Each year, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers honors one of its published members as its traditionally 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 been 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, so please watch your email for the invitation to cast your vote.
Writer of the Year Nominees
Carol Berg’s roots are in Texas in a family of teachers, musicians, and railroad men. She loved school, but even more she loved reading. Hot Texas summers were perfect for reading science fiction, classics, mysteries, spy thrillers, and historicals, but she always had a soft spot for mythology and “otherworld” stories like Alice in Wonderland and King Arthur. She charged off to Rice University, determined to have a career in science and engineering. But she also chose to take every English course offered that listed novels on the syllabus – just so she would have time to keep reading.
A degree in mathematics fueled a short teaching career, but it was her college roommate’s dog-eared copy of Tolkien that changed Carol's life. Eventually. Somewhere in the midst of raising three sons, earning another degree – this time in computer science – and a seventeen year software engineering career, another friend teased her into exchanging letters written “in character.” The game turned into a passion for writing that exploded into a yet another career.
Since her first novel was published in 2000, Carol's fifteen epic fantasy novels have earned national and international acclaim, including the Geffen Award, the Prism Award, multiple Colorado Book Awards, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. She regularly earns starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and RT Book Reviews. Besides the writing itself, she loves meeting readers and fellow writers at conventions and conferences and drawing on the family teaching tradition to share the craft of writing with aspiring writers.
Chris Goff is an award-winning author of six novels based on environmental themes and a new international thriller series.
Chris began her career writing non-fiction, penning columns for several local newspapers in Summit County, Colorado, as well as articles for regional and national publication. Later she edited rock and iceclimbing guides for Chockstone Press, and worked in graphic production for “Living the Good News,” a division of The Morehouse Publishing Group. She has taught writing workshops at the Colorado Free University, the University of Colorado. A long-standing member of multiple writing organizations, she has served on several local, regional and national boards, including Mystery Writers of America.
The bestselling Birdwatcher's Mystery series was nominated for two WILLA Literary Awards, a Colorado Author's League Award, and published Japan. Astor + Blue Editions reissued her complete backlist in print and E-book on February 2, 2016 and the sixth book in the series, A Parliament of Owls, is scheduled for release on May 10, 2016. Dark Waters, the first title in her international thriller series, was published September 15, 2015. Set amid the Israel-Palestine conflict this book promises to keep the reader frantically turning pages. The Manhattan Book Review deemed it “Absolutely masterful…” Dark Waters is a Finalist for a Colorado Book Award, Thriller, to be awarded in May 2016. Goff is currently working on the next in the series, Red Sky, scheduled for release in early-2017.
Chris joined RMFW in 1988, and has been active in our writing community ever since. She counts being president, newsletter chair and PAL chair among three of her favorite roles, but also enjoys working behind the scenes. She has served on numerous board-appointed committees, worked on the anthologies, educational events, and is known to have judged as many as 30 manuscripts/year for contest. She credits RMFW for teaching her how to write and stands behind her belief that "we all have a responsibility to give back."
Mark Stevens - WINNER
The son of two librarians, Mark Stevens was raised in Lincoln, Massachusetts. He graduated from LincolnSudbury Regional High School in the suburbs of Boston and from Principia College in Illinois. He worked as a reporter for The Christian Science Monitor in Boston and Los Angeles; as a City Hall reporter for The Rocky Mountain News in Denver; as a national field producer for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (PBS) and as an education reporter for The Denver Post. After journalism, he worked in school public relations before starting his own public relations and strategic communications business. He lives in Denver with his wife and has two grown daughters.
Mark is the author of the Allison Coil Mystery Series— Antler Dust (2007), Buried by the Roan (2011), Trapline (2014) and Lake of Fire (Sept., 2015). Trapline won the 2015 Colorado Book Award for best mystery and the 2015 Colorado Authors League award for best genre fiction. Lake of Fire is a finalist for the 2016 Colorado Book Award in the mystery category.
Mark is a past president and past monthly workshop coordinator for RMFW. He currently hosts the Rocky Mountain Writer podcast. Lake of Fire was inspired by real-life events from a tragic police shooting and subsequent manhunt in Cortez in the late 1990's and also the late Randy Udall's ideas about energy sustainability.