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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)     


*Note: The mobile phone version of this website does not work at this time.

WE Write: August 24th

We'll have our end-of-summer We Write on Aug 24th at Laurel McHargue's home just north of Salida. Expect times, directions, and news on whether there is a Zoom option later in the summer.


Thank you in advance Laurel for opening up your home to our motley group! 

CC Writers In the News

Dan Bishop's Saturn Conundrum was recently awarded a 5-Star review and seal by Readers Favorites. The book is competing in the organization's annual contest and results will be released 1 Sep 2024.


Congrats, Dan!

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Central Colorado Writers to Celebrate its PEARL
(30-year) Anniversary

In 1995, a bold group of local authors banded together and formed Chaffee County Writers Exchange within the Chaffee County Council on the Arts. We’ve had some name changes since then, but we’re proud of our roots and want you to help us celebrate the Central Colorado Writers’ 30th anniversary in 2025.

Our organization published 3 anthologies in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and we’re doing it again in 2025.


To honor our Pearl Anniversary, we’ve chosen a writing theme of “Pearls.” Our earlier/founding members and our current members are encouraged to submit stories or poems. Authors should take the theme and make it their own. Bend it and twist it. Don’t feel restricted to include the creamy white round object. Your story or poem can include pearls of wisdom, a pearl-handled firearm, or crushed pearls that power a space station on a distant planet. It’s all up to you!

Stories or poems are due by July 31, 2024. We can only accept one submission per author. You can upload your completed submission with this link: Link. Be sure to have a short author bio (100 words or less) and your submission (2500 word max) in either doc or docx format (i.e., no pdfs) ready when you access the link.

We’re also planning a big party in the summer of 2025 to mingle with friends old and new—dates, location, and other details to come.

The Dollars and Sense of Self Publishing – Part One by Dan Bishop
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Your first book is fast coming to completion (or maybe already completed). You want to see it published. You want to get it out there. But you have decided not to travel the Traditional Publishing Path, sending out dozens (hundreds?) of query letters to agents, hoping someone will actually read it and decide they just might have time to look at another manuscript. And of course, if they do, they then need to decide to adopt it (lucky you). And then they must go through the same process with editors, hoping one of their contacts will be sufficiently interested to at least look at your manuscript. Chances of adoption by a major publisher? Better than a lottery ticket, perhaps, but not by much.

The Indie Press Path is another option. A step up from Vanity Press who require authors to submit up-front fees or to contract to buy a certain number of books, these are very small publishing houses with a handful of editors. These may not require an agent, eliminating the first hurdle in the "getting published" process described above. They may provide editorial assistance and cover design. They make their money from the publisher’s commission, but the royalty return to the author is usually better than offered by the majors. Many will have a marketing staff who try to influence you to take advantage of their many marketing outlets (book shows, fairs, etc.) for a fee. Undoubtedly, many of them hope to someday represent a NYT best seller and reap handsome rewards.

I published my book Mastering Spanish Irregular Verbs in 2009 through i-Universe, Inc., one of the many Indie Press companies out there.

A third option is Self Publishing. When the manuscript for my first novel Saturn Conundrum was coming together in fall of 2022 (Really? Just a year ago?), my experience with i-Universe convinced me I could do just as well by self-publishing. So I set about pursuing this option, and in three months, start-to-finish, I had my first book order (26 copies) sitting on my desk. I also kept a detailed account of the process and my costs, and that is the topic of the remainder of this article and next month’s Tips and Tidbits.

Step 1. Obtain an ISBN number for your book. In the U.S., there is only one outlet for ISBN numbers, and that is Bowker. You can obtain ISBN years before publishing, so do it NOW. Cost is $129 for 1 ISBN, but since every format (ebook, paperback, hardcover) needs its own ISBN, you are better off to buy 10, offered at $295.
CAUTION: Order directly from, which takes you to  There are several Internet websites phishing for your business. A google search turns them up and they look legitimate. But they exist only to troll you into their net and take your money, either by charging you a useless ‘service fee’ or by swindling you out of your money outright.

Step 2. Your book is complete. Or is it? Yes, I know you’ve edited and edited. But trust me, your book is full of typos and consistency errors (e.g., the victim’s name mysteriously changes from Jean to Jane halfway through the book.) Read through your manuscript, slowly, deliberately, one last time. Do only the minor edits (changing ‘to’ to ‘too’), noting all major edits on a notepad. The point here is to read through the book in one or two sittings. Absorb the flavor. Enjoy the story. Revel in the fact that this is your very own creation. Just take good notes for later editing. Once through the read, make the major edits. If there are a lot of them, read the manuscript again!

Step 3. Obtain a copyright for your work. This will cost $45. The same precaution as mentioned in Step 1 applies here:
CAUTION: Order directly from, which provides a simple form to fill out.  There are several Internet websites phishing for your business. A google search turns them up and they look legitimate. But they exist only to troll you into their net and take your money, either by charging you a useless ‘service fee’ or by swindling you out of your money outright.

After you have filled out the government’s form, you will be asked to submit your work as a pdf file. You can use Microsoft Word’s File Export As... option to convert a Word document to pdf format. Other programs offer this same option. Note: The copyright office isn’t concerned that you might make minor changes to your manuscript after you’ve sent them the first copy. However, if you add a chapter, for example, it will only be protected under copyright if you apply again for a revised manuscript copyright.

This covers Steps 1 through 3. You now have a very clean manuscript, ten ISBN numbers, and a copyright for a total outlay of $340.

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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!

CC Writers Exchange Membership

CCW Members receive these extras

for only $20 in 2024...

​>  Workshop discounts​

>  Monthly Critique sessions

>  November NaNoWriMo Mentoring

​>  WE Write sessions

​>  Links to your website​​

​>  End of year Book Exchange

> Members' year-end writing session

I've heard enough, SIGN ME UP!

Find out more on our Membership Page!

Contact Membership Chair Melony Franchini 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.

WE Writes

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

Our May WE Write is on the 13th of May. See more information in the left column of this website or on the member calendar page!

WW sessions are done on Zoom, in-person, and sometimes a hybrid version of both. Each session has time allotted at the start for general discussion, writing updates, and events. 


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 Tom Dury to volunteer as a session facilitator!

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

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