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Based in Central Colorado since 1995, Central Colorado (CC) Writers fosters writing and encourages publication through the sharing of resources critique sessions, and information. (more)

Join us for our free and open to the public WE Write (WW) Sessions!

Our next session is on 22 May 2023, on ZOOM from 6:00-8:00 pm. 


These WW sessions usually meet on the Zoom platform. Each session has time allotted at the start for general discussion, writing updates, and events. We start the WW sessions at 6 p.m. (MT) and are always done by 8 p.m..


Plan for a 15-minute "head start" for technical set-up before the start time.

The opportunity to read your writing is encouraged with no critique! See our Event Calendar for dates, times. Zoom connection information is sent the day before the session. Be sure to RSVP!

Join WE Write (WW) Zoom Session Here!

Contact Laurel McHargue to volunteer for a session facilitator!

Subscribe to CCW to stay current with our schedule of events!

CC Writers In the News

CC Writers Inspire Youth

CCW authors Laurel McHargue, Linda Ditchkus, and Danielle Frost recently shared their writing experience with a group of Montessori students in Salida. The youth wrote stories and our three authors read/reviewed them and provided feedback and writing advice.


Director Jill Lewis expressed her appreciation in a letter to CCW. "I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful and amazing feedback you gave to our students a few weeks ago. It was amazing and incredibly refreshing and so very positive. Each student just glowed after hearing the responses...Thank you so much! I am just so honored and giddy at the wonderfulness of each of you. Thank you for sharing such fabulousness with my students."

Just another example of CCW writers out there inspiring our youth to get those words down on paper!

Kiehart & Torrens Named 2023 Firebird Award Winners


CC Writers Judy Kiehart and Cam Torrens were recently recognized by the International Firebird Book Awards. Judy won first place in the LGBTQ Nonfiction category for Calico Lane and Cam took third in the Suspense genre for his debut novel Stable.

Authors and publishers worldwide submitted their work to the International Firebird Book Awards. Two judges from a select panel of 27 read each book and independently scored each entry. All judges commit to a set of standardized criteria that evaluates the quality of the writing as well as production aspects. Only entries with the highest scores are awarded the coveted Firebird.

Patricia J. Rullo, the founder of the Firebird Book Awards, says,  “The Firebird Book Awards adds a charitable twist that allows the author’s entry fee to be tax-deductible. In return, we make handmade fun and colorful pillowcases and send them with children’s books to women and children who are experiencing homelessness, including the shelter Enchanted Makeovers, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. In this way, authors get notoriety for their work while helping to transform homeless shelters into bright and happy homes. While it feels good to win a book award, it feels even better to do good and serve others.”

The Firebird Book Awards run quarterly contests so authors can receive recognition on a timely basis. Authors from all genres, mainstream, independent, and self-published, are welcome. For additional winning authors, titles, and entry information:

2023 Youth Writing Contest a Success!
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Grand prize winners Hannah Wharton and Benjamin Bishop were awarded checks for $400 each for their winning stories in this year’s CC Writers (CCW) Youth Writing Contest. The awards ceremony took place at the Congregational United Church of Christ at 217 Crossman in Buena Vista at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 17, 2023.


Last year’s inaugural contest brought in 36 fictional short stories with the common theme: It Happened Near Here. This year’s contest brought in over 70 entries with the theme: Someday.


After CCW President Jean Gabardi and member-at-large Linda Ditchkus presented $150 each to the Junior level Silver Prize winner Aberlyn Leon from Buena Vista for the story “Someday” and Bronze Prize to Eliza Darcine Schwander from Leadville for “Loona's Dream Will Someday Come True,” Junior Grand Prize winner Benjamin Bishop from Salida read his story “Rings, Doughnuts, and Kings” to ceremony attendees. Other junior finalists included Brooklyn Bell, Ephraim Bunch, Alexis Davis, Owen Hill, Taya Martinez, and Aidan TwoCrow.


After Gabardi and membership chairperson Laurel McHargue presented $150 each to the Senior level Silver Prize winner Grace Bunch from Leadville for “I’ll Come Running” and Bronze Prize to Savannah Tully from Buena Vista for “Mangroves Whisper Life and Death,” Senior Grand Prize winner Hannah Wharton from Nathrop read her story “Hand of Tomorrow.” Senior finalists included Sky Henderson and Maya Welsh.


In addition to the cash prizes, winners receive a professional edit of their work and an interview with local author Laurel McHargue on her podcast Alligator Preserves.


CCW President Jean Gabardi praised local educators, librarians, and sponsors for their continued and generous support of this project, and participants for their wonderfully creative stories.


CCW Vice President and contest coordinator Cam Torrens also thanked the many judges who evaluated the stories, and parents who supported their children. He said, "We know our local youth can write. Their teachers assure us they can whip out a killer essay when motivated by grades or a chance at college admission or scholarships. But there aren't tons of incentives out there to activate that creative side of their brains and get those ideas on paper. That's where our Youth Writing Contest and generous sponsors come in. We want to inspire creativity in our youth!"


CCW looks forward to organizing and hosting the contest again next year. Look for more information on their website at

Read all the 2023 YWC author stories HERE!

CC Writers Exchange Membership

CCW Members receive these extras

for only $20 next year (2023) ...

​>  Workshop discounts​

>  Monthly Critique sessions

>  November NaNoWriMo Mentoring

​>  WE Write sessions

​>  Links to your website​​

​>  End of year Book Exchange

>  Members only year-end writing session

Join now on our Membership Page!

Contact Membership Chair Laurel McHargue with questions

Writing Critique Sessions

Want feedback on your writing from other authors? Having trouble finding beta readers? Want to learn about writing craft by reviewing other authors’ work?

Join the FREE CCW Critique Group – for CCW members only.

This on-line group meets twice per month on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to about 8:00 (see the CCW calendar for dates). By Sunday prior to the meeting, post your submission (3,000 words maximum) to Google Docs. You have three days to review/provide written feedback on three submissions and, in return, you will receive three reviews on your work. At Wednesday’s on-line meeting, you will give/receive additional feedback.

If you’re not a Google Docs user – NO WORRIES! Our facilitators will walk you through how to upload and download documents like a pro.

If you want to find out more? Please contact Author and CCW Board Member, Linda Ditchkus. Contact Linda Ditchkus HERE! or call her at 720-985-8450.

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Free News & Updates

Join our email list to receive updates and notifications about upcoming writing sessions, workshops, twice monthly critique sessions, November NaNoWriMo mentoring, Members' new book releases, Salida Art Walk community event participation, links from our website to your published book(s).

Contact us!

NYT Bestselling Author David L. Robbins--CCW Workshop in October

Authors David L. Robbins and Laurel McHargue cover LV Ditchkus's work

Central Colorado Writers' October 14, 2023 workshop with NYT Best-Selling Author David L. Robbins is The Art and Craft of the Narrative: The Code of Fiction. The workshop will be on Zoom from 11am-3pm MT.

David L. Robbins has written 15 novels, four professionally produced plays, and, in 2018, was named one of two most influential literary artists in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the past 50 years by the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Robbins lives and writes in his hometown of Richmond, VA, and teaches advanced creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University. His new historical fiction novel, Isaac’s Beacon, is a sweeping tale based on the real events of Israel’s founding, bringing alive the power and complexities of the birth of the Jewish state.

Here's more about the topic: This class will survey the pillars of powerful writing, those elements of every good story which are ever-present (e.g. the integration of setting to character, the role of POV, the choice of POV, where to begin and end scenes, the dynamics of plot, the timing of reveals, editing, process, the importance of action, dialogue, pace, voice). Once writers develop technique, they can best apply their individuality - their artistry -  in the most effective and confident way. 


The fee is $25 for CCW members and $45 for non-members. But membership only costs $20 per year, so it makes sense for non-members to just sign up for membership instead of paying the non-member rate. You can pay by check to CCW at PO Box 1640, Salida CO 81201 or at the PayPal button below.


If you have questions about the workshop or about joining Central Colorado Writers, they can contact Linda Ditchkus.

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