The Colorado Gold Writing Contest

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2017 Contest Timeline

Saturday, March 11: Contest Workshop
Friday, April 1, at midnight: Contest opens
April 2 - April 15: Online Contest Workshop
Wednesday, May 31, 11:59 PM MST: Contest closes
Thursday, August 3: Finalists announced
Early to mid August: Non-finaling entries returned to contestants
Saturday, September 9: Winners are announced at the Saturday night banquet

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Congratulations to Our 2017 WINNERS!

Women's Fiction

1st Place: Susanne Sener, The Mountain Savage
2nd Place: B.J. Eardley, Hell With the Lid On
3rd Place: Rebecca Hodge, Margin of Safety
Finalist: Lainey Cameron, Exit Strategy
Finalist: Brenda Linskey, Confluence

Speculative Fiction

1st Place: Luanne Smith, The Vine Witch
2nd Place: Raewyn Bright, Demon Curse
3r Place: Julie Morris, Light Unveiled
Finalist: Darla Upchurch, The Ectoplasm Alchemist
Finalist: Levi Jacobs, Alethea, Book One: Water and Blood


1st Place: Delores Gonzales Montano, Burying the Dead
2nd Place: Emily Bybee, Not Again
3rd Place: Mackenzie McCreary, The Orphanage
Finalist: Chrisann Winiecki, Lily Pearl's
Finalist: Chrisann Winiecki, Silent Secret
Finalist: Kathy Reynolds, Sweet Venom


1st Place: Val Moses, Doppel
2nd Place: Valerie Arnold, The Monitor
3rd Place: Amy Drayer, Murder Comes to Makah
Finalist: Terri Benson, Pickup Artist/Book 1 of Bad Carma
Finalist: Mandy Miller, States of Grace


1st Place: Julie Ann Candoli, The Best Offense
2nd Place: Jack Matthews, The Alliance
3rd Place: G.M. Roman, Shot Caller
Finalist: Roger Collier, Puppet Chase
Finalist: Kevin Maris, Lightning in the Valley of the Meuse

Middle Grade/Young Adult

1st Place: Erin Price, Super Weenie
2nd Place: Kristina Rinard, Stand
3rd Place: James Brooks, Friday Night Fever
Finalist: Adare Elyse, Race Across the Battlefield
Finalist: Jenna Martin, Roots
Finalist: Jamila Montaque, The Spirit Train

Contest Overview

For over thirty years, the Colorado Gold contest for emerging writers has given commercial-fiction novelists the chance to get their work in front of acquiring agents and editors while also providing feedback and encouragement for the craft of writing.

Contest opens for submissions on April 1st and closes May 31st. Two judges from RMFW evaluate and score each entry. The top five submissions scoring 130 points or more in each category make the finals and will then be judged by an agent or editor who is attending the Colorado Gold Conference.

Entry Fee
$30 per entry or $55 per entry to receive a critique from one of the first-round judges.

Enter the first 4000 words of your manuscript and a 750 word synopsis in one of six categories (see below). Final judges will pick 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

In addition to a beautiful certificate, finalists will receive:
1st place: $150
2nd place: $100
3rd place: $75
2 remaining finalists: $30


Action/Thriller (Judge: Eric Campbell, Editor, Down and Out Books)
Mystery/Suspense (Judge: Sharon Bowers, Agent, Miller Bowers Griffin Literary Management)
Womens Fiction (Judge: Alicia Clancy, Editor, St. Martin's Press)
Speculative Fiction (Judge: Kristen Nelson, Agent, Nelson Literary Agency)
Young Adult/Middle Grade (Judge: Carrie Howland, Agent, Empire Literary)
Mainstream and Other Genres (Judge: Danielle Burby, Agent, Nelson Literary Agency)

Volunteer to Judge

To serve as a first-round judge for this year's Colorado Gold Contest, please fill our the Call for Judges form to express your interest.