Monday, June 20, 2016

Scholarship Recipient Shares Thoughts on 2016 PPWC

By: Ledema Renfrow

Pikes Peak Writers Conference was my first writers’ conference so I went not knowing what to expect. But four days later, I left with many new friends, tons of valuable information and an invitation from a New York City agent to submit my manuscript.

What more could a writer ask?

I was grateful for the choice of presenters at the 2016 PPWC. The only problem was choosing just one at times when I wanted to learn so much. Every program I attended offered something I needed.

On Friday afternoon during a break, I noticed the sun coming through a lobby window. It had been snowing so the sun was very inviting. I sat down on the window seat and a young man sitting on the other end started a conversation.

He asked what I was writing, and I told him I had just finished No Star in the Window. 

He asked if I had published anything, and I showed him the book I self-published in 2014, Two Decades of David: Life, Death, and Beyond. “It is the true story about our son who was killed by a drunk driver,” I explained.   

He glanced through it. “What was the moment of sweet revenge at the end?” he asked. 

“I was selected for jury duty a few years after our son was killed. When the judge asked, ‘Is there anyone in the jury box who thinks they could not give a fair and honest verdict in this case?’ I raised my hand.” 

“Why is that?” the judge asked.

“I stood and pointed. ‘Because you are the judge who sentenced the drunk driver who killed my son to just 30 days in jail on a work release.’ Then, I pointed to the defense lawyer. ‘And he is the lawyer who defended the drunk driver who killed my son.’ It was truly their moment of reality and my moment of sweet revenge.”

After that, I asked the young man if he was an agent. He introduced himself and asked me to send him a copy of my new book.

No Star in the Window is written for Middle Grade students about the journey of an eight-member family through WWII. The young protagonist, Lerna, is under the power of her slightly older sister, and their struggle to the end. The setting is the unique city of Pueblo, Colorado, which had many military connections during that time. Pueblo also has an interesting history, which fits into the story quite well.

As for the workshops, after attending Self-Publishing, I decided the most difficult part was marketing.

Thank you to Pikes Peak Writers for the scholarship I was awarded, and to those who planned such a wonderful conference That scholarship was a tremendous help and I will be forever grateful.

About the Author:  Ledema Renfrow retired from the University of Southern Colorado after 20 years. She took classes on her lunch hour and in the evenings for 10 of those years to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. As an Information Specialist in the Communication Services Office, she wrote news releases about activities at the university and edited the weekly Faculty/Staff Newsletter. She was a member of Toastmasters for 19 years and earned the highest rank of Distinguished Toastmaster. She entered numerous TM International and Humorous Speech Contests and advanced to the District level in one international competition. She was recognized as District 26 Toastmaster of the Year in 1997 and Chaired the TM District Conference in the fall of 2000. Ledema helped produce the hospice book, “Sharing the Journey: The Essence of Hospice” in 2010. In 2014 she finished and self-published “Two Decades of David: Life, Death, and Beyond.” It is featured on her website Ledema may be contacted by e-mail at


  1. In my opinion, this is a prime example of why writers go to conferences. So excited for you, Ledema. Expect to be reading about you on our Sweet Success Column and beyond!

  2. Ledema, it was wonderful meeting you and hearing your story. I'm thrilled that PPWC met your expectations. Best wishes with your project!


  3. Oh, what a great story, Ledema. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. I loved hearing about your moment of sweet revenge. Trying to imagine the looks on the faces of that attorney and judge!


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