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In Memoriam: Lois Beebe Hayna, 1913-2017

The first recipient of the Colorado Authors’ League Lifetime Achievement Award, Lois Beebe Hayna, 104, died April 10, 2017. Born January 28, 1913 in Idaho, she grew up in the small town of Vesper, WI. Despite challenges, she made it to the University of Wisconsin on a scholarship during the Great Depression. She lived in the campus writers house, Arden, and imagined her future as an author. Life demands pushed serious writing aside until her 60s.

Hundreds of literary journals have published Lois’ poetry including The South Dakota Review, Mac Guffin, and Wisconsin Quarterly Review. U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser featured one of Lois’ poems in his syndicated newspaper column, American Life in Poetry. “I like this poem (Brief Eden) by 97-year-old Lois Beebe Hayna of Colorado for the way it captures restrained speech. The speaker spends most of her words in describing a season, but behind the changes of spring another significant change is suggested.” Brief Eden also appeared in the New York Times in their “Poetry Pairing Series.” Read More

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Congratulations 2017 CAL Writing Award Finalists

For a second straight year CAL set a record for numbers of entries and categories judged for the CAL Writing Awards. There were 39 finalists selected in 13 categories. Southwest Writers, the Albuquerque-based writing group that judged our entries, again had high praise for the quality of work from Colorado authors. They are recommending a strong list for recognition, and setting the stage for an outstanding awards banquet on Friday, May 5, 6 p.m. at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada. Tickets for the banquet are available now -sign up here! This year’s featured speaker is Drew Litton, award-winning sports cartoonist and creator of ‘win, lose & DREW.’

In addition to the thirteen category winners to be announced at the banquet, CAL will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the CAL Writing Awards. We will also honor this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Phyllis J. Perry, author of 87 titles, including children’s and adult books and works of poetry. Phyllis joins previous year’s winners including 2016 winner, mystery writer Margaret Coel, 2015 winner, adventure/thriller writer Clive Cussler, and 2014 winner, poet Lois Beebe Hayna. Jim Kroll, Manager of the Western History and Genealogy Department at Denver Public Library will receive CAL’s Author Advocate Award.

The 2017 CAL Writing Award finalists (authors in alphabetical order, by category) are: Read More

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Los Angeles Review Honors Jared Smith

The Los Angeles Review had just published an essay on the life work of Jared Smith as a poet. “Throughout his career, Jared Smith has registered the shifting currents of American thought and experience, exploring how language relates to and complements the evolution of mind, body, nation, and globe.” Click here to read the full essay by John Amen.

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Tales from Weaver Pond, by Laurel Jean Becker

Coming soon! Laurel Jean Becker’s award winning book, Tales from Weaver Pond, will be coming in April. An obvious fox that must learn to be sly, a homesick goose and a duck afraid to swim and fly are some of the characters that make their home on Weaver Pond. When the community is threatened, each character discovers that flaws can become strengths and learn to accept themselves and others. Tales from Weaver Pond helps its readers understand the vital need for kindness and community.

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Creating a Sense of Place in Your Writing, with Mary Taylor Young

Mary Taylor Young will offer a workshop on Creating A Sense Of Place In Your Writing at Arapahoe Community College’s annual Writers Studio Literary Festival, April 8, 8:30 – 3:30 pm. Cost is $25 for one workshop, $45 for two. Includes lunch, faculty readings, networking. Other workshops include poetry, fiction, flash fiction, and publishing. Details can be found here.

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“Weekly Reflection”, from Kent Ira Groff

Dr. Kent Ira Groff emails a brief “Weekly Reflection” each Monday (art for the heart & succinct spiritual zinger for the head). Kent, who’s authored 10 books and taught theology in the US and abroad, loves being an inter-faith spiritual companion/director, retreat leader and writer/poet: “I listen to people’s stories and gives them back to them.” To check out / sign up for Weekly Reflections:

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Dian Curtis Regan a CBA Finalist

Dian Curtis Regan’s newest book for young readers, Space Boy and the Space Pirate (Boyds Mills Press, 2016) is a finalist for the 2017 Colorado Book Award. On May 4th, the Bookbar in Denver will host a reading and signing for the finalists. The awards banquet will be held at the Parker Arts, Culture, and Events Center at the end of May. For more information visit or

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Poetry from Gail Waldstein

Several of Gail Waldstein’s poems have been accepted and are published (or will be) as follows:
botanic garden silence,  published in Switched on Gutenberg, issue 23 on line. 9/16 (on line)
timbre special merit in MurielCraft Bailey Contest, The Comstock Review fall/winter 2016; vol. 30:2
pulse honorable mention Atlanitis Award, Poets Billow 2/17
brush accepted at ellipsis 2/2017

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The Enraptured Reader: Writing to Stir the Emotions

A One-Day Luncheon Seminar
with Page Lambert

Saturday, April 22, 2017
8:30 – 4:00

SANSKRIT LITERATURE seeks to evoke intense, visceral, and emotional responses in the reader, much like someone experiences when mesmerized by a work of art, or spellbound by a performance. Known as the Rasa Theory, this phenomenon “can also help artists and writers effectively represent and harness emotions, creating suspense and surprise in their art.” (Rita Banerjee, “Emotion and Suspense: The Essence of the Rasa Theory,” Poets & Writers, Jan/Feb 2017).

During this one-day luncheon seminar, we will explore the realm of emotion (in our own work and in published examples, and we’ll study the writing tools available to us to evoke emotions in our readers. Registration Details:

WHEN: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 8:30 to 4:00
WHERE: Mount Vernon Country Club, Golden, Colorado (25 minutes from downtown Denver).
COST: $105 (register before Monday, 4/10/17); $120 (Monday, 4/10/17 or later)
INCLUDES: Morning coffee, tea, pastries and fruit; catered luncheon and afternoon beverages. Appropriate for all genres.
Questions? 303.842.7360 or

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PEP Talks CO Features Karen Susman

You’ve heard of TED Talks. Now there are PEP Talks. Ten inspiring, informative speakers including CAL past president, Karen Susman, who will be speaking on storytelling. Some topics CAL members might find of interest include sales, health, mental blocks, money management, building a business, and keeping motivated. See all speaker bios and get tickets (just $59) at April 29, 2017, from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM at the Sheraton DTC, 7007 South Clinton St., Greenwood Village, CO 80112.

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