Fiery Orange Hands IconSouthWest Writers offers classes and workshops to advance the skills and marketability of writers. Experienced instructors guide participants through lecture, example and, often, critique to increase the quality of their writing.

What is the difference between a class and a workshop? A class is more than one session and usually includes assignments to be completed outside of class. A workshop is one session, and any work required of the students is done during the workshop session.

See individual classes for their location.


richard-peck With Dr. Richard Peck

Stage plays of any genre or size–tragedy, drama, comedy, even musicals, whether full length, one-act, or the currently  hot ten-minute plays–all employ the same easily learned principles. You’ll understand them after the first 1-hour session and practice them (through in-class exercises and brief “homework” assignments) by the second sessions.

By your fourth and final session you’ll complete–it’s your choice–either (1) a ten-minute play, (2) a summary of a one-act play, or (3) an outline of a full-length play…and have fun doing it. Then it’s up to you.

Bio: Dr. Richard E. Peck, has been president of three universities: Arizona State, The University of South Florida, and UNM. He has produced a dozen plays, two of them national award winners, another two won regional awards.   Dr. Peck’s second and third full-length plays both won national awards, each from among 300+ entries. Two of his one-acts have each won multiple local competitions. And his first ten-minute play, “Reluctant Nominee,” was recently produced at The Vortex in their recent “Electoral Dysfunctions” festival.

 February 6, 13, 20, 27  6-8pm at the SWW office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE  830-6034
$75 SWW members; $79 Osher members; $85 non-members

The Business of Writing

Writing is a Business. The US Tax Code is skewed to benefit businesses. Writers are engaged in the Business of Writing. As business professional operating a writing business, we are entitled to benefit from the tax code. Thus, beginning writers at this stage of their careers will find that a large chunk of their income comes from the benefits of the Federal Tax Code as long as they operate their writing business in a professional manner.

Most beginning writers mistakenly believe that they have to have a large amount of money coming in from their writing before they can begin deducting their writing expenses. This belief is one of the Sacred Cows of the writing business. No one has bothered to tell them the truth and to teach them how to operate their business in the proper manner to reap this benefit.

There is no secret handshake to learn in order to qualify as being a professional writer. The IRS has only two designations of writers: professional writers and hobbyists. The BUSINESS OF WRITING WORKSHOP is designed to help writers demonstrate that they are indeed professional writers entitled to benefit from the tax code.

The BUSINESS OF WRITING Workshop is designed to teach any writer regardless of her/his stage in their career now to operate their career in a professional manner and to begin tapping into tax benefits that is their due.

In this class, the participants will:

  • Learn the IRS requirements for a professional writer to deduct his/her writing related expenses from their income tax.
  • Understand the record keeping requirements, the meaning of the vocabulary employed by tax professional, and how the tax forms should be filled out.
  • Discover the myriad of legal tax deductions available to the professional writer.
  • How a Business plan for their writing business helps to prove that they are entitled to be considered a professional in their industry.
  • Construct a Business Plan for their writing business.
  • How to manage cash flow from writing and maximize profits.

If you have questions concerning this workshop, please contact the presenter, Fred A. Aiken at

Fred A. Aiken has been writing professionally since 1996 and has articles appearing in Guide Post and Angels-on-Earth. He holds a BS from Grove City College, an MBA from Cleveland State University and a Master of Education from The College of Santa Fe in Albuquerque. He belongs to Southwest Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, Romance Writers of America, and the Albuquerque Science Fiction Society. He teaches classes on THE BUSINESS OF WRITING and has won several awards

3 – Two hour classes on Thursday evenings.  March 9, 16, and 23 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.  Class will be held at Southwest Writers office.
The fee for this workshop is $99.00.00 for SWW Members. $104.00 for OSHER and $109 for nonmembers and is tax deductible. Preregistration is required. Sign up at the business table at the meetings or mail the application to the Southwest Writers Office.


Attendee’s Endorsement:
“The value of learning on Saturday far exceeds the workshop expense… I am so glad I came. You have made me better.”


Instructor: Melody Groves
   Thanks to the invention of the Internet, the opportunity to write for magazines is almost endless. With over 9,000 magazines published yearly, in addition to those online, the world is your oyster. But, there are tricks to bagging an assignment.

So if you’ve got a good idea but don’t know where to go and how to start, look no more. This class is for you.

In six hours we’ll cover:

    • finding your story,
    • finding the market,
    • tweaking the same idea for different magazines,
    • writing a query that sells,
    • photo requirements,
    • approaching an editor. And that’s just for starters.

Instructor Biography:Seven-time award-winner Melody Groves is the author of five historical fiction novels, three non-fiction books. Her dozens of magazine articles appear in Wild West, True West, New Mexico Magazine, ABQ the Magazine and many more. Past-president of SouthWest Writers, she’s also a member of Western Writers of America. And when not writing, she plays rhythm guitar in the Jammy Time Band.           Questions?

March 18th and 25th, 9am to Noon at the SWW office: 3200 Carlisle Blvd NE 830-6034
Cost: $79 SWW members; $84 Osher; $89 non-members


Classes you might have missed:


♦ Myth in Writing
with Shari Tarbet
♦ To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme: To Form or Not to Form?
with Gayle Lauradunn
♦ Worlds Beyond Worlds: Exploring the Multiverse of SFF
with Betsy James
♦ Writing for Magazines: Bagging Your First Magazine Assignment
with Melody Groves


♦ Marketing for Writers
with Barbara Lemaire
♦ How-to-Write Class: I Have Paper and Pen. Now What?
with Melody Groves
♦ A 3-Day Social Media Intensive for Writers
with Barbara Lemaire
♦ Getting at It: Inviting the Good Stuff
with Betsy James
♦ Crafting a Nonfiction Book Proposal
with Loretta Hall
♦ Weirdness: Writing the Shadow Season
with Betsy James


♦ So! You Want to Write a Book!
with Jacqueline Murray Loring
♦ Writing Genre Fiction and Getting Published
with Sarah Baker
♦ Fundamentals of Screenwriting – Giving Your Script a Solid Foundation
with Marc Calderwood
♦ Writing for Magazines: How to Land Your First Assignment
with Melody Groves
♦ Inviting Vivid Characters, Seeing Through Their Eyes
with Betsy James
♦ Business Plans for Writers
with Fred A. Aiken
♦ Writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Worlds on the Bias
with Betsy James
♦ A Three-Day Social Media Intensive for Writers
with Barbara Lemaire

Workshop and Class Refund Policy

To ensure that SouthWest Writers can cover the cost of space rental and instructor fees, we have implemented a workshop and class refund policy. If you cancel one week before the workshop or class beginning date you will receive a full refund. Cancellations after one week prior up to 24 hours prior to the beginning of the workshop or class will receive a credit only toward a future workshop or class of your choice. If you do not cancel or don’t show up for the workshop or class you will receive no refund and no credit. For multi-session classes, if you miss a class, you receive no refund. We pay our instructors based on how many students enroll, so you are part of that roll count if you don’t cancel as detailed above.

If you have any questions or want to let us know what classes or workshops you’d like to have offered, please e-mail the workshop coordinator at


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