Yearly Contest Results

For more than thirty years, the Colorado Gold contest for unpublished writers has given aspiring novelists the chance to get their work in front of an acquiring agent or editor while also providing feedback and encouragement for the craft of writing. Below are the finalists for past Colorado Gold Contests.

2017 Contest Results

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

2016 Results

1ST Day of the Watchers by Charles Kowalski
2ND Hard Dog to Kill by Craig Holt
3RD The Blue Fox by Kevin Deighton
Odd Man Out by Val Moses
Shot Caller by Gilbert Roman
The Foreboding by Susie Lindau

1ST Whisper of Other Voices by Sandy Fails
2ND The Chinese Ghost by Andrew Beasley
3RD Solotramp by Eleanor Binnings
Lost in Hotness by Mindy McIntyre
The Edge of Endings by Karin Belz

1ST Coded for Murder by Ritu Sethi
2ND Doppel by Val Moses
3RD Cut. Print. Kill by Robert Kidera
Deadly Prose by Jedeane MacDonald
Questions for the Dead by Matthew Porter

1ST Until Death by Tracy Brisendine
2ND A Knight’s Ransom by Edwina Moore
3RD Atlas by Megan Stirler
Intaglio by Steven Moores
Saint or Sinner by Terri Benson

Speculative Fiction
1ST ACHE by Levi Jacobs
2ND My Planet by Nicole Lawrence
3RD The Fourth Dimension by Rebecca Dickson
Griffin and the Spurious Correlations by Krista Wallace
Soul Affinity by Alice Yu

Young Adult /Middle Grade
1ST Kinetic by Amy Kolquist
2ND Nightshade by Emily Bybee
3RD Merlin's Children by Becky Rawnsley
The Installation by Angela Penland
Wild Magic by Rachel Craft

2015 Results


Contest Winners 6

JUDGE: Denise Dietz, Senior Editor, Five Star Publishing

WINNER: The Searing Flames, Micheal Hope, Littleton, CO
Massacre, Douglas Adcock, Breckenridge, CO
Fire Step, Bruce Leaf, Boulder, CO

2014 Results


JUDGE: Matt Martz, Editor, The Quick Brown Fox and Company (center)
WINNER: The Homeplace, Kevin Wolf, Littleton, CO (left)
The Lineage, Vanessa Lillie, Providence, RI
The Treasure of Seleucia, Powl Smith, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


JUDGE: Peter Senftleben, Associate Editor, Kensington Books
WINNER: The Cookbook, Monica Comas, New York, NY
The Breath of a Sea Gypsy, Rebecca Hopkins, Indonesia
Book Two, Monica Comas, New York, NY
The Shape of a Kiss, Charis Himeda, Worcester, MA
A Sister in Need, Jenny Hansen, Orange County, CA


JUDGE: Terri Bischoff, Editor, Midnight Ink (far right)
WINNER: The First Cut, Mary Birk, Centennial, CO (left)
Iced, Hamilton Crow, Breckenridge, CO
The Last Government Girl, Ellen Herbert, Falls Church, VA
Low Country Blood, Sue Hinkin, Littleton, CO
Until We Meet Again, Jill Flateland, Arvada, CO


JUDGE: Raelene Gorlinsky, Publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc. (third from left)
WINNER: Beloved Foe, Janet Baltz, Lakewood, CO (left)
Cherub's Play, Steven Moores, Littleton, CO
Love's Last Stand, Steven Moores
The Reluctant Heart, Annie Parnell

Speculative Fiction

JUDGE: Jessica Renheim, Associate Editor, Dutton / Penguin Group (left)
WINNER: Beauty is for Suckers, Michael Carson, Montrose, CO (fourth from left)
Don't Wake Me if I'm Dreaming, Darla Upchurch, Westminster, CO
Immortality Reborn, Tracy Brisendine, Denver, CO
The Jack of Souls, Stephen Merlino, Seattle, WA
Wicked Thorn, Kristina Wright, San Jose, CA

Young Adult/Middle Grade

JUDGE: Shannon Hassan, Agent, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
WINNER: The Shuvani's Spell, Kara Seal, Parker, CO
The Amulet of Isis, S. D. Keeling, Nixa, MO
Never Believe a Lie Twice, Kathleen Pinckard, Brea, CA
Requiem in La Paz, Jonna Gjevre, Broomfield, CO
Virago, Ida Olson, Cheyenne, WY

2013 Winners


Judge: Sally Harding, The Cooke Agency
Winner: Unbelievers by Charles Kowalski, Japan


Judge: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency
Winner: Ten Seconds by Kristin Meachem, Australia


Judge: Sandra Bond, Bond Literary Agency
Winner: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe, Denver, CO


Judge: Kerri-Leigh Grady, Entangled Publishing
Winner: Between Skin and Soul by Jessica Naab, Englewood, CO

Speculative Fiction

Judge: David Pomerico, 47 North/Amazon Publishing
Winner: Paragon of the Eccentric by Terry Kroenung, Loveland, CO

Young Adult

Judge: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Associates
Winner: Hole in the Thumb by MaryAnn Kersten, Littleton, CO

2012 Winners

Action/Thriller - Cathaver and a Big Belgian Crime by Robert Mangeot, Franklin, TN
Mainstream - The Hot Tub Club by Z.J. Czupor, Denver, CO
Mystery - Blood Under Will by V.R. Barkowski, Duluth, GA
Romance - The Leighton Legacy by Monica Emerich, Lafayette, CO
Speculative Fiction - City of Strangers by M.H. Boroson, Denver, CO
Young Adult - Little Miss Life by Emily Calwell France, Boulder, CO

2011 Winners

Action/Thriller - Persephone Falls by Angie Hodapp, Lakewood, CO
Mainstream - Professional Beauty by Chrisann Winiecki, Lakewood, CO

Mystery - Tenement by Lynne Kennedy, Arlington, TX

Romance - Vital Signs by Val Moses, Denver, CO

Speculative Fiction - The Artist of Arun by Michele Winkler, Littleton, CO

Young Adult - Dissonance in A Minor by Nicole Disney, Denver, CO


2010 Winners

Action/Thriller - Contract of Defiance by Tammy Sayler, Boulder, Colorado

Mainstream - Prince of the West by Marc Graham, Castle Rock, Colorado

Mystery - Bad Blow and Old Silver by Randy Reims, Lafayette, Colorado

Romance - The Bloodsucker by Abigail Schmidt, Chicago, Illinois

Speculative Fiction - The Hearts of Dragons by Luanne Smith, Longmont, Colorado