Keynote Speaker

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Laura Pritchett

Laura Pritchett is the author, most recently, of the new novel, Stars Go Blue (Counterpoint), about a ranching family in northern Colorado, which Library Journal called “a brilliant novel, filled with heartache and humor.” Pritchett is the winner of the PEN USA Award for Fiction, the Colorado Book Award, the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, and she has published over 100 essays and short stories in magazines (including O Magazine, Elle, High Country News, 5280, The Sun, Orion, and others). She holds a PhD from Purdue University and teaches around the country. She lives in Northern Colorado.

Scroll to the bottom of this page for an article by Susan Rocco-McKeel about the keynote speaker Laura Pritchett.


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Hilari Bell

Hilari Bell, a former reference librarian, turned to full-time writing in 2005. Bell has written science fiction and fantasy novels for every age from middle grade through adult. She has hung around enough picture book writers to know what works in that market as well.



Terri Clark

Terri Clark feels blessed to demonstrate her passion for young adult fiction as both a teen librarian and author in Colorado. Since she was a little girl she’s been fascinated with the paranormal, so it’s little wonder her stories dabble in the dark and different. You can read about Terri’s books and visit with her on www.facebook.com/terriclarkbooks or www.twitter.com/terriclarkbooks.


Amy Denim

Amy writes contemporary romance and loves hot heroes (like chefs and cowboys) and curvy intelligent heroines (like chefs and cowgirls.) She started out her writer’s life scared out of her wits because she hadn’t yet created an online platform, wasn’t on Twitter, didn’t have a Facebook fanpage and had never even heard of Goodreads. She just wrote books. So she spent a year becoming a social media fiend and now does consulting for creatives on how to use social media effectively. She started “Coffee Break Social Media” to help writers and artists learn to use SM platforms effectively (without the scare tactics) but still have time to create. She believes social media can be every writer’s friend, sometimes they just need an introduction.  


Angie Hodapp

Angie Hodapp holds an MA in English and is a graduate of DU’s Publishing Institute. She has taught at Writer’s Digest University and the Colorado Gold Conference. She works at Nelson Literary Agency and writes romance as Holly Anders. She and her husband, novelist Warren Hammond, live in Denver, Colorado.


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Denise Miller Holmes

Denise Miller Holmes, known as the “Witty Wise Woman,” is a writer/speaker and the director of Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild in Lone Tree, Colorado. She writes two blogs–an author blog, and a writing tips blog. She has a degree in journalism from University of Southern California and a masters in counseling psychology.




DeAnna Knippling

DeAnna Knippling, freelance writer and editor, has been writing for six years, with experience in fiction, games, ghostwriting, and newsletters. She has eight years of professional technical writing and editing. She edits for Apex magazine and runs Wonderland Press, publishing her own books and formatting, editing, and designing books for clients.



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Karen Albright Lin

Karen Albright Lin is a freelance editor for traditionally-published and self-published authors. Her clients have hit #1-9 in their Amazon  categories, remaining for months. She’s a produced screenwriter and ghostwriter. She writes in many other genres and speaks on cruises, at conferences, and in other venues.  


Chris Mandeville

Chris Mandeville is a University of California, Berkeley graduate, an Air Force wife, and mom. She is the author of 52 Ways to Get Unstuck: Exercises to Break Through Writer’s Block. She also writes new adult fantasy and science fiction, and serves as the president of Delve Writing.

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Claudia Cangilla McAdam

Douglas County resident Claudia Cangilla McAdam has been a published writer for over 30 years.  She has authored fourteen books (with two more on the way) geared to children, middle graders, and young adults.  She has also written scores of magazine and newspaper articles and well over 200 reading assessment passages.  Her writing has won awards on both the local and national levels.


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Anne Randolph

Anne, founder of Kitchen Table Writing, inspires authors to find their authentic creative voice. She is delighted to return to the Castle Rock Writers Conference. She offers workshops in Denver and at various conferences. With an MA and MFA in literature and theatre, she worked as director for two opera companies and Colorado Symphony. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and has worked at the English National Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Colorado, as well as in Europe. She is published by Red Hen Press. Anne’s “fresh writing” workbook, Write Naked! with Kitchen Table Writing and her latest compilation, Stories Gathered at the Kitchen Table: A Collection of Women’s Memoirs, are available at www.KitchenTableWriting.com.

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Patricia Raybon

Journalist Patricia Raybon is the award-winning author of My First White Friend, I Told the Mountain to Move, and a One Year® Tyndale devotional. Her latest book is Undivided: A Muslim Daughter, Her Christian Mother, Their Path to Peace. It releases in April 2015 from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and W Books). Visit her on twitter and Facebook.



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Aaron Michael Ritchey

Aaron Michael Ritchey has two published novels and is contracted for a third.  His latest work won a glowing Kirkus review.  His steampunk story, “The Dirges of Percival Lewand,” has been submitted for a Hugo. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two daughters.  He writes daily.




Gordon Warnock

Gordon Warnock is a founding partner at Foreword Literary, serving as a literary agent and editorial director of the Fast Foreword digital publishing program. He brings years of experience as a senior agent, marketing director and editor for independent publishers, freelance publishing consultant, and college-level writing tutor. He frequently teaches workshops and gives keynote speeches at conferences and MFA programs nationwide.  His client list is an even balance of seasoned veterans and promising new voices. Read more about what he represents and view his submission guidelines at http://forewordliterary.com.



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Mary Taylor Young 

Award-winning writer Mary Taylor Young is author of 15 books, including Land of Grass and Sky: A Naturalist’s Prairie Journey, and just out in 2014, Rocky Mountain National Park: The First 100 Years. She has written professionally about the landscape and heritage of the West and taught writing to adults and children since 1987. In 2012, she was a National Park Service Artist in Residence in creative writing at Rocky Mountain National Park.

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