CAL Day at Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, December 19, is CAL day at Barnes and Noble in Glendale (960 S Colorado Blvd Glendale, CO 80246). A portion of all books sold on 12/19 will be donated to Colorado Author’s League in support of the Colorado Book Festival. Please stop by to the store to say hello, purchase a few gifts and help support the Colorado Book Festival. Be sure to pick up a CAL voucher at the CAL table in front of the store to use with your purchase!

The Book Festival Takes Off

Next March’s Colorado Book Festival, co-sponsored by CAL and the Denver Public Library’s Western History Department, has gotten bigger again. Eighty-two authors signed up in just the first month after registration opened to show their wares at the event.

There’s still a little room left. Click here for information about exhibiting at the festival and sign up instructions.

The crowd is growing. There will be reader-oriented programs through the day, with writers and CAL members leading interactive discussions tying books to some of the larger themes of modern life as well as how much wine to drink at book club meetings. Also on tap: backstage and art tours of the library, a live podcast for and with middle-grade readers and more. Keynoters are bestselling Colorado author Peter Heller and, in the afternoon, state historian Patricia Limerick with a “not-always-nice look at how the West was won.”

The whole festival got off to a fun (and funny) start with Monday night’s launch event at the library with Denver7’s Lisa Hildalgo and the wonderful Orin Hargraves, author of It’s Been Said Before, and his entertaining take-down of the clichés that can make reading a hard slog.

And so is support. Not least, community leaders are signing on to support the Colorado Book Festival. Sponsors now include the Denver Post Community Foundation, the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, ANB Bank, the Colorado Humanities Center for the Book, Fulcrum Publishing, Denver7 and the Scripps Howard Foundation. The Tattered Cover will provide book sales support at the festival itself.

For information regarding the festival, contact Rachel Kodanaz by email at

The Bookfest Grows Again

The second Colorado Book Festival, co-sponsored by the Colorado Authors’ League and the Denver Public Library, took another big step toward its new era when the Denver Post Foundation signed on as a sponsor of the March 3, 2018 event. The Post will be supporting and helping to build attendance for the day-long festivities. Reader-oriented programs, tours and chances to talk to participating authors – among many other events and happenings – will occupy several floors at the main Denver Public Library on Civic Center Park.

CAL and the library quickly put together its first festival effort in 2016. With more time, study of other cities’ festivals and wide community and sponsor support, the next festival is shaping up as a bigger, more-populous celebration of reading, all kinds of writing, and literacy. Author sign-ups will start this fall, with CAL members getting both priority and a discount. CBF Director Rachel Kodanaz expects the Program Committee will be announcing programs – many of them featuring celebrity authors, media personalities and topic experts – later in the fall.

Kris Walker is already pulling in sponsorships from other media outlets, foundations, supporters of the arts, publishers and others. She can be reached For more info: Rachel Kodanaz is at

Mentors for Members

Longtime members of CAL have reflected on how they had made so many strong relationships through CAL, and, of course, it was through face-to-face interaction—some via Board and other volunteer involvement, but also by the social opportunities. To assist new members to become more engaged in the organization, CAL is pleased to offer our new mentoring program for new members. Margi Evans, who has served for five years on the CAL Board, will coordinate the program.

If you’ve been a CAL member for a while, you are invited—urged—to volunteer to mentor someone who is getting to know the state’s oldest professional writers organization. New members henceforth will be contacted by Margi soon after they are notified that their applications have been approved.

Mentors and mentees will be paired, as much as possible, based on common genres or compatible writing interests. Location will be a secondary consideration, though in today’s world, email and social media make it pretty easy to communicate even across town or from different parts of the state.

To volunteer to be a mentor or to request one, email Margi at Include your name, the genre or genres in which you write, your location, email and phone number.

For Mentors:

The purpose of this program is to help our new (and newer) members become involved with other authors as well as to help them keep informed about all the wonderful opportunities afforded them as members. We ask that mentors contact your mentee by phone, e-mail or in person within a month of receiving his or her name, and at least quarterly thereafter, for at least one year.

Ways mentors can help new members assimilate into CAL:

*Relate the history of the organization
*Acquaint them with the CAL Web site and all that it provides members
*Offer professional feedback and interaction
*Call attention to InPrint and urge reading the electronic newsletter every month
*Encourage participation in CAL activities such as CAL Academy, the Co-Op Book Booth and the Colorado Book Festival, making sure they know how to register and get the most from each activity
*Explain the CAL Writing Awards—how to enter, what to expect, and how to capitalize on being a finalist or winning—and the *Lifetime Achievement and Author Advocate awards
*Invite them to join you at the CAL Holiday Party and annual CAL Awards Dinner
*Introduce them to other members whenever possible
*Promote Board of Directors participation and volunteer service

CAL Treasurer’s Report

Click here to download the 2017 CAL Treasurer’s Report presented at the 2017 CAL Awards Banquet. If you wish to see detailed information about CAL’s budget and expenses or balance sheet, please contact Gail Mencinini, Treasurer, at

Conquer Your Audiobook!

Learn How-To’s From Audible® Pro Richard Rieman
Get the inside scoop on AudioBook production at the next free CAL Marketing Roundtable on May 16th featuring CAL member Richard Rieman, an Audible® Approved audiobook narrator, award-winning storyteller and author of “The Author’s Guide to Audio Book Creation.” With audio books now the fastest growing publishing format, Richard will tell us how we can join the audiobook revolution and get our share of a $2 billion dollar industry.

Join the fun and learn:

* How to determine if an audiobook version of your book will work.

* The essential steps to create your audiobook.

* How to uncover your costs in making an audiobook.

* How to promote and market your audiobook

We will also talk about additional marketing resources.

A Little More About Richard

With smiling Irish eyes and a rich, warm voice to match, Richard Rieman (Ree’man) is an Audible Approved Audiobook narrator, audiobook producer, professionally trained Voice Actor, and author of “The Author’s Guide to AudioBook Creation.”

Audible Approved producers are the best audiobook producers in the business. Most have narrated and/or produced 25 audiobooks that are available on and have a verifiable record of achievement in the audiobook industry.

Meeting Location and Details

DATE: Tuesday, May 16th

TIME: 6-8 p.m.

COST: Free to all CAL members

PLACE: Ross-University Hills Branch Library (second floor), 4310 E. Amherst Ave., Denver, CO 80222

Grever, Tweit Lead Winners of 75th Anniversary CAL Writing Awards

Carol Grever of Boulder and Susan J. Tweit of Cody, Wyoming each won two 75th anniversary CAL Writing Awards at the annual dinner, held May 5 at Arvada Center. They were Grever’s third and fourth CAL Awards, and the fourth and fifth for Tweit. Awards were presented in 13 categories, including eBook for the first time. Grever won that one for Turnings: Reflections on a Conscious Life. She also won the Single Poem category for a poem titled, Stones. Tweit, who moved to Wyoming from Salida in the past year, took home the awards for Essay (No Species is an Island) and Blog (Susan J. Tweit Blog).

Celebrating their CAL Awards (left to right) are Susan J. Tweit,
Mary Taylor Young, Carol Grever and Barbara Nickless.

Three other authors were repeat winners:

*Art Elser of Denver, his second, in Poetry Collection (High Plains Register)

*Mary Taylor Young of Castle Rock, her fifth, in Feature Article (The Embodiment of Wild)

*Nancy Bo Flood of Glenwood Springs, also her fifth, in Young Adult Book (Soldier Sister, Fly Home)

First-time winners were:

*Nancy Oswald of Cotopaxi in Children’s Book for Trouble Returns

*Beth Walker of Boulder in Children’s/Young Adult Non-Fiction for Princess Monori

*Jane Bock of Loveland in General Nonfiction for Forensic Plant Science

*Sandra Windsor of Denver in Creative Nonfiction for FBI Wife

*Darin Gibby of Lone Tree in Mainstream Fiction for Gil

*Barbara Nickless of Colorado Springs in Genre Fiction for Blood on the Tracks

A record 81 entries were submitted to Awards Chair Jerry Mitchell and were judged by Southwest Writers of New Mexico. Winners each received a $100 cash prize and a glass likeness of a book etched with their name and category.

Phyllis Perry of Boulder, whose 87th title will be published in December, received CAL’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim Kroll, manager of the Denver Public Library’s Western History and Genealogy Department, home of the Colorado Authors Collection, received the Author Advocate Award.

Judges’ Comments

Here are the judges’ comments on the award-winning entries:

Single Poem: Stones, by Carol Grever: The poet uses a stack of stones as a vivid and effective metaphor for painful secrets, held too long but finally released.

Poetry Collection: High Plains Register, 5 poems, by Art Elser: Thoughtful and moving poems that address a variety of themes, from memories of the Vietnam War to the search for extraterrestrial life, to the plight of those (both human and animal) who are lonely, disabled, or homeless.

Blog: Susan J. Tweit Blog, by Susan J. Tweit: Susan’s blog is excellent in the way a blog should excel. Her voice is personal and engaging, and her subjects are varied and always interesting. Great photos, wonderful blog.

Feature Article: The Embodiment of Wild, by Mary Taylor Young: Mary’s article is excellent, well researched, and well delivered. All of the articles were worthy of winning, but Mary’s stood out.

Essay: No Species is an Island, by Susan J. Tweit: Susan has a wonderful voice. Her words tumble out in a smooth and effortless stream, exactly right to convey her point while letting the reader know who she is.

Children’s Book: Trouble Returns, by Nancy Oswald: Nancy Oswald portrays Ruby and Cripple Creek in the 1890s in colorful detail. The language and events are engaging, and who wouldn’t love a girl whose best friend is a donkey named Maude?

Young Adult Book: Soldier Sister, Fly Home, by Nancy Bo Flood: Nancy Bo Flood has created a story of finding who you are when everything is changing, and her young character feels she doesn’t fit in anywhere. The Navajo background and setting are skillfully and accurately portrayed. Beautifully written and emotionally satisfying.

Children’s/Young Adult Nonfiction: Princess Monori, by Beth Walker: Impressive gathering of stories from an area where their language is disappearing.

General Nonfiction: Forensic Plant Science, Jane Bock: A fascinating book about a fascinating subject. It’s well researched and well written. One can see the book being of interest to a wide number of disparate groups, such as scientists, forensic labs, plant lovers, and even mystery and thriller writers.

Creative Nonfiction: FBI Wife: A Memoir, by Sandra Windsor: A fascinating story that’s well told and keeps you wondering what’s on the next page.

eBook: Turnings: Reflections on a Conscious Life, by Carol Grever: Carol has written a beautiful and honest story of her spiritual journey, punctuated by lovely poems.

Mainstream Fiction: Gil, by Darin Gibby: Gil has everything a reader looks for in a novel. A flawed by likeable character with an impossible dream, top-notch writing, a story that keeps you turning pages, an ending that brings you to the edge of your seat, and a haunting theme that will make you rethink your life. Loved this book.

Genre Fiction: Blood on the Tracks, by Barbara Nickless: Ms. Nickless immediately draws the reader into Sydney Rose Parnell’s world of railroad police work and rail riders. As Parnell and her K-9 partner, Clyde, investigated a brutal murder for which a fellow veteran was blamed, she also brings understanding about the difficulties faced by those with PTSD; Parnell, Clyde, and the suspect all suffered the long-lasting effects of war. The author’s easy style of telling two terrifying tales at once is applauded. She keeps the reader turning pages right to the end.

Here’s a simple caption for the one called 4Winners:

The others are self-evident by the names of the files, but some don’t have first names, so in case it saves you time:

Beth Walker
Art Elser
Jim Kroll (Author Advocate recipient)
Nancy Oswald
Phyllis Perry (Lifetime Achievement Award recipient)
Sandra Windsor (incoming Board member and new CAL member)

Also attached is photo of Penny Hamilton, CAL member from Granby, and Tom Evans, Margi’s husband, who volunteered at the check-in desk. If you include this image, here’s a caption:

Greeting arrivals at the CAL Awards Dinner were volunteers Tom Evans and Penny Hamilton, the latter an Awards finalist in Feature Articles from Granby. (If you credit this one: Bill Hamilton photo)

CAL Awards Finalists Readings at Tattered Cover and BookBar

Finalists for the 2017 CAL Writing Awards will be announced as soon as we receive them from the judges at Southwest Writers in New Mexico–likely around April 1. Winners will be announced at the annual CAL Awards Dinner May 5 at Arvada Center. This year’s dinner will mark the 75th anniversary of the CAL Writing Awards. Finalist readings have been scheduled, and they’re timed to coincide with two big days on the publishing calendar. Mark these on your calendar, and support the CAL finalists with your attendance at these events:

Wednesday, April 26, at 7:00 pm–Feature articles, Blogs and Essays, at Book Bar on Tennyson St. in Denver.
Saturday, April 29, at 2:00 pm–Adult Non-fiction and Poetry categories, at Tattered Cover Bookstore, on Colfax St.
Saturday, April 29, at 6:00 pm–Adult Fiction categories, at Tattered Cover Bookstore, on Colfax St.
Sunday, April 30, at 2:00 pm–Children’s and Young Adult categories, at Tattered Cover Bookstore, Aspen Grove Store.
April 29 is Independent Bookstore Day, and April 30 is the kick-off for Children’s Book Week.

Proposed CAL Bylaws Changes


I call your attention to this very important message and ask that you read and respond as instructed. In accordance with Colorado Authors’ League Bylaws, this email contains changes to those Bylaws and requests your approval to accept them.

Article XIII-Amendments specifies that all members be made aware of any proposed changes; that members be allowed two weeks to comment; and that two-thirds of all votes cast must approve any proposed change for said change to be adopted as an amendment to the Bylaws.

Please read this in its entirety. If you wish to submit a question or comment, please send it by email to

If you support the proposed change, you do not need to take any action and your vote will be counted as “yes”.

If you do NOT support the change, you must send an email to to vote “no” prior to March 20, 2017.

Thank you,
Denny Dressman, CAL President


The current CAL Bylaws provide for one-year terms for members of the Board of Directors. However, current Board members have served, or have agreed to serve, for at least two, and in some cases, five or more years because of difficulties recruiting new Board members.

Revised Board Succession:

The current CAL Board has worked hard to design a succession plan that will ensure continuity of leadership going forward by increasing and staggering terms, and providing for a new structure for the office of CAL President, as follows:

  • Two different terms:

26 months, starting in May, for all Board positions except President-Elect/President; and

36 months, starting in June, for President-Elect/President (unless an existing Board member voluntarily becomes President after completing a 26-month term.

  • President-Elect serves for one full year before advancing to President, to get grounded in CAL history and operations, then serves two years as President. During the first year, President-Elect will be available to all Board members to assist during their peak times as a way of learning about CAL.
  • All new Board members will be voted on at the annual dinner, as provided in the Bylaws. Bringing successors on board in May will mean the Board will grow to 13 positions for two months, and to 14 each year a President-Elect is added, and will be 10 instead of 9 during the President-Elect’s first year.
  • Succession is four 26-month positions each year; President-Elect is every two years because it is a 36-month position. (If a Board member wants to continue in the same or another position for a second two-year term, he or she certainly can, including skipping the President-Elect year and becoming President.)
  • Duplicate positions from May through June for each 26-month position so incoming can learn duties/routine from outgoing.
  • President-Elect is recruited with the up front understanding it is a three-year commitment and that the person will become the president in a year.
  • The first four 26-month positions to be filled will be secretary, banquet, InPrint and public relations. The second four will be treasurer, awards, membership and programs.

Bylaws Revisions:

Following are the relevant sections of the Bylaws with changes indicated as follows:

Strikethrough indicates deletion.

Red type indicates new or revised wording.


Section 1. The Officers of CAL shall be a President, a First Vice President, a Second Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, to be elected at the annual meeting of CAL.

(a) It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors and of CAL, countersign all checks above a sum determined by vote of the Board of Directors, and perform such other duties as agreed to by the Board. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees., except the Nominating Committee.

Section 2. The terms of all Officers shall be one year, and/or until their successors are elected and qualified, subject to removal pursuant to Article VI, Section 5. (Delete Section)


Section 2. The Board of Directors shall consist of the Elected Officers, and the Chairperson of each standing committee. a President-Elect, and the following Directors: InPrint Editor, Awards Chairperson, Banquet Chairperson and Public Relations Chairperson. All terms except President-Elect shall be 26 months, effective upon election at the annual meeting. The term for President-Elect shall be three years, beginning July 1 of the year of election, serving the first year as President-Elect and the last two as President.


Section 1. The President, in consultation with the Board of Directors, shall appoint a Nominating Committee to nominate Officers and Directors and chairpersons of CAL’s committees. to be presented for election at the annual meeting. Such Nominating Committee shall consist of three members in good standing. At least one member shall be a past president.

Section 2. The president may also, in consultation with the Board of Directors, constitute such ad hoc committees and appoint members thereof as he/she may deem advisable or desirable.


Section 1. Election of Officers and Directors and Standing Committee Chairpersons shall be held at the annual meeting on the following schedule:

Odd-numbered years: President-Elect, Secretary, InPrint Editor, Banquet Chairperson, Public Relations Chairperson

Even-numbered years: First Vice President (Programs), Second Vice President (Membership), Treasurer, Awards Chairperson

Section 2: The Board of Directors at its January meeting shall elect a Nominating Committee consisting of three members in good standing. No member of the Nominating Committee shall serve two years in succession. At least one member shall be a past president. Said committee shall present its list of nominees for Officers, Directors and Standing Committee Chairpersons at the annual meeting. The Nominating Committee shall present its slate of candidates for election at each annual meeting. Additional nominations may also be made from the floor at the time of the meeting.

Inaugural Colorado Book Festival September 10

ColoBookFest FinalRThe inaugural Colorado Book Festival – the book-lover’s equivalent of a spectacular four-ring circus featuring more than 75 Colorado authors – will be held Saturday, September 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Conference Center (lower level) at the main Denver Public Library, 13th Avenue and Broadway downtown.

Among the featured authors are New York Times best-sellers Margaret Coel and Stephen Singular; famed landscape photographer and nature writer John Fielder; Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Elizabeth Fenn; current Colorado Poet Laureate Joseph Hutchison and former laureate Davis Mason; former Denver Broncos vice president Jim Saccomano; and former Denver Post columnist Dick Kreck.

The Colorado Book Festival is a joint presentation of the Colorado Authors’ League, which is celebrating its 85th year in 2016, and the Denver Public Library’s Western History Department, located on the fifth floor downtown. The event is free and open to the public.

The day will include six panels of authors discussing their books in the areas of mysteries, sports, poetry, relationships, cooking and history; a panel on getting published; and special presentations by Coel, Singular, Fielder, Fenn and Kreck.

And 10 Colorado authors of children’s and young adult books will each have a 30-minute story time.

More than 60 Colorado authors will meet and talk with readers, and be available to sign their books, which will be available for sale. Special prize drawings will be held throughout the day. For a complete list of participating authors, visit the Colorado Book Festival section of, the Colorado Authors’ League Web site.

The Colorado Book Festival is sponsored by ANB Bank, Fulcrum Publishing, Morgan James Publishing, Outskirts Press, Colorado Humanities and the Center for the Book, Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association, 9News, Rocky Mountain PBS and The Denver Post.

CONTACT: Sandra Lamb