As the largest commercial fiction writers' organization in Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Writers (pikespeakwriters.com) not only organizes the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, but it also provides year-round support to the published, the desirous-of-being-published and those who just like to put words to paper.
Laura Hayden, PPW vice president and conference director, emphasizes the importance of taking advantage of groups like PPW: "We have a blind spot when it comes to our own work. We're not equipped to objectively judge our own material."
Run by volunteers and one part-time contract employee, the nonprofit offers monthly workshops, members' nights, critique sessions and networking opportunities. While some half- and full-day workshops and fundraisers are fee-based, almost everything PPW provides its 800-plus members is free, including membership.
"There's a lot of support for literary, academic writers, but not the same support for commercial," Hayden says, adding, "If you're thinking about writing, you join us ...
"This area grows some extremely good, extra-successful writers. I can name four local New York Times authors: Nancy Atherton, Barbara Samuel, Kevin Anderson, Jerry Jenkins. For a town this size to have as many really good writers as we do, and trained, is phenomenal for the population. I would expect Denver to have something like that, but not the Springs."