Train Info: The hotel website had conflicting information, but I have confirmed that the FREE Shuttle to and from the airport is still running through the end of the year. There is also the new Light Rail train, ($9.00) which stops at Central Park Station, 0.7 miles from the hotel. If you call the hotel, they will pick you up at the station. For more details about train times, station stops, and other info, download the info flyer from the RMFW Conference Homepage.
Conference Check-in/Registration: Conference Check-in will be at the bottom of the escalators, accessible from the lobby. If you're attending a Friday morning session (Master Class or a Critique Round Table) check-in opens at 7am. If you're not attending a morning session, check-in opens at 10:30am.
Need Help? Have Questions? “ASK ME”: We have a whole army of conference veterans who know the ropes and are there for you to ask questions. If you see someone with an ASK ME ribbon on their badge… don’t be shy! Also, the Registration Table is HQ for conference. We will have volunteers there just about all the time throughout conference, so this is another place to go if you need assistance.
Wi-Fi: There is NO WIFI in the classrooms for presenters or attendees. If you wish to access the handouts for a class but your device requires wifi, you will need to download them before your class.
At-A-Glance Schedule & Brochure: The AAG is the go-to document when you're looking for the workshop schedule. There are lots of shifts that happen with the AAG over the months leading up to the conference, and the brochure updates lag behind. In the event the brochure elves slip up and there is a discrepancy, the AAG is the true schedule.
Workshop Recordings: All the open workshops/panel programming at conference are recorded. If you’re unable to be in two places at once, or if a class was especially helpful to you and you want to listen to it in the future, purchase a copy during conference at the recording room, next door to Boulder Creek.
What to Wear: Dress comfortably for conference, and wear shoes that make walking easy. You’ll do a lot of walking at conference. Dress in layers to be sure you aren’t too hot or cold as the temperature shifts. Some people do dress up for the Saturday banquet, but you’re going to see everything from jeans to cocktail dresses. Capri pants to suits. Don’t be afraid to dress up, but be equally assured that you can wear whatever makes you comfortable.
Need a Break? Take a Break! You don’t have to attend a session every hour. If you need to take a break, then you’re totally welcome to skip a session, go back to your room, hang in the open areas, or find a quiet place to write.
Have an appointment? Arrive 10-minutes early please! If you have an appointment with Pitch Coaching, Hook Your Book, Mentor Room, One-on-Ones, or Agent/Editor Pitches, please arrive 10-minutes before your appointment. This helps everyone stay on schedule and prevents delays.
Drink Water! CO is very dry, and if you’re not from here, it can come as quite a shock how easy it is to become dehydrated. Drink lots of water. Drink lots of water. Drink lots of water. And if you're not sure... DRINK WATER!
Leaving Classes In-Session: If you signed up for an appointment, it is likely that you will have to leave a workshop in session in order to attend. If you need to leave a workshop in session, this is perfectly fine and happens throughout conference. Simply gather your things and quietly depart. Once your appointment is over, feel free to return to any workshop in session.
Meals: Your conference registration includes several meals, but not all:
- Fri Lunch - ON YOUR OWN
- Fri Dinner - Buffet style, Included
- Sat Breakfast - Continental style, Included (7-8a)
- Sat Lunch - ON YOUR OWN
- Sat Dinner - Awards Banquet - Included
- Sun Breakfast - Continental style, Included (7-8a)
- Sun Lunch - Buffet style, Included
More Questions? Join our
NEW FACEBOOK GROUP
for Conference attendees!
Selected from a list of accomplished finalists, Mark Stevens is the new Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Writer of the Year and Lisa Manifold is the first ever RMFW Independent Writer of the Year.
Writer of the Year Finalists
Independent Writer of the Year Finalists
Join the full panel of finalists and winners at the WOTY & IWOTY Discussion Panel Hosted by Susan Spann
Thursday, August 18, 2016 7-9 pm
Tattered Cover, 2526 East Colfax Avenue Denver, CO 80206
RMFW’s Independently Published Authors Liaison (IPAL) is sponsoring an event for all RMFW members this summer designed to kick your writing into high gear. Whether you’ve been noodling an idea around in your head and haven’t done anything further, or if you’ve been finishing up a writing project for what seems like an eternity, we all have things on our writing to-do list. Things that never seem to get completed.
What you need is NovelRama, the four-day IPAL sponsored writing event for all Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers members. In four days, we’ll help you to bring that idea to fruition or wrap up that never-ending project. Beginning at midnight on July 29th, we’ll begin the sprint to 25,000 words.
That’s right, four days to 25k.
But wait, you say, 25k? In four days? How?
Well, we’re glad you asked! Over the course of this four day event, IPAL will host get-togethers where you can put your butt in a different chair than usual, while you bounce your ideas off of fellow authors, and spur your creativity in a fresh location surrounded by people who understand the struggle!
Sounds great, but where do I start?
First, head over to rmfw.net, our new members-only discussion forum (which you should totally go and check out anyway), and register for the forum. After a moderator approves your account, go to the NovelRama category and open the Participant Check In & Greetings board. Introduce yourself in a new post to let us know you plan to join the four days of challenging FUN!
Then, it’s time to start your planning. Even if you are the proudest of proud pantsers, write down some ideas for that new project. Read through that WIP, decide whether your thoughts on finishing it are still legit, and outline the ending. Even if you only outline in brief, grammatically incorrect sentences, make a plan of some sort.
IPAL members will host a kick off, location to be decided, on Thursday, July 28th. We’ll have meet-ups on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, but there can be only one (daily), because we all need to keep butt-in-chair.
After that, it’s all writing, all the time. For four days, anyway. Ignore the lack of showering. Meh. You can shower on Tuesday.
What happens on Monday, August 1st? Well, at 11:59, NovelRama is done for the year. You’ll be able to look back over the past four days and see the pages of words you’ve produced. Editing, schmediting. There’s always next week! There will also be some fun badges, you know, to show off your writing chops. Later in August, IPAL will host their Summer Sale and NovelRama Celebration.
So join us! This is the perfect time to add a metric ton of wordage to whatever it is you’re working on, and NovelRama is the perfect method to get you there.
Any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to help. Because when one of us succeeds, we all do.
4 Days To 25k.
Lisa Manifold is fortunate to live in the amazing state of Colorado with her husband, two kids, two dogs, and one offended cat.
She enjoys skiing and carting kids and dogs to wherever they need to go, and she adores "treasure hunting" at local thrift stores. Her other hobbies include costuming within her favorite fandoms and periods.
She is the author of the Sisters Of The Curse series, based on the Grimm Brothers fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Her new series, The Heart Of The Djinn, is a trilogy that shows what happens when a free-lancing djinn does his own thing. THREE WISHES, the first book in The Heart Of The Djinn series is out now. Book two, FORGOTTEN WISHES, will be out soon! Finally, Brennan, the Goblin King will be making his debut in the Realm trilogy in early summer.
Do you have the right stuff in the right place in your book?
Do you know your genre or do you not know your genre?
Those are the questions that will be answered next month at the Annual Education Event. If you haven’t seen the information about it in the newsletter and the e-mails going out, here’s your chance to find out what’s going on.
Where: Table Mountain Inn, 1310 Washington Avenue, Golden, CO 80401
Who: The a.m. Keynote will be THE RIGHT STUFF: OPENING PAGES THAT LEAD TO YES!
Presented by Kristin Nelson and Angie Hodapp from the Nelson Literary Agency
YA - Aaron Michael Ritchey Romance - Bernadette Marie
Historical - Linda Collison Mystery - Rebecca Bates
SciFi/Fantasy/Horror - Nathan Lowell
How Much: $80 for Members, $90 for Non-Members (includes breakfast, lunch and break goodies)
Why Should you attend? You won’t get many chances to have a big literary agency read your pages and tell you what changes might make them more likely to catch the right attention. You also don’t often get the opportunity to talk with multi-published authors, in your genre, that are willing to spend hours helping you ensure you’re in the right genre, and discussing how to make you manuscript stand out from the crowd.
If you’re serious about wanting to write the best possible novel, and especially if you want to be published, get registered for this event before it sells out. Not only that, it’s a perfect way to make sure you're all set for Colorado Gold in September – get those pages ready for roundtables and pitches!
WordPress for Writers
Saturday, March 19, 2016, 9:00 AM to noonish
The Business Incubator Center
2591 Legacy Way, Grand Junction, CO 81503
MEMBERS & NON-MEMBERS WELCOME
RSVP Required, RSVP to Terri Benson at email@example.com
A light breakfast is available from 9:00-9:30 $ Workshop begins at 9:15am to 12:30ish
Presenter Kristy Ferrin will give us the scoop on how to know what your website needs are (including domain name, hosting, URLs, etc.) and where to find them, and then you get to dive into website design on WordPress.
Bring your laptop or tablet and you’ll have the opportunity for hands-on experience by navigating inside existing WordPress sites. If you don’t have a laptop or tablet, we’ll pair you with others who do.
You’ll find out about themes and how to install them, homepages and subpages, creating and modifying pages, blogging, categories and tags and how to use them, and plugins (no, not the kind that smell nice!).
You hear more and more about author platforms and how critical they are to writers, especially when you’re dealing with agents and editors. Don’t be caught without the all-important website for your writing.
Join us, and get your website on!
Kristy Ferrin loves designing websites almost as much as she loves writing, and she's passionate about sharing what she's learned along the way. A long time web-dabbler, she's recently begun conducting classes to help authors and other non-techies launch their home-base on the web. You can find her online at www.kferrin.com and on Twitter @ScrivK.
Everyone involved with Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers is familiar with our mission:
RMFW is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization dedicated to supporting, encouraging, and educating writers seeking publication in commercial fiction.
As a ‘volunteer-run organization’ RMFW can only remain beneficial to members through our volunteers’ contributions. Volunteers strengthen our community and nurture an environment of members helping members.
From my time with RMFW, I've learned volunteering is more rewarding for the volunteer than the organization. I've learned how to find and build my community. I've learned how to speak in public, organize big events and, from hanging out with talented writers, I've learned much about writing. RMFW has helped me find my voice, both in the real world and on the page.
The Colorado Gold Conference’s success is dependent on the critical services provided by our volunteers. They keep our costs down, and even the smallest jobs help us provide an exceptional experience for all attendees year after year.
The more you put into something, the more you’ll get out of it. I credit RMFW as the one organization above all others that helped me get published. My first attendance at the Gold conference thoroughly impressed me, and I knew then that RMFW was the place to be if I was serious about my writing. Volunteering was a way of showing my commitment to the organization and a great way to meet people. I figured that the experienced members would take me more seriously if I gave of my time to support RMFW. I initially volunteered as the Education Chair, then served as Vice-President and as President. I’ve never been accused of being the shy type but if you’re an introvert, serving as a volunteer is a wonderful way of stepping outside your shell.
Rescue From Planet Pleasure, Urban Fantasy
Volunteering is all about giving back. Remember when you were new and nervous at the conference? Think about the people who helped you. Think about the impact they had on your conference experience. By volunteering you bring that same experience to others. A satisfying feeling in the end for you the volunteer.
Why do I volunteer? I'll give you the altruistic and honest answers. As writer I have benefited from what I have learned at the Saturday workshops, Gold Conference and critique groups and I wanted to a way to give back. Honestly, I've met great people who have become valued friends and I have had a ton of fun.
New Conference Attendee Liaison
The Home Place; A Mystery
What would the conference be like without volunteers? Everyone at conference needs something, be it guidance or just an extra pencil. Volunteers bring people together and ensure that everyone has a great time.
First and foremost, meeting other writers is a great benefit to volunteering. It's a good feeling, too, to know that the volunteer work we do helps other writers on their journeys. The GOLD conference is an important part of what RMFW does to support writers and helping the conference run smoothly results in a more valuable experience for everyone!
Miserably Happy, Women's Fiction, available soon.
Studies conducted on the effects of volunteering have shown that giving time to nonprofits makes us healthier. Boost your own self-confidence through volunteering at this year’s conference. With a sense of well-being you’ll have a greater focus on learning.
I volunteer for RMFW for a couple of reasons. Chiefly, I want to give back to an organization that has helped me become a better writer. From the critique groups, to the free Saturday programs and even the yearly conference, my writing skills have improved because of my membership in RMFW. In addition, being a volunteer allows me to expand my tribe. I am convinced that to be good at anything, you need to be around other people who do that skill better than you. Volunteering for RMFW allows me to meet pros like Betsy Dornbusch, Susan Spann, Aaron Michael Ritchey, & Christine Jorgensen. If you want to grow in the craft of writing, don't just join RMFW, volunteer!
Jason Henry Evans
Online Clases & Conference Volunteer
Co-author, I Am Hathor, Caped Anthology
Volunteering in general promotes personal growth, and your volunteer service counts as professional experience. You are guaranteed to learn something new while you give your time.
I initially got involved with RMFW for a few reasons. I wanted to find a critique group, I wanted to learn craft and become a better writer, and I wanted to meet like-minded people. I have a passion for education, and conference was a natural progression.
RMFW Retreat Chair
Editor in Chief at Literary Wanderlust
Need an opportunity to come out of your shell and improve your social skills? If you don’t know many writers, volunteering at conference gives you an opportunity to meet people at a reduced stress level.
Without the support of RMFW, and the friends I've made there, I'm not sure I would be a published author today. Attending the conference is fabulous from an educational perspective, but if you want to make the most of the time, and make more friends, you need to get involved. Volunteering takes you off the sidelines and helps even shy people get to know the other authors and participants much better.
2015 Writer of the Year
Flask of the Drunken Master, Mystery
Anytime is the right time to volunteer for RMFW because we always need volunteers. We are one big community of writers helping writers. The more involved you are in our community the more you will receive in return.
Volunteering is an excellent way to meet people and expand your network of writers. You'll discover that writers come from all paths and roads and freeways of life--the creative mind knows no limits. Volunteering is also a way to share your passion in a different way, and give back to an organization that offers so much to every person who asks for support or assistance. Whether you spend a few hours once a year, or a few hours every month, volunteers are cherished and appreciated at RMFW, and you'll feel the goodness.
The Rampart Guards, YA Urban Fantasy
We want your help, but before you join us, ask yourself what you want to get out of volunteering:
- What skills do you bring to the table?
- How much time are you willing to commit?
- Are you looking to do something new and different?
- Do you want to work behind the scenes or with people?
- Would you like to try something outside your comfort zone?
Special Workshop: How to Write a Winning Conference Proposal
Presented by Susie Brooks and Pam Nowak
Saturday, February 13, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Sam Gary Branch Library
2961 Roslyn St. Denver (Stapleton) 80238
MEMBERS & NON-MEMBERS WELCOME
No RSVP Required
Learn how to create a conference proposal that will WOW the selection committee. Pam and Susie will provide information on what the committee looks for and offer best practices for creating spectacular proposals.
Bring your workshop ideas with you, and walk away with a stronger understanding of the entire process.
Susie Brooks is the Editor on Chief at Literary Wanderlust and has served on the board of directors for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers since 2009. After several years as conference chair, Susie currently acts as the retreat chair. She holds a master’s degree in publishing from George Washington University and has over 20 years of editorial experience.
Pam Nowak writes historical romance set in the American West. In addition to widespread critical acclaim, her books have won multiple national awards. In love with history and rich characters for most of her life, Pam has a B.A. in history, has taught prison inmates, managed the Fort Yuma National Historic Site and run a homeless shelter. She was named the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Writer of the Year in 2010, chaired three conferences, served as president, and is now RMFW's volunteer coordinator.
Big news everybody!
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers has opened up two selection committees for great Writers of the Year this year. For the first time not only will we have a traditionally published WOTY, but also an independently published, or I-WOTY as well.
If you’ve been experiencing some publishing success please check out the website (rmfw.org) and look for the guidelines and entry forms. You may be the next representative for our great writing community. Here’s how the process works:
January 22 (that’s today), the entry period begins. Any member who has had a book published recently is eligible to enter their work for consideration. Or, if you have a favorite RMFW author too shy to enter for him or herself, please feel free to nominate your colleague. Entries are open from January 22 through February 24.
And here are a couple of tips:
- If you’re a traditionally published author who entered a book last year, and have a new book this year, you can simply update your information to re-submit. This should save you a good deal of time.
- If you’re an independently published author whose book originally published between January 2014 and December 2015 (that’s the past two years), you can enter your work for consideration for the I-WOTY. This may change in the future, so now is the time to enter your work.
- You can find out all of the details for entry on the RMFW website. Go to Events, and select 2016 Writer of the Year WOTY & I-WOTY. Read through the requirements and then enter your work by following this link: http://rmfw.org/about-rmfw/pal/woty-nominations
How the work is judged:
Each work is reviewed a couple of times before three finalists for each recognition are selected. After you have submitted your work, a quick review is made to be sure you’ve entered for the appropriate vetting committee. As all basics have been checked, your application will be forwarded to a panel of judges. Each judge on the panel is responsible for reviewing your application and reading a couple of sample chapters from the work you submit. Every entry will receive approximately one hour of evaluation by each judge (for a minimum of five hours of review on your work). The judges will keep a tally of the works and candidates they think represent the best in RMFW writing.
In March, the vetting committees will meet and select three finalists for each award. You can be sure that these judges have several years experience writing and working with RMFW writers, and are well-qualified volunteers with your best interests at heart. Still, only three finalists are allowed for each recognition, so please remember that whether or not your name is selected this is not a reflection on you or your talent as much as it is an effort to find an author to best represent the writing values of our organization. Over all, we are very proud of the incomparable talents of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.
Starting soon after April 15th open voting begins among the finalists. This is the opportunity of our whole member community to voice their opinions on who our WOTY and I-WOTY should be. We try to give everyone plenty of time (and reminders) to select the two writers they think should be recognized as RMFW’s Writer and Independent Writer of the Year. Voting lasts until mid June.
The Summer Party
Each summer RMFW gets together to enjoy a summer party, and part of that celebration includes the announcement of recognition for our writers of the year. There will be announcements for this event in our newsletter, on our blog, and on the Yahoo groups set up for RMFW members. Keep an eye out and be sure to join us.
WOTY & I-WOTY Panel
One of the highlights of the WOTY & I-WOTY selections is the chance to visit with all of our finalists at the Tattered Cover bookstore. This annual event kicks off the Colorado Gold celebrations and is a fun evening of interviews, prizes, and a chance to socialize with writing friends. You’ll want to be sure to mark your calendars for this event.
If you’re thinking of entering your work for consideration, please do! The vibrancy of our community remains because of the participation of everyone of our 700 plus members. Wishing you great luck on this, and always, continued writing success.