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March 26 CAL Authors at The Tattered Cover in Westminster: Matt Bille and Bob Seay

April 15 The Expert Edge with M.J. Evans

April 23 CAL Authors at The Tattered Cover in Westminster: L.R. Braden and Joseph Hutchison

May 28 CAL Authors at The Tattered Cover in Westminster: Jeanette Minniti, Jodi Bowersox, and Kendra Merritt

June 11, 2023 CAL Awards at the Washington Park Boathouse

Retail Opportunities Calendar

Colorado Conference Calendar 2023

March 30-April 2 Readers Take Denver

March 31-April 1 Write In The Springs Christian Writers Conference

April 28-30 Pikes Peak Writers

May 25-27 Northern Colorado Writers

Sept 8-10 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers

In the spotlight: Barbara Stafford



Wow, that sounds easy! When my older sister and I asked Mom to teach us how to cook as young children, that was her response. My sister nodded and headed toward the kitchen with cookbooks to plan a meal. My takeaway, on the other hand, was that Mom couldn’t read! We were raised on Hamburger Helper and TV dinners. She couldn’t cook so it was clear that Mom couldn’t read! I kept that secret to myself for years until the truth came out….she just didn’t like to cook! Well, the cooking gene clearly skipped a generation and my sister and I still love to cook! We all still laugh about our mom, now age 90, who CAN read! As she’ll tell you, her favorite thing to make is reservations!

Fast forward a few years, I am now an award-winning author of two cookbooks! My husband encouraged me to write them. He heard our friends ask for my dinner party recipes and menus after having them over. It only made sense to him that I start a cookbook with complete dinner party menus, so I did. Venturing down that path, I realized how much I love appetizers as I put two into each dinner party menu. That was the brainstorm for the second cookbook.

I am a home-cook who loves food and who has taken and taught many cooking classes over the years. I don’t believe a person can own too many cookbooks. I love to create meals with many colors, textures and flavors to make the food both interesting and beautiful. We eat with our eyes first! Being invited into a home is special and food is a beautiful way to share time together. Finding out a guest’s food preferences and allergies are key to making a dinner work.

Ask before the date! This I learned the hard way when I had prepared a beautiful beef tenderloin meal…for a vegetarian! Oops!

Becoming an author was a circuitous route. I majored in Psychology in college, then earned a degree in Dental Hygiene and have worked as a Dental Hygienist for, gulp, 39 years now! Healthy teeth make the meals taste better. I love my day job and am also passionate about food and all it has to offer. Self-publishing has been an eye-opening challenge. I thought the biggest job was writing a book. I have learned a lot about marketing and business these past few years and continue to learn. The culinary journey continues with my willing husband, who is happy to try all my cooking experiments. Like my mom said, “If you can read you can cook!”

Barbara Stafford, author of Eclectic Entertaining – Complete Dinner Party Menus for Busy

People Who Like to Cook and Eclectic Entertaining – Small Plates & Dainty Desserts


Did you miss our CAL Co-op Booths?

You can still get great books by CAL authors!

Check out our Genre Pages for ideas and contact an author for a direct purchase of an autographed copy. What could be a more unique gift?

2022 co-op booth, Robert, Tyler

CAL Racks in Colorado Springs and Lakewood

Support these businesses that support CAL

5670 N. Academy Blvd

Colorado Springs


Located in the

Colorado Mills Mall

14500 W. Colfax Avenue

Lakewood, CO

A New Rack Location

Coming Soon!

Third Space Rack
Perfect Gift book rack
Acme Bar & Grill rack

Nowhere near our book racks?

You can still find great books by CAL authors. Check out our Genre Pages.

Autographed books make a great gift year-round. Contact authors directly to get signed copies.

CAL Authors Release New Books!


This will touch your heart as no other horse story has before.

Find it on Amazon


What happens when a conscience goes cold?

Find it on Amazon


Humans stand at the edge of extinction. They just don’t know it yet.

Buy yours today!

Mountain Town Mysteries Book I

Find it on Amazon.


True stories of Western grit and courage.

Buy Yours Now

A Light in the Forest

Even during the darkest of times, there's light in unexpected places.

Buy yours today!

Paxton Plays the Piccolo

Hold on to your dreams.

Check it out on Amazon

The Fear of Winter: Book One in The Fear Of Series

A haunting crime thriller

Find it on Amazon


A crashed ship. An alien jungle. A missing colony.

Buy Your Copy Here


Will Phoebe be the first female Sheriff?

Available on Amazon


Will the secrets she harbors keep her from finding love?

Available on Amazon


War is coming to Eldros....

Find it on Amazon

Death Hunts the Weak

Death becomes easy when hope is in finding the end of days.

Buy yours today!

Operation White Out

Another exciting Mac MacDowell Adventure

Check it out on Amazon


She must decide if a half-truth is still a whole lie . . .

Buy Your Copy Here

And Publish Plays, Essays, Articles, and Poems!

Amy Rivers' essay "What's In A Name?" was published by Modern Identity via Medium.

Robert V. Dodge published an article in the Journal of Indigenous Research: "Indigenous Americans Became Red: Racism as Justification for Exploitation of Native Americans."

Gregory SETH Harris' poem "After the Flood" was published by Lightwood.

Kathryn Winograd's essay, "Mist Nets: After the Uvalde Shooting," is now posted at Another essay, "Floating in the Riparian," can be read at Shanti Arts!


Crisosto Apache has had two poem published in Thin Air Magazine: "Calm" and "Creating Golden Heliotropes in His Hands."

Carol Ann Wilson's essay "Live Oaks" was published by The Wrath-Bearing Tree, a literary journal founded by combat veterans and dedicated to issues of social justice and human resilience. 

Recent Articles
CAL Member News

CAL Authors In Action

Helping Students

In 2020, CAL members joined together to create a book of writing prompts for students of all ages.

Paperback and Kindle versions available on Amazon

Download Options in English and Spanish

Lisa Reinicke 2

Helping the Community

CAL authors often contribute to Little Free Libraries!

Little Library 2021

Where can I find CAL books?

CAL books are on GoodReads!

Click to find them all in one place!


Registration has partially opened for the 2023 Colorado Gift Shows in November.

The Denver booth will be held Nov. 3-5 at the Convention Center.

The Colorado Springs booth will be held Nov. 10-12 at the Event Center.

Read all about it and how you can participate next year:

Christmas Booth

CAL Awards

Submissions for the 2023 Awards are now closed.

Finalists will be announced in May.

Submission period: Nov 1-Jan 31

Eligibility: You must be a CAL member to enter (See Membership tab above)

Categories: Multiple writing categories are judged from essays, articles, and poetry to full-length novels.

Categories also include illustration, cover design, and graphic novels.

2023 Awards announcements: May

Awards ceremony: June

Awards Info

Bruce Most

recipient of the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award

Watch Bruce's Interview Video

Watch past Award Ceremonies

79th Annual CAL Awards Video

hosted by Kevin and Jodi Bowersox

80th Annual CAL Awards Video

hosted by Jody Pritzl

81st Annual CAL Awards Video

hosted by Jodi Bowersox, Laurie Marr Wasmund, and Claire L. Fishback

CAL is a proud supporter of:

Colorado Sun