The Colorado Authors League Announces the Winners of its Prestigious CAL Awards

The Colorado Authors League (CAL) – the community of published writers that has been supporting its members and adding value to the reading world for 90 years – announced the 2022 winners of its prestigious annual CAL Awards at Washington Park in Denver on June 19th.

“We are thrilled to be able to hold an in-person event this year to showcase and present our winners,” said CAL President, Jodi Bowersox.

This year long-time CAL member and previous President Bruce Most was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Here are all the winners

Mainstream/ Literary

Bob Seay, Dad

Dad is a powerfully touching story of reconnection between a struggling son and aging father. 

Historical Fiction

Jeanette Minniti, The Only Way Home

Set during the Great Depression, The Only Way Home follows a boy fighting to save his family.

L.R. Braden, Demon Riding Shotgun

This standalone urban fantasy novel from Magicsmith series author L.R. Braden blends a gripping detective narrative with magic and lore. 

Paranormal Romance

Iona Morrison, Searching For Closure

Searching For Closure mixes a compelling mystery with a great romance between interesting characters.

Epic Fantasy

Todd Fahnestock, Khyven the Unkillable

Kicking off the Legacy of Shadows series, this hero’s quest set’s a high bar for the following installments. 


Jodi Bowersox, Red Rabbit On The Run

Red Rabbit is the latest novel in Bowersox’ fast-paced romantic thriller series.

Cozy Mystery

Cynthia Kuhn, How to Book a Murder

Perfect for lovers of books about book lovers, this cozy story follows a crime writer who becomes entangled in a mystery of her own.


Sue Hinkin, The Mermaid Broker

Hinkin’s “best thriller yet” examines a dark topic in a gripping way.

Nonfiction Biography Memoir

Todd Fahnestock, Ordinary Magic

Fahnestock’s second win this year details his own adventure: trekking through the Rocky Mountains with his teenage son during the first summer of the pandemic.

General Nonfiction

Matt Bille, Of Books and Beasts

Essential reading for cryptozoology enthusiasts, Bille has created a well-researched resource in Of Books and Beasts.

Historical Nonfiction

Joan Jacobson, Colorado Phantasmagorias

Jacobson’s handy book is “a mashup of biography, fantasy, and travel guide”.

Poetry Collection

Joseph Hutchison, Under Sleep’s New Moon

This collection is composed of “rescued” fragments from Colorado’s former Poet Laureate. 

Prose Collection

Jerry Fabyanic, Food for Thought

Food for Thought is a series of essays on mind and spirit that probe the human condition.


Kendra Merritt, A Matter of Blood

From Merritt’s Mark of the Least series, this story breathes new life into the Red Riding Hood tale.


Linda L. Osmundson, Bonnie In-Between

Bonnie In-Between is a great story for children navigating new family dynamics.

Children’s Picture Book

Dolly Viscardi, All Around Dogs

Dolly Viscardi’s wacky rhymes work wonderfully with Steve Mark’s hilarious illustrations.

Book Cover Design: Adult

Terry Dugan, designer, Defined by Fire

Dugan captures the lessons laid out by author John Rabins with an image of a tree flourishing out of a raging wildfire. 

Book Cover Design: Juvenile

Anna-Maria Crum, designer, “E” is for Eucharist

Crum uses beautiful handmade-like textures for this striking book cover.

Essays: Personal

Petra Perkins , “Ms. Suzy & Mom: Correspondence from the Trenches”

This collection is a “compelling and thought provoking” piece on an amazing mother-daughter bond.

Essays: Commentary

Carol Ann Wilson, “Fireworks in Hong Kong”

Wilson reflects on the past twenty-three years in Hong Kong since attending its last New Year celebration under British rule.

Single Poem

Valerie Szarek, “Indigenous”

Szarek is a lyrical poet and “Indigenous” is a piece from her most recent book, Soar Ready.


Kayann Short, “In the Land of Sky Blue Weather: The Mystery of the Blue Bird Club Photo Album”

Short’s article, published in The Colorado Magazine, dives into a forgotten photo album from Colorado’s landscapes in the early twentieth century.

Short Stories
Joey Porcelli, “Parachute Drop”

“Parachute Drop” is a bittersweet story of a young girl’s “best day ever”.

Book displays from the event were donated to the Literacy Coalition for Colorado. To learn about how you can help or donate, visit

The Colorado Authors league congratulates all the winners and the following 2022 CAL Awards Finalists:

Art Elser
B.G. Franklin

Bruce Leaf

Cheryl Nifoussi
Claire Ibarra
Claire L. Fishback
Claudia Cangilla McAdam
Constance Studer
Dan Guenther
Dianne Blomberg
Doug Cosper
Gini Rifkin
Iona Morrison
Jennie MacDonald

Jessica Sper

Joan Elyse Mickle
John E. Stith
Julie Vick
Karen Gilleland
Kathy Taylor
KM Merritt
Lou Dean
Margaret Mizushima
Mike Pach

M.J. Evans

Patricia Raybon
Penny Rafferty Hamilton
Petra Perkins
R. Gary Raham
Robert G. Williscroft 
Sheri Cobb South
Susan Fletcher

Todd Mitchell

Tristan Bowersox

Wendy L. Anderson

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