CBA Authors Speakers Bureau

Aaron A. Abeyta, a 2019 Colorado Poet Laureate Finalist, is the M.F.A. poetry director at Western Colorado University, professor of English, and the mayor of Antonito, Colorado, his hometown. He is the author of four collections of poetry and one novel. For his book colcha, Abeyta received an American Book Award and the Colorado Book Award. His novel, Rise, Do Not be Afraid, was a finalist for the 2007 Colorado Book Award and El Premio Aztlan. Abeyta is the former poet laureate of Colorado’s Western Slope and a recipient of a Governor’s Creative Leadership Award in 2017.

Sarah Adleman, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Creative Nonfiction, was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bangladesh, studied yoga in India, and taught English in China. She earned her MFA from The University of Texas at El Paso and works as a Certified Yoga Therapist specializing in Traumatic Brain Injury survivors. Her work has been published or acknowledged by Kindred Magazine, Terrene, Glimmer Train, and America Writers Review. Her first book, The Lampblack Blue of Memory: My Mother Echoes (Tolsun Books, 2019) won a Nautilus Book Award in Lyric Prose/Hybrid Works, an IPPY Award in Essay, was a finalist for the NIEA in Death & Dying, and a winner for the Eric Hoffer/da Vinci Eye Award. A short Reader’s Guide to Lampback Blue of Memory can be found on her website. She lives in Denver with her husband, two year old son, and their thirteen year old dog.

Christie Aschwanden, a 2020 CBA Finalist in General Nonfiction, is a National Magazine Award finalist and the author of the New York Times bestseller GOOD TO GO: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn From the Strange Science of Recovery. She’s co-host of EMERGING FORM, a podcast about creativity, and was previously a health columnist at The Washington Post and lead science writer at FiveThirtyEight. She’s a contributor to Wired and writes for dozens of other publications, including The New York Times, Discover, Popular Science, Slate, Men’s Journal, Runner’s World,, Smithsonian and O, the Oprah Magazine. She lives in western Colorado.

Dan Beachy-Quick, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Poetry, is a poet, essayist and the assistant chair of the English Department of Colorado State University. He has published six books of poetry and is a Guggenheim Fellow.

Donnell Ann Bell, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Thriller, began her writing career at the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Pikes Peak Parent Newsmagazine before turning to fiction. An award-winning author, including a two-time Golden Heart finalist, her books have been Amazon digital bestsellers. Black Pearl is her latest release, and she’s back to work on book two of the series.


Barbara Bridges, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Pictorial, has spent much of her life as a businesswoman. In 2006, she founded Women+Film, a program in partnership with Denver Film, bringing audiences together with movies that ignite discussions around global issues facing women today.

Abigail Chabitnoy, a 2020 CBA Winner in Poetry, is a poet of Unangan and Sugpiag descent and a member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiack, Alaska. She writes for magazines, and is a research associate for Bubar & Hall consulting firm for the indigenous population in Colorado. She works daily to improve tribal self-determination and engagement in the community.

Lauren Connolly, 2020 CBA Finalist in Romance, crafts love stories set in the contemporary world.
Some are grounded in reality, while others play with the mystical and magical. She lives in southern Colorado, outnumbered by her animals.

Donna Cooner, a CBA Finalist in Young Adult Literature, is the author of over twenty picture books and has also written children’s television shows for PBS. Born and raised in Texas, she is a three-time graduate of Texas A&M University. A former teacher and school administrator, she is currently a professor of education at Colorado State University. Her books have been translated into Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, Finnish, and French.

Claire Fishback, a 2019 CBA Finalist in Science Fiction/Fantasy, is an award-winning author who writes horror novels and is also the author of Lump: A Collection of Short Stories. In her spare time she enjoys adding to her bone collection and poking dead things with sticks.

Lija Fisher, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Children’s Literature, has performed on stages across New York, California, Florida, Colorado and Alaska. In 2017 she was a Writer in Residence with Aspen Words. Prior to becoming an author, she trained for a while (a very short while) to be a Hollywood stunt person.

Jenny Forrester, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Creative Nonfiction, is published in a variety of periodicals. Her
work is included in Putnam’s Listen to Your Mother anthology. She also published a memoir, Narrow River, Wide Sky.

Wendy J. Fox, the CBA Winner in Literary Fiction, is the author of the collection The Seven Stages of Anger and Other Stories and the novel The Pull of It. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Buzzfeed, and Self, as well as in literary magazines including Washington Square, Euphony, and Painted Bride Quarterly.

Cate Glass, the 2019 CBA Winner in Science Fiction/Fantasy, is the pseudonym of Carol Berg, an author who has written fifteen epic fantasy novels, won numerous Colorado Book Awards, and earned national and international acclaim. A former software engineer with degrees in mathematics and computer science, she was raised in Texas and now resides in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies.

Bruce Holsinger, the 2020 CBA Winner in General Fiction, is the author of three novels, one currently in development with NBC/Universal Television. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, and Slate. Holsinger has received several major awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Pam Houston, the 2020 CBA Winner in Creative Nonfiction, is the prize-winning author of Contents May Have Shifted, among other books. She is professor of English at the University of California–Davis and lives on a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

Diana Kouris, a 2020 CBA Finalist in History, is an award-winning author of nonfiction articles and books. She grew up a Brown’s Park cowgirl. Personal and family connections and decades of research and writing have rendered Kouris an authority on the spellbinding history of the area.

Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl, 2020 CBA Finalists in Young Adult, are a husband-and-wife team who write YA novels and stories of mystery and adventure from their Colorado Rocky Mountain cabin. Their stories and articles have been published in literary journals in the US and England. Jim and Stephanie are world travelers who seek out crop circles, obscure historical sites, and mysterious ruins. Merged is their debut novel.

Jessica Lanan, 2020 CBA Finalist in Children’s Literature, grew up surrounded by the majesty of the Rocky Mountains and finds inspiration all around her in the natural world. The illustrator of several books for children including Out of School and Into
Nature: The Anna Comstock Story and The Story I’ll Tell. The Fisherman and the Whale is the first book that she has both written and illustrated.

Patrick Loehr, the 2020 CBA Winner in Pictorial, is a Denver based creative professional, pursuing interests related to storytelling, visual art, and media production. He has published several books, including two children’s books written and illustrated for HarperCollins Publishers. A Colorado native, he earned his MFA in Visual Art from Lesley College of Art and Design (Boston, MA).

Harper McDavid, the 2020 CBA Winner in Romance, watched her mother ride the writing roller coaster, and swore she would never do it herself. But some things are just hardwired. Her gritty romantic suspense incorporates her background in science and engineering and her work experience along the border.

K. L. McKee, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Romance, worked in her local library Reference Center for twenty-nine years and earned a BA in English from Regis University. A member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and several local writing groups, she now resides with her husband in western Colorado and writes faith-based stories full time.

Margaret Mizushima, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Mystery, is the author of the award-winning and internationally published Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. Margaret is a member of several writers’ organizations, serves as president for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and was elected the 2019-2020 Writer of the Year by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She lives in Colorado on a small ranch with her veterinarian husband where they raised two daughters and a multitude of animals.

John Nizalowsk, a CBA Finalist in Creative Nonfiction, is now a resident of Grand Junction, Colorado. He is the author of five books, most recently a volume of poetry, East of Kayenta (Turkey Buzzard Press, 2016) and a collection of essays, Chronicles of the Forbidden (Irie Books, 2019). Currently, he teaches mythology, creative writing, and composition at Colorado Mesa University. When he’s not engaged in his academic duties, he finds solace and inspiration in the labyrinthine canyons and 5000 year old shamanic pictographs of the Four Corners region.

Northern Colorado Writers, the 2020 CBA Winner in Anthology, is composed of novelists, journalists, memoirists, poets, screenwriters, bloggers, children’s book writers, and many more. Rise: An Anthology of Change features the work of 38 authors and poets. The work explores change, renewal and rebirth. When things change, we experience anger, fear, courage, and hope. Within struggle and strife lies the opportunity to rise from the ashes and create, grow, and love. Rise inspire readers to grow in strength, hope, and resilience as they face the challenges of change. Featuring writers and poets Bonnie McKnight, Lorrie Wolfe, Laura Mahal, Ronda Simmons, Sarah Roberts and Holly Collingwood, Dean K. Miller edited, and Amy Rivers wrote the introduction.

Mark Pleiss, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Short Story, is a Denver writer who publishes fiction, book reviews, scholarly criticism, and essays. A former freelance journalist, he holds a PhD in Spanish Literature and has taught at St. Olaf College, the University of Colorado Boulder, and Metro State University Denver.

David J. Rothman, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Poetry, is the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts Executive Director, and has written several volumes of poetry and published poems in scores of other journals and books. He is the co-founder of the Crested Butte Music Festival and the Gunnison Valley Poetry Festival and Reading Series, and the founding publisher and editor of Conundrum Press (now an imprint of Bower House Books of Denver).

Laura Resau, the 2020 CBA Winner in Juvenile Literature, is an award-winning author of nine highly acclaimed young adult and children’s novels set in Latin America and Europe. Her books inspired by her time abroad as a cultural anthropologist, ESL teacher, and student and have been praised for their sensitive treatment of immigration and indigenous people’s issues

Aimie Runyan, a 2020 CBA Finalist in General Fiction, is the author of four historical novels, including
one international bestseller. Runyan writes to celebrate history’s unsung heroines. Her latest novel is a Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choice for February 2019. An active educator and speaker, she lives in Colorado with her two (usually) adorable children.

Connie Shoemaker, the 2020 CBA Winner in General Nonfiction, developed an interest in Muslim women while spending four years in Cairo, Egypt with her husband and children, teaching English and writing for several news organizations. The co-founder and director emerita of Spring International Language Center, she is a board member of Immigrant Pathways Colorado.

Jill Tietjen, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Pictorial, is a speaker, electrical engineer, and co-author of Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America, which received the Daughters of the American Revolution History Award Medal. She has conducted research into historical women around the world for the past 30 years.

Poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, a 2019 Colorado Poet Laureate Finalist, “never fails to bring sensual joy and rich music,” says Utah’s Poet Laureate Emeritus David Lee. She was Colorado’s Western Slope poet laureate (2015–17) and served two terms as San Miguel County’s first poet laureate (2006–2010). She has authored and edited 13 books, including Naked for Tea, Even Now: Poems & Drawings, and Holding Three Things at Once, finalist for the Colorado Book Award. She’s widely anthologized, including in An Elevated View: Colorado Writers on Writing, Poems of Awakening, and Poetry of Presence. Her work has appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion,” in O Magazine, on back alley fences, on rocks she leaves around town, and in dozens of literary journals including Rattle, Clover, and Spectrum. She has been the recipient of numerous prizes.

Joshua Viola, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Science Fiction/Fantasy, is a four-time Colorado Book Award finalist and his comic book collection, Denver Moon: Metamorphosis, was included on the 2018 Bram Stoker Award Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel. An editor and writer, his fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies. He is owner and chief editor of Hex Publishers.

Teague von Bohlen, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Pictorial, is an associate professor of fiction at the University of Colorado Denver, serves as Fiction Editor for Copper Nickel, and advises the student newspaper The Sentry. Nominated for a Pushcart in 2020, his first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award in 2007. The stories in Flatland are drawn from his life and family in central Illinois, where his corn-fed heart still beats.

David Heska Wanbli Weiden, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Juvenile Literature, is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota nation. His upcoming novel, Winter Counts, has been chosen as one of 2020’s most anticipated books by Library Journal. Published in magazines and the fiction editor for Anomaly, David teaches writing at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver.

Wendy Videlock, a 2019 Colorado Poet Laureate Finalist, is the author of What’s That Supposed to Mean (EXOT Books, 2010), The Dark Gnu and Other Poems (2012), Slingshots & Love Plums (2013), and Nevertheless (2011), all from Able Muse Press. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, American Life in Poetry, The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, and Hudson Review, among others. Her work has been reviewed widely in national journals. Known for poems that evoke myth, fairy tale, and the natural world, Videlock has also received praise for her deft command of meter. In an interview with the Colorado Poets Center, Videlock noted that “the iamb is really just another of the many natural pulsings of the earth.” Videlock is also a visual artist, whose paintings can be found in galleries throughout Western Colorado. She lives with her husband and various four-legged critters in Palisade.

Carter Wilson, the 2020 CBA Winner in Thriller, is bestselling author of six critically acclaimed, standalone psychological thrillers, as well as numerous short stories. Three books have won Colorado Book Awards, and his novels have received multiple starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal.

Jennifer Wortman, a 2019 CBA Finalist in Short Story Collection, is a National Endowment of the Arts fellow, has published work in TriQuarterly, Glimmer Train, Electric Literature, Copper Nickel, among others. A Colorado Review associate fiction editor, she teaches at Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

Emily Wortman-Wunder, the 2020 CBA Winner in Short Story Collection, is an award-winning essayist and fiction writer, has been published in Kenyon Review, Creative Nonfiction, Nimrod, and High Country News, and is the winner of the 2019 Iowa Short Fiction Award.

Erika T. Wurth, a 2020 CBA Finalist in Literary Fiction, Erika T. Wurth’s publications include two novels, Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend and You Who Enter Here, two collections of poetry and a collection of short stories, Buckskin Cocaine. A writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University and has been a guest writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals including Buzzfeed, Boulevard, Lithub, The Writer’s Chronicle, Bitch, Waxwing and The Kenyon Review. She will be faculty at Breadloaf in 2021, is a Kenyon Review Writers Workshop Scholar, attended the Tin House Summer Workshop, and has been chosen as a narrative artist for the Meow Wolf Denver installation. She is Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee and was raised outside of Denver, where she lives with her partner, her two stepchildren, and her extremely fluffy dogs.


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