1. How about that Western Slope chapter of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers? Last Saturday morning, 28 writers gathered for a three-hour workshop. They came from Grand Junction and all over, from Meeker to Montrose.

Energy, enthusiasm, eagerness? In abundance. All sorts of writers—and half were non-RMFW members. Shout out to Vicki Law for the idea of a Western Slope chapter (many years ago) and to Terri Benson for running it so well today. Terri makes it look easy and, clearly, she’s getting the word out to the community at large. Plan a trip to the Western Slope around one of these workshops? Why not?

2. How about Jeffery Deaver? If you were there for his keynote at RMFW Colorado Gold a couple years back, you remember he left a mark. Friendly? Yep. Down-to-earth? Check. One of us? Yes. Even though he’s sold 50 million books, you’d never know it. I remember spotting him in the back of a workshop during Colorado Gold, taking notes like just another student. This year and next, Jeffery has been presenting workshops around the country—for free—for chapters of Mystery Writers of America. No charge!

So, in April (Saturday, April 7), RMFW and Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America are teaming up to bring Jeffery to Denver for a four-hour workshop on writing commercial fiction. More details soon. But with no cost for the presenter, the price will be very reasonable. Save the date. This will be at The Renaissance Hotel. Shout out to Jeffery Deaver for giving back. In a very big way.

3. NaNoWriMo crazies, you may my respect! If you did it, congrats. If you tried, congrats. I have no idea how you pour out the words in such volume for a whole month. What I know is that there are 1.5 million ways to write a good story and NaNoWriMo clearly works for some. Fifty thousand words in 30 days? That’s commitment. That’s production. Hats off.

4. Where would this town be without The Tattered Cover? Last month, on “Indie’s First” day, Tattered Cover organized a whole crew of writers to serve as guest booksellers, including many RMFW members. I had a fun two-hour shift alongside Jennifer Kincheloe and I had a long chat with Cathy Langer, who is retiring after forty (count ‘em, forty) years as the lead book buyer for Tattered Cover, one of the best bookstores in the country. Happy trails, Cathy. Thanks for all you did to shape and fashion one of the truly iconic bookstores in the country, a place that welcomes all and has done so much to support the local writing community.

5. And here’s to Pat Stoltey (one of those NaNoWriMo success stories) and Kevin Wolf. Check out Pat’s insights on the latest Rocky Mountain Writer podcast. She’s 75! She’s writing up a storm! She’s got ideas galore. Her latest book, Wishing Caswell Dead, comes out this month and it’s been a story she’s been working on for years. And years. Pat has had setbacks, but she’s just kept plugging away.

Same with Kevin Wolf. Kevin had a big publisher for his first novel, but a small publisher will work just fine for his second novel, Brokeheart. Both Pat and Kevin could have soured or gotten discouraged. No way, no how. Think you might hear some whining? From them? No way. They have stories to tell. Case closed. Shout out to them both!

And finally, thanks to all the fabulous guests I’ve had the opportunity to chat with on the Rocky Mountain Writer podcast! It’s never too early to reserve your spot.

Drop me a line:

Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens is 2016 RMFW Writer of the Year. He writes the Allison Coil Mystery Series–Antler Dust (2007), Buried by the Roan (2011), Trapline (2014) and Lake of Fire (2015). Buried by the Roan, Trapline and Lake of Fire were all finalists for the Colorado Book Award; Trapline won. Trapline also won the 2015 award in genre fiction from the Colorado Authors League. Kirkus Reviews called Lake of Fire “irresistible.” More about Mark on his website.

5 thoughts on “Shout-Outs!

  1. Mark, that’s great news about the Jeffery Deaver workshop! I’m going to do my best to get there!

    I succeeded with NaNoWriMo this year with 50,192 words. I’m quite proud of myself.

    And about those podcasts — you make it fun and exciting. Thank you for all the hard work you do on this excellent promotional project.

  2. Pat, hearty congratulations! Congratulations to Vicky and Terri for their tremendous devotion to the Western Slope program! You all are an inspiration to me and many others. Mark, you are so generous with your time, too, and all the podcasts you’ve produced! I’m give YOU a shout-out, Mister! Talented writer! Boundless promotional energy! Valued friend to your tribe!! So glad to know you!

  3. Woot! Woot! Congratulations to Vicky and Terri for the Western Slope avalanche of interest in RMFW through their fabulous programs. Always a high-five to Mark for everything he does for RMFW!

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