Kirsten Akens has long been our conduit to Pikes Peak Writers. She was a PPW volunteer when she joined the Indy in 2006, and even after she stopped volunteering in 2008, friends, acquaintances and her own curiosity kept her apprised of its happenings.
Her being plugged into the local literary community in this way has served our readers well. She's learned of under-promoted readings and releases, and gotten the information into print. She's followed local authors as they've ascended the ranks, and shared back stories that have helped us decide what to highlight in the paper.
This familiarity with the scene, and her interest in all things printed and bound, made Kirsten an obvious choice to lead our books coverage upon her promotion to associate editor in 2010.
When PPW began marketing the 20th anniversary of its conference earlier this year, she was the one who brought it up. Asked to do a little research, she found out about Marie Lu's success story (see here), which we all agreed was a testament to the importance of this event.
In determining who should write about it, we weighed multiple factors: knowledge of the local lit scene, writing and reporting ability, passion for the topic and, of course, any personal history with, or general affinity for, PPW.
It's not the cleanest deal, having Kirsten write about a conference she twice led. But we feel it's the best story we could do, and one that, in print, hopefully speaks for itself.