Yearly Contest Results

For almost thirty years, the Colorado Gold contest for unpublished writers has given aspiring novelists the chance to get their work in front of an acquiring agent or editor while also providing feedback and encouragement for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.

2016 Finalists

(listed alphabetically by title)


Day of the Watchers by Charles Kowalski

Hard Dog to Kill by Craig Holt

Odd Man Out by Val Moses

Shot Caller by Gilbert Roman

The Blue Fox by Kevin Deighton

The Foreboding by Susie Lindau


Lost in Hotness by Mindy McIntyre

Solotramp by Eleanor Binnings

The Chinese Ghost by Andrew Beasley

The Edge of Endings by Karin Belz

Whisper of Other Voices by Sandy Fails


Coded for Murder by Ritu Sethi

Cut. Print. Kill by Robert Kidera

Deadly Prose by Jedeane MacDonald

Doppel by Val Moses

Questions for the Dead by Matthew Porter


A Knight’s Ransom by Edwina Moore

Atlas by Megan Stirler

Intaglio by Steven Moores

Saint or Sinner by Terri Benson

Until Death by Tracy Brisendine


Speculative Fiction

ACHE by Levi Jacobs

Griffin and the Spurious Correlations by Krista Wallace

My Planet by Nicole Lawrence

Soul Affinity by Alice Yu

The Fourth Intervention by Rebecca Dickson

Young Adult /Middle Grade

Kinetic by Amy Kolquist

Merlin's Children by Becky Rawnsley

Nightshade by Emily Bybee

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