Join us for our free monthly programs.
Regular Meetings are on the first Saturday from 10:00 am to noon and the third Tuesday from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the New Life Presbyterian Church Conference Room located at 5540 Eubank NE, Albuquerque, NM. We also offer 2-hour workshops on select Saturdays after our morning meetings. Go to our Workshops page for details.
For a list of previous speakers and topics, scroll to the bottom of the page.
Saturday, December 2, 2017 10am – Noon
Dimension in Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Memoir
In this course we’ll examine the elements that make up a fully dimensional work of fiction, memoir, or creative nonfiction. Creating strong narrative requires attention not only to primary elements of plot and character, but to aspects such as style and tone, sense of place, sensory detail, thematic ideas, as well as literary devices like imagery and symbolism, metaphor, personification and foreshadowing. We’ll work together in exploring how various different elements support one another in a fully realized piece of writing.
SEAN MURPHY’S new edition of his One Bird, One Stone, a nonfiction chronicle of Zen in America, won the 2014 International Book Award in the Eastern Religions category. His The Time of New Weather was named Best Novel in the 2009 National Press Women’s Communication Awards, while his debut, The Hope Valley Hubcap King, won the Hemingway Award for a First Novel and was an American Booksellers Association BookSense 76 recommended book. He is also the author of the Pulitzer-nominated novel The Finished Man.
A recognized Zen meditation teacher and Dharma Holder in the White Plum Lineage, he has practiced Zen for for 30 years. He also teaches secular meditation through his nonprofit Sage Institute for Creativity and Consciousness, and has taught for many years with Natalie Goldberg in her series of independent writing and meditation seminars. See his website at www.murphyzen.com
Stay after the Saturday meeting for a workshop with Sean that goes deeper into this topic!
December 19th 7-9pm
This meeting is cancelled due to its proximity to the holidays. Have a great season and we’ll see you January 6th!
January 6 10am-noon
Sub: Creating filmworthy fiction as a novelist
“Can you turn my novel into a screenplay?” This is the question I’m asked most often by novelists. My reply is always pretty much the same. Turning the fine grain of a novel into a good film is daunting work because while the medium for both is the written word, unlike novels or even short story’s screenplays are governed by a crucial element; time. Successfully carving away the vast and often important detail of a novel for film requires a skillset based on brevity, the stock-in-trade of the screenwriter. We’ll visit the four most important items for a screenplay that often deal a death blow for prospective cross-overs and some simple steps to make sure your novel or short story has a better than even chance to make it in a voracious industry turning more and more to novels and short stories for content.
An award-winning screenwriter, Calderwood received his Certificate in Screenwriting from UCLA in 2007. In 2008 Marc made his writer/directorial/producer debut in the 48 Hour Film Project with the short Water Torture, an award-winning film. He’s been active as a reader for three top screenwriting sites and has read and given notes on over 300 spec screenplays.
Currently, Marc and his wife and live in Albuquerque where he writes screenplays teaches screenwriting classes privately and through UNM at OLLI. He works as a substitute teacher and in the summer he operates Hahn Youth Voices a summer film camp for local Native American students.
Tuesday, June 19 7pm-9pm
Michael Backus’ writing, fiction and non-fiction, has appeared in Okey Panky, One Story, Exquisite Corpse, Digging Through the Fat, Prime Number magazine, Hanging Loose, The Writer, The High Hat, The Portland Review, and The Sycamore Review, among others. His short story “Coney on the Moon” was published in early September 2017 in an illustrated Redbird chapbook and Xynobooks published his novel Double in ebook-only form in 2012. His novel The Vanishing Point will be published in regular book form in 2018 by Cactus Moon Publications. He taught film studies and creative writing at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City and currently teaches beginning and advanced fiction writing for Gotham Writer’s Workshop and Zoetrope Magazine. He can be followed @MikeJBackus and more information is available at his website here.
Previous Speakers and Topics for 2017:
♦ Darynda Jones, SEDUCING THE READER: THE 4 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF AN OPENING
♦ Chloe Rachel Gallaway , The Hero’s Journey
♦ Melody Groves, 5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting my Career
♦ Dede Feldman, Writing: An Activist’s Guide
♦ Paula Paul, Taking the Scenic Route
♦ Heloise Jones, The Writer’s Block Myth, Get Past Stuck & Experience Lasting Creative Freedom
♦ Kirk Hickman, Create Multi-Dimensional Characters Your Reader Can Relate To
♦ Jeanne Shannon and Joanne Bodin, Poetry Month: Exquisite Corpse
♦ Bob Kidera, Overcoming a Late Start to Your Writing Career
♦Jeffe Kennedy, Friends and Enemies: How to Talk to and Deal with Agents and Editors
♦Jodi Thomas, Secrets of a Successful Writer
♦Christina Squire, “And then the Murders Began”
♦Kimberly Little, The Deep Point of View
♦Susan Cooper and Gail Ruben, How to Knock ’em Dead, Public Speaking for Writers
♦Betsy James, Thought Experiments
♦Chris Ebock, Cliffhangers, Keep the Pages Turning
Previous Speakers and Topics in 2016:
♦ Slim Randles, How to Release the “Great” in Good Writing
♦ Joycelyn Campbell, Create True-to-Life Characters Using the Enneagram
♦ David Morrell, The Current Climate in the Publishing World
♦ Anya Achtenberg, Finding the Real Story—by expanding our view of story’s essential elements
♦ Sharon Niederman, When Editors and Publishers Work for Free, Then I’ll Think About It
♦ Kristen Clark, 12 Reasons Why Self-publishing May Be the Answer for YOU!
♦ Paula Paul, The Ten Commandments for a Successful Writer
♦ Judy Avila, Full Immersion: Pulling the Reader Into Your Story
♦ Elizabeth Sloan, Unlocking an Untold Story: Research, Images, Dialogue, Persistence, and a Publisher
♦ Loretta Hall, Make a Name for Yourself (And I Don’t Mean Pick a Pseudonym!)
♦ Joe Badal, Marketing Tips for Writers
♦ John Byram, 10 Common Author Pitfalls in Today’s Publishing Environment
♦ Michael McGarrity, The Backstory in Fiction
♦ Jonathan Miller , Can Donald Trump Sue Me? Libel Law for Authors
♦ Gerald Hausman, How Ideas Shape Literature
♦ Sherry Robinson, Meanwhile, back at the ranch… Moving from writing stories to writing books
♦ Kristen Fogle , The Importance of Morning Pages and Forming a Daily Writing Practice
♦ Ross Van Dusen , Pictures with words vs word pictures
♦ JJ Amaworo Wilson, A Day with the Damned
♦ Susan Cooper and Gail Rubin, The Art of Branding
♦ Richard E Peck, Ask a Playwrite to Revise Your Novel…or Become One!
♦ Shannon Baker, Staying the Course
♦ Steven Gould, What Hollywood Taught Me about Prose Fiction
Previous Speakers and Topics for 2015:
♦ Steve Brewer, Creating Credible Characters
♦ Kathy Wagoner, Point of View (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Pam Lewis, Building Characters and Settings that Ground Your Fiction
♦ Melody Groves, Putting Emotion into Your Writing—Without Adding “ly”
♦ Rob Spiegel, Writing on the Web (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Katrina K. Guarascio, Finding your Voice: The Help and Hindrance of Peer Review
♦ James McGrath Morris, Using Storytelling Techniques to Breathe Life into Your Writing
♦ Bob Gassaway, Sharpen Your Words to Sharpen Your Stories (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Jim Tritten, Building a Writing Career
♦ Jack Woodville London, Why We Write: Storytellers of Hope for an Uncertain World
♦ Joanne Bodin, Poetry as Inspiration: A Panel Discussion
♦ Mark Stevens, How to Plot Without Plotting
♦ Teresa Ewers, Getting Into a Monthly Magazine (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog Theatre)
♦ Melody Groves, Dialogue Tricks: Making Characters Talk Good
♦ Kirk Ellis, Storytelling: It’s Harder Than You Think
♦ Jeanne Shannon, Tackling the Elusive Art of Poetry (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Steve Brewer, How to Screw up Your Writing Career (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog Theatre)
♦ Irene Blea, Landscape: How Setting Creates Identity & Story
♦ Rob Spiegel, Online Writing Opportunities—An Expanding Universe
♦ Joycelyn Campbell, Networking Isn’t a Four-Letter Word (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Melody Groves, Choosing a Topic for Your Magazine Article (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog)
♦ Jane Lindskold, Making it Real
♦ Jonathan Miller, How to Turn Your Life into a (Successful) Book…And Not Get Sued
♦ Grace LaBatt, Improve Your Language Tools (Brown Bag Session)
♦ William Bolt, How to Turn Personal Stories into Stand-up (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog)
♦ Jeffe Kennedy, Defying Gravity—Writing Cross-Genre and Succeeding Anyway
♦ Robert E. Vardeman, That’s A Great Idea…So What’s the Story?
♦ Zack Wheeler, Developing a Strong Online Presence (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Elise McHugh, What an Editor Looks for in a Manuscript (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog)
♦ Sarah Baker & Loretta Hall, Question and Answer Session
♦ Robin Perini, I Stayed Up Until 4:00 AM: Creating and Maintaining Suspense
♦ Juan Aranda, Technical Can Be Creative (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog)
♦ Shari Tarbet, Myth in Writing
♦ Sharon Oard Warner, The Grand Scheme of Things: On Plot and Point of View in the Novel
♦ Jeanne Shannon, What Makes a Memoir Work (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Stanley Ray, Screenwriting Demystified (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog)
♦ Grace Labatt, On Editing
♦ Lois Ruby, The Devil’s Due—Must We Sell Out to Sell?
♦ Gayle Lauradunn, Poetry: Slam, Spoken Word, Rap (Brown Bag Session)
♦ Lille Norstad, Significant Detail: The Art of Showing (Rogue Writers at Aux Dog)