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History of NCWC

With the help of best-selling children's author Debbie Dadey, NCW founder Kerrie Flanagan hosted the first Northern Colorado Writers Conference (NCWC) held in March 2006 at the Armstrong Hotel in downtown Fort Collins with LeAnne Thieman as the keynote speaker.

The conference filled up with 45 attendees and was a huge success. It was clear the conference filled a void in the community. Kerrie knew it would keep growing, so a bigger location had to be found. The Fort Collins Hilton became the home of the 2007 NCWC. Over 100 writers attended and enjoyed hearing author Sandra Dallas and motivational speaker Jim Davidson. Guests also enjoyed an editors panel, networking, trade show, great food, cocktails, and 18 workshop sessions.

Over the years, the conference has brought in a variety of industry professionals including...

Authors: Peter Heller, Chuck Wendig, Jessica Strawser, Jamie Raintree, Denise Vega, Mark Stevens, Grant Blackwood, Laura DiSilverio, Jon Davis, Melanie Crowder, Stephen Cannell, Jim Davidson, Sandi Ault, Carol Berg, Greg Campbell, John Shors, Laura Resau, Todd Mitchell, Linda White, Tina Forkner, Joanne Kennedy, Laura Pritchett, Chris Ransick, LeAnn Thieman, Bonnie Ramthun, Joan King, Teresa Funke, Patricia Stoltey, Mark Lefebvre, Rachel Weaver, Michelle Theall, Windy Lynn Harris, Carter Wilson, Cynthia Swanson, L.S. Hawker, Jovan Mays, Steven Dunn, and Andrew McCarthy.

Literary Agents and Editors: Patricia Nelson, Paula Munier, Marilynn Allen, Alicia Clancy, John Willig, Stacey Graham, Jody Rein, Jennifer March Soloway, Nicole Resciniti, Andrea Dominguez, Steve Mettee, Chuck Sambuchino, Andrea Broan, Kristin Nelson, Rachelle Gardner, Jessica Regel, Jessica Faust, Jon Sternfeld, Anita Mumm, Rebecca Schwab, Lara Perkins, Robert Brewer, Ben Barnhart, Ken Sherman, Gordon Warnock, Michelle Richter, Kelly Sonnack, Kimiko Nakamura, and Mark Gottleib.

Freelance Writers and Journalists: Elissa Tivona, Kevin Vaughan, Greg Campbell, Tim Beyers, Carrie Visintainer, Tom Bol, Trai Cartwright, Geoff Van Dyke, and Carol Rehme.

The NCWC continues to be the premier writers conference in the region bringing in agents, editors, and presenters from all over the country. 

Past Conference Highlights

2019 Conference - The Muse Cruise

The Muse Cruise: Let Your Writing Set Sail! Does your writing have you feeling lost at sea? Or maybe you're still stuck at port, unsure of how to embark on your next literary adventure. Let the crew of the 2019 14th Annual Northern Colorado Writers Conference fill your itinerary with the classes, workshops, and activities that will set your course toward publication. No passport or cruise wear required, just the desire to give your writing first-class treatment. Location: Fort Collins Marriott. Travel Dates: May 3-4, 2019

The 2019 Northern Colorado Writers Conference will welcome several new-to-NCW presenters such as Jordan E. Rosenfeld, Yana Makuwa, Steven Dunn, and Jovan Mays. We're also thrilled to announce NYT and USA Today bestseller Cynthia Swanson will be our opening keynote speaker!

2018 Conference - Much Ado About Writing

Though this writing be madness, there is method in it. ‘Tis high time you join us for the 13th Annual Northern Colorado Writers Conference, May 4 & 5, 2018 at the Fort Collins Marriott. Bid good riddance to incertitude as you learn from industry professionals, hob nob with agents and editors, and break the ice with other writers in one fell swoop. A full slate of classes and workshops will help ensure your writing is not tedious as a twice-told tale. As good luck would have it, bestselling authors Peter Heller and Jim Davidson will be on hand to inspire scribes of all levels and genres. To thine own self be true! 

The 2018 Northern Colorado Writers Conference brought back some local favorites such as Todd Mitchell, Trai Cartwright, and Kerrie Flanagan, as well as welcomed several new-to-NCW presenters such as Windy Lynn Harris, Stacy Testa, and Christa Heschke. We're also thrilled that NYT bestseller (and Colorado favorite), Peter Heller was our opening keynote speaker! 

2017 Conference - Imagination: The Alchemy of Writing

Our 12th annual conference on May 5 & 6, 2017, took attendees on a magical journey through time and space. The early science of alchemy, the concept of starting with a single element, an ingredient, that when combined with other elements, create a symphony of possibilities, all capable of transmuting one to a new realm, is not unlike writing. We start with a cacophony of bottles, all filled with chemicals of varying colors and textures, swirled together in our brain—a fragile glass beaker—to conjure up worlds filled with unique perceptions, images, and understandings.Imagination. It’s that mysterious and magical alchemy of bringing together these captivating, yet often elusive elements, to summon a bit of literary enchantment with the ability to cast a spell over readers, and transport them to worlds within the pages of our imaginations.

The 2017 Northern Colorado Writers Conference brought back some local favorites such as Laura PritchettTrai Cartwright, and Kerrie Flanagan, as well as welcomed several new-to-NCW presenters such as Bob MayerJessica Strawser, and Whitney Davis, not to mention, several new agents. Chuck Wendig, #1 NYT Bestselling author author of Star Wars: Aftermath, as well as the Miriam Black thrillers, the Atlanta Burns books, and the Heartland YA series, alongside other works across comics, games, film, and more, was our opening keynote speaker. A finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the cowriter of the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus, he is also known for his popular blog,, and his books about writing.  (Check out our Conference Creative Team's short video, Mad Science Writing.)

2016 Conference - Writing the Range

The 11th Annual NCW Conference visited the Old West where attendees were inspired by the vast, wide open possibilities of the publishing world with the hopes of riding off into the sunset with enthusiasm and drive to take their writing to the next level. NYT best-selling author, Grant Blackwood gave a fantastic and inspiring keynote and became one our top-rated speakers! This was our first year at the Fort Collins Marriott after being at the Hilton for 10 years.

The Creative Conference Team's annual short film, Write-out at the NCW Corral is another winner!

2015 Conference - DECADEnce: Ten Years of Writing with Abandon

NCW celebrated 10 years of conferences in 2015 and went all out with an extravagant affair worthy of an F. Scott Fitzgerald party. Author and member of the National Speakers Association's Speaker Hall of Fame, LeAnn Thieman gave an amazing keynote filled with passion, humor, and inspiration that left the audience on their feet. We welcomed local favorites Todd Mitchell, Trai Cartwright, Carrie Visintainer, and Jeff Finlin, along with industry professionals from around the country. 

Never ones to disappoint, the Conference Creative Team visited a local speakeasy to bring you The Bookleggers.

2014 Conference - Writing Odyssey: To Publishing & Beyond

The 9th Annual Northern Colorado Writers Conference went to new realms this year, taking writers on a journey through the vast universe of writing and publishing! Chuck Sambuchino, editor for Writer's Digest Books, and author of How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, gave a humorous and inspiring keynote. 

Word Artist and author of Advice from a Tree, Ilan Shamir, entertained attendees with poetry set to drums and Colorado Poetry Outloud Champion, Alic Kilduff gave an amazing rendition of her winning poem.

Check out the Conference Creative Team's short film, A Writing Odyssey

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